The Laboratory's Forensic Science Center serves as a focal point for a comprehensive forensic approach to sample analyses. The Center can completely characterize almost any sample--soil, gas, liquid, or vegetation-- with a suite of analytical technologies. The analyses requested by various clients to date have included high explosives, chemical-weapon-related compounds, genetic material, nuclear species, and narcotics. Detecting, analyzing, and interpreting the presence of these and related compounds, from macroscopic (grams) to ultratrace (picograms) concentration levels, are the principal strengths of the Center.
From the late 1970s to the present, almost a dozen studies have been done to understand the nature and possible causes of the increased diagnosis of malignant melanoma in the LLNL workforce. Some of these studies have suggested possible occupational factors at the Laboratory that might be associated with elevated rates of melanoma. However, a recent study initiated by LLNL, which uses better controls than before, fails to support any link between occupational factors and the incidence of melanoma in the Laboratory workforce. It is possible that the high level of education in the Laboratory's workforce--an established risk factor for melanoma--may play a role. After approaching a peak in the 1980s, the rate for invasive melanoma at LLNL has gradually returned to that of the community. Noninvasive melanoma, however, continues to be increased at the Laboratory. Enhanced surveillance probably leads to the prevention of life-threatening forms of melanoma. Continued monitoring of mortality from melanoma is being carried out to verify this finding.
The Laboratory has created a new cross-disciplinary center, the Center for Healthcare Technologies, to focus on developing cost-effective, high- technology healthcare products and systems. The benefits of this Center will be felt nationally, regionally, and locally. At the national level, we will provide better healthcare tools at lower cost; at the state level, we hope to spark healthcare technology sectors in California and further our working alliances with nearby medical research institutions; and at the Laboratory, we will create new multidisciplinary research programs.
March 1994 in PDF format (995K)
and LLNL Disclaimers