Tuesday, February 9, 2016

PNNL Research Highlights

Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate
  1. Marquez Floats Ideas about Underwater Data Centers in IEEE Spectrum
    In a discussion about Microsoft’s Project Natick, where the computing giant is examining the viability of underwater data centers, Andres Marquez, a research scientist and Advanced Architectures Team Leader in the Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and Data Division’s High Performance Computing group, spoke to IEEE Spectrum about how these undersea facilities could “play an important role in meeting the world’s growing demand for Internet services.” He also touched on how the salty ocean presents other problems when it comes to protecting data servers over time.
  2. Phil Rasch Selected for Eos Editorial Advisory Board
    Congratulations to Dr. Philip Rasch, atmospheric scientist and Lab fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Rasch was selected to serve as a member of the Eos Editorial Advisory Board representing the American Geophysical Union's (AGU) Global Environmental Change focus group and disciplines it covers.
  3. Kravitz Provides Geoengineering Insight for Slate
    When the e-zine Slate needed expertise to explain geoengineering and climate modeling for a recent article, they turned to Dr. Ben Kravitz, atmospheric scientist and climate modeler at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  4. Long-Lived Traveling Particles to be Tracked
    Unseen by the human eye are plentiful microscopic particles, small but mighty polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, constantly emitted into the air from a variety of combustion sources. Power plants, forest and brush fires, wood-burning fireplaces, and even the backyard barbeque launch a soupy swell of chemicals into the atmosphere, all bundled into aerosol particles. These trace aerosol components are highly toxic and are believed to increase human risk for cancer. They enter the atmosphere, but how do they get there? And where do they go?
  5. The Dark Side of Cold Clouds
    Those airy, wispy cirrus clouds you're contemplating could be concealing a dirty secret. High in the atmosphere, these icy clouds can take on traveling soot, expelled from diesel trucks, ship boilers, forest fires, and fireplaces. What eventually drops from the cloud's sooty load may affect the destiny of snow-capped peaks and frozen glaciers in the Arctic.
  6. Ruby Leung Appointed ACME's Chief Climate Scientist
    Dr. L. Ruby Leung, an internationally renowned atmospheric scientist specializing in climate modeling and the water cycle, and Laboratory Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been selected by the Department of Energy to lead the Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) project as Chief Climate Scientist. In this role, Leung will help guide the science behind one of DOE’s most important areas of research: transforming the Nation’s ability to predict climate change and its impacts.
  7. Article Named Top 100 of 2015 by Frontiers Blog
    Congratulations to a team of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory microbiologists for having their research article named among the top "100 Articles from 2015 in the Spotlight" by Frontiers Blog. The article lists the ranking of all the top 100 articles. Frontiers Blog is one of the largest and fastest-growing community-rooted, open-access academic publishers and received the ALPSP Gold Award for Innovation in Publishing in 2014.
  8. Microbes Take Their Vitamins—for the Good of Science
    This appeared as a PNNL news release January 21.
  9. Captured by the Game
    Results: While the notion of “players,” “actions,” and “payoffs” may seem more suited to Las Vegas gaming tables, game theory as a mathematical tool has steadily grown in cyber defense applications. In ongoing and progressive work being conducted under PNNL’s Asymmetric Resilient Cybersecurity initiative, scientists have taken on the challenge of addressing the sources and types of uncertainty that can arise in realizing a resilient cyber system. Already, their work on quantifying uncertainties in cyber attacker payoffs within randomly determined security games has been recognized with an IEEE Best Paper award. Meanwhile, their latest publication presents a probabilistic modeling framework for representing and propagating uncertainties in cyber attacker payoffs with the added goal of increasing awareness among researchers about this problem domain.
  10. Invited Review Highlights Mass Spec Imaging Developments, Applications
    Two powerhouses in the analytical sciences world, mass spectrometry and microscopic imaging, have been combined to make an even more impactful capability: mass spectrometry imaging (MSI). This technique allows scientists to locate and identify hundreds of molecules in complex samples without using a labeling compound. Applications include understanding microbial communication and microbial-plant interactions, localization of drugs in tissues for clinical and forensics research, and mapping biomolecules in tissues for understanding health and disease.