Friday, October 29, 2010
ORNL in the News

Is China a supercomputer threat? (Q&A)

(CNET News) Jack Dongarra, university distinguished professor at University of Tennessee's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and part of a group from the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Georgia Tech says China's supercomputer is a 'wake-up call.'...10/28

ORNL's new class of Eugene Wigner Fellows

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A mechanical, a computer scientist, an electrical engineer, and a condensed matter physicist are the newest members of the Eugene Wigner Fellowship Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Aloke Kumar, Songhua Xu, Mark Berrill and Xiaoshan Xu have joined the prestigious two-year fellowship program, which was named for Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner -- the first research director at the Oak Ridge lab....10/28

DOE

Stimulus-funded Y-12 demolition ending

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The demolition of Building 9211 at Y-12 is expected to be completed by the end of this week. The building is part of the vacant Biology Complex, constructed in the last part of World War II to house biological research activities, much of which tested the effects of radiation on mice....10/28

DOE, BOEMRE and NOAA Announce Nearly $5 Million for Joint Environmental Research Projects to Advance Ocean Renewable Energy

(DOE Press Release) The Department of Energy, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, and the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today announced eight joint research awards totaling nearly $5 million to support the responsible siting and permitting of offshore wind energy facilities and ocean energy generated from waves, tides, currents and thermal gradients....10/26

National

Tests showed unstable cement in gulf oil well before explosion

(Washington Post) A cement mixture intended to temporarily seal BP's Macondo exploration well repeatedly failed lab tests before the April 20 blowout, a presidential commission investigating the oil spill said Thursday....10/29 [Registration Required]

Intelligence spending at record $80.1 billion in first disclosure of overall figure

(Washington Post) The government announced Thursday that it had spent $80.1 billion on intelligence activities over the past 12 months, disclosing for the first time not only the amount spent by civilian intelligence agencies but also by the military....10/29 [Registration Required]

East Tennessee

Experts predict drought conditions will persist through year

(WBIR-TV) [Video]Though stormy weather has been visiting East Tennessee lately, experts say it likely won't become a permanent guest....10/28

Other Stories

Special Report: The Great Shale Gas Rush

(National Geographic) Pennsylvania sits atop one of the world's largest natural gas reservoirs, promising clean energy and new jobs. But can this resource be extracted sustainably?...10/17

energy & science policy

Nature talks heading for success, delegates say

(BBC News) After intense negotiations, UN delegates appear close to sealing a new deal aimed at protecting nature and equitably sharing in its benefits....10/29

science & technology

Asia to Africa, or Vice Versa: New Clues to Primates' Origins

The recent discovery of fossils of two previously unknown anthropoid species in southern Libya adds to the debate about where primates' ancestors arose....10/28

Flamingos use colourful cosmetics to enhance feathers

(BBC News) Flamingos in the wild use pigments as "cosmetics" to enhance the colour of their plumage, according to scientists. Researchers studying greater flamingos in the wetlands of southern Spain found that the birds rubbed pigmented secretions onto their feathers....10/29

Odds of Finding Earth-Size Exoplanets Are 1-in-4

(Wired) Nearly one in four sun-like stars should host an Earth-mass planet, according to a new census. The finding is the first quantitative measurement of the frequency of planets of various masses in the galaxy....10/29

Swiss solar plane confirmed as multiple record-breaker

(PhysOrg) Aeronautical authorities on Friday confirmed world records for a Swiss solar-powered aircraft that flew around the clock in July, including those for the longest and highest flight by such an aircraft....10/29

Spirit Rover Finds Evidence of Liquid Water on Mars

(Popular Science) The brave little rover has been stuck in the sand for a year and a half, spinning her wheels and wiggling her robot arm futilely. As she's kicked up sand, though, she has uncovered deeper layers of Martian soil, and analysis of the difference between the surface and what lies beneath shows evidence of water....10/28