Tuesday, July 10, 2012
ORNL in the News

Mason on the supercomputer rankings

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Last month's release of the new TOP500 List of the world's fastest supercomputers generated the usual buzz, maybe a bit more than in a while in the United States because the No. 1 spot was regained by a U.S. machine (the IBM "Sequoia" at Lawrence Livermore)...7/9

Mason: ORNL positioning for uncertainty

(Knoxville News Sentinel) During a sit-down talk a couple of weeks ago, ORNL Director Thom Mason went over some of the lab's activities and plans. Those included a general strategy for dealing with the uncertainties of the federal budget and the political scene in Washington...7/9

ORNL to load targets July 30 for plutonium work

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory is moving forward with a two-year project to demonstrate capabilities to produce and process plutonium-238 for the space program...7/7

Stratasys, DOE partner for 3D additive manufacturing, lightweight materials

(Industrial-lasers.com) Stratasys and the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have announced a joint initiative to develop fused deposition modeling (FDM) additive manufacturing for production use...7/9

DOE

Going, going, gone: 450 tons of Russian HEU

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The National Nuclear Security Administration today said it had monitored the downblending of 450 metric tons of Russia's weapons-grade uranium, fulfilling 90 perecent of the 1993 nonproliferation agreement between the U.S. and Russia. According to the NNSA, the agreement for eliminating 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium will be completed by the end of 2013...7/9

New Advanced Electronics? Unprecedented Subatomic Details of Exotic Ferroelectric Nanomaterials

(Science Daily) ...scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and other collaborating institutions describe a technique revealing unprecedented details about the atomic structure and behavior of exotic ferroelectric materials, which are uniquely equipped to store digital information...7/8

East Tennessee

Free English classes offered across Knoxville

(Knoxville News Sentinel) When Nancy Liu came to the U.S., she spoke only a little English. "In China, we study English but do not have much chance to speak it," Liu said. Nancy and her husband Qingzhu moved to Knoxville in 2006 so he could begin a graduate program at UT...Bob Conrad, who has coordinated Thursday evening ESL classes at Cedar Springs for the past 12 years, said area churches intentionally planned their courses for different days of the week so students would be free to attend several classes. ...7/9

Alcoa posts 2Q net loss in slowing economy

(AP) Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc. said Monday it lost $2 million in the second-quarter as revenue dropped due to weaker prices and pockets of declining demand in the slowing global economy...7/10

 

energy & science policy

U.S. pushes for more scientists, but the jobs aren’t there

(Washington Post) ...Obama has made science education a priority, launching a White House science fair to get young people interested in the field. But it’s questionable whether those youths will be able to find work when they get a PhD...7/9

The Higgs Boson: Why You Should Care About the God Particle. And, Sadly, Why You Don't

(Forbes) [Editorial]...This discovery is up there with Copernicus. If we did not find the Higgs boson, everything that we understood about how the universe works would have been wrong...7/8

Thanks to the Web, Even Scientists Are Reading for the Articles

(The Atlantic) We don't read whole newspapers or magazines anymore. We hear about what our friends are reading, or we search the web for what we're interested in. Turns out that scientists are doing exactly the same thing...7/9

science & technology

Why We Sunburn

(Scientific American) A molecular signal that triggers sunburns helps the body remove sun-damaged cells before they trigger cancer. The findings could lead to new treatments for psoriasis and other inflammatory responses...7/9

Researchers find cells that move in response to Earth's magnetic field

(PhysOrg) For nearly half a century scientists have known that some animals are able to navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field and for nearly thirty years, it’s been assumed that at least some of those animals that are able to “feel” the weak magnetic field are able to do so because of small amounts of iron material in their tissue...7/10

Why Silk May Be Added To Vaccines Someday

(NPR) Silk is in neckties, scarves and some fancy underwear and pajamas. Before too long, it might just help keep people from getting sick with measles or polio...7/9

Other Stories

Army's Smart 'Sense and Avoid' System Key to Letting Drones Cruise Domestic Skies

(Popular Science) Back in February Congress directed the Federal Aviation Administration to fast-track the integration of unmanned aerial systems into the U.S. national airspace, but it didn’t tell the FAA how exactly to do this...7/9

Sanctions squeeze forces Iran to cut oilfield flow

(Reuters) Tough Western sanctions are forcing Iran to take drastic action and shut off wells at its vast oilfields, reducing production to levels last seen more than two decades ago and costing Tehran billions in lost revenues...7/10