Tuesday, December 14, 2010
ORNL in the News

Supercomputing research opens doors for drug discovery

(Bioresearch Online) A quicker and cheaper technique to scan molecular databases developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory could put scientists on the fast track to developing new drug treatments. A team led by Jerome Baudry of the University of Tennessee-ORNL Center for Molecular Biophysics adapted a widely-used existing software to allow supercomputers such as ORNL's Jaguar to sift through immense molecular databases and pinpoint chemical compounds as potential drug candidates...12/10

DNA-based Detection of Heavy Metals

(Bio-medicine) Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple, disposable sensor for detecting hazardous uranium ions, with sensitivity that rivals the performance of much more sophisticated laboratory instruments...Li Lu, with collaborators at Illinois, the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Oregon State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, assembled the uranium sensor and tested it on soils containing varying amounts of uranium...12/13

Leading Science Labs Collaborate on Open Source Software

(Binzinga) Tessella, the international provider of science powered technology and consulting services is pleased to announce that the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Spallation Neutron Source has chosen to use Mantid software developed for the ISIS neutron source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory by Tessella...Mark Hagen, Scientific Data Analysis Group Leader for Neutron Scattering Science Division at ORNL commented: “We are very excited by the opportunity, provided by this international collaboration between facilities, to develop powerful new data reduction, and analysis software to benefit neutron scattering researchers.”...12/10

UA Researchers Receive $3.9M Grant to Continue Work on Chargers for Hybrid Cars

(Arkansas Business) Electrical engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have been awarded a $3.9 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to continue work on the development of a compact and highly efficient silicon-carbide charger for hybrid electric vehicles...The grant is part of the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program and will benefit a collaborative partnership that includes five private and public entities - the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission; Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc.; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Cree, Inc.; and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc...12/13

State & Regional

Solar's next phase rides on tax bill

(Knoxville News Sentinel) As local solar business has ramped up over the past year thanks to increased government incentives, the expiration of a federal tax grant at the end of the month has threatened to dim the lights on the growing industry...12/13

$7 million awarded in Tennessee solar grants

(WBIR.com) The Tennessee Solar Institute has announced more than $7 million in grants to fund 37 projects across the state.

Twenty-one Tennessee businesses were awarded grants, which ranged up to $500,000...12/10

East Tennessee

Technology developed at UT is honored

(AP) A technology based on an invention developed at the University of Tennessee was selected by the 2010 Better World Report as a top example of academic innovations. The featured technology is a plasma that can be created from ordinary air at standard pressure and ambient temperatures and can be used to purify air and sterilize equipment and textiles...12/14


Obama tax deal gets nod from Senate. Will House risk making changes?

(CS Monitor) In a break with gridlock, the Senate voted 83 to 15 Monday to move ahead with a bipartisan deal ­– first proposed by President Obama and Republican leaders – on extending the Bush tax cuts for two years, including for those in the top income brackets...12/14


United States-Russia Joint Statement on the Results of the Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security Working Group Meeting

(DOE Press Release) Earlier this week, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, representing the United States government, signed a joint statement with Russia's Director General of the State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" Sergey Kirienko on the results of the Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security Working Group meeting that took place on December 6-7, 2010...12/10

energy & science policy

Searching for Sixty: Important Week for FY 2011 Appropriations Bills

(AIP) Sixty votes will be needed in the Senate to work toward the conclusion of the FY 2011 appropriations cycle.  Entering what is scheduled to be the final week of this session of Congress, no one knows what form the final appropriations bill will take, how long it will be for, and what the level of funding will be.  The outcome will depend on whether 60 senators vote to allow the Senate to proceed on a final appropriations bill...12/13

Inside Energy Extra

12/13 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Bid to suspend n-waste fee fails
- Tax bill, with energy aid, advances
- BOEM clarifies deepwater-drill rules
- USGS to test carbon-storage potential

science & technology

Dirty Coal, Clean Future

(The Atlantic) To environmentalists, “clean coal” is an insulting oxymoron. But for now, the only way to meet the world’s energy needs, and to arrest climate change before it produces irreversible cataclysm, is to use coal—dirty, sooty, toxic coal—in more-sustainable ways. The good news is that new technologies are making this possible...Dec 2010

In a Single-Cell Predator, Clues to the Animal Kingdom’s Birth

(NY Times) The Environmental Protection Agency is worried about a lot of things in our water — polychlorinated biphenyls, dibromochloropropane, Cryptosporidium parvum — to name just a few of the dozens of chemicals or organisms they monitor. However, in nearly every creek and lake, and throughout the oceans, there is one important group of multisyllabic microbes that the E.P.A. does not track, and until recently, most biologists heard and knew very little about — the choanoflagellates...12/13

Other Stories

Iran replaces foreign minister

(Washington Post) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Monday that the head of the country's nuclear agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, would replace Manouchehr Mottaki as foreign minister, Iranian state media reported...12/13

The Charging Conundrum: How To Feed Electric Cars?

(NPR) The electric car is no longer just a project for smarty-pants MIT students. Here in the U.S., plug-in electric cars are now in showrooms and on the highways. What's missing, though, is a convenient way to refuel those cars with electricity...12/14

First of Chevy's electric Volt headed to dealerships

(Detroit Free Press) Five trucks carrying Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric cars left General Motors Co.’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant Monday, marking the first shipment to dealers after nearly four years of expectation...12/13