Friday, April 5, 2013
ORNL in the News

Energy Department Announces Five-Year Renewal of Funding for Bioenergy Research Centers

(Energy.gov) The U.S. Department of Energy today announced it would fund its three Bioenergy Research Centers for an additional five-year period, subject to continued congressional appropriations. The three Centers —including the BioEnergy Research Center (BESC) led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Michigan State University, and the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory—were established by the Department’s Office of Science in 2007...4/4

ORNL's awake imaging device moves diagnostics field forward

(R&D Magazine) A technology being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory promises to provide clear images of the brains of children, the elderly, and people with Parkinson's and other diseases without the use of uncomfortable or intrusive restraints..."With this work, we're hoping to establish a new paradigm in noninvasive diagnostic imaging," says Justin Baba, a biomedical engineer who heads the ORNL development team...4/4

ORNL names new deputy director for science, technology

(Oak Ridge Today) A new deputy director has been named at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Ramamoorthy Ramesh of the University of California in Berkeley will start as the lab’s deputy director for science and technology on June 1, ORNL Director Thom Mason announced in an e-mail to staff on Thursday. Ramesh will replace Thomas Zacharia, who left in August to take a science and education foundation based in Doha, Qatar. Ramesh will also hold an appointment as a Governor’s Chair Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville...4/4

Senior Wins Udall Scholarship, Will Pursue Environmental Career

(Tennessee Today) Brian Conlon, a senior, is one of fifty students nationwide who have been awarded the Udall Scholarship, which recognizes students committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy, or Native American health care...At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Conlon performed research on climate change adaptation and the US Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program. Conlon intends to pursue a higher degree in environmental policy research renewable energy after doing research abroad...4/4

DOE

Microwave casting not ready for prime time at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A Y-12 spokesman today confirmed that microwave casting is not yet ready for uranium production activities, and there is no indication on when that will occur, despite long-running efforts to introduce the technology into a production role at the nuclear weapons plant...4/4

GAO preparing decision on gigantic Y-12/Pantex contract award

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Ralph White, who manages the bid protest forum at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, said a decision is currently being written to address protests filed against the National Nuclear Security Administration's $22 billion contract award for the management of the Y-12 and Pantex nuclear weapons plants...4/4

State & Regional

Sequoyah Nuclear Plant seeks 20-year NRC license extension

(Times Free Press) About two dozen people listened and commented Wednesday in two meetings as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission explained the process it will use to decide whether to extend Sequoyah Nuclear Plant's operating license until 2041...4/4

National

Obama Budget to Include Cuts to Programs in Hopes of Deal

(NY Times) President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say...4/5

East Tennessee

10 fastest growing U.S. cities

(CNN/Money) Knoxville currently has the best employment outlook in the nation, with 25% of employers in the area saying they expect to add jobs this spring, according to staffing firm ManpowerGroup. The area's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which has a budget of $1.65 billion and employs 4,400 people, has had a huge impact on the city's jobs picture. Not only does it hire a lot of workers with advanced degrees, but its research has also spawned several start-ups, said Mike Edwards, CEO of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce...4/5

A foggy idea, something fishy lead to science fair titles for students from Oak Ridge, Morristown

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Daniel Patrick Mountain’s curiosity resulted in him being crowned Junior Grand Champion as award winners were announced Thursday at the 61st Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena...4/4

energy & science policy

As White House Embraces BRAIN Initiative, Questions Linger

(Science Magazine) For neuroscientist Rafael Yuste, sitting in an ornate White House chamber yesterday listening to President Barack Obama heap praise—and some $100 million—on a brain-mapping initiative that he helped hatch was a "luminous" experience. "It felt like history," says the researcher, who works at Columbia University...4/3

US starts building first nuclear reactors in 30 years

(New Scientist) After a three-decade hiatus, work is finally under way on a new wave of reactors thanks to government funding – but China is already way ahead...4/4

science & technology

Origin of Life: Power Behind Primordial Soup Discovered

(Science Daily) Researchers at the University of Leeds may have solved a key puzzle about how objects from space could have kindled life on Earth...4/4

Solar Panels Now Make More Electricity Than They Use

(Popular Science) Solar panels make energy, but they take energy to make, too. And, until about 2010 or so, the solar panel industry used more electricity than it produced, according to a new analysis. Now, the industry is set to "pay back" the energy it used by 2020...4/4

3-D printer builds synthetic tissues

(PhysOrg) The new type of material consists of thousands of connected water droplets, encapsulated within lipid films, which can perform some of the functions of the cells inside our bodies...4/4

Some Deep-Sea Microbes Are Hungry For Rocket Fuel

(NPR) It's life, but not as we know it. Researchers in the Netherlands have found that a microbe from deep beneath the ocean can breathe a major ingredient in rocket fuel. The discovery suggests that early life may have used many different kinds of chemicals besides oxygen to survive and thrive...4/4

Don't call it vaporware: Scientists use cloud of atoms as optical memory device

(EurekAlert) Talk about storing data in the cloud. Scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland have taken this to a whole new level by demonstrating* that they can store visual images within quite an ethereal memory device—a thin vapor of rubidium atoms. The effort may prove helpful in creating memory for quantum computers...4/3

SDSC's Gordon Supercomputer assists in crunching large Hadron Collider data

(PhysOrg) Gordon, the unique supercomputer launched last year by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, recently completed its most data-intensive task so far: rapidly processing raw data from almost one billion particle collisions as part of a project to help define the future research agenda for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)...4/4

Other Stories

China's Air Pollution Linked To Millions Of Early Deaths

(NPR) More than 1 million people are dying prematurely every year from air pollution in China, according to a new analysis. "This is the highest toll in the world and it really reflects the very high levels of air pollution that exist in China today," says Robert O'Keefe of the Health Effects Institute...4/2

Chinese Deluge U.S. Master's Programs

(Wall Street Journal) When the business school at the University of California, Davis, started its master's program in accounting last year, administrators expected to attract aspiring accountants from nearby colleges. What they got instead was a wave of interest from overseas...4/3