in the News
In the aftermath
number of capabilities at the Laboratory, developed as part of Livermores
national security mission, have come to public attention since September
Livermore scientist Graham
Bench led a team from the University of California at Davis to analyze
air quality at the disaster site. The team used a device called
a Davis Rotating Unit for Monitoring, or DRUM, to collect information
about the size and type of particles in the air. The information
revealed whether the particulate matter was organic, inorganic,
or toxic, and helped officials to determine the best safety measures
for the site.
Martz, director of the Center for Nondestructive Characterization
in the Engineering Directorate, is on a National Academy of Sciences
committee that reviews the Federal Aviation Administrations
safety regulations. Martzs expertise is in x-ray and industrial
computed tomographic scanning technologies, and he has been called
on by news media to discuss scanning technologies for passenger
and baggage screening.
Laboratory is researching several technologies for combating terrorism.
Among them are the Handheld Advanced Nucleic Acid Analyzer, or HANAA,
which can quickly analyze sample DNA in the field to detect the
presence of pathogens such as anthrax or plague. In a related effort,
biologists are identifying the DNA signatures of a number of pathogens
for use in HANAA and other biodetection instruments. Another technology
is the Autonomous Pathogen Detection System, or APDS, which also
searches for the presence of pathogens in the environment by continuously
monitoring the air inside buildings or public venues where the system
has been installed. Livermore researchers also are developing gene
chips that store genetic information about unique regions of various
pathogen strains. Yet other researchers are developing monitoring
networks to sniff the air over a geographic area for
biological agents. And the Laboratory has developed L-Gel, a silica-based
oxidizer material that can be sprayed onto any surface to kill biological
agents or to neutralize chemical warfare agents.
Contact: Gordon Yano (925) 423-3117 (email@example.com).
symposium educates science teachers
More than 100 high school
and community college science teachers from throughout California
arrived at the Laboratory on September 21 for the second annual
Edward Teller Science & Technology Education Symposium.
The teachers spent two days
talking with scientists and engineers about their latest research;
attending hands-on workshops in physics, chemistry, biology, and
environmental science; and touring state-of-the-art research laboratories.
Gage, chief researcher and director of the Science Office of Sun
Microsystems, was the events keynote speaker. He talked about
the future of the Internet in education. Director Emeritus Edward
Teller also addressed the participants.
symposium was cosponsored by the Laboratory and the University of
California at Daviss Department of Applied Science as well
as other educational, professional, and corporate organizations.
Richard Farnsworth, who coordinated the symposium for the Laboratorys
Science & Technology Education Program, summarized the relevance
of the symposium to science education. It often takes 8 to
10 years to get the information that comes out of research laboratories
into the classroom. With this symposium, the Lab and the symposiums
cosponsors are building a bridge so teachers see how todays
science research can affect their science education teaching. .
. . Were giving the teachers materials that come out of our
laboratories to take back to their classrooms immediately.
Contact: Richard Farnsworth (925) 422-5059 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
astrophysicists on grant-winning team
Scientists from Lawrence
Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories, the University of
California at Santa Cruz, and the University of Arizona have received
a $2-million, 3-year grant from the Department of Energys
Office of Science to research the physics of supernovas, one of
natures most fantastic events.
A supernova is literally
the explosion of a star. Such explosions are observed in nearby
galaxies at the rate of more than once a week. They release great
bursts of energy, in amounts that can temporarily rival that of
the host galaxy.
the temporary new stars have been witnessed for centuries,
no one knows in detail exactly how they work. The scientists who
received the grant will be trying to find out what causes supernovas
and what happens when a star explodes.
The team will be attempting
to produce accurate two- and three-dimensional models of supernova
explosions. Each of the institutions will be applying its specialties
to the research. With this grant, we are trying to understand
some of the most challenging issues in theoretical and computational
physics, says Rob Hoffman, one of two principal scientists
from Livermore on the project. He and Frank Dietrich, the other
Livermore scientist, will be studying such processes as hydrodynamics,
neutrino and radiation transport, the nuclear equation of state,
convection, thermonuclear fusion, and flame propagation. All are
subjects at the forefront of research at the national laboratories
and are of importance to both national security and basic science.
Contact: Anne M. Stark (925) 422-9799 (email@example.com).
convicted with help from Lab scientist
Rodney Blach was arrested
in October 1999 for planting six bombs, four of which exploded.
They were such powerful bombs that it was a wonder no one was killed,
although two of the exploded ones did cause extensive property damage.
Blach thought he could outsmart
authorities in their attempts to convict him for the attempted murder
of governmental officials in Fremont, California. To do so, they
had to link him and his bomb-making supplies to the pipe bombs.
Blach, a former forensic investigator, hadnt counted on the
district attorney of Alameda County to bring in expertise from Livermore
in the form of Brian Andresen of the Laboratorys Forensic
Science Center. Andresen, trained in chemistry, electronics, and
forensics, was able to demonstrate how Blach had been able to adapt
a sparkplug for use as a detonator and how Blachs lack of
experience in electronics engineering showed up in inexpertly soldered
bomb circuit boards.
Blach was found guilty
of 11 felony counts, including attempted murder, after an 11-week
trial. Andresen said that the case is similar to the kind of terrorist
activity the Laboratory is dedicated to thwarting as part of its
national security mission.
Contact: Brian Andresen (925) 422-0903 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
wins eight LabUniversity proposals
The Laboratorys scientists
will join forces with University of California (UC) researchers
on eight collaborative projects or exchanges being funded by the
Department of Energy. The collaborations are among 11 projects proposed
by universities and the Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories.
UC officials selected the winning proposals and announced the awards
in late August.
The selected projects and
exchanges that involve Livermore scientists are: (1) a study of
how low levels of unwanted radiation exposure that occur near a
tumor during radiation therapy affect the genes and proteins in
nearby healthy tissue; (2) development of techniques to measure
the carbon-14 content of individual amino acids isolated from oceanic
organic matter, which will provide insight into marine ecology,
ocean upwelling, and global climate processes; (3) development of
noninvasive techniques for the diagnosis of breast cancer with optical
lasers; (4) development of new capabilities in medical imaging using
gamma-ray detectors originally developed for astronomy; (5) a study
of the pathogenic characteristics of the bacteria Chlamydia, which
has been implicated in a range of illnesses, so a vaccine against
it may be developed; (6) development of catalytic flow technology
for small, long-lasting fuels to provide power for telemetry and
other remote applications; (7) a study using accelerator mass spectrometry
to determine the means by which carbon can be stored in or released
by the soil and the implications for climate change and global warming;
and (8) development of targeting agents to make cancer cells more
susceptible to damage by radiation and thereby improve the effectiveness
of therapy using injected radiopharmaceuticals.
The University of
California takes some of the management fees paid to it by DOE to
fund the collaborations, explained Laura Gilliom, director of the
Laboratorys University Relations Program. She added, Programs
like this really show UCs commitment to the scientific vitality
of the Laboratory. The University being our manager is a great benefit
Contact: Laura Gilliom (925) 422-9663 (email@example.com).