Wednesday, April 13, 2011
ORNL in the News

Bacterial Genome May Hold Answers To Mercury Mystery

(Pollution Online) A newly sequenced bacterial genome from a team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory could contain clues as to how microorganisms produce a highly toxic form of mercury. Methylmercury, a potent human neurotoxin, appears in the environment when certain naturally occurring bacteria transform inorganic mercury into its more toxic cousin....4/12

Ole Miss Engineering Banquet Honors Outstanding Alumnus

(University of Mississippi) The University of Mississippi School of Engineering presented the Engineer of Distinction award to 1984 master's graduate Thomas Zacharia, deputy director for science and technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory....4/1

China could become supercomputing partner

(Knoxville News Sentinel) China is rapidly making its presence felt in virtually every nook and cranny of the science landscape, and that includes high-performance computing....4/13

DOE

Department of Energy Offers Conditional Commitment for $1.187 Billion Loan Guarantee to Support California Solar Generation Project

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $1.187 billion loan guarantee to support the California Valley Solar Ranch project, sponsored by SunPower Corporation....4/12

East Tennessee

More on Fukushima fallout in Oak Ridge

(Knoxville News Sentinel) There are more numbers available on Fukushima fallout in the U.S. at EPA's RadNet site, including some additional data from Oak Ridge....4/12

National

Deficit Speech Will Be Lightning Rod

(Wall Street Journal) President Obama will describe his plans for long-term deficit reduction Wednesday, in a move likely to kick off a months-long debate with Republicans while alienating some members of his own Democratic Party....4/13

Other Stories

Japan's Other Nuclear Disaster

(Forbes) An ambitious plan to build a spent fuel reprocessing facility in Rokkasho has turned into a financial nightmare that has left nuclear waste piling up at power plants around the country....4/13

NASA Announces Permanent Homes For Shuttles

(NPR) Four lucky museums are celebrating Tuesday's announcement that they will receive a space shuttle after NASA ends its 30-year-old shuttle program....4/12

energy & science policy

Details of Final FY 2011 Appropriations Bill Emerging

(AIP Bulletin) Following last Fridays night's final negotiations on a bill to fund the federal government through September 30 of this year, the staff of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees worked to specify the cuts that would be made to department and agency programs....4/12

Biofuels targets are 'unethical', says Nuffield report

(BBC) EU biofuels targets are unethical and should be lifted temporarily, according to a report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics....4/13

Inside Energy Extra

4/12 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Deal spares industry-favored DOE aid
** DOE signals $1.2B loan aid for SunPower
** Lyons' nomination advances in Senate
** BOEM mulls service-company regulation
** Senate panel OKs tougher appliance rules

science & technology

Frozen remains help explain the life and eventual extinction of the woolly mammoth

(Washington Post) The mammoth has one of the best fossil records, offering an incredible insight into the evolution of this lineage. The species began evolving about 700,000 years ago and died out around 4,000 years ago....4/11

How can Fukushima crisis be rated as severe as Chernobyl?

(Christian Science Monitor) According to the IAEA's scale, the Fukushima crisis in Japan is now a 7, the most severe rating and equal with Chernobyl. But experts say the scale is deeply flawed...4/12.

Antibiotic Resistance Spreads Rapidly Between Bacteria

(Science Daily) The part of bacterial DNA that often carries antibiotic resistance is a master at moving between different types of bacteria and adapting to widely differing bacterial species, say researchers in Sweden....4/13