Thursday, December 8, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL Supercomputer Reveals Nature of Drug Detoxification Enzymes

(HPC Wire) Supercomputer simulations at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are giving scientists unprecedented access to a key class of proteins involved in drug detoxification. Jerome Baudry and Yinglong Miao, who are jointly affiliated with ORNL and the University of Tennessee, have performed simulations to observe the motions of water molecules in a class of enzymes called P450s. Certain types of P450 are responsible for processing a large fraction of drugs taken by humans...12/7

ORNL researchers investigating characteristics and control of particulate matter emissions from RCCI combustion

(Green Car Congress) Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are investigating the characteristics of and control techniques for particulate matter emissions generated by the Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) combustion technique. RCCI is a promising combustion technique utilizing two fuels with different reactivities to enable efficient yet low-emission combustion...12/7




Ruling helps ex-Y-12 workers on claims

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Department of Labor is notifying former workers at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant that the plant's "Special Exposure Cohort" has been expanded. This will make it easier for sick workers or their survivors to collect on claims under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness and Compensation Program...12/7

State & Regional

TVA opens spill gates of all nine dams in Tennessee River system

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Responding to recent heavy rainfall, the Tennessee Valley Authority opened the gates Wednesday at Fort Loudoun Dam, making it the last of the nine dams in the Tennessee River system to start spilling...12/8


Officials Detail Plans To Fight Homegrown Terrorism

(NPR) The White House will unveil a broad, new strategy Thursday aimed at battling homegrown terrorism in the U.S. The program aims to empower communities by teaching local officials to recognize violent extremism and see the threat as a public safety issue, like the battle against gangs and drugs...12/8

USA slammed by 12 disasters that each cost at least $1B

(USA Today) The USA has endured 12 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2011, breaking the record of nine set in 2008, the National Climatic Data Center announced this morning at a meeting in San Francisco...12/7


energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

12/7 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Greens highlight dirtiest power plants
- US hits BP with new citations over spill
- Democrats urge grant program extension
- Split develops over rare-earth metals
- FERC nixes BPA's oversupply policy

science & technology

Nano rules fall foul of data gap

(Nature News) Nanomaterials add strength to golf clubs, odour resistance to socks and ultraviolet protection to cosmetics. But some of their properties could also pose health risks, and regulations covering their manufacture and use have failed to keep pace with the rush to market...12/6

Longest fiber-reinforced bridge

(Popular Science) The 540-foot Knickerbocker Bridge in Boothbay, Maine, is the longest fiber-reinforced bridge ever constructed. Its lightweight hybrid-composite beams are made of a corrosion-resistant fiber-reinforced polymer shell filled with reinforced concrete...12/6

Nasa's Voyager 1 in 'cosmic purgatory' on verge of entering Milky Way

(The Telegraph) Nasa's Voyager 1 has entered a new region of space between the Solar System and interstellar space in what Nasa has described as a 'cosmic purgatory'....12/6

Graphene Spun into Meter-Long Fibers

(Scientific American) Nano-sized flakes of graphene oxide can be spun into graphene fibres several metres long, researchers in China have shown...12/6

Other Stories

Cyber security: Power grid grows more vulnerable to attack, report finds

(CS Monitor) America's electricity grid is a big, juicy target for cyberattacks – and it's getting more vulnerable as interactive "smart grid" features and other Internet-based connections are grafted onto an old, insecure system...12/6