Wednesday, September 21, 2011
ORNL in the News

Gene discovery could be biofuel's "missing link"

(Renewable Energy Magazine) A team of researchers at the US Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center have pinpointed the exact, single gene that controls ethanol production capacity in a microorganism. "This discovery could be the missing link in developing biomass crops that produce higher concentrations of ethanol at lower costs," explained the centre in a recent press statement....9/20

Shrinking ORNL budgets to hit subcontractors, too

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The fiscal storm clouds have been on the horizon for a while, so it wasn't necessarily a shock when Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason announced plans to eliminate up to 350 jobs....9/21

Building for the future at SNS

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The CORELLI instrument (Elastic Diffuse Scattering Spectrometer) is not scheduled to be commissioned until 2014, but part of the new research instrument at the Spallation Neutron Source is already being installed....9/20

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason says he's not looking for a job

(Oak Ridger) Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason said he has no plans to leave the lab....9/20

ORNL researchers working on battery breakthrough

(WBIR-TV) Researchers are looking for a battery that will meet certain criteria. They must be easy and cheap to make, charge fast, hold more energy and last a long time....9/20

DOE

U.S. Energy Secretary Addresses International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu addressed the International Atomic Energy Agency's General Conference in Vienna....9/19

Anderson to head DOE's Asset Revitalization

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Dept. of Energy last week announced progress in the agency-wide Asset Revitalization Initiative, a program designed to work with local communities on reuse of no-longer-needed DOE resources, with focus on clean energy development, natural preserves, manufacturing and educational centers....9/20

National

Poll: Economic pessimism deepens, and more blame Obama

(USA Today) Eight of 10 say the economy is in a recession, and nearly as many say it hasn't improved over the past year. Even more ominous: Six in 10 predict the economy a year from now will be the same or worse than today, a downturn from the public's views last year and the year before....9/21

State & Regional

Alexander may gain power in leadership exit

(Tennessean) Sen. Lamar Alexander's decision to resign his Senate leadership role could give the veteran lawmaker more power, not less, and help him advocate for issues important to Tennessee, analysts say....9/21

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

9/20 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Solyndra executives to take Fifth
** House vote to delay EPA rules expected
** Finding new safety chief tough: Bromwich
** Border talks to stall some GOM blocks

science & technology

ILL sets ultra-cool neutron science record

(BBC) Researchers have trapped the greatest number of the subatomic particles known as neutrons ever held in place. The method could lay bare a number of as-yet unknown basic properties of the particles and even help shed light on how the Universe formed in the first fleeting moments after the Big Bang....9/21

Where Falling Satellite Lands Is Anyone's Guess

(NPR) Sometime this week, a school bus-sized satellite will fall to Earth after two decades in orbit. Most of it will burn up in the atmosphere, but some pieces — and one possibly as large as 300 pounds — are expected to hit the ground....9/21

Study reveals sex life of deep-sea squid

(PhysOrg) The sex life of Octopoteuthis deletron is a cruelly hit-or-miss affair, according to candid footage of the deep-sea squid in its element, unveiled Wednesday....9/21

Primitive Birds Shared Dinosaurs' Fate

(Science Daily) A new study puts an end to the longstanding debate about how archaic birds went extinct, suggesting they were virtually wiped out by the same meteorite impact that put an end to dinosaurs 65 million years ago....9/19

The Power of a Supernova

(Wired) How can you see something around 39 million light years away? You can see this supernova because it is 10 billion times more luminous than the Sun – just in the visible spectrum....9/21

Other Stories

Noncommunicable diseases may prove harder to control than other ailments

(Washington Post) For much of history, most people died of such things as cold, childbirth, violence and microbes that hand-delivered infection to every organ in the body. But the major killers now are a drab regiment marching under the banner of "noncommunicable disease."...9/19