Tuesday, February 26, 2013
ORNL in the News

Mason: 'Come March 1, we'll all report to work'

(Knoxville News Sentinel) In a message to employees posted on his blog and on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory internal website, ORNL Director Thom Mason said if sequestration takes effect March 1 there'll be some constraints on spending but he asked lab employees to remain focused during the potentially distracting times. As for the immediate situation, he said, "But no matter where sequestration ends up, come March 1, we'll all report to work. We'll continue to operate as safely and efficiently as possible, and to focus resources on our scientific missions."...2/26

ORNL Scientist Explains Electron Microscopy at UT Science Forum

(Tennessee Today) Juan-Carlos Idrobo, research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and research associate professor at Vanderbilt University, has spent twelve years working in the field of electron microscopy. He'll be discussing its applications at the Science Forum on March 1...2/25

Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers peek at new technologies

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory will host its third annual Bridging the Gap commercialization conference on March 5-6 when it will showcase its most promising new technologies.

DOE

NNSA's touts completion of decade-long makeover at weapons sites; $490M spent at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The National Nuclear Security Administration last week announced the completion of the big makeover program known as FIRP (Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization Program)...2/25

State & Regional

Guaranteed State Pensions Could Become Thing of the Past

(Nashville Public Radio) The traditional state pension would begin to be phased out under a plan to be presented to state lawmakers Monday. The state treasurer is trying to move away from guaranteed retirement benefits...2/25

Tennessee lawmakers offer no hints at sequester deal

(Nooga.com) The White House forecast isn't pretty. Set to go into effect Friday, an $85 billion mix of automatic cuts known as the sequester will be implemented if Congress doesn't stop it. The cuts will hit especially hard in Tennessee...2/25

National

Obama to governors: Tell Congress to stop spending cuts

(Reuters) President Barack Obama urged state governors on Monday to pressure Congress to prevent $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts from going into effect on Friday, saying he is willing to reach a compromise with Republicans...2/25

1st witness to testify in Gulf oil spill trial

(Houston Chronicle) A University of California-Berkeley engineer who played a prominent role in investigating levee breeches in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is scheduled to be the first witness Tuesday at a trial involving another Gulf Coast catastrophe: the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history..2/25

East Tennessee

Non-profit health insurance provider opens in Downtown Knoxville

(WBIR) Community Health Alliance opened its headquarters downtown Monday afternoon. With more provisions of the Affordable Care Act set to take effect next year, there's a growing market for health insurance...2/25

energy & science policy

Energy Nominee Moniz Sees Fracking as Bridge to Renewables 

(Bloomberg News) The likely nomination of nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz to lead the Department of Energy has drawn criticism from some environmentalists who say his support for natural gas and close ties to industry would undermine efforts to tackle climate change...2/22

science & technology

MauritiaLost Continent Discovered Beneath Indian Ocean

(Discovery News) A small, sunken continent was recently discovered beneath the Indian Ocean. The ancient mini-continent, called Mauritia, lies beneath the lava flows that created the islands of Reunion and Mauritius...2/25

Chemical signature of global El Nino events opens window to reconstructing paleoclimate cycles

(PhysOrg) Particles from the upper atmosphere trapped in a deep pile of Antarctic snow hold clear chemical traces of global meteorological events, a team from the University of California, San Diego and a colleague from France have found...2/25

DARPA Wants To Invent An Aircraft That Hovers Like A Helicopter But Flies Like A Plane

(Popular Science) The most useful aircraft in the world would take off, hover, and land like a helicopter but fly as fast as a plane. Decades of research toward this goal have resulted in very few usable, effective designs...2/25

ChimpanzeeOrigins of alcohol consumption traced to ape ancestor

(Science News) The taste for alcohol may be an ancient craving. The ability to metabolize ethanol — the alcohol in beer, wine and spirits — might have originated in the common ancestor of chimpanzees, gorillas and humans roughly 10 million years ago...2/18

Other Stories

MastercardVisa, MasterCard Launch Mobile Pay Initiatives

(Investor's Business Daily) Visa and MasterCard quickened the pace in the race among businesses to establish leadership in the emerging e-payment market. Visa unveiled a deal to put its payment services onto consumer electronics giant Samsung's smartphones...2/25