Friday, December 9, 2011
ORNL in the News

Two UT–ORNL Scientists, Bredesen Center Leaders Elected AAAS Fellows

(Tennessee Today) Lee Riedinger and Michael Simpson, joint faculty members of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science....12/8

McCarthy Tops Out on R&D Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

(Business Wire) McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of the nation's leading science and technology builders, recently topped out on construction of the new Maximum Building Energy Efficiency Research Lab at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The $11.8 million, 16,600-square-foot facility will be devoted to the research and development of energy-efficient building products....12/9


Energy Department Announces New Initiative to Remove Barriers for Industry to Work with National Labs, Commercialize Technology

(DOE Press Release) As part of President Obama's commitment to speeding up the transfer of federal research and development, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman has announced a new pilot initiative to reduce some of the hurdles that prevent innovative companies from working with the national laboratories....12/8

Bill Brinkman on Support for Basic Research

(AIP Bulletin) William Brinkman, director of the Department of Energy's Office of Science, recently published a column in Inside Science Minds, an ongoing series of guest columns and personal perspectives from those in the science community....12/8


Va. Tech's quick alerts to shootings in contrast to 2007

(USA Today) Official warning of deadly shootings on the Virginia Tech campus Thursday was far swifter than the flat-footed response the school was accused of after a shooting rampage in 2007....12/9

UK isolated as Europe moves ahead on fiscal union

(Reuters) Europe divided on Friday in a historic rift over building a closer fiscal union to preserve the euro, with a large majority of countries to forge ahead with a separate treaty, leaving Britain isolated....12/9

State & Regional

State's thriving solar industry needs more help, report finds

(Tennessean) More than 230 Tennessean companies and nonprofits — from multinational Sharp Electronics Corp. in Memphis to tiny Diversified Power International in Piney Flats — now make or sell solar components or services, providing a base for more expansion....12/9

energy & science policy

Feds question TVA's thrift

(Tennessean) The nation's congressional watchdog agency has questioned whether TVA is making the most cost-effective decisions to meet future electricity needs, especially with regard to energy efficiency....12/9

UN climate talks 'approaching decision time'

(BBC) On the final morning of talks in Durban, UK Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said countries must decide whether they want a treaty that can really curb global warming....12/9

EPA Connects 'Fracking' To Water Contamination

(NPR) For the first time, a government study has tied contamination in drinking water to an advanced drilling technique commonly known as "fracking."...12/8

science & technology

A new model of empathy: the rat

(Washington Post) In a simple experiment, researchers sought to find out whether a rat would release a fellow rat from an unpleasantly restrictive cage if it could. The answer was yes....12/8

Making molecular hydrogen more efficiently

(PhysOrg) When it comes to the industrial production of chemicals, often the most indispensable element is one that you can't see, smell, or even taste. It's hydrogen, the lightest element of all....12/9


Lead From Old U.S. Batteries Sent to Mexico Raises Risks

(New York Times) The used batteries Americans turn in for recycling are increasingly processed in Mexico, their lead often extracted by crude methods that are illegal in the United States....12/9

Cyber-intruder sparks massive federal response — and debate over dealing with threats

(Washington Post) A cyberspy is halted but not a debate, as U.S. officials wonder how far they can go in defending networks....12/9