Tuesday, August 16, 2011
ORNL in the News

Single microbial gene linked to increased ethanol tolerance

(PhysOrg) Led by Steven Brown of DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a team of researchers from the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center has pinpointed a single, key gene in a microbe that could help streamline the production of biofuels from non-food sources....8/15

Novel Microscopy Generates New View of Fuel Cells

(Science Daily) "If we can find a way to understand the operation of the fuel cell on the basic elementary level and determine what will make it work in the most optimum fashion, it would create an entirely new window of opportunity for the development of better materials and devices," said Amit Kumar, a research scientist at ORNL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences....8/15

State & Regional

UT Extension to cut 44 grant-funded jobs

(Knoxville News Sentinel) University of Tennessee officials on Monday informed 44 employees running nutrition education programs across the state that their jobs would be eliminated on Sept. 30 because federal grant funding was cut....8/16

TVA at crossroads as it decides future of Bellefonte nuclear plant

(Tennessean) Tennessee Valley Authority board members are looking with favor on nuclear power as they prepare to vote Thursday on whether to complete a nuclear reactor at the Bellefonte site 110 miles southeast of Nashville....8/15

National

Obama to unveil measures to boost rural jobs

(Reuters) President Barack Obama will on Tuesday announce fresh steps to boost rural hiring on the second day of a bus tour through the U.S. heartland to explain his economic and job policies to anxious voters....8/16

Other Stories

Why Cleaned Wastewater Stays Dirty In Our Minds

(NPR) Engineers have proposed a way to provide plentiful water to places where it is in short supply: processing local waste water to make it clean and drinkable. The science suggests that water reuse can be made safe, but the public often balks at the thought. The reason, say psychologists, is a phenomenon called psychological contagion....8/16

energy & science policy

U.S. military awards contracts in Afghanistan to get money away from insurgents

(Washington Post) The U.S. military has moved to stem the flow of contract money to insurgents, awarding at least 20 companies new contracts worth about $1 billion for military supply transport....8/15

U.S. cities prepare to adapt to climate change

(USA Today) While some members of Congress debate the scientific validity of climate change, some U.S. cities are going beyond efforts to mitigate it with lower greenhouse gas emissions....8/16

Inside Energy Extra

8/15 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Investors extend agreement with USEC
** FBI checks on utility workers urged
** Judge stops DOI onshore-drilling policy
** Loan aid for Maine wind farm made final
** DOE awards $52M for CO2-capture R&D

science & technology

Cancer's Secrets Come Into Sharper Focus

(New York Times) These days "junk" DNA is referred to more respectfully as "noncoding" DNA, and researchers are finding clues that "pseudogenes" lurking within this dark region may play a role in cancer....8/16

Darkest exoplanet spotted by astronomers

(BBC) A dark alien world, blacker than coal, has been spotted by astronomers. The Jupiter-sized planet is orbiting its star at a distance of just five million km, and is likely to be at a temperature of some 1200C....8/12

Measurements Reveal Extent of Leakage from Japan's Damaged Fukushima Reactor

(Science Daily) Atmospheric chemists at the University of California, San Diego, report the first quantitative measurement of the amount of radiation leaked from the damaged nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this year....8/15

Big Storms Slipping Toward Earth's Poles

(Wired) Mid-latitude storm tracks are major weather patterns that account for the majority of precipitation in the globe's middle latitudes, which includes most of the heavily populated areas of North America, Eurasia, and Australia....8/16