Thursday, August 23, 2012
ORNL in the News

Extracting uranium from seawater

(PhysOrg) The combination of ORNL's high-capacity reusable adsorbents and a Florida company's high-surface-area polyethylene fibers creates a material that can rapidly, selectively and economically extract valuable and precious dissolved metals from water..."We have shown that our adsorbents can extract five to seven times more uranium at uptake rates seven times faster than the world's best adsorbents," said Chris Janke, one of the inventors and a member of ORNL's Materials Science and Technology Division....8/21

ORNL researchers probe invisible vacancies in fuel cell materials

(PhysOrg) Knowing the position of missing oxygen atoms could be the key to cheaper solid oxide fuel cells with longer lifetimes. New microscopy research from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is enabling scientists to map these vacancies at an atomic scale...8/22

Food and water safety provide new challenges for today’s sensors

( shortcomings are important as they relate to safeguarding food and water supplies, said Ali Passian, lead author of a Perspective paper published in ACS Nano...8/23


Obama Extends Federal Pay Freeze

(AP) President Barack Obama told congressional leaders Tuesday that he is extending a two-year pay freeze for federal employees until at least next spring...8/22

State and Regional

Biofuels Boondoggle? State's Investment in Switchgrass Doesn't Reap Benefits

(Metro Pulse) In 2007, when state government was flush with revenue, then-Gov. Phil Bredesen channeled $70 million to the University of Tennessee for what was called the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative. The goal was to demonstrate the feasibility of converting what was envisioned to become hundreds of thousands of acres of home-grown switchgrass into cellulosic ethanol for motor fuel processing plants throughout the state that would both boost Tennessee’s economy and help reduce the nation’s dependence on imported oil...8/22

East Tennessee

Maryville photographer uses unmanned aerial vehicle technology

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Neil Crosby is an East Tennessee photographer, but his latest tool looks more like a Hollywood prop. Crosby's Maryille-based firm, PhotoPlay Aerials, has begun using an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, for projects involving still photography and video shoots...8/23

Princeton Review Ranks UT Among Best National Colleges

(Tennessee Today) The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, continues to be one of the nation’s best undergraduate institutions, according to The Princeton Review’s new “The Best 377 Colleges” list...8/22

energy & science policy

Bring It: A Call for Candidates to Debate Science Policy

(Scientific American) Scientists and concerned citizens ask the 2012 presidential candidates and leaders in Congress to discuss science and technology...8/21

science & technology

Electric Car Owners All Plug In at Once

(Scientific American) ...So would car owners all plug in at similar times? Early statistics from a concentration of electric car owners in Texas say, yes, they would...8/21

Darpa Has Seen the Future of Computing … And It’s Analog

(Wired News) ...The way Darpa sees it, today’s computers — especially those used by mobile spy cameras in drones and helicopters that have to do a lot of image processing — are starting to hit a dead end. The problem isn’t processing. It’s power...8/22

High hopes for Brazilian science funding windfall

(Nature) Brazil’s Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (MCTI) has unveiled a four-year, US$250 million fund to develop the country’s software industry, and put forward a proposal to funnel an additional $750 million into broader research and development work...8/22

Other Stories

As Barges Sit Idle Along the Mississippi, the Economic Costs Grow

(Time) Close to 100 tows sit motionless in the shriveled Mississippi River along an 11-mile stretch outside of Greenville, Miss. For every day a single towboat sits idle, it costs about $10,000. So when you’ve got at least 97 of them stranded, those costs start piling up quickly...8/22

Russia, US spar over threat posed by Syria's chemical weapons

(CS Monitor) Russia sought to reassure the international community about the security and possible use of Syria's chemical weapons after Obama warned the Assad regime about 'red lines.'...8/22