Friday, September 24, 2010
ORNL in the News

Researchers study effects of magnetism on marine life

(FIS) Scientists with the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are employing super-sized electromagnetic coils to help them understand how marine life would respond to renewable energy devices that may be placed along the country's coasts and rivers. Meanwhile, scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are analysing how electromagnetic fields generated by hydrokinetic devices used in rivers and streams might impact freshwater animals...9/23

UT's Nautilus: a power tool for data visualization

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The University of Tennessee's Remote Data Analysis and Visualization Center has improved capabilities with the Nautilus supercomputer now in full production mode. "As our simulations grow larger and larger, visualization and the associated data analysis are absolutely essential in producing scientific insight from computation," ORNL astrophysicist Bronson Messer said in a statement....9/23

Making Each Other More Human

(Science) By working and living together for nearly 5 decades, cell biologists Donald and Ada Olins have shown that it can be done. Their joint signature on letters and e-mails -- DnA -- is apt because the architecture of chromatin, that repository of genetic material, has been the focus of their long, joint research career. Both Olinses finished their Ph.D.s and secured postdocs at Dartmouth Medical School. After the postdoc, they took jobs at the biology division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee....9/24

Mathematicians to Tackle Climate Change Issues Through New NSF-Funded Virtual Organization

(Newswise) A new project funded by the National Science Foundation links researchers at leading U.S. universities to study the mathematical problems related to climate change research. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill leads the Mathematics and Climate Change Network, with the Renaissance Computing Institute providing logistical support and cyber tools to support the creation of a virtual organization spanning the U.S. The network's mathematicians will work closely with climate scientists at research centers such as the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National Climatic Data Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory....9/23



Secretary Chu Announces Latest Efforts to Address Cybersecurity

(DOE Press Release) Speaking at the inaugural GridWise Global Forum, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the investment of more than $30 million for ten projects that will address cybersecurity issues facing the nation's electric grid. Together, these projects represent a significant investment in addressing cybersecurity issues in the nation's electric infrastructure....9/23

Other Stories

Cyber Command chief suggests Pentagon networks are vulnerable

(Christian Science Monitor) In his first hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, new US Cyber Command head Gen. Keith Alexander offered a troubling window into the threats that Pentagon networks face at the hands of terrorist and criminal syndicates, foreign intelligence organizations, and "hacktivists" intent on infiltrating power grids and financial networks....9/23


Senate Democrats Delay Vote On Bush Tax Cuts

(NPR) President Barack Obama has made the tax cuts a priority. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to delay any vote after a meeting with other Senate Democrats failed to produce a consensus on how to proceed....9/24

State & Regional

Tennessee wins $35 million to reward teachers at tough schools

(Tennessean) Teachers in some of Tennessee's toughest schools will win bonuses of up to $10,000 under a federal grant aimed at rewarding effective educators willing to take on a challenge. The state won $35 million for the effort, one of 32 groups picked by the U.S. Department of Education for a payout from the $1.2 billion Teacher Incentive Fund....9/24



science & technology

Weeks of wet, cool weather set to oust summer drought

(USA Today) Blistering heat and relentless drought should give way to a wetter, cooler weather pattern — and potentially an onslaught of tropical storms — across the eastern and southern USA over the next few weeks....9/24

Glitch delays space station crew's return to Earth

(PhysOrg) An undocking error Friday prevented the Soyuz capsule from leaving the International Space Station, forcing three crew members to remain an extra day in orbit, Russian space officials said....9/24

Scientists excited by Big Bang machine experiments

(Washington Post) Scientists say the Large Hadron Collider may be on the verge of its first scientific breakthroughs. They say the $10 billion atom smasher under the Swiss-French border appears to have recreated at a small level the matter that existed in the first moments of the universe....9/22 [Registration Required]

Gulf oil spill volume estimated from video

(BBC News) US scientists who have analysed videos of the oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon well say about 4.4 million barrels of crude escaped into the Gulf. This new figure is in good agreement with calculations produced by federal government advisers who used different estimation techniques....9/23

Nobel Winner in Physiology Retracts Two Papers

(New York Times) Linda B. Buck, who shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for deciphering the workings of the sense of smell, has retracted two scientific papers after she and her colleagues were unable to repeat the findings....9/23

Florida Panthers Saved by Texas Cousins

(Discovery News) Plenty of people hated the idea in 1995, but borrowing some genes from Texas has improved prospects for endangered Florida panthers, a new report says. Hybrids of the Florida cats and cousins of the same species from a wild-caught Texas population have twice the genetic variety and far fewer of the genetic defects that were known in Floridian panthers before the introduction, says geneticist Warren Johnson of the National Cancer Institute in Fredrick, Md....9/23

Venus' Polar Vortex Is Surprisingly Wild

(Wired) The long-sought double hurricane at Venus' south pole has disappeared. New images from ESA's Venus Express spacecraft show that the so-called polar vortex, which was thought to swirl steadily around the planet's poles at all times, is actually a chaotic maelstrom....9/23