Friday, August 24, 2012
ORNL in the News

Biofuel from biomass one step closer to reality thanks to discovery to manipulate ‘hot’ microbes

(Noodls) The single most important barrier to the use of lignocellulosic biomass such as switchgrass, populous, sorghum and miscanthus for production of biofuels is the resistant nature of the biomass itself...Paul Gilna, the director of the BioEnergy Science Center headquartered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, adds, "The work of Dr. Westpheling and her team at UGA to develop these genetic tools is a real breakthrough for BESC that will open the way to allow us to further develop the Caldicellulosiruptor bacteria as a new platform for the efficient conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into fuels"...8/23


BatteriesBetter Batteries: Charged Up Over Energy Storage

(The Atlantic) Increasing interest in storing energy for the nation's power grid and the desire to extend the range of electric vehicles is attracting millions for research and development of more efficient battery systems...8/23

State & Regional

TN housing agency spurns federal funds

(The Tennessean) The state's housing agency turned down the chance to apply for $12 million in federal rental assistance for people with disabilities — overruling a recommendation by its own staff and by the state's TennCare Medicaid agency...8/24

Walking Horse AbuseTennessee Walking Horse Show Will Inspect for Abuse of Horses

(ABC News) As the world's largest Tennessee Walking Horse competition kicks off today in Shelbyville, Tennessee, there will be unprecedented inspections of the horses to check for signs of the abuse that has brought much recent scrutiny to the sport...8/22







DroughtDrought eases for some U.S. states, worsens for others

(Reuters) Rainfall and cooler temperatures have combined to ease slightly the grip that the worst U.S. drought in over five decades is holding on some key farming states, but the suffering expanded in many others...8/23

Syrian RebelsThe public – and private – reasons the US isn't arming Syrian rebels

(CS Monitor) As evidence grows of human rights abuses and war crimes being committed on both sides in Syria's civil war, the United States is sticking publicly with its decision to provide only nonlethal equipment to the rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad...8/23

East Tennessee

Federal judge rules TVA liable for coal ash spill

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A federal judge has ruled that TVA is liable for the failure of a storage cell which led to a massive ash spill in Roane County.


science & technology

Father’s Age Is Linked to Risk of Autism and Schizophrenia

(New York Times) Older men are more likely than young ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia, because of random mutations that become more numerous with advancing paternal age, scientists reported on Wednesday, in the first study to quantify the effect as it builds each year...8/23

More Exoplanets Discovered: 41 New Transiting Planets in Kepler Field of View

(Science Daily) Two newly submitted studies verify 41 new transiting planets in 20 star systems. These results may increase the number of Kepler's confirmed planets by more than 50 percent: to 116 planets hosted in 67 systems, over half of which contain more than one planet...8/23

NIH's Millionaires to Get Extra Scrutiny

(Science Magazine) Some well-funded biomedical researchers may have to tighten their belts under a new funding policy announced yesterday by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)...8/21

Other Stories

Solyndra tubesSolyndra's glass tubes find second life as modern art

(Silicon Valley News) ...Oakland architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello used 1,368 of the glass tubes to create "SOL Grotto," an architectural sculpture on display in the lush grounds of the University of California Botanical Garden in Berkeley...8/23

USADA to strip Lance Armstrong of 7 Tour titles

(Knoxville News Sentinel) With stunning swiftness, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday night it will strip Lance Armstrong of his unprecedented seven Tour de France titles after he dropped his fight against drug charges that threatened his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists of all time...8/23

Out there

A Real Working Hoverbike Zooms Across the Desert

(Popular Science) Future tech doesn't always look the way the '70s might've predicted, but sometimes it does. Case in point: this beautiful, fully functional hoverbike that could've been torn out of our archives. It's going to be a while before you see one zipping down the street, but if the public does get a chance to ride one, the bike is rideable right out of the box--no training required.