Thursday, June 3, 2010
ORNL in the News

Story Tips From the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory June 2010

(Newswise) SENSORS - Data a click away...With a network of more than 5,000 sensors that monitor weather conditions, seismic activity, traffic, bacteria on beaches, water levels and much more, Sensorpedia is a significant resource that continues to expand...MEDICINE - Eliminating guesswork...Armed with neutron imaging, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Trent Nichols, a doctor of internal medicine who also holds a doctorate in physics, hopes to improve the odds for patients with cancer...NANOSCIENCE - Highly sensitive arrays...Researchers at George Washington University and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated that tailored silicon nanopost arrays can provide researchers with an important analytical tool for nanoscale applications...COMPUTING - SciDAC 2010...Hundreds of computational scientists from around the world will gather in Chattanooga July 11-15 to participate in technical and scientific talks, poster sessions and discussions of recent advances...6/2

ORNL Sows Seeds with New Agricultural Carbon Accounting Tool

(Newswise) Carbon dioxide emissions from agricultural activity in the United States can now be tracked with unprecedented resolution because of a method developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A team led by Tristram West uses satellite remote sensing, computational resources and high-resolution national inventory datasets to pinpoint agricultural-based carbon emissions nationwide...6/2

Scientists creating advanced computer simulation of nuclear reactor

(Government Computer News) team of four Energy Department national laboratories, three universities and three energy companies will receive up to $122 million over the next five years to develop a highly accurate computer simulation of a light water nuclear reactor. The Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, led by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is the first of three Energy Innovation Hubs expected to be announced this year by DOE as part of a plan to increase federal research and development spending on clean energy. The consortium’s goal is to create a virtual reactor that can be used to improve the performance and safety of existing reactors and to help design the next generation...6/2

Prestigious U.S. Advisory Panel Studies Adaptation to Coming Climate

(American Affairs) On May 19, 2010 the National Research Council (NRC) released three reports urging Congress to act immediately to develop a national strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change that the researchers now see as inevitable. They say decision makers at all levels need to make informed and forward-looking choices now if severe impacts to the U.S. are to be avoided or minimized... Thomas Wilbanks manages the programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory dealing with global change and developing countries. He led the NRC panel on adapting to the impacts of climate change...6/2

DOE

Oak Ridge support for Tennessee Valley Corridor summits included taxpayer money

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Much of the money supporting the Tennessee Valley Corridor and the "summits" used by U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., and others to tout the possibilities for regional economic development has come from Oak Ridge and the federal base of operations there...6/2

Elusive Particle Caught in Strange Appearing Act

(Science Now) ...“It’s a tremendous achievement,” says Maury Goodman, a neutrino physicist at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, although he adds, “It’s probably what everyone expects.”...6/2

State & Regional

Nissan Leaf battery may be used as stored energy

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A Nissan executive says the lithium-ion battery to be made at Smyrna for the automaker's new Leaf could eventually become a source of stored energy, possibly for power companies...6/3

National

US college degrees: Still the best among world's top universities?

(CS Monitor) A US college degree has been the gold standard. But global economics and a crisis of confidence may be pushing the US down in rankings among top universities...6/2

East Tennessee

UT landmark finally getting clock in tower

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The tower of storied Ayres Hall on the University of Tennessee campus will finally get a clock. A ticker at the top of the tower was part of the original building plans in 1921, but the university appeared to run out of money, said project manager Lori Wilson, with UT Facilities Planning...6/3

energy & science policy

PCAST Talks Oceans and ARPA-E, Gives Update on Manufacturing, Influenza and STEM Reports

(AIP) The May 21 meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) featured discussions ranging from oceans to energy, and touched on several pending PCAST reports...6/2

Lieberman Bill Gives Feds ‘Emergency’ Powers to Secure Civilian Nets

(Wired News) ...The government’s role in protecting private firms’ networks is one of the most contentious topics in information security today. Several bills are circulating on Capitol Hill on how to keep power and transportation and financial firms running in the event of a so-called “cybersecurity emergency.”...6/2

Obama Says He’ll Push for Clean Energy Bill

(New York Times) President Obama said Wednesday that it was time for the United States “to aggressively accelerate” its transition from oil to alternative sources of energy and vowed to push for quick action on climate change legislation despite almost unanimous opposition from Republicans and continued skepticism from some Democrats...6/2

Inside Energy Extra

6/2 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
-MMS reform seen unlikely to change much
-Halliburton plans gulf relocations
-Obama urges 'clean' energy future
-DOE to review Texas IGCC project

science & technology

New study could explain why volcanoes form far from the edges of tectonic plates

(CS Monitor) According to the old model of how volcanoes grow, the volcanoes of the Mediterranean shouldn't exist. A new model could explain how they got there...6/2

Einstein's Brain Unlocks Some Mysteries Of The Mind

(NPR) In the 55 years since Albert Einstein's death, many scientists have tried to figure out what made him so smart. But no one tried harder than a pathologist named Thomas Harvey, who lost his job and his reputation in a quest to unlock the secrets of Einstein's genius...6/2

'Mars crew' locked up for 520 days of isolation

(PhysOrg.com) Six men from Europe, Russia and China were Thursday locked away from the outside world for the next one-and-a-half years, in an unprecedented experiment to simulate the effects of a mission to Mars...6/3

Japanese firm wants to transform the Moon into a giant solar power plant

(Physorg.com) The Shimizu Corporation, a Japanese construction firm, has recently proposed a plan to harness solar energy on a larger scale than almost any previously proposed concept...6/2

Other Stories

2010 hurricane season seen more active than feared

(Reuters) The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will be even more active than feared, leading U.S. forecasters said on Wednesday as they predicted 10 hurricanes, five of them major, with a 76 percent likelihood that a major hurricane would hit the U.S. coastline...6/2

Volunteers begin Mars500 isolation

(BBC News) Six would-be cosmonauts have entered a sealed facility where they will spend 18 months with no windows and only e-mail contact with the outside world...6/3