Wednesday, March 20, 2013
ORNL in the News

Human microbe study provides insight into health, disease

(R&D Magazine) Microbes from the human mouth are telling Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists something about periodontitis and more after they cracked the genetic code of bacteria linked to the condition..."This is like discovering that in a language you know well there is a dialect in which the word stop means go," said co-author Mircea Podar of the Department of Energy lab's Biosciences Division...3/18

U.S. restarts plutonium production for space probes

(Reuters) The U.S. Department of Energy has produced its first batch of non-weapons grade plutonium, used to power space probes, since a nuclear reactor shutdown 25 years ago...In partnership with NASA, the Department of Energy irradiated the radioactive metal neptunium-237 with neutrons at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee for about a month and successfully produced a small amount plutonium...3/18

DOE

When Y-12 breach was over, finger-pointing began

(Knoxville News Sentinel) There were various, unofficial reports of testy relations between B&W Y-12, the managing contractor at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, and WSI-Oak Ridge, Y-12’s protective force contractor, long before the July 28, 2012, security breach. But it would seem the gloves really came off after that event...3/20

Contracts for early, early work at Uranium Processing Facility starting to emerge

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The first couple of contracts for pre-construction site work on the Uranium Processing Facility have been awarded, the National Nuclear Security Administration and its managing contractor at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant confirmed today...3/19

Levitation as a Tool in Argonne Lab

(Energy.gov) Back in September, Argonne National Lab posted the YouTube video "Acoustic Levitation" featuring physicist Chris Benmore suspending droplets of liquid between two speakers. It almost immediately went viral garnering more than 41,000 Google hits for "acoustic levitation Argonne" and 900,000 YouTube views...3/19

National

Obama's Mideast trip: What to expect

(CBS) This will be President Obama's first trip to the region as president, and the first foreign trip of his second term...3/19

East Tennessee

Pellissippi State contributes $244M to annual regional economy

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Pellissippi State Community College continues to have a significant impact on the regional economy. Over the past five years, the college has pumped an average of $244 million each year into the local economy, a recent study shows...3/19

State & Regional

TN's hospitality lures investors, Japanese consul-general says

(The Tennessean) Tennessee might just be the perfect post for the new Japanese consul-general, Motohiko Kato, who took the top position at Japan's Nashville consulate in October: He's an Elvis fan and a Civil War history buff...3/18

 

energy & science policy

Developers Hope to Speed U.S. Offshore Wind Development

(Scientific American) The lengthy process to approve Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound must be expedited if the offshore wind industry hopes to grow...3/19

science & technology

Spinning Sewage into Gold

(Slate) ...The Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s Regional Water Recycling Plant No. 1 sits next to a golf course 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles...it’s the largest fuel-cell plant making electricity from biogas in the United States, and it now provides 60 percent of the power that Plant No. 1 had been getting from the grid...3/19

Using Graphene, Lockheed Martin Wants To Turn Salt Water Into Drinking Water

(Popular Science) It's surprisingly hard to find safe drinking water on Earth--this on a planet covered in water. A new project by Lockheed Martin hopes to change that, and do it cheaply. Using a graphene filter, Lockheed hopes to transform salt water into drinking water by the end of the year...3/18

This Protein Could Change Biotech Forever

(Forbes) A tiny molecular machine used by bacteria to kill attacking viruses could change the way that scientists edit the DNA of plants, animals and fungi, revolutionizing genetic engineering...3/19

Other Stories

Flush With Oil, Abu Dhabi Opens World's Largest Solar Plant

(NPR) Abu Dhabi, the most oil-rich of the United Arab Emirates, is now home to the world's single-largest concentrated solar power plant. The 100-megawatt Shams 1 plant cost an estimated $750 million and is expected to provide electricity to 20,000 homes...3/19

Nuclear talks: Iran unmoved by world powers' latest proposal

(CS Monitor) World powers and Iran met in Istanbul yesterday to follow up on last month's talks in Kazakhstan. Despite high hopes, the two sides didn't find enough common ground...3/19