Thursday, December 2, 2010
ORNL in the News

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory -- December 2010

( BIODIESEL -- Ultrasonic remedy...A significant barrier to greater use of biodiesel could be blasted away with a proprietary approach developed by a team of researchers led by Mike Kass of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Energy and Transportation Science Division. TRANSPORTATION -- Single-wides save fuel...Tractor-trailer trucks may leave a different "footprint" in the near future. Heavy trucks outfitted with single wide-based tires instead of the conventional dual tires are more fuel efficient, according to a study sponsored by DOE's Office of Vehicle Technologies. DATA -- Finding feelings...A prototype data-analysis software developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could help track potential terrorist groups by uncovering hidden meaning in the group's written interactions. BIOMETRICS -- ID from afar...Unsuspecting subjects could be identified in mere seconds with a novel recognition system being developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...12/1


(Composites World) There is no technology that can help automakers reach their lightweighting goals faster than carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP)....Carbon fiber’s main attraction is its strength-to-weight ratio, which is 20 percent the mass of steel yet equally stiff and strong. Studies from Oak Ridge National Laboratory show that replacing today’s steel body-in-white with an integrated carbon-composite structure could net up to a 60 percent mass reduction, boosting fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent via mass decompounding...11/30


Oak Ridge small-biz contracts top $1B in 2010

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Dept. of Energy said FY 2010 was a record year for small-business contracting in Oak Ridge, with the total exceeding $1 billion. According to stats released by DOE, the total of $1.055 billion far exceeded the previous record ($787 million in 2009)...12/1


Argonne Scientists Awarded Supercomputing Time To Enable Scientific Breakthroughs

(Power Online) The Argonne-led projects are among 57 high-impact research projects aimed at breakthroughs in clean energy, climate science and fundamental research. DOE's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program enables scientists and engineers to conduct cutting-edge research in just weeks or months, rather than years or decades, by providing access and support to powerful supercomputing resources at DOE's Leadership Computing Facilities at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee...12/2


Fed Officials Push Fiscal Stimulus

(Wall Street Journal) Top Federal Reserve officials are pressing lawmakers to pair a long-term plan for deficit reduction with new short-term fiscal stimulus to boost an economy that the central bank admits needs more help than it can provide...12/2

State & Regional

International Paper turns to biotechnology to grow a better box

(Business TN) If an age-old challenge in agriculture -- producing more on fewer acres -- finds a solution in biotechnology, a Tennessee company stands to profit...Jan/Feb 2010


energy & science policy

Official Says U.S. Won’t End Drilling Ban in Eastern Gulf

(NY Times) The Obama administration is rescinding its decision to expand offshore oil exploration into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast because of the BP oil spill, administration officials said Tuesday...12/1

Inside Energy Extra

12/1 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Interior delays offshore lease sales
- House approves temporary spending bill
- Debt panel urges higher gasoline tax
- Repubs to ax global warming committee
- US and Canada CO2 storage potential huge

science & technology

Secret of Big Caves Revealed by Math

(Wired Science) Spelunkers look at a cave and wonder how to explore its deepest reaches. But physicists look at it and wonder how it got there in the first place...12/1

Primates Are More Resilient Than Other Animals to Environmental Ups and Downs

(Science Daily) What sets humankind's closest relatives -- monkeys, apes, and other primates -- apart from other animals? According to a new study, one answer is that primates are less susceptible to the seasonal ups and downs -- particularly rainfall -- that take their toll on other animals...12/1

World's Fastest Camera Takes a New Look at Biosensing

(Science Daily) A European consortium comprising NPL, ST Microelectronics, the University of Edinburgh, and TU Delft has been involved in the development and application of the Megaframe Imager -- an ultrafast camera capable of recording images at the incredible rate of one million frames...12/1

How to Buck Up the Science Ladies

(Slate) When it comes to math and science classes, women can be subtly hampered by negative stereotypes about their gender...Colorado researchers have shown that writing exercises can make a difference for female science students...11/29

Other Stories

Samuel T. Cohen, Neutron Bomb Inventor, Dies at 89

(NY Times) Samuel T. Cohen, the physicist who invented the small tactical nuclear weapon known as the neutron bomb, a controversial device designed to kill enemy troops with subatomic particles but leave battlefields and cities relatively intact, died on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 89...12/1

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: How much trouble is he in?

(CS Monitor) Wikileaks founder Julian Assange could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act, but the US has historically avoided pursuing leak recipients...12/1