Monday, February 17, 2014
ORNL in the News

MouthScientists chip away at mystery of what lives in our mouths

(Science Daily) Scientists have pieced together sections of DNA from 12 individual cells to sequence the genome of a bacterium known to live in healthy human mouths...[Clifford] Beall's colleagues at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory collected a sample of oral material from under the gums of a single healthy person for this study...2/14

ORNL Searches for Better Superconducting Materials

(PCB Design) Nearly 30 years after the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity, many questions remain, but an Oak Ridge National Laboratory team is providing insight that could lead to better superconductors. Their work, published in Physical Review Letters, examines the role of chemical dopants, which are essential to creating high-temperature superconductors...2/14

DOE

Y-12Y-12 protesters to be sentenced in three hearings Tuesday

(Oak Ridge Today) The three anti-nuclear weapons activists who cut through high-security fences and splashed human blood and spray-painted slogans on the side of a uranium storage building at the Y-12 National Security Complex in July 2012 will be sentenced in three separate hearings in Knoxville on Tuesday...2/14

Radiation leak detected at New Mexico nuclear plant

(PhysOrg) US investigators were taking samples at a New Mexico underground nuclear waste site where airborne radiation was detected, though authorities stressed they had found no contamination...2/17

State & Regional

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander backs bills to aid TN taxpayers

(The Tennessean) U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander says he is co-sponsoring two bills that would create a permanent federal income tax deduction for state and local sales taxes paid by residents of Tennessee and other states that have no general state income tax...2/16

National

Kerry accuses Assad of stonewalling in peace talks

(AP) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of stonewalling in peace talks and called on Russia to push its ally to negotiate with opposition leaders...2/17

Nasty winter puts nation's economy in deep freeze

(CBS News) It has been the winter of our discontent. Storm after storm brought car accidents, flight delays, school and business closings and budget-busting overtime for snow removal crews...2/16

East Tennessee

CasteelLoss at Volkswagen plant upends union's plan for U.S. South

(Reuters) In a stinging defeat that could accelerate the decades-long decline of the United Auto Workers, Volkswagen AG workers voted against union representation at a Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, which had been seen as organized labor's best chance to expand in the U.S. South...2/15

energy & science policy

Space Subcommittee Discusses Updates to the Commercial Space Launch Act

(AIP) The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Space held a February 4 hearing to discuss potential updates to the Commercial Space Launch Act...2/14

science & technology

Study revives bird origin for 1918 flu pandemic

(Nature News) The virus that caused the 1918 influenza pandemic probably sprang from North American domestic and wild birds, not from the mixing of human and swine viruses...2/16

Volcanoes, including Mt. Hood, can go from dormant to active in a few months

(Science Daily) A new study suggests that the magma sitting 4-5 kilometers beneath the surface of Oregon's Mount Hood has been stored in near-solid conditions for thousands of years, but that the time it takes to liquefy and potentially erupt is surprisingly short -- perhaps as little as a couple of months...2/16

Cool Roofs Might Be Enough to Save Cities from Climate Overheating

(Scientific American) Crickets chirp and bees buzz from sedum flower to flower atop the post office in midtown Manhattan during a visit to the 9th Avenue facility on a perfect New York City fall day...2/14

Other Stories

Earth1 in 4 Americans Apparently Unaware the Earth Orbits the Sun

(Time Magazine) Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth? When asked that question, 1 in 4 Americans surveyed answered incorrectly. Yes, 1 in 4. In other words, a quarter of Americans do not understand one of the most fundamental principles of basic science...2/16

Colleen BellMore Ambassador Posts Are Going To Political Appointees

(NPR) The nominee to be U.S. ambassador to, say, Hungary should be able to explain what the U.S. strategic interests are in that country — right? But Colleen Bell, a soap opera producer and President Obama's appointee to be U.S. envoy to that European country, struggled to answer that simple question during her recent confirmation hearing...2/14

How Scientists Can Influence Policy

(Science Magazine) Are you tired of seeing science-related policy decisions made with insufficient input from knowledgeable scientists? Would you like to help change that—and inject your expertise into the policy conversation?...2/16