Friday, June 25, 2010
ORNL in the News

Thin films show surprising reactivity

(MIT News) The behavior of thin films of a mineral called perovskite, deposited as a thin layer on the surface of a crystal of zirconia, “was very much unexpected,” says Yang Shao-Horn, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering at MIT, who led the research. The work was done in collaboration with Hans Christen and Michael Biegalski at Oak Ridge National Laboratory....6/24

Transportation LaHood names Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety

(RT & S) U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced members of the Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), a newly-formed advisory committee that will assist the Federal Transit Administration with developing national safety standards for rail transit. TRACS members include Diane Davidson, Director of The Center for Transportation Analysis, Oak Ridge National Laboratory...6/24


Y-12, Texas contracts will be extended

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The National Nuclear Security Administration announced Wednesday it plans to extend the management contracts at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge and the Pantex warhead assembly plant in Texas for one year....6/24

East Tennessee

Why do they call it that? History of the names of Manhattan Project plants X-10, Y-12, and K-25 in Oak Ridge

(WBIR-TV) Facilities with names such as K-25, Y-12, and X-10 are commonly used terms for locals throughout East Tennessee. But why did they name the various plants with these strange combinations of letters and numbers? Do the letters and numbers have any meaning?...6/25

Orange Route axed, TDOT official says

(Knoxville News Sentinel) According to a TDOT official involved in the decision, but who was not allowed to speak publicly until after the announcement, a new traffic study has revealed the proposed Knoxville Regional Parkway would not divert as many vehicles as thought when the route was initially decided upon....6/25


House, Senate leaders finalize details of sweeping financial overhaul

(Washington Post) Key House and Senate lawmakers agreed on far-reaching new financial rules early Friday after weeks of division, delay and frantic last-minute deal making....6/25 [Registration Required]

Republicans Kill Senate Jobless Aid Bill

(NPR) An effort to revive extended unemployment benefits that expired last month was blocked on the Senate floor Thursday by a Republican-led filibuster....6/24

State & Regional

Bredesen: More active role must be taken in choosing UT president

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Calling the tenures of the last two leaders "failed presidencies," Gov. Phil Bredesen challenged University of Tennessee trustees to take a more active role in the search for a new president to ensure the new leader doesn't have the same "issues."...6/25



energy & science policy

Gulf oil spill: Judge won't budge on deep-water drilling moratorium

(Christian Science Monitor) A federal judge said Thursday that he will not reconsider his decision to overturn a six month deep-water drilling moratorium stemming from the Gulf oil spill. That means Interior Secretary Ken Salazar might need to look for a Plan B....6/25

science & technology

Computers Make Strides in Recognizing Speech

(New York Times) In recent years, rapid progress has been made in machines that can listen, speak, see, reason and learn, in their way. The prospect, according to scientists and economists, is not only that artificial intelligence will transform the way humans and machines communicate and collaborate, but will also eliminate millions of jobs, create many others and change the nature of work and daily routines....6/25

Scientists discover that Jupiter moon smells terrible

(Christian Science Monitor) A new study of some of the chemical compounds present on the Jupiter's moon, Io, finds that it really stinks....6/24

New Form of Gene Regulation Hints at Hidden Dimension of DNA

(Wired) An entire class of seemingly useless genetic components may actually regulate gene activity, suggests a study that — though preliminary — has potentially transformative implications for biology....6/24

New 'Fix' for Cosmic Clocks Could Help Uncover Ripples in Space-Time

(Science Daily) An international team of scientists have developed a promising new technique which could turn pulsars -- superb natural cosmic clocks -- into even more accurate time-keepers. This important advance, led by scientists at The University of Manchester and appearing June 24 in the journal Science Express, could improve the search for gravitational waves and help studies into the origins of the universe....6/25

Other Stories

Accidents Will Happen: What if Deepwater Horizon was a nuclear plant?

(Slate) If you think that the story of the spill is not mainly a story about fossil fuels but about how many levels of “failsafe” mechanisms fail, it is likely to make you more skeptical of the nuclear option....6/22