Wednesday, August 29, 2012
ORNL in the News

National Lab, Software Company Form Text Analysis Subsidiary

(Science Business) Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee formed a subsidiary with Professional Project Services (Pro2Serve), an engineering company in Oak Ridge, to provide text analysis services using software developed at the lab...8/28

Rising costs on high-rad project leaves other work undone

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The cleanup and removal of old hot cells at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, one of the big efforts funded with Recovery Act money, has been a devilish project ever since it was awarded about three years ago...8/29


plant geneDiscovery of plant gene lays groundwork for improved biofuel processing

(Online Athens) Since 2007, researchers at the BioEnergy Science Center, one of three Department of Energy-funded research centers, have partnered to figure out how to break down plants so that they easily release the simple sugars that can be processed into biofuels...The three centers are coordinated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Michigan State University...8/28


Solyndra backers could reap big tax breaks; U.S. wants details

(Reuters) Two investment firms could walk away from the bankruptcy of solar panel maker Solyndra LLC with hundreds of millions of dollars in future tax breaks, the U.S. government said in court papers seeking more information on the arrangement...8/27

Union contests firing of Y-12 security guard

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The International Guards Union of America is contesting the firing of a Y-12 security police officer who was the first to encounter three protesters who broke into the plant's high-security area...8/27

State & Regional

Road Work signTN has road map for better transportation

(The Tennessean) The Tennessee Department of Transportation has nine times more projects in its work plan than it has funding to build. There is no way we can afford all the projects, particularly in the current economic and budget climate...8/27


Isaac heading slowly toward New Orleans

(CBS News) Hurricane Isaac knocked out power, flooded roads and pushed water over the top of a rural Louisiana levee before dawn Wednesday as it began a slow, drenching slog toward a newly fortified New Orleans, seven years to the day after a much stronger Katrina pummeled the city...8/29

Ben BernankeAll ears turn to Bernanke's Jackson Hole speech Friday

(USA Today) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech Friday morning in Jackson Hole, Wyo., is morphing into a modern-day E.F. Hutton-like moment on Wall Street...8/28

Shaking 'swarm' fuels California's quake jitters

(Yahoo News) A "quake swarm" that has shaken southern California with hundreds of moderate temblors in quick succession is fueling jitters in the Golden State, long braced for the Big One...8/28

East Tennessee

Immigration advocates protest Knox law enforcement treatment

(WATE News) Undocumented immigrants and supporters blocked traffic Tuesday in downtown Knoxville to protest law enforcement ties to federal programs. Four were detained by officers. Three of the four were cited for blocking traffic...8/29

energy & science policy

FY 2013 Senate Defense Appropriations Bill: Science and Technology Programs

(AIP) Before leaving for its summer recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2013 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill.  Passed by a vote of 30-0, this was the eleventh of twelve FY 2013 appropriations bills (leaving only the Interior-Environment bill outstanding) to be approved by Senate appropriators...8/28

science & technology

Mars Rover PictureMars Rover Curiosity Photographs Its Destination, Enormous Mount Sharp

(Popular Science) Since we don't have the usual landmarks on Mars that we enjoy on Earth, it can be tough to get a sense of scale for the great shots we've seen from Mars rover Curiosity. In this photo of Mount Sharp--Curiosity's scientific destination--the mound in the center of the image is about 1,000 feet across and 300 feet high...8/28

Long-Held Theory On Human Gestation Refuted: Mother’s Metabolism, Not Birth Canal Size, Limits Gestation

(Science Daily) New research by a University of Rhode Island professor suggests that the length of human pregnancy is limited primarily by a mother's metabolism, not the size of the birth canal. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of August 27, challenges the long-held notion of an evolutionary trade-off between childbirth and a pelvis adapted for walking upright...8/27


Building blocks of life found around young star

(PhysOrg) A team of astronomers has found molecules of glycolaldehyde -- a simple form of sugar -- in the gas surrounding a young binary star, with similar mass to the Sun, called IRAS 16293-2422. This is the first time sugar been found in space around such a star, and the discovery shows that the building blocks of life are in the right place, at the right time, to be included in planets forming around the star.

Out there

Fire-breathing dragonYou Built What?!: A Fire-Breathing, Jet-Powered Dragon

(Popular Science) Richard Hamel was watching the 2010 animated film How to Train Your Dragon with his grandchildren when he noticed something odd about the tails of the flying beasts. Hamel, a longtime radio-control plane builder, realized that those appendages resembled an unconventional aircraft design feature known as an inverted V-tail...8/28