Friday, July 22, 2011
ORNL in the News

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, July 2011

(EurekAlert) PHYSICS – Fueling discovery . . . MATERIALS – Films of remarkable order . . . SENSORS – Palladium power . . . ENERGY – An inside look . . . .7/21

What's Right With Our Schools: UT Science Program

(WBIR-TV) Oak Ridge High School Science teacher Sharon Thomas wanted to show her students how science is really done by bringing them into two world renowned facilities which just happened to be close by, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee....7/21

The Next Generation Of Turbines Go Underwater, And They're Coming Soon

(Fast Company) As the U.S. slowly abandons its dams, more and more pilot programs pop up for deriving power from tides and river currents. "There's a lot of electricity to be had from these devices and probably fewer environmental impacts, says Glenn Cada, senior researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.....7/20


Department of Energy Announces Funding for Nationwide Student-Focused Clean Energy Business Competitions

(DOE Press Release) As part of the Obama Administration's effort to support and empower the next generation of American clean energy entrepreneurs, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced $2 million in available funding for the National University Clean Energy Business Challenge....7/21

Government begins process of merging Y-12 and Pantex nuke contracts

(Knoxville News Sentinel) More than a year after announcing plans to combine the management contracts at two of its nuclear weapons production plants — Y-12 in Oak Ridge and Pantex near Amarillo, Texas — the government finally launched a contract competition....7/21

DOE's Bill Brinkman talks about Holifield, science, and budget-cutters in Washington

(Knoxville News Sentinel) "We would love to have this doubling of the budget that was promised us . . . the promise by Obama that he would double our budget . . . and that really hasn't happened in any way or form. . . It's an interesting time. But, in Washington, it's always an interesting time...."7/22


Debt talks begin critical phase

(Reuters) Efforts to avoid an unprecedented U.S. default enter crunch time on Friday, with President Barack Obama and top lawmakers engaged in a sometimes chaotic drive to strike a sweeping deficit-reduction deal....7/22

Military leaders to certify end of 'don't ask, don't tell' Friday

(Washington Post) Top Pentagon leaders will say Friday that the military is ready to permit gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military, allowing President Obama to formally end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, according to a U.S. official and others familiar with the plans....7/22


energy & science policy

PCAST Examines Future of Scientific Research in U.S.

(AIP Bulletin) Last week the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met to hear from experts about the future of research endeavors in the United States....7/21

science & technology

Poor Peer Review Cited In Retracted DNA Study

(NPR) Scientists are admitting that a scientific finding that seemed too good to be true was too good to be true. The researchers are retracting a study that claimed you could use genetic tools to predict people's likelihood of living to 100....7/22

Race to the Moon Heats Up for Private Firms

(New York Times) Spurred by the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, 29 teams have signed up for a competition to become the first private venture to land on the Moon....7/22

Big Science: The 10 Most Ambitious Experiments in the Universe Today

(Popular Science) These ten awe-inspiring science projects range from the world's largest undersea observatory to the "ultimate microscope" to a Jupiter orbiter on a suicide mission--but they're all massive, often in both size and scope....7/19

Atlantis landing completes space shuttle era

(Washington Post) The 135th and final flight of America's space shuttle fleet ended safely early Thursday, completing the three-decade lifetime of a technologically remarkable and versatile spacecraft....7/21

Vesta rock turns for Dawn probe

(BBC) The giant asteroid Vesta is revealing more of itself to the US space agency's Dawn mission....7/22

Heat wave: Can the power grid handle it?

(Christian Science Monitor) With the upper half of the US in the grip of a heat wave, energy usage is hitting records or near-records. But grid operators say they are prepared for the increased demand....7/21

Mass Extinction Easier to Trigger Than Thought

(Wired) The cataclysmic extinctions that scoured Earth 200 million years ago might have been easier to trigger than expected, with potentially troubling contemporary implications....7/21

Other Stories

Fight over teaching evolution in Texas fizzles

(AP) Unlike the fiery debate that erupted two years ago, an expected fight over teaching evolution in Texas public schools has likely fizzled after state education officials made only minor changes to new science materials for the coming school years....7/22