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For Fun, Los Alamos Team Goes Digging For Dinosaurs

A `good-neighbor' policy at the nuclear weapons lab inspires researchers to aid paleontological digs in the New Mexico hills It stands to reason that the pursuit of dinosaur bones is not part of Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratory's official research portfolio. After all, this is the home of the first atom bomb, its resident researchers are primarily involved in the physical sciences, and nuclear weapons development is still pretty much the name of the game. So why have electron microsc

Jeffrey Mervis
A `good-neighbor' policy at the nuclear weapons lab inspires researchers to aid paleontological digs in the New Mexico hills

It stands to reason that the pursuit of dinosaur bones is not part of Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratory's official research portfolio. After all, this is the home of the first atom bomb, its resident researchers are primarily involved in the physical sciences, and nuclear weapons development is still pretty much the name of the game.

So why have electron microscopist Roland Hagan, physical chemist George Matlack, organic chemist Dale Spall, and dozens of other Los Alamos scientists spent countless hours during the past five years investigating what appears to be the largest creature ever to roam the earth--a 140-foot-long, 80-ton reptile named Seismosaurus that lived 150 million years ago?

Part of the answer is to satisfy their curiosity about what's buried in a mesa 70 miles away in north central...

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