Monday, March 26, 2012
ORNL in the News

Can ORNL's White Oak Creek be a testbed for mercury problems at Y-12 and East Fork Poplar Creek?

Teresa Mathews(Knoxville News Sentinel) During last Wednesday's all-day blogging adventure at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, I stopped by the Aquatic Ecology Lab to see what was going on and found people hard at work (no surprise there). Teresa Mathews, an environmental scientist who I interviewed in late 2011 for a series on mercury pollution in Oak Ridge, was in the lab doing an analysis of mercury levels in White Oak Creek.

New tool developed to assess global freshwater stress

(PhysOrg) While several recent studies suggest that much of the world is likely to experience freshwater shortages as the population increases and temperatures rise, determining the relative impact of each has been difficult... "Our work establishes a new method to couple geographic information system data with global climate outputs and statistical analysis," said ORNL's Esther Parish, lead author...3/23

DOE

Department of Energy Unveils App Contest

(Smart Meters) To further the Obama Administration’s goal of helping consumers reduce energy consumption and lower their power bills, United States Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced the DOE’s inaugural Apps for Energy competition...3/26

State & Regional

TVAWith no employee pay cap TVA boosts base salary for top managers

(Times Free Press) Since Congress removed the pay cap for employees of the Tennessee Valley Authority seven years ago, the base salary for 155 of the utility's top managers has risen above the $174,000 annual pay given members of Congress...3/25

TN pain pill bill faces opposition

(Tennessean) Proposed state legislation pitched as a tool to reduce prescription pain pill abuse and overdose deaths in Tennessee has drawn concern from some lawmakers who say it is really designed to steer more business to major pharmaceutical companies...3/26

National

Supreme Court to hear arguments on timing of health-care ruling

(Washington Post) (Video at link) The Supreme Court begins its constitutional review of the health-care overhaul law Monday with a fundamental question: Is the court barred from making such a decision at this time?...3/25

(Reuters) U.S. regulator feels pressure over Freddie, Fannie: report

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being pushed to reduce borrowers' mortgage balances in order to shield U.S. banks from taking losses on distressed housing debt, the companies' regulator said in a Financial Times interview published on Sunday...3/25

East Tennessee

Knoxville-based mortgage scam: hundreds of victims, losses in millions

(Knoxville News Sentinel) On the afternoon of March 1, Charles D. (C.D.) Candler, 67, drove into Greenwood Cemetery on Tazewell Pike and shot himself to death, according to Knoxville Police Department investigators. The next day, federal agents swarmed over his office, home to a shadowy operation that neighboring businesses say was never open to the public and had only paper signs on its door...3/25

energy & science policy

Obama Administration Announces $450 Million to Design and Commercialize U.S. Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

(Energy.gov) Today, as President Obama went to Ohio State University to discuss the all-out, all-of-the-above strategy for American energy, the White House announced new funding to advance the development of American-made small modular reactors (SMRs), an important element of the President’s energy strategy...3/22

science & technology

Early exposure to germs has lasting benefits

(Nature News) Exposure to germs in childhood is thought to help strengthen the immune system and protect children from developing allergies and asthma, but the pathways by which this occurs have been unclear. Now, researchers have identified a mechanism in mice that may explain the role of exposure to microbes in the development of asthma and ulcerative colitis, a common form of inflammatory bowel disease...3/22

iPadComputer Networking Stocks Rising As Data Explodes

(Investor's Business Daily) When Apple's new iPad went on sale this month, it effectively raised the speed limit for a new generation of Internet users. Its 4G wireless telecom technology is as much as 10 times faster than many corporate networks over which it will communicate...3/23

Other Stories

North American Heat WaveThe 2012 Heat Wave: "Almost Like Science Fiction"

(Popular Science) Today is World Meteorological Day, and there's no better time to take a serious look at our meteorological surroundings than right now, here in North America. All across the continent, records have been smashed: from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic, a heat wave like nothing we've ever seen before is hitting the U.S. and Canada, while out west, Oregon has gotten a new record for snowfall. Just what is going on here?...3/23

The Citizen's Guide To The Obamacare Supreme Court Hearings

(Forbes) If you are anxiously awaiting Monday’s kickoff of what many are calling the “Super Bowl of Constitutional Law”—the Supreme Court’s tackling of Obamacare—you may be looking for a layman’s explanation of this week’s events along with the possible outcomes...3/25

Out there

WineRed Wine, Tartaric Acid, and the Secret of Superconductivity

(ArXiv) Last year, a group of Japanese physicists grabbed headlines around the world by announcing that they could induce superconductivity in a sample of iron telluride by soaking it in red wine. They found that other alcoholic drinks also worked--white wine, beer, sake and so on--but red wine was by far the best...3/22