April 20, 2012
ORNL in the News

Boundary Between Electronics and Biology Is Blurring: First Proof of Ferroelectricity in Simplest Amino Acid

(Science Daily) The boundary between electronics and biology is blurring with the first detection by researchers at Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory of ferroelectric properties in an amino acid called glycine...4/19

New institute to tackle 'data tsunami' challenge

(R&D) Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have received part of a planned $25 million grant from the DOE Office of Science to tackle the problem of extracting knowledge from massive data sets... The institute includes partners from the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at LBNL and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who are responsible for installing the new technologies developed by the SDAV teams...4/19

House Panel Would Protect Domestic Fusion Program

(AAAS) The details won't be out for another week, but in their version of the 2013 budget for the Department of Energy (DOE), legislators on a spending panel in the House of Representatives would reverse dramatic cuts to the U.S. fusion research program that the White House proposed in February..."It's somewhat disappointing that the modest increase requested by the Administration wasn't supported," says Thom Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, one of DOE's 10 science labs...4/19

Winners Announced From State Science Olympiad, Hosted by UT

(Tennessee Today) The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus teemed with aspiring high school scientists last weekend during the annual Tennessee Science Olympiad State Tournament...The 2012 state tournament was sponsored by the UT College of Arts and Sciences with support from the UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Science Alliance, the College of Engineering, and the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences...4/19

DOE

Problem with dirty respirators prompts Y-12 to shift to disposables

(Knoxville News Sentinel) After a 2 1/2-month investigation of problems with dirty respirators, officials at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant apparently have opted to scrap an off-site recycling program and use disposable respirators in the future...4/20

State & Regional

Tennessee crime rate falls for third year in row in 2011

(Tennessean) Crime in Tennessee dropped slightly for the third year in a row, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “Crime in Tennessee 2011” report, which was released Thursday. Overall, the report showed a 1.7 percent decrease in the number of crimes reported in Tennessee in 2011 compared with 2010...4/20

Bill to drug test welfare applicants advances

(Volunteer TV) A proposal to drug test people as a condition to receive welfare is headed for a vote on the Senate floor. The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville was approved 8-3 in the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday...4/19

National

Gulf residents to get extra $64M for 2010 oil spill claims

(WBIR) Roughly 7,300 residents and businesses harmed by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will get more than $64 million in additional payments because their claims with BP's $20 billion compensation fund were shortchanged or wrongfully denied, the Justice Department announced Thursday...4/19

East Tennessee

Anderson County officials using new tactic to fight meth

(WATE) The Anderson County district attorney general is trying a new tactic to fight the meth problem in the county. Dave Clark's office has filed action in civil court that would demolish a Hansen Lane property that he says is being used to make meth, sell drugs and conduct gang activity...4/19

Visitors to Smoky Mountains in March top previous records

(Tennessean) Officials of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park say mild weather probably had a lot to do with March being a record month for visits. Park spokesman Bob Miller noted that 611,326 people came to the Smokies last month...4/19

 

science & technology

Nanomaterials offer hope for cerebral palsy

(Nature) By tacking drugs onto molecules targeting rogue brain cells, researchers have alleviated symptoms in newborn rabbits that are similar to those of cerebral palsy in children...4/18

The World's First Transgenic, 'Handmade' Cloned Sheep is Alive and Well in China

Sheep(Popular Science) The world’s first transgenic sheep produced via a simplified cloning technique, known as handmade cloning (seriously), is here. Peng Peng, named for the two principal scientists doing the cloning (who happen to have the same name), was successfully delivered back on March 26 and is developing so well that researchers have deemed him ready for the spotlight...4/19

Hydropower threatens Andes–Amazon link

(Nature) Out of some 151 dams proposed for the Amazon river system, more than half will sever the connectivity between the Amazon lowlands and headwaters in the Andes mountains, according to the latest study...4/19

Other Stories

Lyrid Meteor Shower to Peak This Weekend; May Be Best in Years

Lyrid Meteor Shower(National Geographic) This weekend should offer the best view of the Lyrid meteor shower in years, with a dark moonless night during the peak of the annual sky show. The Lyrids will put on their best showing overnight on Saturday and into the following morning, when the new moon will be essentially invisible from Earth...4/19

Whale.FM: Where Citizen Science, Whale Songs, and Education Come Together

(Scientific American Blogs) Above all, science is a collaborative enterprise, where researchers working together can span the continents. Increasingly, nonspecialists—citizen scientists—are pitching in as well. Whale.FM—a collaborative effort of Scientific American, Zooniverse and the research institutions WHOI, TNO, the University of Oxford and SMRU—lets citizen scientists help marine researchers who are studying what whales are saying...4/19