Friday, January 24, 2014
ORNL in the News

Changes Over The Years, On UTK's Campus

(The Chattanoogan) Just across Fort Loudoun Lake from campus, the Cherokee Farm development is taking place. This former riverside farmland that was once used by UT for one of the most ancient of sciences – cattle agricultural research – will now be used for the most advanced... As part of a joint venture between UT and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a 16-building complex is planned for the site. One building – the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials – is currently under construction...1/23

DOE

DOE commits to three-year, $4.5 million groundwater study in Oak Ridge

(Oak Ridge Today) The U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to spend $4.5 million during the next three years to study groundwater contamination on the Oak Ridge Reservation...1/23

UCOR: no change on TOPS contract

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) URS-CH2M Oak Ridge, the Department of Energy’s cleanup manager, said there has been no change in its relationship with TOPS (Transportation, Operations and Professional Services) following last week’s raid by federal agents at TOPS headquarters in Oliver Springs...1/23

State & Regional

New Madrid FaultUS earthquake fault zone alive and active, study finds

(PhysOrg) The New Madrid fault zone in the United States' midsection is active and could spawn future large earthquakes, scientists reported Thursday...Researchers have long debated just how much of a hazard New Madrid poses. The zone stretches 150 miles (250 kilometers), crossing parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee...1/23

National

Chuck HagelHagel ordering full review of nuclear force

(AP) Citing a string of setbacks in the nuclear missile force, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel summoned senior military leaders to discuss serious personnel problems and other missteps that "threaten to jeopardize" public trust...1/23

Walid MuallemSyria threatens to quit Geneva talks

(BBC News) The Syrian government delegation has threatened to quit peace talks in Geneva if "serious" discussions do not begin by Saturday. Foreign Minister Walid Muallem issued the threat on Syrian state media after his team held talks with UN negotiator Lakhdar Brahimi...1/24

East Tennessee

USDA gives Tennessee $4M in rural development aid, including new factory in New Tazewell

(WATE) The Agriculture Department has announced more than $4 million in grants and loans for four rural development projects in Tennessee...1/23

GSM Quarter

Great Smoky Mountain National Park Quarter to be released soon

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) The United States Mint announced that they will be producing a Great Smoky Mountain National Park Quarter as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program...1/23

energy & science policy

FY 2014 Appropriations: U.S. Geological Survey

(AIP) The FY 2014 appropriations cycle has come to a close.  President Obama has signed into law an FY 2014 omnibus bill, consisting of twelve separate appropriations bills, that was passed last week by the House and Senate...1/23

science & technology

Plant-Killing FungiPlant-Killing Fungi Found to Preserve Rainforest Diversity

(Scientific American) Voracious pests may be foes of individual plants, but they can benefit forests. A study in the humid rainforests of Belize shows that plant-killing fungi can help preserve diversity in such ecosystems...1/23

Investors in US oil, gas companies have not ignored science behind unburnable carbon, study says

(PhysOrg) Investors in U.S. oil and gas companies have not ignored the science when considering whether the potential carbon asset stock prices constitute a bubble—a concern raised in recent media reports, a new University of California, Davis, study suggests...1/22

DNA StrandNew Genes Spring, Spread from Non-Coding DNA

(Science Daily) "Where do new genes come from?" is a long-standing question in genetics and evolutionary biology. A new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis, published Jan. 23 in Science Express, shows that new genes are created from non-coding DNA more rapidly than expected...1/23

Google RobotGoogle Rumored to be Pulling its Team From the DARPA Robotics Challenge

(Popular Science) According to a source who has participated in the Pentagon-funded DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), Google is pulling its team from the competition. If the rumor is true it would be a significant move on Google's part, bolstering the company's claims that it has no interest in seeking funding from the military...1/23

Other Stories

The Power to Decide

(MIT Technology Review) Back in 1956, an engineer and a mathematician, William Fair and Earl Isaac, pooled $800 to start a company. Their idea: a score to handicap whether a borrower would repay a loan...1/22

Moody’s downgrades outlook for health insurers

(The Washington Post) Major credit-rating firm Moody’s on Thursday downgraded the outlook for health insurers from stable to negative, citing the new health-care law’s botched rollout as a significant factor....1/24