Wednesday, February 22, 2012
ORNL in the News

Hot Springs“Hot Pot” Bacteria Could Make One-Pot Biofuel

(Clean Technica) ...In the latest development, scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been scouring the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park on the lookout for bacteria that could help break down biomass for biofuel naturally, and now they think they have found their man – er, make that microorganism...2/21

ORNL Finding Has Materials Scientists Entering New Territory

(PhysOrg) The band gap is a major factor in determining electrical conductivity in a material and directly determines the upper wavelength limit of light absorption. Using a layer-by-layer growth technique for which Ho Nyung Lee of ORNL earned the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, Lee and colleagues have achieved a 30 percent reduction in the band gap of complex metal oxides....2/21

ORNL licenses tech for sniffing out human remains; Knox firm develops LABRADOR

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory has licensed technology to a Knoxville company for use in a detector that's reportedly better able to detect human remains based on the odors of decomposition and help with difficult-to-solve crimes...2/21

Technique Creates Piezoelectric Ferroelectric Nanostructures

(Newswise) Researchers have developed a "soft template infiltration" technique for fabricating free-standing piezoelectrically active ferroelectric nanotubes and other nanostructures from PZT... Using a novel characterization technique developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the researchers for the first time made high-accuracy in-situ measurements of the nanoscale piezoelectric properties of the structures...2/21

DOE

Citizens' Oversight Panel aims to be Department of Energy watchdog

(Oak Ridger) Thirteen citizens from four counties gathered in Oak Ridge Thursday night to discuss forming a new citizens group to focus on environmental issues pertaining to the Department of Energy in East Tennessee...2/20

State & Regional

TN bill would give benefits to military spouses left jobless

(The Tennessean) Military spouses who leave their jobs because of the frequent moves required in the military would be eligible for unemployment benefits under a proposed bill in Tennessee that has the support of Gov. Bill Haslam...2/20

National

Supreme Court agrees to reconsider use of race in college admission decisions

(Washington Post) The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will reconsider whether affirmative action may be considered when public universities choose which students to admit, revisiting a 2003 decision that allows race as a factor in admission decisions...2/21

AhmadinajadIAEA mission to Iran ends in failure

(Washington Post) U.N. nuclear officials conceded failure on Tuesday after an extraordinary, two-day visit to Iran yielded no progress in clearing up allegations about the country’s pursuit of nuclear weapons technology...2/21

science & technology

Water PlanetHubble's 'waterworld' discovery: A new type of planet

(Fox News) NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed the existence of a completely new type of planet. By analyzing the previously identified world GJ 1214b -- an Earth-like superplanet located outside of our solar system -- astronomer Zachory Berta and his team have discovered a strangely unique water-based planet...2/21

Brooding DinosaurFossilized Dinosaur Mom Found

(Discovery News) The fossilized remains of a dinosaur brooding in its nest have emerged from the red sandstones of the Gobi desert in Mongolia, providing new evidence for a far longer-lived and adaptable species than previously thought...2/21

Binary Black HoleNASA's Chandra Finds Fastest Wind From Stellar-Mass Black Hole

(NASA) Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have clocked the fastest wind yet discovered blowing off a disk around a stellar-mass black hole. This result has important implications for understanding how this type of black hole behaves. The record-breaking wind is moving about 20 million mph, or about 3 percent of the speed of light. This is nearly 10 times faster than had ever been seen from a stellar-mass black hole...2/21

Other Stories

Energy Sector Powers Construction Spending Rebound

(Forbes) Homebuilding is still crawling out of the abyss, but construction spending in the energy and transportation sectors has already topped pre-recession highs and looks to stay robust. Manufacturing-related construction is approaching a midpoint between its previous high and recession-era low and has shot up recently...2/21

Chair of scientific ethics committee has ethical lapse

(Fox News) The Task Force on Scientific Ethics for the well-respected American Geophysical Union has quietly expunged the name of committee chairman Peter H. Gleick from its website -- following Gleick’s admission that he used a false identity to obtain confidential documents from The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank...2/21