Monday, February 27, 2012
ORNL in the News

Inaugural Science Expo draws East Tennessee students to the L&N

(Knoxville News Sentinel) More than 130 elementary school students from throughout East Tennessee converged Saturday on the Knox County STEM Academy to experience the fun side of science, organizers said. For Julie Ezold, cofounder of the inaugural Science Club Science Expo, her favorite part was seeing the expression on each child's face...2/27

Elevated mercury found in fish in Poplar Creek, Clinch River

(Knoxville News Sentinel) East Fork Poplar Creek has been posted as a hazard for decades because of mercury discharges from the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, where the creek originates...Sampling by Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists and environmental staff has documented the elevated presence of mercury in fish in Poplar Creek...2/27

Peat LabState peat bogs to be climate study labs

(Minnesota StarTribune) A bog north of Grand Rapids will be home to a $50 million, 10-year federal research project to study the effects of climate change on peatlands and forest..."We are doing a whole ecosystem experiment," said Paul Hanson, a project leader with the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee...2/24

Northern Lights Mystery May Be Solved

(Space.com) Scientists may have solved a longstanding mystery about the origin of the energetic particles that cause Earth's dramatic aurora displays...[Jan] Egedal and his colleagues analyzed data gathered by various spacecraft, including the European Space Agency's four Cluster probes. They also performed simulations using a supercomputer called Kraken at the United States Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee...2/26

DOE

Doubts raised over US Department of Energy CRO proposal

(Risk.net) An independent consultant hired by the White House to assess the US Department of Energy's loan programmes in the wake of the Solyndra bankruptcy has advised the agency to hire a corporate-style chief risk officer and beef up its risk-management practices...2/27

Y-12's champion in absentia

(Knoxville News Sentinel) U.S. Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, perhaps more than anyone, has become the champion for modernization of the nuclear weapons complex or so it seems...2/26

State & Regional

Drug czar meets with Appalachian governors

(WBIR) The White House drug czar has described the prescription drug abuse epidemic that's ravaging the Appalachians as "simply heartbreaking" in a meeting with governors from the region...2/26

New iPhone app connects to state Legislature

(WATE) A new iPhone app billed as the first of its kind in Tennessee allows users to connect with members of the current Legislature...2/27

National

WikiLeaks suspect Manning defers plea, court-martial begins

(Reuters) U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, accused of the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history, deferred a plea in a military court arraignment on Thursday, marking the first step in a court-martial that could land him in prison for life...2/23

Violent Uproar in Afghanistan Casts Shadow on U.S. Pullout

(New York Times) American officials sought to reassure both Afghanistan's government and a domestic audience on Sunday that the United States remained committed to the war after the weekend killing of two American military officers inside the Afghan Interior Ministry and days of deadly anti-American protests...2/26

East Tennessee

Local group trying to raise awareness of sex trafficking

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Fueled by ads on the Internet, the sex trafficking industry in East Tennessee is alive and thriving at some truck stops, businesses, and maybe a house near you, according to law enforcement and nonprofit groups working to combat the crime...2/27

energy & science policy

President Obama Announces Funding for Breakthroughs in Natural Gas and Biofuels as Alternative Fuels for Vehicles

(Energy.gov) Today, President Obama announced new funding to catalyze breakthrough technologies for two key alternative fuels – natural gas and biofuels – as part of his all-of-the-above energy strategy to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and provide American families new choices for vehicles that do not rely on conventional gasoline...2/23

science & technology

Uncertainty Equipment Scientists Score New Victory Over Quantum Uncertainty

(Science Daily) For scientists working in quantum physics, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle says that measurements of properties such as the momentum of an object and its exact position cannot be simultaneously specified with arbitrary accuracy...2/26

Optical MemoryOptical memory could ease Internet bottlenecks

(Nature News) Bits of data travelling the Internet have a tough commute — they bounce back and forth between optical signal lines for efficient transmission and electrical signal lines for processing...2/26

Leaf-nosed batStrange New Leaf-Nosed Bat Found in Vietnam

(National Geographic) A new species of bat whose face bristles with leaf-like protrusions has been discovered in Vietnam, a new study says. When scientists first spotted Griffin's leaf-nosed bat in Chu Mom Ray National Park in 2008, the animal was almost mistaken for a known species, the great leaf-nosed bat, said Vu Dinh Thong, of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology in Hanoi...2/24

Other Stories

KesennumaScientists report back from Fukushima exclusion zone

(Nature News) The tsunami that crippled Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant almost a year ago was as formidable as initial estimates suggested, according to the first scientific assessment of its impact on the locale...2/24

SinghIndia Leader Blames Foreign NGOs For Anti-Nuke Power Protests

(Forbes) Indians don’t have a problem with nuclear energy, but Europeans and Americans have a problem with Indians having nuclear energy. At least that is what India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh (pictured), told Science magazine in an issue published on Friday...2/24

Out there

BeerUtah bill would require drinkers on alcohol commission

(Fox News) Utah may be looking for a few good drinkers.  In a state where drinking is a discouraged pastime, one lawmaker is pushing a bill that would require the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission to include at least two drinking members.