Monday, February 11, 2013
ORNL in the News

Scientists use genes to transform inorganic into organic mercury news

(Domain-b.com) ...The question of how methylmercury, an organic form of mercury, is produced by natural processes in the environment has stumped scientists for decades, but a team led by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has solved the puzzle...2/9

Warming 'seesaw' turns extra sunlight into global greenhouse

(PhysOrg) ...The researchers added Northern Hemisphere glacial melt to the IPCC computer model and ran it through the period of the last major glacial melt repeatedly on supercomputers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory...2/7

Scientists Solve Mercury Mystery

(Lab Manager Magazine) By identifying two genes required for transforming inorganic into organic mercury, which is far more toxic, UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists today have taken a significant step toward protecting human health...2/7

DOE

Energy Department, Treasury Announce Availability of $150 Million in Tax Credits for Clean Energy Manufacturers

(Energy.gov) As part of President’s Obama’s all-of-the-above approach to American energy, the U.S. Departments of Energy and the Treasury today announced the availability of $150 million in Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects across the United States...2/7

Oak Ridge meetings to discuss benefits for sick nuclear workers

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The U.S. Department of Labor will host a series of town hall-type meetings Wednesday in Oak Ridge to explain medical benefits associated with the government's compensation program for sick nuclear workers...2/11

Oak Ridge Associated Universities visits UTSA to nurture research collaboration

(UTSA Today) UTSA faculty and staff explored research funding opportunities at a discussion led Jan. 31 by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) representative Steve Roberts, Ph.D...2/6

National

U.S. said to be target of massive cyber-espionage campaign

(Washington Post) A new intelligence assessment has concluded that the United States is the target of a massive, sustained cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening the country’s economic competitiveness, according to individuals familiar with the report...2/10

A sign the housing recovery just might stick

(Fortune) Mortgage applications were higher again in January. If individual buyers dominate home sales as opposed to investors, we might see a more sustainable housing recovery...2/8

East Tennessee

UT economist approves of $8M increase in TN tourism budget proposal

(WBIR-TV) A University of Tennessee economist said Governor Bill Haslam's proposal in a state tourism budget increase would help continue the industry's momentum...2/7

energy & science policy

Europe's leaders slash research budget

(Nature) Heads of the 27 European Union governments want €8 billion in savings over 7 years...2/8

House Science Committee Discusses American Competitiveness and the Role of Research and Development

(AIP) The first hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee in the 113th Congress was held February 6. It focused on the impacts of research and development as well as the outlook for America’s science and technology enterprise...2/8

Stressing Bipartisanship, House Science Committee Looks Ahead

(AIP) “It’s my hope that we will be considered a bipartisan committee, working together for the best interests of our country,” declared Lamar Smith (R-TX), the new chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee...2/8

science & technology

Migrating Ocean Microbe May Help Protect Coastlines

(Scientific American) Because Amphisteginid foraminifera can create sandbar-like structures with their calcareous shells, their migration and number growth in turn could help build additional coastal buffers in areas at risk from rising sea levels...2/8

Pacific earthquake: Are scientists underestimating 'superquakes'?

(CS Monitor) Pacific earthquake: An 8.0 Pacific earthquake hit about 1,000 miles northeast of Australia. Over the past half-century, three 9.0 or higher 'superquakes' have hit the Pacific's Ring of Fire, pushing scientists to rethink their models of earthquake formation...2/5

Other Stories

Blocking Iran With A Global Game Of Nuclear 'Keep Away'

(NPR) Iran's government on Thursday made clear it has no interest in direct talks until the U.S. eases sanctions that have been squeezing Iran's economy. But the Obama administration isn't budging and says the ball is in the Iranians' court...2/7

Homeland Security Delays Plan to Place Sensors on U.S.-Mexico Border

(Wired) The U.S. government’s plan to spend millions on advanced new ground sensors at the Mexican border has been delayed as the sensors have bandwidth and frequency problems the feds haven’t resolved...2/11