Thursday, April 7, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL, NOAA & future upgrades of Gaea

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Gaea, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's climate-dedicated supercomputer that's housed at ORNL, is due for an upgrade, and that'll come later this year....4/6

Water harvested from diesel exhaust

(MSNBC) A new technology to harvest drinkable water from diesel exhaust could help the U.S. military become more nimble and mobile as it engages in conflicts around the world. Supplying water to soldiers increases vulnerability to military personnel and limits the tactical use of field troops, according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory who are developing the new technology....4/6

State & Regional

'Critical Thinking' or Creationism in Tennessee Classrooms?

(Metro Pulse) The text of HB 368 seems innocuous enough. It reads, in part: "The state board of education … school system administrators, and public elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to create an environment … that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."...4/7

East Tennessee

Radiation detected is 'far below' health concern

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said air samples were collected March 29 from fixed monitors near TVA's Sequoyah and Watts Bar power plants, as well as from a monitor in Dayton. The state said the I-131 levels ranged from 0.044 to 0.089 picocuries per cubic meter of air....4/7


Obama says shutdown would be 'inexcusable'

(Washington Post) As Democrats and Republicans continued to bicker publicly over who is responsible for the weeks-long stalemate over the 2011 budget, senior aides to House Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid made progress in private talks, raising hopes for at least the broad outlines of a pact by week's end....4/7

NRC examines nuclear plant risks in U.S.

(USA Today) Internal e-mails from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission revealed doubts within the organization about procedures for U.S. plants in a Fukushima-style event....4/7

Other Stories

Archives, post-Civil War files online

(Oak Ridger) The National Archives and published newly digitized Civil War records online for the first time Wednesday, allowing users to trace family links to the war between North and South....4/7

energy & science policy

House Hearing on Defense Science and Technology Programs

(AIP Bulletin) A hearing last month by the House Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee found consistent support and appreciation for defense science and technology programs on both sides of the aisle....4/6

Global warming: Congress set to decide if EPA can regulate greenhouse gases

(Christian Science Monitor) The House and Senate both vote Wednesday on whether to curtail or delay EPA power to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. The agency plans to issue emissions standards in 2012....4/6

Inside Energy Extra

4/6 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Shutdown would slow, stop energy work
** DOE to work Monday, one way or other
** Senate rejects measures aimed at EPA

science & technology

'Citizen scientists' help search for tomb of Genghis Khan via photos of Mongolia

(Washington Post) Research scientist Albert Lin has more than 7,000 "citizen scientists" helping with his Valley of the Khans Project to find the tombs of Genghis Khan and his descendants. His army of helpers are amateurs, working from the comfort of their home computers....4/5

Wales to DNA 'barcode' plants

(BBC) Wales is set to be the first country to produce a DNA barcode for every one of its native flowering plants, scientists claim. The Barcode Wales project will aim to catalogue all 1,143 species of native flowering plant based on each plant's unique gene sequence....4/7

In Japan, Shaken Soil Turned Soft After Quake

(NPR) [Audio] The violent shaking from Japan's March 11 earthquake stirred up the soil, leading to broken water pipes, tilted utility poles and manholes that popped out of the ground. The phenomenon, known as liquefaction, was particularly noticeable in areas built on land reclaimed from the sea....4/7

Two Dying Stars to Be Reborn as One

(Science Daily) Astronomers have just discovered an amazing pair of white dwarfs whirling around each other once every 39 minutes. In a few million years they will collide and merge to create a single star....4/7