Tuesday, December 28, 2010
ORNL in the News

Enzyme Cocktail Could Eliminate a Step in Biofuel Process

(Science Daily) Researchers at Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the University of Georgia have produced hydrogen gas pure enough to power a fuel cell by mixing 14 enzymes, one coenzyme, cellulosic materials from nonfood sources, and water heated to about 90 degrees (32 C)....12/27

Supercomputing Research Opens Doors for Drug Discovery

(Science Magazine) A team led by Jerome Baudry of the University of Tennessee-ORNL Center for Molecular Biophysics adapted a widely used existing software to allow supercomputers such as ORNL's Jaguar to sift through immense molecular databases and pinpoint chemical compounds as potential drug candidates....12/28

DOE

Department of Energy circulating year-end list of accomplishments

(The Hill) "Over the past year, the Department of Energy accelerated the drive toward our clean energy economic and security goals, creating tens of thousands of jobs and helping the country to lead the way in science and innovation," DoE said in its "Year-End Update."...12/27

Activists call Y-12 project 'bomb plant'

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Peace activists released a report Monday denouncing the government's plan to spend billions of dollars on a new Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge, calling it "the most expensive bomb plant ever."...12/28

East Tennessee

Questions about green economy

(Knoxville News Sentinel) With a couple of big solar manufacturers recruited to the state in 2008 and local agencies flush with federal stimulus dollars aimed at efficiency and renewable energy projects, local solar installers and manufacturers, contractors and other businesses set to benefit from the up-and-coming industry seemed poised to take off. But what does the future hold for a local green economy?...12/28

National

Obama to delay 2012 budget by about a week: official

(Reuters) President Barack Obama, who has pledged to tackle long-term U.S. debt and deficit challenges, will delay the delivery of his fiscal year 2012 budget by about a week until after February 14....12/28

Russian tactical nuclear weapons still an issue after START treaty ratification

(Washington Post) What to do about Russia's overwhelming advantage in tactical nuclear weapons was among several tough issues for the Obama administration that emerged from the Senate debate on the strategic nuclear arms reduction treaty....12/28 [Registration Required]

State & Regional

TN reps, senators to tighten spending in 2011

(Tennessean) If the Tennessee delegation has anything to say about it, Congress will tighten the federal budget belt a few notches next year....12/28

science & technology

In Pursuit of a Mind Map, Slice by Slice

(New York Times) In the field of connectomics, the goal is to find how memories, personality traits and skills are stored. The field is at a very nascent stage, and the neuroscientists pursuing it compare their work to early efforts in genetics. ...12/28

2010: A Good Year For Neanderthals (And DNA)

(NPR) Though Neanderthals went extinct long ago, advances in DNA technology are shining new light on our ancient relatives. This year several scientists used DNA to reveal not just similarities but also genetic differences between Neanderthals and us....12/28

A Chemical Conundrum: How Dangerous Is Dioxin?

(NPR) Decades after a town was evacuated because of dioxin, uncertainty about its toxicity persists....12/28

Scientists worry about ocean energy's effect on sea-creature migration

(PhysOrg) Without maps or GPS, great white sharks travel thousands of miles roundtrip from California to Hawaii or Australia to South Africa. Sea turtles hatched on the beaches of Florida travel the currents of the North Atlantic Gyre to Europe, Africa and South America before heading home....12/28

Using Concentrated Solar to Produce Hydrogen

(Wired) A group of scientists have demonstrated a device that is capable of taking solar energy and using it directly to split water, releasing oxygen and hydrogen. It can also perform a similar conversion on carbon dioxide, converting it to carbon monoxide and oxygen....12/27

Space Circles Are Proof of a Pre-Big Bang Universe?

(National Geographic) Circle patterns in primordial microwave radiation suggest a universe existed before the big bang, according to a controversial new study....12/27

Other Stories

Snowflakes Under an Electron Microscope

(Wired) If you've ever wondered what snowflakes truly look like, spend a few moments with these images from the Electron Microscopy Unit of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland....12/27