Wednesday, February 1. 2012
ORNL in the News

Microscopy reveals 'atomic antenna' behavior in graphene

( With unique properties and potential applications in areas from electronics to biodevices, graphene, which consists of a single sheet of carbon atoms, has been hailed as a rising star in the materials world. Now, an ORNL study published in Nature Nanotechnology suggests that point defects, composed of silicon atoms that replace individual carbon atoms in graphene, could aid attempts to transfer data on an atomic scale by coupling light with electrons...1/31

Dipole hunt stuck in neutral

(Nature News) Physicists admit to delays as attempts to measure the neutron’s charge are plagued by difficulties...This week, a US team that is developing a neutron EDM experiment at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee is awaiting feedback from a technical-review committee after delays forced the group to update its research plans. A team at the Laue-Langevin Institute in Grenoble, France, had intended to begin taking data in 2009, but is still running tests on its apparatus. A third group, based in Switzerland, is aiming to collect its first batch of data later this year after problems prevented it from beginning its run in 2011...2/1

What's Next For OpenACC?

(IT Business Net) The OpenACC parallel programming standard emerged late last year with the goal of making it easier for developers to tap graphics process units to accelerate applications. The scientific and technical programming community is a key audience for this development. Jeffrey Vetter, professor at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing and leader of the Future Technologies Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, recently discussed the standard. He is currently project director for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Track 2D Experimental Computer Facility, a cooperative effort that involves the Georgia Institute of Technology and Oak Ridge, among other institutions...2/1

Exoskeleton Device Innovation Shows Potential for the Healthcare Industry

(Nerac Insights) ...Current research and development has emerged from the cooperative work of the University of California Berkley and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, led by Dr. John Main.  Wearable exoskeleton systems and components are being developed to enhance the performance of upper and/or lower extremities.   Flexible, wearable robotic “suits” have been developed for whole-body performance improvement.  This type of suit may include force sensors so that the suit is capable of sensing the user’s motions...2/1


A hint of progress in HEUMF squabble?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...The HEUMF construction team, headed by Caddell-Blaine Joint Venture, has about $60 million in claims associated with the government project, and B&W Y-12, the managing contractor at Y-12, countersued in U.S. District Court...1/31



Iran, perceiving threat from West, willing to attack on U.S. soil, U.S. intelligence report finds

(Washington Post) An assessment by U.S. spy agencies concludes that Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States, highlighting new risks as the Obama administration escalates pressure on Tehran to halt its alleged pursuit of an atomic bomb...1/31

State & Regional

Rock slide closes I-40 west near TN-NC state line

(The Tennessean) The westbound lanes of Interstate 40 were closed near the North Carolina state line on Tuesday after mud and rocks tumbled onto the highway in Cocke County in the early morning...1/31

energy & science policy

Adaptations of avian flu virus are a cause for concern

(Nature News) Members of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity explain its recommendations on the communication of experimental work on H5N1 influenza...1/31

science & technology

Researchers boycott publisher; will they embrace instant publishing?

(Ars Technica) Many scientists were miffed by the introduction of the Research Works Act, which would roll back the US government's open access policy for research it funds...1/31

New Risks for Nuclear Plants

(Wall Street Journal) Nuclear reactors in the central and eastern U.S. face previously unrecognized threats from big earthquakes, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday...2/1

Nobel history illustrates gap in grants to young scientists

(EurekAlert) A new study by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy illustrates a disconnect between government funding of biomedical research by young investigators and a novel standard by which to judge it: the Nobel Prize...1/10

Rare Earth Metal Refinery Nears Approval

(NY Times) The world’s largest refinery for rare earth metals has risen out of the red mud of a coastal swamp here and could soon obtain permission to operate — a step that would help break China’s near monopoly on rare earths but also worsen an emerging glut of some of these strategic minerals...1/31

Hottest Thing on Earth: X-Rays Heat Metal to 3.6 Million Degrees

(National Geographic News) By zapping a piece of aluminum with the world's most powerful x-ray laser, physicists have heated matter to 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit (2 million degrees Celsius)—making it briefly the hottest thing on Earth...1/27

Other Stories

At U.N., Pressure Is on Russia for Refusal to Condemn Syria

(NY Times) The battle over Syria moved to the United Nations on Tuesday with Western powers and much of the Arab world confronting Russia and its allies in the Security Council over their refusal to condemn the Syrian government for its violent suppression of popular protests...1/31