Friday, October 1, 2010
ORNL in the News

Genetically altered trees, plants could help counter global warming

(EurekAlert) Forests of genetically altered trees and other plants could sequester several billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year and so help ameliorate global warming, according to estimates published in the October issue of BioScience. The study, by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, outlines a variety of strategies for augmenting the processes that plants use to sequester carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into long-lived forms of carbon, first in vegetation and ultimately in soil....10/1

Tennessee's science enterprise aims to capitalize on institutional strengths, a government lab and low costs of living

(Nature Jobs) The research focus of Oak Ridge National Laboratory has shifted [since the Manhattan Project] from weapons development to a variety of other energy-related topics....9/29

Story tips from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory October 2010

(PhysOrg) NANO -- World's smallest antenna . . . INDUSTRY -- A real steel . . . COMPUTING -- Visualizing surprising beauty . . . ENERGY STORAGE -- Beyond lithium ion symposium . . ....10/1

VW, city, state seek ties in EU

(Trading Markets) Chattanooga and state economic developers will team with Volkswagen and take part in an automotive supplier fair in Germany next week. Tom Ballard, Oak Ridge National Lab's director of partnerships, said it also will send a delegation. He said it will talk with suppliers about lightweight materials the lab is researching. ...9/30


Secretary Chu Recalls Garden City High School Physics Teacher

(DOE Press Release) As part of President Obama's new initiative to recruit teachers, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is featured in a Public Service Announcement video recalling how his high school physics teacher inspired him to pursue a career in science....9/30

One-year contracts awarded at Y-12, Pantex

(Knoxville Newws Senitnel) The National Nuclear Security Administration today announced that it had awarded one-year contract extensions at Y-12 and Pantex, allowing time to prepare for the competition that will combine the management contracts at the two sites...9/30


Report gives stimulus package high marks

(Washington Post) The massive economic stimulus package President Obama pushed through Congress last year is coming in on time and under budget - and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse - according to a White House report to be released Friday....10/1 [Registration Required]

Emanuel's exit shakes up White House at midterms

(USA Today) As White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel embarks on a new political career, President Obama is being forced to shake up his team amid voter anxiety over the economy, his leadership and the direction of the Democratic-controlled Congress....10/1



energy & science policy

In a Computer Worm, a Possible Biblical Clue

(New York Times) The Obama administration, while talking about cyberdefenses, has also rapidly ramped up a broad covert program, inherited from the Bush administration, to undermine Iran's nuclear program....9/30

Bipartisan Agreement on Nuke Spending

(Albuquerque Journal) Congressional bipartishanship appears to have found common ground: money for nukes. An otherwise largely unadorned continuing resolution passed by the House and Senate last night and signed by the president today calls for a 10 percent hike in the budget that funds nuclear weapons work at Los Alamos and Sandia labs....9/30

science & technology

Extinct Penguin Wore Earth Tones, Fossil Shows

(New York Times) Researchers say imprints left by the large bird, which lived in Peru more than 36 million years ago, contain evidence that its feathers were mostly reddish brown and shades of gray. The findings also corroborated previous skeletal evidence that penguins had by then evolved the flippers and body shape for powerful swimming....10/1

Scientists overcome hurdles to stem cell alternatives

(Washington Post) Scientists have invented an efficient way to produce apparently safe alternatives to human embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos, a long-sought step toward bypassing the moral morass surrounding one of the most promising fields in medicine....9/30 [Registration Required]

Stuxnet Computer Worm Has Vast Repercussions

(NPR) A powerful new computer worm apparently is capable of causing power plants or pipelines to blow up. It's a cyber superweapon called Stuxnet. Experts suspect it was designed to disable nuclear facilities in Iran but Stuxnet could have consequences its creators did not anticipate....10/1

Time likely to end within 5 billion years, physicists calculate

(PhysOrg) As far as astrophysicists can tell, the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, and will likely continue to do so indefinitely. But now some physicists are saying that this theory, called eternal inflation, and its implication that time is endless pose a problem for scientists calculating the probability of any event occurring....10/1

Solar System's Shield Could Leak Cosmic Rays

(Wired) The bubble that separates our sun from the galaxy is surprisingly active. The second global map from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, shows that the edge of the solar system changes more quickly and drastically than scientists expected....10/1