Wednesday, February 29, 2012
ORNL in the News

GreenlandClimate scientists compute in concert

(PhysOrg) Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are sharing computational resources and expertise to improve the detail and performance of a scientific application code that is the product of one of the world's largest collaborations of climate researchers..."Climate is a complex system. We're not solving one problem, but a collection of problems coupled together," said ORNL computational Earth scientist Kate Evans...2/28

Nuclear Has Nine Times the Potential of Solar, Report Says

(Environmental Leader) The United States’ capacity for the expansion of nuclear power is almost nine times greater than for that of solar thermal power, according to research funded by nonprofit utility consortium the Electric Power Research Institute and carried out by Oak Ridge National Laboratory...2/28

Color MapPhysicists study probability of structural failure

(PhysOrg) A team led by James Sethna, professor of physics, and graduate student Ashivni Shekhawat have published new theoretical insights...The Cornell researchers, joined by colleagues in Italy, Finland and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, assert that their calculations provide a much more specific and accurate way to predict structural failure. Their models are based on how different sizes and shapes of cracks, even microscopic ones, form and grow...2/29

Kyle Spafford Benchmarks Programming Frameworks

(HPC Wire) As the two major programming frameworks for GPU computing, OpenCL and CUDA have been competing for mindshare in the developer community for the past few years. Until recently, CUDA has attracted most of the attention from developers, especially in the high performance computing realm...Kyle Spafford, from the Future Technology Group at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), has been benchmarking the two technologies for some time and is now convinced that OpenCL performance is now on par with that of CUDA...

DOE

 

Start-up Bright Automotive will close its doors

(Washington Post) An Indiana electric vehicle company that had planned to build energy-efficient fleet trucks announced Tuesday it will close down this week, and it blamed the Obama administration for stringing the company along for three years with promises of a federal loan...2/28

State & Regional

TN lawmaker says Afghani people "ungrateful" for U.S. help

(WBIR) A Tennessee lawmaker spent his day in Washington continuing to rail against the war in Afghanistan. He's even calling the Afghani people "ungrateful". Congressman Jimmy Duncan delivered that remark and more today on the floor of the U.S. House...2/28

National

US Treasury Department cuts Iran's cash pipeline, sources say

(Fox News) The U.S. Treasury Department disrupted a Dubai-based banking operation that Washington believes had become Tehran's primary conduit for evading international sanctions and processing its oil sales, according to people briefed on the operation...2/29

East Tennessee

New state ID laws have little effect on early voter turnout

(WATE) Early voting wrapped up Tuesday night around Tennessee and in Knox County just over 11,000 voters have already cast a ballot. This primary marks the first time voters will be required to show photo identification at the polls. Across the county, voters have had very few problems with the new law. ..2/28

energy & science policy

Steven Chu puts clean energy on faster learning curve

(C|net) DOE chief says research will reshape energy's future, enabling grids that run on renewable energy and creating batteries and vehicles that are both more efficient and powerful...2/28

science & technology

Oetzi the Iceman's nuclear genome gives new insights

(BBC) New clues have emerged in what could be described as the world's oldest murder case: that of Oetzi the "Iceman", whose 5,300-year-old body was discovered frozen in the Italian Alps in 1991...2/28

Bill Gates on Insanity and Energy R&D

(Science Insider) The U.S. government is "crazy" when it comes to funding for energy research and development, according to high-tech titan Bill Gates. "It's crazy how little we are funding this energy stuff," Gates today told an audience at a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conference near Washington, D.C. "Funding for energy [research] in the U.S. is underfunded by a factor of two."...2/28

Researchers Test Sugary Solution to Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) Slowing or preventing the development of Alzheimer's disease, a fatal brain condition expected to hit one in 85 people globally by 2050, may be as simple as ensuring a brain protein's sugar levels are maintained...2/28

Other Stories

Dream HouseIs The New American Dream A Cozy Rental Apartment?

(Forbes) ...Many advising the housing industry now envisage a “radically different and high-rise” future, even though the volume of new multi-unit construction permits remains less than half the level of 2006...2/28

Out there

Geocachers leap at rare opportunity

(The Tennessean) Chris Dickens literally climbs mountains to win GPS-guided treasure hunts. Crawls into caves, too. But like thousands of others obsessed with "geocaching," the 42-year-old Watertown man has never had the chance to find a hidden cache on a Leap Day. It matters because one of the ultimate self-imposed challenges in the peculiar world of geocaching is to successfully complete a hunt on every calendar day...2/29