Thursday, September 25, 2014
ORNL in the News

Discovery opens doors to building better plants

(PhysOrg) The survival of the vast majority of plants, including those that people rely on for food, depends on their ability to build strong but flexible cell walls. A key component of these walls is a polysaccharide called xylan..."The work we've done gives us the fundamental knowledge we need to manipulate plants for industry and agriculture," said Will York, who is a member of the Bioenergy Science Center, a partnership of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Georgia and other university and industry partners...9/25

World Renowned Neuroscientists to Lead Brain Research Efforts in Knoxville

(Global Newswire) Two of the world's most renowned neuroscientists will lead a collaborative team of researchers in the Knoxville region to advance research studies of the brain...9/24

Molten salt nuclear reactors: Part of America's Long-term energy future?

(Forbes) ...a small number of analysts and companies are suggesting that it is time to re-evaluate various molten salt reactor technologies using thorium, spent nuclear fuel, or low enriched fuel. And it is not only the U.S. that is looking at this technology...9/22

Research team stays ahead of the computing curve in monumental climate modeling project

(PhysOrg) Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one of eight Department of Energy laboratories that will use high-performance computing (HPC) to develop the most sophisticated Earth system model to date for climate change research with scientific and energy applications...9/24

Science and Technology

Scientists seen as competent but not trusted by Americans

(PhysOrg) If scientists want the public to trust their research suggestions, they may want to appear a bit "warmer," according to a new review published by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs...9/22

India's Mars satellite 'Mangalyaan' sends first images

(BBC News) India's space programme has succeeded at the first attempt where others have failed - by sending an operational mission to Mars...9/25

Energy and Science Policy

House Science Committee Hearing on NASA’s Planetary Science Programs

(AIP) Funding for NASA’s Planetary Science Division, the supply of Pu-238, and legislation focusing on the future commercial mining of asteroids were some of the topics covered in a September 10 hearing by the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee...9/23

White House Issues New Regulations for Dangerous Biological Research

(NY Times) The Obama administration on Wednesday issued new guidelines intended to strengthen the oversight of federally funded biology research that could inadvertently produce bioweapons...9/24

DOE

Can Climate Legislation Pass In Washington's Political Environment?

(NPR) Audie Cornish talks to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz the morning after President Obama addressed the U.N. Climate Summit...9/24

Move to “de-inventory” the uranium hub at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) One of the signs that Y-12 is carrying out the Red Team’s recommendations, as noted in a recent post, is the move to de-inventory 9212 — the main uranium-processing center — and other nearby production facilities in so-called Area 5...9/23

Brookhaven Lab's National Synchrotron Light Source II approved to start routine operations

(PhysOrg) The U.S. Department of Energy has approved the start of routine operations at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory, beginning a period of significant transition in project activities from construction and commissioning to operations...9/24

Hitson named OSTI director

(Oak Ridge Today) Brian A. Hitson has been appointed director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information in Oak Ridge, officials said this week...9/24

Local and State

McGhee Tyson upgrade planned, OR airport still possible

(Oak Ridger) McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville is receiving more than a $100 million dollar facelift to its runways and taxi ways — and Oak Ridge might get an airport someday...9/24

Robot neighbors wrap up TVA home energy efficiency study

(WBIR-TV) What's the real difference in utilities between a typical new house build and one that is built from scratch with a focus on energy efficiency? What about the same typical builder house that's retrofitted with energy efficient items after it's built?...9/24