Friday, January 13, 2012
ORNL in the News

‘Largest source of ORNL groundwater contamination’ removed

(Oak Ridger) The Department of Energy's environmental management contractor URS/CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR) recently removed a tank that is considered to be the largest source of groundwater contamination in Bethel Valley at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Tank W-1A, a 4,000-gallon tank on ORNL's central campus was commissioned in 1951...1/12

Coatings Influence Nanoparticle Toxicity

(C&EN) To understand the toxicity of nanoparticles, most scientists have focused on the materials’ metal cores. But now researchers have shown that the chemicals that decorate silver nanoparticle surfaces can change their toxicity. Known for their antibacterial properties, silver nanoparticles find use in medical devices, textiles, and other products. In 2010, Mitchel Doktycz of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and his colleagues reported that unlike other silver nanoparticles, those with fatty oleate coatings were not toxic to bacteria...1/12

DOE

DOE's environmental penalties to support $150K wetlands projects

(Knoxville News Sentinel) This has been in the planning for a while, but on Jan. 9, the U.S. Dept. of Energy and the Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation signed an agreement for a $150,000 Supplemental Environmental Project...1/12

Snowflake Science

(DOE.gov) Physicists at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory are using a device called a "snowflake divertor” to solve one of the grand challenges of magnetic fusion...1/12

State & Regional

Phil Bredesen's solar firm to build $90M array in Georgia

(The Tennessean) ...A $90 million, large-scale solar-power array on the Ivey farm near Athens, Ga., would produce 30 megawatts of electricity that would be sold to Georgia Power Co. under a deal expected to get final approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission...1/13

National

U.S. Sends Top Iranian Leader a Warning on Strait Threat

(NY Times) The Obama administration is relying on a secret channel of communication to warn Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that closing the Strait of Hormuz is a “red line” that would provoke an American response, according to United States government officials...1/12

Military Networks ‘Not Defensible,’ Says General Who Defends Them

(Wired News) Gen. Keith Alexander, head of both the secretive National Security Agency and the military’s new U.S. Cyber Command, has tens of thousands of hackers, cryptologists, and system administrators serving under him. But at the moment, their ability to protect the Defense Department’s information infrastructure — let alone the broader civilian internet — is limited...1/12

East Tennessee

UT welcomes women pursuing careers in physics

(UT Beacon) To empower today’s women in the field of science, UT will host the Southeast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics this week. The summit is designed to bring together women interested in physics to discuss their research and career opportunities...1/12

energy & science policy

Ban on Mining Near the Grand Canyon, But No Easy Way Around the Water and Energy Nexus

(National Geographic News) In announcing a long-term ban on uranium and other mining around the Grand Canyon, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar emphasized a link that is all too clear to anyone following energy news...1/12

Clean energy investment hits record $260 billion

(Reuters) ...Global clean energy growth was driven mainly by solar, for which investment grew by 36 percent to $136.6 billion, as a 50 percent drop in prices for photovoltaic panels spurred installation. Solar investment was double that of wind power, which fell 17 percent to $74.9 billion...1/12

science & technology

The Largest-Ever Quantum Calculation Uses 84 Qubits and Takes Just 270 Milliseconds

(Popular Science) ...today D-Wave is marking one in the win column after announcing that it has achieved the world’s largest quantum computation using 84 qubits...1/12

Solar Cells Could Slim Down via More 'Optical States'

(Scientific American) ...Researchers at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena now report the secret to making thin layers more absorbent--making it possible to use layers up to 100 times thinner than those in the commercial devices available today...1/11

New Storage Device Is Very Small, at 12 Atoms

(NY Times) Researchers at I.B.M. have stored and retrieved digital 1s and 0s from an array of just 12 atoms, pushing the boundaries of the magnetic storage of information to the edge of what is possible...1/12

Are Pesticides Behind Massive Bee Collapse?

(Discovery News) Powdery waste blown off from seed planters was found to contain up to 700,000 times the bee's lethal dosage of neonicotinoid insecticides in a Purdue University study. The study also found the insecticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam in dead bees laying in and around hives in Indiana...1/12

Other Stories

Peru to boost science-industry links

(Nature News) The Peruvian government will provide US$100 million for a new project aiming to finance and promote the development of science and technology (S&T) links between the private sector, universities, and public and private research centres...1/12

Tablet as Time Machine: Old Magazine Issues Finding New Life on the iPad

(The Atlantic) Hearst and other magazine publishers are blurring the line between past and present -- and reaping the rewards...1/12