Wednesday, August 17, 2011
ORNL in the News

DoE: Gene could increase biomass yield

(Renewable Energy Focus) The researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DoE) BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) says the clostridium thermocellum could be used to genetically modify biomass plants to produce more ethanol, avoiding the use of expensive enzymes to break down plants’ barriers guarding the sugars...8/16

Ions control shape of nanofibers grown on clear substrate

(e! Science News) Researchers from North Carolina State University, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and CFD Research Corporation have found a new way to develop straight carbon nanofibers on a transparent substrate...8/16

Project’s Completion Gives Neutron Science Community Reason to SING

(Newswise) Five of the world's most advanced instruments for neutron scattering research are serving the neutron science community following the completion of the $68.5 million SING project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). The project to design, build and install the five instruments for neutron scattering analysis at the SNS, funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Science, was recently finished ahead of schedule and under budget....8/16

DOE

Uranium gap at Y-12?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) One of the government's drivers for pushing forward with plans to construct a multi-billion-dollar Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 is the deteriorated condition of the plant's 9212 complex, where workers currently process bomb-grade uranium...8/16

State & Regional

State of Tennessee asks for public input on textbooks

(WATE) Tennessee education officials are looking for input on some textbooks proposed for the 2012-2013 school year. The subjects will include: visual arts, music, theater arts, dance, spelling, literature, driver education, computer science, health sciences education, business technology, marketing education, technology engineering, education and trade and industrial education...8/16

Report: Tennessee shows gains in some areas of child well-being, but number of impoverished children in state rises

(Knoxville News Sentinel) According to the report, since 2000 Tennessee has decreased its infant mortality rate by 9 percent (although, at 8 deaths per 1,000 live births, it's still higher than the national rate of 6)...8/17

National

Bill Newell, ATFFirearms from ATF sting linked to 11 more violent crimes

(Los Angeles Times) Firearms from the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious weapons trafficking investigation turned up at the scenes of at least 11 violent crimes in the U.S., as well as at a Border Patrol agent's slaying in southern Arizona last year, the Justice Department has acknowledged to Congress...8/17

Poll: Parents give thumbs up to local schools

(USA Today) A new survey finds that more Americans today like their kids' public schools than at any time in the past 36 years — even though they believe U.S. education in general has taken a bit of a dive...8/17

Federal Policy Resulting in Wave of Deportations Draws Protests

(New York Times) A program that is central to President Obama’s immigration enforcement strategy has drawn protests by Latino and immigrant organizations in six cities in the last two days, as those groups stepped up their confrontation with the administration over the fast pace of deportations...8/17

energy & science policy

Agencies unveil plans to safeguard science

(Nature News) Microbiologist David Lewis knew he might upset the biosolids industry with his research, which suggested that the spreading of sewage sludge on land could make people sick. But he didn't expect his employer, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), not to back him up...8/16

President Obama Announces Major Initiative to Spur Biofuels Industry and Enhance America’s Energy Security

(Energy.gov) President Obama today announced that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy will invest up to $510 million during the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation...8/17

Inside Energy Extra

8/17 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

  • US unveils $510M plan to spur biofuels
  • Boost in cellulosic-fuel target urged
  • DOE shale-gas panel takes on next task
  • Poll says mountaintop mining unpopular
  • Correction

science & technology

Mouse LemurOldest Evidence of Nails in Modern Primates

(Science Daily) From hot pink to traditional French and Lady Gaga's sophisticated designs, manicured nails have become the grammar of fashion. But they are not just pretty—when nails appeared on all fingers and toes in modern primates about 55 million years ago...8/15

Frogs with FangsFanged-Frog Pictures: 9 New Species Found

(National Geographic) Boasting "crazy" evolutionary adaptations, a new group of so-called fanged frogs—cousins of this Luzon fanged frog (file picture)—has been discovered on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, according to biologist Ben Evans...8/16

Mabel the Robot Sets Speed Record For Bipedal Running

(Popular Science) A bipedal robot developed at the University of Michigan can run with a human-like gait, the fastest-ever robot with knees. Feedback algorithms are helping Mabel, a headless robot with impressive gams, to keep its balance as it runs in a round pen...8/16