Friday, July 30, 2010
ORNL in the News

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 2010

(PhysOrg) COMPUTING -- Battling bugs . . . ; DATA -- Bird watching by satellite . . . ; HEALTH CARE -- Strength in numbers . . . ; PHYSICS -- Surprising nucleon behavior . . . ; DNA REPAIR -- Molecular machines . . . 7/29

Brown University Reports Advance in Fuel-Cell Technology

(Electrical Contractor) Creating catalysts that can operate efficiently and last a long time is a big barrier to taking fuel-cell technology from the lab bench to the assembly line. The precious metal platinum has been the choice for many researchers, but platinum has two major drawbacks: it is expensive, and it breaks down over time in fuel-cell reactions. In a new study, chemists at Brown University report a promising advancement. The research team, which includes Brown graduate student and co-author Vismadeb Mazumder and researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, created a 5-nanometer palladium core and encircled it with a shell consisting of iron and platinum....7/29

NOAA Supercomputer Tapped For Climate Change Research

(Information Week) A new supercomputer operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association -- the most powerful one the agency has -- will soon be used exclusively for climate research. The 14-cabinet, 260-teraflop system -- a Cray XT6 called "Climate" -- is expected to be operational by Oct. 1, said Buddy Bland, the project director for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, via email....7/29

Michael K. Miller named UT-Battelle Corporate Fellow

(Lab Manager Magazine) UT-Battelle has appointed Michael K. Miller of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory a UT-Battelle Corporate Fellow. The honor is reserved as the highest level of recognition for career achievements in science and technology, performance and leadership. Miller, of ORNL's Materials Science and Technology Division, is recognized as one of the premier scientific leaders in the field of atom probe ion microscopy and atom probe tomography. He has pioneered the application of these techniques to a broad range of materials, statistical data, analysis methods and new instrument design....7/29


This Nuke Renaissance thing is sort of tricky

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Richard Toohey, an executive at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, which manages ORISE, and a former president of the Health Physics Society, said he thinks the long-term trend will be a positive one. In a statement released by the institute, Toohey said, "B.S. and M.S. degrees are most in demand in the nuclear industry and government agencies today to staff up for the inevitable nuclear renaissance."...7/30


Obama refuses to budge on Race to the Top education reforms

(Christian Science Monitor) ) Many critics of President Obama's Race to the Top education reforms come from core constituencies of his own party. Mr. Obama took a stand for Race to the Top in a speech Thursday....7/30

Crews Race To Clean Up Oil Spill In Michigan

(NPR) Crews are working Friday in southwest Michigan to clean up as much as 1 million gallons of crude oil that spilled from a broken pipeline into the Kalamazoo River. There are concerns that the oil could reach Lake Michigan if not stopped soon....7/30


energy & science policy

Nuclear Forensics Skill Is Declining in U.S., Report Says

(New York Times) The nation's ability to identify the source of a nuclear weapon used in a terrorist attack is fragile and eroding, according to a report released Thursday by the National Research Council....7/30

science & technology

Ocean greenery under warming stress

(Nature News) Marine phytoplankton — the vast range of tiny algae species accounting for roughly half of Earth's total photosynthetic biomass — have declined substantially in the world's oceans over the past century, researchers report in Nature1 this week....7/28

Mars site may hold 'buried life'

(BBC News) Researchers have identified rocks that they say could contain the fossilised remains of life on early Mars. The team made their discovery in the ancient rocks of Nili Fossae....7/29

Flying Car or Roadable Aircraft?

(National Geographic) For anyone who's ever wanted to skip airport security lines and boarding delays, a newly designed flying car may pave the way for future personal transportation....7/28

Genome Surprise: Guinea Pigs Have Ebola!

(Wired) The ebola virus is one of the nastiest pathogens known to man. It corrodes blood vessels and stops clotting, leaving most of its human victims bleeding to death through their pores. And guinea pigs — along with opossums, wallabies and insect-eating bats — have it in their genes....7/30

Other Stories

US gas stations: Stay BP or change name to Amoco?

(Forbes) BP gas station owners across the country are divided over whether the oil giant stained by its handling of the Gulf spill should rebrand U.S. outlets as Amoco or another name as part of its effort to repair the company's badly damaged reputation....7/30

China overtakes Japan as No.2 economy: FX chief

(Reuters) China has overtaken Japan to become the world's second-largest economy, the fruit of three decades of rapid growth that has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty....7/30