Thursday, December 16, 2010
ORNL in the News

New technique probes electron properties of individual atoms

(Chemistry World) Although there have been previous reports of identifying elements from a single atom using similar methods, this is the first time specific spectral peaks have been obtained from specific atoms, according to Stephen Pennycook, a Stem specialist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, US. 'It's almost like seeing bonds one by one,' he says....12/15

Our Body as a Microbial Ecosystem

(Laboratory Equipment) Although researchers are just getting a handle on how to perform large-scale genome sequencing of our microbial family (and that of model organisms such as rodents and fruit flies), some researchers are taking delicate steps toward studying our microbiome's proteome. "The genome is the shopping list of all possible genes, the entire inventory of the things the microbiome could bring to bear," says Robert Hettich, a chemist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "But the proteins are where the rubber hits the road."...12/15

East Tennessee

Russian educators get tips in Oak Ridge

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Russian educators from St. Petersburg to Siberia are learning this week how East Tennesseans educate and care for people with mental and physical disabilities....12/16

Other Stories

Neurotheology: This Is Your Brain On Religion

(NPR) In an effort to address those questions, Dr. Andrew Newberg has scanned the brains of praying nuns, chanting Sikhs and meditating Buddhists. He studies the relationship between the brain and religious experience, a field called neurotheology. And he's written a book, Principles of Neurotheology, that tries to lay the groundwork for a new kind of scientific and theological dialogue....12/15

National

July troop withdrawal on track, review of Afghan war strategy indicates

(Washington Post) A White House review of President Obama's year-old Afghan war strategy concluded that it is "showing progress" against al-Qaeda and in Afghanistan and Pakistan but that "the challenge remains to make our gains durable and sustainable," according to a summary document released early Thursday....12/16 [Registration Required]

State & Regional

TN delays release of schools' Adequate Yearly Progress results

(Tennessean) A harder state curriculum and exams were implemented last school year. That changed how students are defined as having mastered or failed content on exams. New goals were also set that schools had to meet in reading and math....12/16

energy & science policy

U.S. Rethinks Strategy for the Unthinkable

(New York Times) Recent scientific analyses show that a nuclear attack is much more survivable if you immediately shield yourself from the lethal radiation that follows a blast, a simple tactic seen as saving hundreds of thousands of lives....12/16

U.S. Bioethics Commission Gives Green Light to Synthetic Biology

(New York Times) The president's bioethics commission says there is no need to temporarily halt research or to impose new regulations on the controversial new field known as synthetic biology....12/16

Inside Energy Extra

12\15 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** US sues BP, others over gulf spill
** Senate approves tax measure
** Republicans trash omnibus funding bill

science & technology

Iapetus moon's mighty ridge stirs debate

(BBC) The mountainous ridge that circles the equator on the Saturnian moon Iapetus is both weird and spectacular. Discovered in 2004, the icy rim is as much as 20km high and runs fully 1,600km from end to end....12/16

Stuxnet 'virus' could be altered to attack US facilities, report warns

(Christian Science Monitor) Stuxnet 'virus,' a cyberweapon aimed at Iran's nuclear facilities, could be redirected to launch a broad attack on US basic services, such as water and power supplies, says a report to Congress....12/15

The fine art of producing chemicals and electricity: Researchers develop organometallic fuel cell

(PhysOrg) Together with Italian researchers, Swiss ETH Zurich Professor Hansjorg Grutzmacher and his group have developed a novel organometallic fuel cell. In addition to generating electrical energy, it also produces fine chemicals from renewable raw materials – with no waste....12/16

It May Not Be Too Late for Polar Bears

(Wired) Cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough over the next few decades may stabilize the rapidly shrinking Arctic sea ice sufficiently to provide a sustainable habitat for polar bears, a paper in the Dec. 16 Nature reports....12/16