Wednesday, September 15, 2010
ORNL in the News

UT's Remote Data Analysis and Visualization Center enters full production

(PhysOrg) Nautilus, the powerful computer for visualizing and analyzing large datasets at the Remote Data Analysis and Visualization Center, goes into full production on September 20. Managed by the University of Tennessee and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, RDAV and Nautilus provide scientists with cutting-edge capabilities for analyzing and visualizing massive quantities of data. Louis Gross, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and mathematics at the University of Tennessee and director of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis says, "Our objective is to increase the ability of biologists to interpret and analyze complex, multivariate data to address fundamental and applied questions in the life sciences."...9/14

Scientists reveal battery behavior at the nanoscale

(Science Daily) As industries and consumers increasingly seek improved battery power sources, cutting-edge microscopy performed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is providing an unprecedented perspective on how lithium-ion batteries function. A research team led by ORNL's Nina Balke, Stephen Jesse and Sergei Kalinin has developed a new type of scanning probe microscopy called electrochemical strain microscopy (ESM) to examine the movement of lithium ions through a battery's cathode material. The research, "Nanoscale mapping of ion diffusion in a lithium-ion battery cathode" (Balke et al.), is published in Nature Nanotechnology....9/14



Corker co-sponsors Lugar resolution on New START; links modernization of U.S. complex

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee today said he is co-sponsoring the resolution of ratification on New START put forward by Sen. Richard Lugar, the Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee....9/14

Rep. Duncan grills DOE on K-33 demolition contract; Triay defends award as 'best value'

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Congressman John J. Duncan Jr. is raising questions about a Department of Energy contract award for the demolitiion of the K-33 building, which reportedly went to the highest bidder in the small-biz competition earlier this year....9/14

Other Stories

Iran's nuclear power plant launch stirring unease

(Los Angeles Times) Bushehr is set to begin producing electricity this month and connect to Iran's power grid by the end of the year. Experts say the light-water reactor is vastly different and less potentially dangerous than the graphite-moderated reactor that exploded in Chernobyl, Russia, in 1986. "Fortunately they don't make those reactors anymore," said Behrad Nakhai, an Iranian American nuclear scientist in New York who worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. "The likelihood of damage to people or damage to the environment is almost nonexistent [at Bushehr]. It's very low."...9/15



G.O.P. Insurgents Win in Del. and N.Y.

(New York Times) The Tea Party movement scored another victory on Tuesday, helping to propel a dissident Republican, Christine O'Donnell, to an upset win over Representative Michael N. Castle in the race for the United States Senate nomination in Delaware....9/15

BP's Hayward To Testify To UK Lawmakers On Spill

(NPR) Outgoing BP CEO Hayward comes under scrutiny from British lawmakers Wednesday about the Gulf spill....9/15

State & Regional

Incentive plan vexes solar power supporters

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A considerable chunk of proposed renewable energy projects in startup mode across the Tennessee Valley will use biomass as their power source - but where they are located and who is developing them is yet to be disclosed....9/14



energy & science policy

Separating New START from 'abolition agenda'

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ) Ambassador Linton Brooks was in town last week for an appearance at the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy, and he was drumming up support for New START....9/15

U.S. Meat Farmers Brace for Limits on Antibiotics

(New York Times) After decades of debate, the Food and Drug Administration appears poised to issue stronger rules on antibiotics, intended to reduce what it calls a clear risk to humans....9/14

Inside Energy Extra

9/14 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Senate vote on EPA funds scratched
** DOE cleanup in S.C. up $1.4B: GAO
** Deepwater concerns added to NPC study
** Senator urges DOE aid for building work
** Factory jobs not only R&D payoff: panel

science & technology

Miniature nuclear reactors might be a safe, efficient source of power

(Washington Post) Take a mental stroll through the streets of Anytown, U.S.A. City hall is on your left, the movie theater on your right. Smell the delights from the bakery. And in the distance, there's the gentle steam plume billowing from the cooling tower of the miniature nuclear reactor that powers the quaint little burg....9/14 [Registration Required]

Protecting Tigers' Final Strongholds

(Wired) The world's remaining tigers are clustered in just a few dozen small areas that could serve as source populations for a recovery, but only if resources are in place to keep poachers out....9/15

With DNA of chocolate nearly decoded by scientists, could sweeter treats await?

(Washington Post) A group of researchers led by McLean candy company Mars is nearly done sequencing the genome of the cacao tree, which produces the seeds used to make cocoa. The information will speed up the process for creating a stronger tree that is more resistant to disease and easier to grow for millions of farmers....9/15 [Registration Required]

Sunspots could soon disappear for decades: study

(PhysOrg) Sunspot formation is triggered by a magnetic field, which scientists say is steadily declining. They predict that by 2016 there may be no remaining sunspots, and the sun may stay spotless for several decades. The last time the sunspots disappeared altogether was in the 17th and 18th century, and coincided with a lengthy cool period on the planet known as the Little Ice Age....9/15