Tuesday, February 8, 2011
ORNL in the News

Plant-based fuel is aim of Center for Renewable Carbon

(Knoxville News Sentinel) New University of Tennessee labs are to bring together research projects that work toward replacing petroleum products with renewable counterparts. The Center for Renewable Carbon was unveiled Friday and will focus on the potential of plants to replace energy sources such as petroleum fuel, chemicals and materials made from oil-based sources, said Tim Rials, director of the center...UT also is working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop new bio-based products, notably using lignin — now considered a waste or byproduct of the bioenergy industry — to make carbon fiber, an extremely strong material now used in the aerospace industry and for specialty automobile applications...2/8

Experts gather in Chattanooga for computational biology summit

(Chattanooga Times Free Press) Leaders in the field of computational biology and biomedical technology gathered today in Chattanooga for a summit on the future of high-tech medical research in the Scenic City...With a nearby super-computer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UTC’s SimCenter, a supportive research community and city leaders embracing this research vision, Chattanooga could lead the way in computational biology, said Cony D’Cruz, chief business officer for biotech company Proteros Biostructures and one of the convention speakers...2/7

Neutron analysis reveals 'two doors down' superconductivity link

(Scientific Computing) Neutron scattering analysis of two families of iron-based materials suggests that the magnetic interactions thought responsible for high-temperature superconductivity may lie "two doors down": The key magnetic exchange pairings occur in a next-nearest-neighbor ordering of atoms, rather than adjacent atoms...2/7

DOE

Salazar, Chu Announce Major Offshore Wind Initiatives

(DOE Press Release) Unveiling a coordinated strategic plan to accelerate the development of offshore wind energy, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced major steps forward in support of offshore wind energy in the United States...2/7

Footing the bill for HEUMF

(Knoxville News Sentinel) NNSA Administrator Tom D'Agostino, who was in town last week for a couple of days, didn't want to talk about the dispute in federal court over the construction bills for building the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility at Y-12 -- one of the hallmark projects of his tenure as chief overseer of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex...2/7

National

Obama to US companies: Time to hire and invest is now

(CS Monitor) President Obama called on American business Monday to get off the sidelines and invest in the nation’s economy and its workers...2/7

East Tennessee

Knox County job cuts target all areas

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett doesn't know how many employees he'll let go. Nor does he know what departments he'll target between now and May when he turns his upcoming budget over to the commission. And he can't guarantee that services won't be affected.

 

energy & science policy

NSF Director Briefs President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

(AIP) “Thoughtful, inspiring, in some ways scary” was how Eric Lander, co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) described a one hour presentation by National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh at a meeting of the council last month.  It was the first time that Suresh appeared before PCAST, coming less than three months after he became the foundation’s new director...2/7

Inside Energy Extra

2/7 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Waxman asks Upton to work on joint bill
- Atlantic prospects for wind power cited
- DOE to sell more heating-oil stocks
- Obama includes energy in chamber appeal

science & technology

'Alarming' Amazon Droughts May Have Global Fallout

(NPR) Major droughts in 2005 and 2010 cut into the Amazon's ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Drought reduces carbon-absorbing tree growth, and opens the door to more forest fires, which release carbon into the air. Seen here, a Peruvian section of Amazonia...2/7

It May Be a Sputnik Moment, but Science Fairs Are Lagging

(NY Times) Rarely have school science fairs, a source of pride and panic for generations of American students, achieved such prominence on the national stage. President Obama held one at the White House last fall. And last week he said that America should celebrate its science fair winners like Sunday’s Super Bowl champions, or risk losing the nation’s competitive edge...2/4

The Matriarch of Modern Cancer Genetics

(NY Times) Dr. Janet Davison Rowley, 85, is the matriarch of modern cancer genetics. Without her 1970s finding that broken and translocated chromosomes were a factor in blood cancers, we might not have the treatments for leukemia that are commonplace today...2/7

First Ever STEREO Images of the Entire Sun

(Science Daily)...Seeing the whole sun front and back simultaneously will enable significant advances in space weather forecasting for Earth, and improve planning for future robotic or crewed spacecraft missions throughout the solar system...2/7

Other Stories

Koreas Hold First Talks Since Shelling of Island

(NY Times) North and South Korea held discussions on Tuesday, the first inter-Korean dialogue since an artillery exchange in November that killed four South Koreans and brought the countries to the brink of war...2/8