in the News
is new Lab director
On July 1, 2002, Michael
R. Anastasio became the new director of Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory. He replaces C. Bruce Tarter, who has led the Laboratory
since 1995. Anastasio is the ninth director of the Laboratory. He
was nominated by University of California (UC) President Richard
C. Atkinson, and his appointment was unanimously approved by the
UC Board of Regents in a special meeting in early June.
Anastasio, 53, has been a
Livermore employee for 22 years, most recently as deputy director
for Strategic Operations. He began his career at the Laboratory
as a physicist in B Division, one of the two nuclear weapons design
divisions within the Defense and Nuclear Technologies (DNT) Directorate.
Later, as associate director of DNT, he was instrumental in the
development and execution of the nations Stockpile Stewardship
Program, which is designed to sustain the safety, security, and
reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.
Anastasio graduated from
Johns Hopkins University with a bachelors degree in physics.
He earned his masters and doctoral degrees in theoretical
nuclear physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
In 1990, Anastasio received
the Department of Energy Weapons Recognition of Excellence Award
for technical leadership in nuclear design. The award acknowledges
Anastasios outstanding theoretical and experimental contributions
to understanding boost physics. More recently, he served in Washington
as scientific adviser at DOE, providing advice to senior members
of the department on a variety of stockpile stewardship issues.
In announcing Anastasios
appointment as director, President Atkinson said that throughout
his career at Lawrence Livermore, Anastasio has distinguished himself
as both a brilliant scientist and skilled administrator with the
right combination of theoretical and practical experience to maintain
the Laboratorys historic place on the cutting edge of science.
Contact: Lynda Seaver (925) 423-3203 (email@example.com).
cities respond to bioterrorism
Livermore scientists are
developing a plan to help cities respond to chemical and biological
terrorism. Sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration,
the program will link cities by computer to the Laboratorys
National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC), which provides
emergency planning response assistance to the departments of Energy
In a chemical or biological
accident or attack, city officials would send NARAC the coordinates
of the toxic release. Using weather and previously gathered geographic
information, NARAC scientists would map where the release is likely
to spread. The information would be available to the city within
minutes and should help local emergency response workers to plan
and execute response.
Working with Public Technology,
Inc., a nonprofit affiliate of the National League of Cities, and
with other municipal associations, NARAC scientists are demonstrating
the new emergency response assistance program in Seattle, Washington.
They are working with Seattle to gather information for the model
and have begun testing and training exercises.
According to Donald Ermak,
leader of the Livermore Atmospheric Release Assessment programs,
plans call for expanding this capability to several cities and lowering
the cost per city significantly. Eventually, the goal is to have
a large number of cities involved, with information available to
city, state, and federal officials.
Contact: Donald Ermak (925) 423-0146 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
DNA signatures found
Livermore scientists working
with collaborators from Salt Lake City, Northern Arizona University,
and Los Alamos National Laboratory have discovered new DNA regions
unique to the bacterium that causes anthrax, thereby potentially
providing a way to improve the diseases detection.
At a recent meeting of the
American Society for Microbiology, Livermore bioscientist Lyndsay
Radnedge discussed the discovery of 20 DNA regions, or signatures,
unique to Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax.
Most DNA-based tests for
B. anthracis use plasmid sequences, that is, a small piece of DNA
separate from the chromosome and transferable between microogranisms.
These sequences can be genetically unstable and yield false test
The new signatures increase
the repertoire of chromosomal markers that can be used for anthrax
detection. They are found in all of the diverse strains of B. anthracis
in the culture collection at Northern Arizona University. They are
being checked against the signatures of other strains of the bacterium
and related microbes and have been found to be far different, thus
eliminating the possibility of false positive or false negative
The DNA signatures are undergoing
an extremely rigorous screening process to select the optimal signatures
before being submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
in Atlanta, Georgia, for further validation.
Once primers are developed
from the B. anthracis signatures, they can be used for rapid, specific
DNA-based pathogen detection on many detection platforms, including
the fast, portable ones developed by Livermore and Los Alamos scientists.
Contact: Lyndsay Radnedge (925) 423-1502 (email@example.com).