Wednesday, July 27, 2011
ORNL in the News

New spin on friction-stir

(PhysOrg) Researchers Zhili Feng, Alan Frederic and Stan David in Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Materials S&T Division have made significant progress toward a new metal processing technique, called friction-stir extrusion, that could represent a major advance in converting recyclable materials -- such as alloys of aluminum, magnesium and titanium alloys, and even high-temperature superconductors -- to useful products....7/26

UT gets $18M to work on supercomputer grid

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The University of Tennessee has received an $18 million grant from the National Science Foundation for work on a new supercomputing grid to better link the nation's high-performance computers and research facilities. The work will be carried out at the National Institute for Computational Sciences....7/27

McCarthy Completes Oak Ridge National Laboratory Facility to House Breakthrough Energy Research

(Business Wire) McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of the nation's leading science and technology builders, recently completed the new $95 million, state-of-the-art Chemical and Materials Sciences Building for the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory....7/26


Centerpoint Energy and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman Announce Results of Pilot Project on Home Energy Use

(DOE Press Release) Based on surveys, 71 percent of customers reported that they have changed their electricity consumption behavior as a result of the energy use data they accessed on their in-home displays....7/26

East Tennessee

TVA considering changes to flood-control barriers

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Two years after spending millions to install sand baskets on four East Tennessee dams, the Tennessee Valley Authority is considering removing or replacing the controversial flood barriers....7/27


Boehner, Reid scramble to build support for rival debt-limit plans

(Washington Post) Washington barreled closer to crisis as House Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid scrambled to build support for rival plans to control the national debt, but both appeared doomed without significant modifications....7/27

What's Wrong With America's Job Engine?

(Wall Street Journal) Slow growth, the aftereffects of the credit bust and changes in the way the job market works and how employers view labor have combined to make the jobless recovery the new norm....7/27

Other Stories

Digital Maps Are Giving Scholars the Historical Lay of the Land

(New York Times) What could Gen. Robert E. Lee actually see when he issued a series of fateful orders that turned the tide against the Confederate Army nearly 150 years ago? Now historians have a new tool that can help....7/26


energy & science policy

U.S. proposes rule changes for human-subject research

(Washington Post) The federal government on Friday proposed sweeping revisions to rules governing scientific research involving human subjects with the intent of extending protections to a larger number of people while simultaneously streamlining the oversight and paperwork required of scientists....7/23

Inside Energy Extra

7/26 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Drop-in fuels gain notice in government
** US expands renewable-fuel crop program
** Impact of NRC review seen manageable
** EPA delays new ozone standard

science & technology

Evolution Right Under Our Noses

(New York Times) A small but growing number of field biologists study urban evolution — the biological changes that cities bring to the wildlife that inhabits them....7/26

Time travel: Light speed results cast fresh doubts

(BBC) Physicists show single photons cannot exceed the vacuum speed of light - meaning that the simplest form of time travel is impossible....7/26

Fukushima long ranked most hazardous plant

(Reuters) Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant ranked as one of the most dangerous in the world for radiation exposure years before it was destroyed by the meltdowns and explosions that followed the March 11 earthquake....7/26

Biological Interface Using Piezotronics: Nanowires Allow Electrical Signals to Be Produced from Mechanical Actions

(Science Daily) Taking advantage of the unique properties of zinc oxide nanowires, researchers have demonstrated a new type of piezoelectric resistive switching device in which the write-read access of memory cells is controlled by electromechanical modulation....7/27

How the Heat Wave Started

(Wired) The recent, record-setting heat wave appears to have been triggered by a little-noticed patch of storm activity off the western coast of Central America....7/26