Thursday, January 26, 2012
ORNL in the News
Lithium Air Battery

Lithium Air Batteries Could Boost Electric Vehicle Range

(Desktop Engineering) ...The technology under development via the Battery500 Project (launched in 2009) uses lithium air batteries that swap heavy-metal oxides for carbon that creates an electrical charge when it reacts with oxygen. IBM researchers at the company's Almaden and Zurich labs are collaborating with the Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.....1/25

Coronal Mass EjectionSolar storm skims earth's atmosphere

(Tennessee Journalist) On Jan. 22, the Sun ejected a mass of energetic, fast-moving particles into space..."From its launch to making contact with earth, it took 36 hours," said Bronson Messer, computational astrophysicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, explaining that the flow of solar energy came at earth more than one and a half times faster than typical...1/25

DOE

Scientists Create First Atomic X-Ray Laser

(Science Daily) Scientists working at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have created the shortest, purest X-ray laser pulses ever achieved, fulfilling a 45-year-old prediction and opening the door to a new range of scientific discovery...1/25

Was mercury project a success? Y-12 says it may take a year to answer that question

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Most of the Recovery Act-funded cleanup projects at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, including several demolition activities, have been an unqualified success...1/24

State & Regional

Proposal to change the way Tenn. judges selected

(WBIR) Gov. Bill Haslam and the Legislature's two speakers have announced a joint proposal to address how judges are selected in Tennessee. The three Republicans have said they oppose the popular election of Supreme Court justices...1/25

National

Ben BernankeFed Signals That a Full Recovery Is Years Away

(New York Times) The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that it was likely to raise interest rates at the end of 2014, but not until then, adding another 18 months to the expected duration of its most basic and longest-running response to the financial crisis...1/25

Aircraft carrierPhilippines may allow greater U.S. military presence in reaction to China’s rise

(Washington Post) Two decades after evicting U.S. forces from their biggest base in the Pacific, the Philippines is in talks with the Obama administration about expanding the American military presence in the island nation, the latest in a series of strategic moves aimed at China...1/26

East Tennessee

Chair of Knoxville tourism agency defends executive pay

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The chairman of the Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corp.'s board said Tuesday that when it comes to compensation for President and CEO Gloria Ray, he has to look at what's in the best interest of the organization...1/24

energy & science policy

President Obama's energy plan panned by both sides

(USA Today) As his re-election bid nears, President Obama is pitching a made-in-America energy agenda that calls for more offshore oil drilling, natural gas development and clean-energy investments. But he's not winning kudos from either the oil industry or environmental groups...1/26

science & technology

Mars Wind DunesPhoto from NASA Mars Orbiter Shows Wind's Handiwork

(Science Daily) Some images of stark Martian landscapes provide visual appeal beyond their science value, including a recent scene of wind-sculpted features from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter...1/25

Avian FluA New Moratorium on Research Into Engineered Avian Flu: What It Means for Science

(Popular Science) In an unusual move, an international coalition of flu researchers agreed last week to a hiatus on work surrounding a highly contagious, mammal-adapted version of the avian influenza virus. Research on transmissible H5N1 flu will halt, and two manuscripts describing how to modify the virus won’t be published, at least not yet...1/24

Other Stories

Netflix Bounces Back From Subscriber Losses

(Wall Street Journal) Netflix Inc. regained subscriber growth in the fourth quarter after losing ground in the third period, ending the year with 24.4 million members, up 610,000 from the third quarter. That result helped push Netflix shares up 9% to $104 in after-hours trading. Investors were waiting to see if the video rental provider could battle back after alienating some members with a price increase...1/25

Out there

Toronto teens send Lego man into space

(PhysOrg) Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, both 17, used a weather balloon ordered online and a makeshift Styrofoam spacecraft to send the plastic astronaut 24 kilometers (15 miles) into the stratosphere, reports said. Their high school principal Lecourgos Papathanasakis confirmed the "amazing voyage" to AFP, but neither of the teens was immediately available for comment.1/25