Monday, December 4, 2017
ORNL in the News

Drought Resistant Plant GenesDrought-resistant plant genes could accelerate evolution of water-use efficient crops

(PhysOrg) Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have identified a common set of genes that enable different drought-resistant plants to survive in semi-arid conditions, which could play a significant role in bioengineering and creating energy crops that are tolerant to water deficits...12/1

Researchers Compare ‘New’ and ‘Aged’ Catalytic Converter at the Nanoscale Level

(Miltech) ...By managing to “see inside” the zeolite particles in three dimensions at the nanoscale, researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been able to directly image phenomena responsible for their enhanced stability and durability...11/30

Researchers discover breakthrough process for directly converting methane to methanol

(PhysOrg) The direct oxidation of methane—found in natural gas—into methanol at low temperatures has long been a holy grail. Now, researchers at Tufts have found a breakthrough way to accomplish the feat using a heterogeneous catalyst and cheap molecular oxygen...Lawrence F. Allard, Ph.D., distinguished research staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a co-author of the paper, said aberration-corrected electron microscopy was crucial in supporting the research...11/30

The Right Mix: Water and Neutrons with Eugene Mamontov

(Miltech) Eugene Mamontov’s background in both basic and applied science has made him a valued partner for scientists who come to the Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL in search of a better understanding of the water dynamics in their research—projects as diverse as studying plant cellulose or analyzing nanostructured membranes for desalination...11/30

Science and Technology

Universe's Baby PictureUniverse’s baby picture wins $3 million 

(Nature News) Astrophysicists who captured an image of the Big Bang’s afterglow — and confirmed the standard model of cosmology — won a US$3-million Breakthrough Prize on 3 December...12/4

Bacteria Containing Ink3-D-printed minifactories

(Science Daily) Researchers have developed a biocompatible ink for 3-D printing using living bacteria. This makes it possible to produce biological materials capable of breaking down toxic substances or producing high-purity cellulose for biomedical applications...12/1


Energy and Science Policy

FY18 Appropriations Bills: Department of Defense Science & Technology

(AIP) Following the 8 percent increase enacted for Defense Department S&T funding in fiscal year 2017, the Senate and House are respectively proposing 0.5 and 2 percent cuts for fiscal year 2018. ...11/30

Wanted: academics wise to the needs of government

(Nature News Editorial) In 2013, when my colleagues and I began a three-year study of how evidence is used in the UK Parliament, Brexit wasn’t a thing, Donald Trump wasn’t a politician and ‘fake news’ wasn’t in the news. By the time we finished, it felt like we were living in a different world...11/30



National Carbon Capture Center surpasses 100,000 hours of technology testing

(Cision/PR Newswire) The National Carbon Capture Center, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored research facility managed and operated by Southern Company, today announced it has surpassed 100,000 hours of technology testing...11/30

The Tax Reform Bill Could Hurt Wind and Solar Power

(Time Magazine) ...An obscure provision of the tax bill — part of a provision to limit tax deductions for certain overseas activities — threatens a financing mechanism that generated $13 billion in investment in U.S. renewable energy this year, according to energy research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance...11/30

High Concentrations of Rare Earth Elements Found in American Coal Basins

( The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has found high rare earth element (REE) concentrations in coal samples taken from the Illinois, Northern Appalachian, Central Appalachian, Rocky Mountain Coal Basins, and the Pennsylvania Anthracite region...11/29

Department of Energy seeks $99 million to support Energy Frontier Research Centers

(Daily Energy Insider) The Department of Energy (DoE) announced on Monday that it will request $99 million in fiscal year 2018 to support Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), which works to advance breakthroughs in materials sciences, chemical sciences, geosciences, and biosciences...11/29

Report: US agency holding nuke bombs grapples with oversight

(The Washington Post) The U.S. Department of Energy has its share of challenges as it conducts some of the world's most high-tech research, maintains a stockpile of nuclear weapons and cleans up after decades of bomb-making...12/1

Local and State

3M Says it Underreported Chemical Discharge in Tennessee River

(Insurance Journal) For more than three years, 3M Co. underreported its discharge of a class of potentially toxic chemicals into the Tennessee River by a factor of 1,000, according to a letter sent by a 3M official to regulators at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management...12/4

Drug, alcohol abuse saps $2 billion from Tennessee annually — an under-the-radar impact of opioid epidemic

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) Substance abuse annually costs Tennessee more than $2 billion — more than half of which is attributed to lost income from people who have fallen out of the labor market, according to an economist...12/3