Thursday, March 28, 2013
ORNL in the News

Oak Ridge carbon fiber plant could lower cost of strong, lightweight material

(Oak Ridge Today) A unique manufacturing plant in west Oak Ridge that started operating about six weeks ago can make 25 tons of carbon fiber each year. It’s material that could be used for prototype parts in products ranging from cars and airplanes to wind turbine blades and natural gas tanks...Officials celebrated the start-up of the carbon fiber plant, which is part of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with a Tuesday ribbon-cutting ceremony. More than 200 people attended, including Danielson, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, and ORNL Director Thom Mason....3/26

Semiconductor 'shish kabob' nanostructures combine properties from different dimensions

(PhysOrg) By growing 2D nanosheets along the surface of a 1D nanowire, scientists have synthesized a new 3D nanoscale heterostructure that they call—for appropriate reasons—"shish kabobs."...The scientists, Chun Li, et al., at North Carolina University in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, have published a paper on the nanosheet-nanowire heterostructures in a recent issue of Nano Letters...3/27

Haslam & Oak Ridge

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Gov. Bill Haslam, a popular figure in Oak Ridge, was in town Tuesday for the ribbon-cutting shindig at the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility and other duties. During a break at the ORNL pilot facility, I asked Haslam about the relationship with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy...3/26

DOE

DOE OK'd contractor salaries above market rates

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A federal inspection found that the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge office improperly approved executive salaries for its cleanup contractor that exceeded market rates and potentially cost the government more than $3.4 million at a time when every dollar is needed to carry out DOE’s missions...3/28

Successful Department of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities security transition lauded

(Oak Ridger) The National Strategic Protective Services LLC, a joint venture of Triple Canopy Inc. and Securiguard Inc., announced in a Monday morning release that it has “successfully taken over as the provider of protective services at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge facilities.”...3/27

Energy Department Launches New Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative

(Energy.gov) As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to revitalizing America’s manufacturing sector, today the Energy Department launched the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI), a new Department initiative focused on growing American manufacturing of clean energy products and boosting U.S. competitiveness through major improvements in manufacturing energy productivity...3/26

National

How border security 'trigger' could stop immigration reform

(CS Monitor) Congressional negotiators say immigration reform will need a border security 'trigger' to pass. But agreeing on what counts as 'border security' won't be easy, and could determine whether reform happens...3/27

Obama Declares Monuments to Preserve Pieces of U.S. Heritage

(National Geographic News) The nation's list of national monuments—places of "historic or scientific" interest—has grown by five. President Obama added five sites to the 103 previously enshrined...3/25

East Tennessee

Professor Discovers How Microbes Survive at Bare Minimum

(Tennessee Today) Beneath the ocean floor is a desolate place with no oxygen and sunlight. Yet microbes have thrived in this environment for millions of years. Scientists have puzzled over how these microbes survive, but today there are more answers. A study led by Karen Lloyd, an assistant professor of microbiology, reveals that these microscopic life-forms called archaea slowly eat tiny bits of protein. The study was released today in Nature...3/27

Metropolitan? Knoxville MSA is Now Nine Counties—But Not the Ones You Think

(Metro Pulse) The Office of Budget and Management in Washington just announced the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area is a lot bigger and also more oddly shaped than it used to be...3/27

energy & science policy

PCAST Hears Updates on Education, the State of Energy and Climate, and Forensic Science

(AIP) Fundamental changes are needed in the education of chemical scientists, said Professor Bassam Shakashiri from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to members of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)...3/27

science & technology

An Arbitrary Number of Years Since Mathematician Paul Erdős’s Birth

(Scientific American) Today would’ve been the 100th birthday of the Hungary-born mathematician who published so many papers--and many with such great impact--that a playful measure of one’s academic affiliation with him has been created...3/26

Discovery May Allow Scientists to Make Fuel from Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

(Science Daily) ...researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to transform the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere into useful industrial products. Their discovery may soon lead to the creation of biofuels made directly from the carbon dioxide in the air..3/26

Unexpectedly Amazing Carbon-Based Energy Form

(Slate) ...Scientists have spent decades trying to create the perfect battery—a battery with great energy density or, at least, one that doesn’t take so long to charge...3/22

This Is Now The World's Lightest Material

(Popular Science) Check out this contender for the title of "world's lightest solid." To demonstrate just how light it is, Zhejiang University in China, where the material's creators are based, has published pictures of chunks of it perched on small leaves, held aloft by grass seedheads and floating on the stamen of a cherry blossom...3/26

Scientists map protein that creates antibiotic resistance

(Nature) Japanese researchers have determined the detailed molecular structure of a protein that rids cells of toxins, but can also reduce the effectiveness of some antibiotics and cancer drugs by kicking them out of the cells they are targeting...3/27

Other Stories

North Korea Says It Has Cut Key Military Hotline

(Time) Raising tensions with South Korea yet again, North Korea cut a military hotline that has been essential in operating the last major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation: an industrial complex in the North that employs hundreds of workers from the South...3/27