Wednesday, November 9, 2011
ORNL in the News

Fundamental discovery casts enzymes in new light

(PhysOrg) "Our discovery is allowing us to perhaps find the knobs that we can use to improve the catalytic rate of enzymes and perform a host of functions more efficiently," said author Pratul Agarwal....11/8

The Kyoto Accords — and Hope — Are Expiring

(TIME) A new report released by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory shows that we've already blown through our climate time-out, with global carbon emissions jumping by a record 564 million tons in 2010 from 2009....11/8

Story Tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, November 2011

(Newswise) CYBERSECURITY -- Foiling exfiltration . . . ENERGY -- Inexpensive renewable hydrogen . . . MAGNETISM -- Chilling discovery . . . MATERIALS -- Rebuffing temperatures . . . DIESEL -- Greater expectations . . . MATERIALS -- Conductive at the core . . . .11/8

ORNL Disaster Efforts Recognized

(Lab Manager Magazine) Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are among those recognized by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu with Achievement Awards for their efforts in response to two major global events: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 and the Fukushima reactor accident....11/7


Department of Energy Announces Funding to Help Consumers Better Manage Their Energy Consumption

(DOE Press Release) As part of the Administration's commitment to ensuring a clean energy future, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that up to $8 million in funding will be made available to encourage utilities, local governments, and communities to create programs that empower consumers to better manage their electricity use through improved access to their own electricity consumption data....11/8

In rough fiscal times, is UPF still essential?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Site preparation for the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 is tentatively scheduled to begin about a year from now. But a lot could happen between now and then to alter the course of the multi-billion-dollar project....11/9

Report faults Energy Dept. for handling of stalled electric transmission line

(Washington Post) The Energy Department has come under criticism from its inspector general for the handling of an electric transmission line project that received $152 million of federal financing, but which the IG says has come to "a standstill, with no progress being made."...11/7


2011 voters give a glimpse into 2012

(USA Today) Voters in Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and elsewhere provided a glimpse of voter attitudes a year before the presidential election....11/9

East Tennessee

Rogero is Knoxville's first woman mayor

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Knoxville voters on Tuesday swept Madeline Rogero into the mayor's office — and a very special place in the city's history. Rogero, 58, becomes the first woman ever elected mayor....11/9

Other Stories

Report says Iran nuclear weapons work continued til 2009

(Christian Science Monitor) A new International Atomic Energy Agency report found that Iran's nuclear program included weapons-related work at least until 2009, much more recent than earlier believed....11/9

New Panel to Probe Nuclear Disaster

(Wall Street Journal) An independent committee founded by leading experts with private funding has started investigations into the Fukushima nuclear disaster amid lingering doubts about the government's ability to uncover the causes of the accident and clarify accountability....11/9

energy & science policy

Obama To Expand Drilling Off Alaska, In Gulf

(AP) The Obama administration cautiously offered up more areas in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast to oil and gas drilling Tuesday, but didn't go far enough to satisfy Republicans pushing to greatly expand drilling as a way to create jobs and wean the country off foreign oil....11/8

Inside Energy Extra

11/8 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** White House reviewing EPA toxics, GHG rules
** Chu pushes private sector on smart grid
** Bid to block EPA draws veto threat
** Offshore leasing plan slammed on both sides
** DOD, NRDC partner on renewables database

science & technology

It Started Digital Wheels Turning

(New York Times) Researchers are trying to build the Babbage Analytical Engine, a room-size machine designed by Charles Babbage in the 1830s that uses primitive punch cards....11/7

Biofuels Start To Take Off In The Airline Industry

(NPR) This week, two U.S. airlines will be flying passengers on flights powered by biofuels for the first time. On Monday a Continental flight from Houston to Chicago used a biofuel blend made in part from algae, and Wednesday Alaska Airlines is set to fly passengers using a fuel made in part from cooking oil....11/9

Castles in the Desert: Satellites Reveal Lost Cities of Libya

(Science Daily) The fall of Gaddafi has opened the way for archaeologists to explore the country's pre-Islamic heritage, so long ignored under his regime....11/7

The Startling Science of a Starling Murmuration

(Wired) What makes possible the uncanny coordination of murmurations, as starling flocks are so beautifully known? Until recently, it was hard to say. Scientists had to wait for the tools of high-powered video analysis and computational modeling....11/8

The Geologist in the Jungle

(Slate) In July of 2011, John Lane, an explorer and geologist from California State University-Chico, mounted a biological research expedition to a remote wilderness region of New Britain. Lane's quest was to spur environmental conservation by finding a mysterious species of tree kangaroo, one of the rarest and most elusive mammals on earth....11/7