Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • NPS/DOE team explores every angle of MPNHP

    The National Park Service/Department of Energy field team’s visit this week will help determine the scope of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
    NPS and DOE are currently working on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) concerning the administration of facilities under the jurisdiction of DOE, including those “behind the fence” at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The MOA will determine and include provisions for enhanced public access, management, interpretation and historic preservation of the sites.
    The team will tour 17 historic sites located at eight technical areas, including V-site (Fat Man research and development and Trinity Gadget assembly) and Gun Site (Little Boy research and development) and meet with LANL officials to discuss the MOA.
    The field team will also tour both the Bradbury Science Museum and the Los Alamos Historical Museum, including the Hans Bethe House. They will take the Historic District Walking Tour and visit the Historical Society Archives.
    Other Los Alamos site visits include the municipal building, the nature center and Tsirege Indian Ruins in White Rock.
    The visit includes meetings with representatives from the Eight Northern Pueblos and Cochiti and Jemez Pueblos, the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities and with the MPNHP Advisory Committee.

  • Public encouraged to meet team

    Although the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP) is projected to launch early in 2016, the park’s creation may seem like a dream to many Los Alamos residents.
    That could change next week when a field team comprised of National Park Service (NPS) and Department of Energy (DOE) officials visits the county as part of their preliminary work in developing the park.
    Los Alamos is putting its best foot forward for the visit. Not only could it determine the structure for the park, Los Alamos is competing with Oakridge, Tenn., and Hanford, Wash., to be headquarters for the tri-state park.
    “As they say, you never have a second chance to make a first impression,” said David Izraelevitz, vice chair of the Los Alamos County Council. “We want to show decision-makers that we are eager to help them build a new park and that we have ways to help them. “We plan to show them that Los Alamos commemorates and celebrates its history, that we are ready to put resources from the county and community toward this park, and that our community already is building a vision of what we want this park to be and do.”
    The public will have a chance to meet with the field team from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at Fuller Lodge.

  • Scientists track flu virus on Wikipedia

    Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have the ability to forecast the upcoming flu season and other infectious diseases by analyzing views of Wikipedia articles.
    “The ability to more accurately forecast the flu season and other infectious diseases will transform the way health departments prepare for and respond to epidemics, ultimately saving lives,” scientist Sara Del Valle said.
    Del Valle and her team recently published  “Forecasting the 2013-2014 Influenza Season using Wikipedia,” in the Public Library of Science.
    “Infectious diseases are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality around the world. Because of this, forecasting their impact is crucial for planning an effective response strategy,” Del Valle said.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seasonal influenza effects up to 20 percent of people in the United States and causes major economic impacts resulting from hospitalization and absenteeism.

  • DOE will report on LANS LLC

    Following a series of electrical accidents, the U.S. Department of Energy has ordered two separate investigations of the contractor that manages the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Energy Department will review potential violations by the Los Alamos National Security LLC.
    A federal Accident Investigation Board will also examine several incidents at the nuclear weapons research facility, including a May 3 accident. One of those workers, Julian Trujillo, remains in the hospital in stable condition but severely burned.
    LANL spokesman Kevin Roark says the lab is working to strengthen its safety culture and will cooperate with the investigation.
    Since 2003, the lab has had at least 11 electrical incidents, some with injuries.

  • LANL hosts DNA meeting

    This week in Santa Fe, Los Alamos National Laboratory is hosting a DNA sequence analysis and bioinformatics event, the 10th annual Sequencing, Finishing and Analysis in the Future (SFAF) workshop.
    More than 300 participants from the international scientific community will gather at La Fonda to hear about everything from keynote addresses on the research applications of sequencing data — such as “Evolution and Epidemiology of Anthrax through the Lens of Genome Analysis” — to technical talks that highlight specific strategies such as a comparison of using sequence data from one commercial machine versus another.
    “This meeting is more than just a science meeting where scientists share their discoveries and accomplishments,” said Chris Detter, who founded the conference with a committee of researchers from around the world. “From day one it was meant to be a super workshop that has evolved over the past 10 years to bring leaders in the genomics field together with vendors, applications specialists and especially young scientists to discuss how genome sequencing and analysis plays a pivotal role in health, environment and security. The primary focus is to foster communication and collaborations to better enable use of these rapidly evolving technologies.”

  • Lab scientists earn major award

    Outstanding performance in two vital mission areas resulted in prestigious awards for two Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists this week.
    U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a select list of U.S. scientists and engineers as recipients of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award.
    The honor is conferred for their contributions in research and development that supports the Energy Department’s science, energy and national security missions.
    “This year’s announcement of E.O. Lawrence Awards for two of our staff members serves to confirm the vibrant, mission-critical work being done at Los Alamos,” said LANL Director Charlie McMillan. “Eric Dors, in the area of space-based nuclear nonproliferation, and Chris Fryer, in high-energy and computational multi physics, are outstanding representatives of the capabilities Los Alamos provides in national-security science. We are united with Secretary Moniz in recognizing the essential contributions they have made to global security applications and basic science.”

  • Foundation receives recognition

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation was the recipient of the 2015 Dennis J. Woywood Compañero Recognition from Quality New Mexico (QNM).
    LANL Foundation was nominated by Gene Schmidt, former Superintendent of Los Alamos Public Schools, for the work of Foundation Board Chair Dr. Bill Wadt in assisting the district with its continuous improvement process and application to the New Mexico Performance Excellence Awards.
    Quality New Mexico provides tools for businesses and organizations to successfully accomplish their mission and vision by driving performance excellence.
    The Dennis J. Woywood Compañero Recognition is awarded by QNM to organizations that partner with others to assist and guide them on their performance improvement journey.
    “We are proud to receive this award from Quality New Mexico. Many have helped the LANL Foundation on its journey towards excellence, and we are happy that Bill Wadt and his technical expertise could guide the Los Alamos Public Schools with their continuous improvement process,” said Jenny Parks, LANL Foundation CEO. “Bill’s volunteer work with the district aligns with the Foundation’s ‘pay it forward’ spirit. We hope to continue to lead by example and assist other organizations in a similar way in the future.”

  • Samitaur, LANL developing brain injury detection tech

    A new detection approach originally developed for tuberculosis diagnostics is being adapted as a tool for determining traumatic brain injury, one of the challenges facing the medical community as it works to treat military and sports figures with head injuries.
    Minute chemical alterations in the body, called biomarkers, are the key.
    “The goal of this project is to not only detect traumatic brain injuries, but eventually to guide treatment as well,” said lead researcher Harshini Mukundan of Los Alamos National Laboratory. “We hope that our project will greatly benefit the care and recovery of veterans and deployed troops.”
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) typically results from a blow to the head and it afflicts a significant percentage of US troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    As such, TBI has been named the “signature disease” of recent wars.  Players in sports such as football or soccer also frequently experience some level of brain injury and problems of the blows’ cumulative effects are gradually being more clearly understood.

  • Heavy Lifting

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has begun mitigation work near the Smith’s Marketplace. Monday, this excavator was lowered down into Los Alamos Canyon. The focus of the work is to clean up mercury left over from Cold War-era work in the area.

  • Lee gets Early Career award

    Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher Christopher Lee is a recipient of the 2015 Early Career Research Program awards from the Department of Energy Office of Science.
    Lee was selected for his proposal on “Precision Probes of the Strong Interaction.”
    “This prestigious award is recognition of Christopher Lee’s outstanding work in nuclear and particle physics, which is a vital part of the laboratory’s national security science mission,” said Alan Bishop, principal associate director for Science, Technology and Engineering. “Early career scientists such as Christopher represent the next generation of scientific excellence at Los Alamos National Laboratory.”
    The Early Career Research Program, now in its sixth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. Under the program, researchers based at DOE national laboratories will receive financial assistance for research expenses.