Thursday, September 20, 2012
ORNL in the News

Growing better poplars for biofuels

(PhysOrg) "We can't wait that long to develop better crops for biofuels," says Victor Busov, a plant geneticist at Michigan Technological University's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. "We need to move faster to meet the needs of tomorrow, and the only way we can do that is through knowledge."...Michigan Tech will work with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the 3-year study...9/20

SNS Researchers Overcome the Freezing Sample Problem in Biostudies

(Lab Manager Magazine) Researchers at the Spallation Neutron Source BASIS beam line at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have successfully developed a method to study biomolecules (proteins) at temperatures far below freezing using a lithium chloride preparation in the aqueous solvent that prevents freezing...9/19

Early ORNL workers to get help in collecting for cancer

(Knoxville News Sentinel) It appears likely that early workers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will gain a special status that makes it easier for them to collect from the government's compensation program for sick nuclear workers...9/20

ORNL roof, attic design proves efficient in summer, winter

(Oak Ridge Today) A new roof-and-attic system tested at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory keeps homes cool in summer and prevents heat loss in winter, a press release said...“Heat that would have gone into the house is carried up and out,” says Bill Miller of ORNL’s Building Envelope Group. “And with a passive ventilation scheme, there are no moving parts, so it’s guaranteed to work.”...9/19

DOE

B&W Y-12 donates $15,000 to Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge

(Oak Ridge Today) B&W Y-12 recently donated $15,000 to the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. The money will be used to turn the museum’s current space exhibit into a “Rocket Room,” taking children on an imaginary trip to Mars. An existing model rocket at the museum will be refurbished, and new interactive activities will bring outer space to preschoolers and other young children...9/18

Weapons plant contractor denies test cheating

(AP) The security contractor at a Tennessee nuclear weapons plant has said there was no intentional wrongdoing when test information was distributed inappropriately to guards in advance of a security evaluation...9/19

Will security mess decide Y-12 contract?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) One of the open-ended questions since the July 28 break-in at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant has been this: How will the unprecedented security breach at Oak Ridge affect the ongoing contract competition to determine who's going to manage Y-12 and its production partner, the Pantex warhead assembly/disassembly plant in Texas?...9/19

National

Census: In 2011, Number Of Poor Americans Increased

(NPR) The United States Census just released its yearly American Community Survey, which uses a sample of the U.S. population to provide information on everything from disability to race and ethnicity...9/20

East Tennessee

Secret City Film Festival: Not So Secret Anymore

(Metro Pulse) Entering its ninth year, the annual Secret City Film Festival is hitting the highway and relocating to Knoxville...9/12

UT researchers find natural playgrounds more beneficial to kids

(WATE-TV) The results are in from a new playground safety study at the University of Tennessee. Researchers looked at the difference between traditional vs. natural playgrounds...9/19

State & Regional

Nashville Turns an Eyesore into an Energy-Efficient Asset

(Energy.gov) The year was 1908, and Nashville, Tennessee, businessman Arthur Dyer erected a six-story, 5,000-square-foot office building on the east bank of the Cumberland River for his newly founded Nashville Bridge Company...9/19

energy & science policy

Sandia, OurEnergyPolicy.org release 'Goals of Energy Policy' poll results

(PhysOrg) U.S. energy policy should simultaneously pursue security of its energy supply, economic stability and reduced environmental impacts, says a national poll of energy professionals jointly prepared by Sandia National Laboratories and OurEnergyPolicy.org...9/12

science & technology

Out of disorder comes electricity

(Nature) ...for decades, physicists have toyed with ways to convert heat into electricity directly. Materials known as thermoelectrics use temperature differences to drive electrons from one end to another...9/19

Nanotubes: Stepping Up Energy Storage

(National Geographic News) A ladybug perches on carbon nanotubes stretched between copper wires; some scientists believe these tiny straws—each about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair—hold big promise for better batteries to power plug-in cars...9/14

A Computer Chip That Can Assemble Itself?

(Science Daily) Imagine a computer chip that can assemble itself. According to Eric M. Furst, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Delaware, engineers and scientists are closer to making this and other scalable forms of nanotechnology a reality as a result of new milestones in using nanoparticles as building blocks in functional materials...9/19

Wind Power Plentiful, Study Says

(NPR) Wind energy could theoretically meet all the planet's energy needs, says a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Mark Jacobson, one of the report's authors, and Liz Salerno of the American Wind Energy Association discuss wind power in the US...9/14

Other Stories

Popular Atomics: Periodic Table Is New Touchstone of Geek Chic

(Wall Street Journal) The Vaxholm Fortress Museum near here has exhibits on its defense of Stockholm and on the local artillery regiment. But visitors increasingly come to see a one-room display that has no guns, bullets or soldiers. It is devoted to the periodic table of elements...9/19

Father Of Pakistan's Nukes Enters Politics

(NPR) The man known as the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Kahn, is a national hero in Pakistan — and a villain in much of the West. Now, the controversial scientist is trying his hand at politics at the age of 76...9/19