Tuesday, May 29, 2012
ORNL in the News

ORNL Researchers Devise Methods to Improve Sensor Development

(Azosensors) Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers state that laboratory-efficient sensors may sometimes fail to perform steadily in real-world conditions...Ali Passian states that the real-time efficiency of sensors is vital as it partly protects the nation's food and water supplies. According to research analysis in this paper, titled "Critical Issues in Sensor Science to Aid Food and Water Safety," sensors are becoming complex with little or no field testing...5/28

'Unzipped' carbon nanotubes could help energize fuel cells, batteries

(PhysOrg) Multi-walled carbon nanotubes riddled with defects and impurities on the outside could replace some of the expensive platinum catalysts used in fuel cells and metal-air batteries, according to scientists at Stanford University...The Stanford study might also have resolved a long-standing scientific controversy about the chemical structure of catalytic active sites where oxygen reactions occur...To address the controversy, the Stanford team enlisted scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to conduct atomic-scale imaging and spectroscopy analysis of the nanotubes...5/27


Dismantling nuclear bomb parts reportedly getting better all the time

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The National Nuclear Security Administration last week announced that it had approved a special tooling system to improve the dismantlement processing operations for the B83 nuclear bombs at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas...5/28


U.S. denies N. Korea commando operation

(Washington Post) The U.S. military on Tuesday denied a report that it has been sending commandos into North Korea to spy on underground military facilities, a mission that would violate the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War...5/29


East Tennessee

UT ranked nationally for teaching organic farming

(Knoxville News Sentinel) After just five years in existence, the Organic Crop Unit at the University of Tennessee has been ranked among the six best programs in the nation for teaching students how to grow crops that meet U.S. Department of Agriculture organic standards...5/29

University of Tennessee gets money for nuclear training

(AP) The University of Tennessee is receiving more than $1.7 million for nuclear industry training and research. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Energy for scholarships, a fellowship and research grants...5/29

Prophet forecast Oak Ridge, but nobody envisioned the mud

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Mystic or madman, prophet or con artist, John Hendrix said he saw it coming. The eccentric loner, prone to wandering in the East Tennessee woods, made a name for himself in the early 20th century after predicting that a railroad from Knoxville would soon traverse Anderson County...5/27

energy & science policy

Accusations that climate science is money-driven reveal ignorance of how science is done

(Ars Technica) One of the unfortunate memes that has made repeated appearances in the climate debate is that money isn't just influencing the public debate about science, but it's also influencing the science itself. The government, the argument goes, is paying scientists specifically to demonstrate that carbon dioxide is the major culprit in recent climate change, and the money available to do so is exploding...5/24

science & technology

The Enigma 1,800 Miles Below Us

(NY Times) Geologists have long known that Earth’s core, some 1,800 miles beneath our feet, is a dense, chemically doped ball of iron roughly the size of Mars and every bit as alien. It’s a place where pressures bear down with the weight of 3.5 million atmospheres, like 3.5 million skies falling at once on your head, and where temperatures reach 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit — as hot as the surface of the Sun...5/28

Smallest Possible Five-Ringed Structure Made: 'Olympicene' Molecule Built Using Clever Synthetic Organic Chemistry

(Science Daily) Scientists have created and imaged the smallest possible five-ringed structure -- about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair -- and you'll probably recognize its shape...5/28

Nations to split telescope project

(Nature) The battle for the world's largest radio telescope has ended in a draw. South Africa and Australia will both host the Square Kilometre Array, a €1.5-billion (US$1.9-billion) project made up of 3,000 15-metre-wide dishes and an even larger number of simple antennas. The decision was announced at a meeting outside of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, after a vote by SKA's international board...5/25

New type of biosensor is fast, super-sensitive

(PhysOrg) A whole new class of biosensor that can detect exceptionally small traces of contaminants in liquids in just 40 minutes has been developed by a UNSW-led team of researchers...5/29

Other Stories

Meet ‘Flame’, The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers

(Wired News) A massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation...5/28