Tuesday, September 7, 2010
ORNL in the News

Nashville's Stratford High is at forefront in math, science class innovations

(Tennessean) Nashville's Stratford High School, known more for its low graduation rate than its first-rate academics, seems an unlikely place for an education laboratory. But it's one of at least five schools in the state where students will test new lessons and approaches to science and math education before they're adopted in other districts....Tennessee will invest about $37 million in science and math education over the next several years. Of that amount, $15.7 million, will go to Battelle Memorial Institute, an Ohio-based nonprofit that co-manages the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. That group will be responsible for developing and managing the laboratory schools such as Stratford and creating partnerships among schools, companies and universities...9/7

Microscopes look at matter 1 atom at a time

(The Bellingham Herald) Since 1997, Nion has been retrofitting electron microscopes around the world to sharpen their vision. Now, the team is pushing the frontier of microscopy with new instruments capable of seeing and identifying every atom in thin sheets of material...The prowess of Nion's microscopes was featured on the cover of the journal Nature this spring. The lead image clearly shows individual atoms arrayed in a lattice of rings, glowing like Christmas lights."It is quite mind-boggling," said Stephen Pennycook, leader of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's electron microscopy group and a longtime Nion collaborator. "This was new territory for microscopy." ...9/6

New UT/ORNL gig for Lee Riedinger

(Knoxville News Sentinel) UT Physics Prof and former ORNL Deputy Director Lee Riedinger has another role to plug into his resume. He's beren named director of the UTK/ORNL Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. The center is a follow-on to legislation passed earlier this year by the Tennessee General Assembly, which authorized the University of Tennessee -- in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory -- to establish an academic entity for interdisciplinary research and graduate education. The center is supposed to bring along 20 to 40 high-caliber grad students each year and help UT get closer to one of its goals: becoming a Top 25 research university...9/6

NSF award bolsters UT supercomputing

(Knoxville News Sentinel) With a couple of grants totaling $3.4 million, the National Science Foundation is expanding its investment in supercomputing via the University of Tennessee (and its partner, ORNL). According to information released by the university, the National Insitute for Computational Sciences (located at ORNL and managed by UT is adding 300 teraflops to the total capability of the TeraGrid...9/6



Two more Y-12 buildings off 'nuclear facilities' list

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Nuclear materials have been removed from two more facilities at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, allowing the government contractor to downgrade the buildings' security status and take them off the "nuclear facilities" list...9/7

B53 work ahead for Y-12 as plant makes plans to dismantle nuke components

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Y-12 nuclear weapons plant is getting ready for the big one. In this case, the big one is the B53, one of the most powerful nuclear weapons ever built. The Oak Ridge plant is making plans to begin dismantling components from those bombs in coming months...9/6

State & Regional

Discovering new species: Managers of project now helping find life around the world

(Knoxville News Sentinel) For more than a decade, Discover Life in America has discovered 7,489 species of plants and animals in the Great Smoky Mountains. Now, the managers of the ambitious science project are helping others discover new species around the world...9/7


Obama Offers a Transit Plan to Create Jobs

(NY Times) President Obama, looking to stimulate a sluggish economy and create jobs, called Monday for Congress to approve major upgrades to the nation’s roads, rail lines and runways — part of a six-year plan that would cost tens of billions of dollars and create a government-run bank to finance innovative transportation projects...9/6

East Tennessee

Second Skin

(Business TN) A UT-Knoxville professor discovers ivy may hold the key to a better sunscreen...recent studies have shown that the small-scale metal oxides in sunscreen can wind up in organs such as the liver or brain. But a University of Tennessee professor has found a better alternative than the toxicity involved the use of metal-based nanoparticles in sunscreen. In a word, ivy...8/31

UT Knoxville welcomes first Entrepreneur Fellows

(USA Today) The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is kicking off its MBA Entrepreneur Fellow program this fall, where students are paid to start a business while earning their degrees. According to a news release from the UT College of Business Administration, it is the only program of its kind in the country...9/7

energy & science policy

Wind Power Wanes With Fading Federal Incentives

(NPR) Wind power, one of the largest segments of the renewable energy market, will experience a sharp decline in growth this year. The slowdown comes as a surprise because the stimulus bill, which President Obama signed into law 18 months ago, included a big boost for renewable forms of electricity in the form of $43 billion for energy projects...9/6

Inside Energy Extra

9/3 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- BP removes Macondo well BOP
- US to probe Mariner explosion in gulf
- NIST issues smart-grid security rules
- Yucca commission to meet in late Sept.
- Mine regulators to focus on air, gas

science & technology

In Feast of Data on BPA Plastic, No Final Answer

(NY Times) The research has been going on for more than 10 years. Studies number in the hundreds. Millions of dollars have been spent. But government health officials still cannot decide whether the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, a component of some plastics, is safe. The substance lines most food and drink cans, and is used to make hard, clear plastic bottles, containers and countless other products. Nearly everyone is exposed to it...9/6

Un-Natural Selection: Human Evolution's Next Steps

(NPR) Human beings are defying nature. Or at least we’re trying to. For billions of years, species have evolved by natural selection, the process by which genetic mutations that help an organism survive are passed on from one generation to the next and harmful ones are eliminated...John Hawks, an anthropologist and geneticist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, says we've created a lifestyle that is at odds with the one natural selection provided us with...9/6

Melting Rate of Icecaps in Greenland and Western Antarctica Lower Than Expected

(Science News) The Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps are melting at half the speed previously predicted, according to analysis of recent satellite data...9/6

Other Stories

Eye Scanner Security Tech Is Ready for a Public Debut

(Popular Mechanics) Manufacturers of eye scanners that identify people by their irises tout the technology as the 21st-­century equivalent of fingerprint analysis. But scanners have been limited by their 6-inch range, as well as their sensitivity to movement and obstructions (such as stray lashes). Now Honeywell has built a Combined Face and Iris Recognition System (CFAIRS), which extends the range of iris scans to 16 feet...8/30