Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • 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.

  • Worker burned in lab accident

    Los Alamos National Laboratory is starting an investigation into the cause of an electrical accident that injured nine workers Sunday at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center, two of them critically.
    Sunday, during preventive maintenance operations at LANSCE, a LANL employee was burned while working at an electrical substation.
    The employee, who has not been identified, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. As of Monday afternoon, the employee was listed in critical but stable condition, although UNM Hospital would release no other information.
    LANL announced Monday afternoon the accident at the TA-53 substation is currently under investigation. LANL said it would likely have a joint investigation board along with the Department of Energy going within the next three days.
    Of the other eight injuries in the incident, seven of those employees were transported to Los Alamos Medical Center, treated and released. The eighth, a 57-year-old male was kept at LAMC for observation. As of Monday, he was listed as being in stable condition.
    Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan said he and the rest of LANL are hoping for a full recovery for the employee severely burned in Sunday’s accident at the LANSCE site.

  • McMillan: 'Sympathy and support' to family of burn victim

    Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan said he and the rest of LANL are hoping for a full recovery for the employee severly burned in Sunday's accident at the LANSCE site.

    "We are deeply concerned about the serious medical condition of the worker who was injured in an electrical accident this Sunday," McMillan said in a news release from LANL. "Nothing is more important at this time than his well-being. On behalf of the entire workforce at Los Alamos, I would like to express our hope for a full recovery and our sympathy to his family at this very difficult and trying time."

    LANL announced Monday afternoon the accident at TA-53 is currently under investigation. LANL said it would likely have a joint investigation borad along with the Department of Energy going within three days.

    On Sunday, nine workers were injured in the electrical accident. Of those, seven were taking to Los Alamos Medical Center for treatment and released.

    One with serious injuries was transported to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque and is in critical but stable condition. The other, a 57-year-old male who has not been named, is in stable condition at Los Alamos Medical Center.