Friday, December 16, 2011
ORNL in the News

SANS tracks cell death protein invading biomimetic mitochondrial membrane

(PhysOrg) An international team of scientists is using a combination of fluorescence and small-angle neutron scattering techniques to assist biochemists in better understanding how a protein associated with cell death incorporates into membranes.... "One can never get it exactly right," said John Katsaras, a biophysicist in ORNL's Biology and Soft Matter Division. "A cell membrane has a myriad of different types of lipids and proteins. In your model system, you try to incorporate the major lipid groups and actively mimic as closely as you can."...12/15

R&D lab considers superconducting for 15-MW wind turbine

(Windpower Engineering) The Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be a partner on the generator wind project, helping investigate and mitigate high-risk technology challenges....12/15

DOE

Energy Department Announces Major Recovery Act Milestone: 600,000 Homes Weatherized Three Months Ahead of Schedule

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that states and territories across the nation have reached the goal of weatherizing more than 600,000 low-income homes– including more than 125,000 multi-family homes like apartment buildings – more than three months ahead of schedule....12/15

Other Stories

Iran hijacked US drone, says Iranian engineer

(Christian Science Monitor) Iran guided the CIA's "lost" stealth drone to an intact landing inside hostile territory by exploiting a navigational weakness long-known to the US military, according to an Iranian engineer now working on the captured drone's systems inside Iran....12/15

 

National

Congressional leaders reach spending deal to avoid government shutdown

(Washington Post) Congressional negotiators signed off Thursday evening on a $1 trillion spending agreement for 2012 for federal agencies, barely 27 hours before a deadline that could have led to a government shutdown....12/15

East Tennessee

NRC flags TVA's Sequoyah nuclear plant over shutdowns

(Chattanooga Times Free Press) Federal regulators have given Sequoyah Nuclear Plant a "white" safety finding -- the first level of safety concerns that triggers stepped up federal inspections....12/15

Group aims to accelerate growth of businesses in East Tennessee

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The East Tennessee Regional Accelerator Coalition, or ETRAC, grew out of a statewide initiative from the administration of Gov. Bill Haslam and is aimed at boosting entrepreneurship and job creation in the state....12/15

energy & science policy

NIH temporarily bans new chimpanzee research

(Washington Post) The National Institutes of Health has placed a temporary moratorium on new studies using chimpanzees, it announced Thursday in response to a report that marks nearly all medical research on the great apes as scientifically unjustified....12/15

science & technology

Japan PM declares 'cold shutdown' at Fukushima

(BBC) Engineers have brought the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to a "cold shutdown condition", nine months after the earthquake and tsunami, Japan has confirmed....12/16

Close Family Ties Keep Cheaters in Check: Why Almost All Multicellular Organisms Begin Life as a Single Cell

(Science Daily) Any multicellular animal, from a blue whale to a human being, poses a special difficulty for the theory of evolution. Most of the cells in its body will die without reproducing, and only a privileged few will pass their genes to the next generation....12/15

The Mississippi River Ran Backward

(Slate) The first in the series of three New Madrid earthquakes occurred 200 years ago today, in the early morning of Dec. 16, 1811, in what was then a sparsely populated town in the Louisiana Territory, now the Missouri Bootheel....12/16

Drones and Nuke Spying: a Match Made in the Heavens

(Wired) The same capabilities that make drones handy for spotting insurgents in Pakistan also make them helpful at sussing out clandestine nuclear weapons work....12/15

Supermassive Black Hole About to Eat Gas Cloud?

(National Geographic) For the first time, a cloud of cool gas has been spotted approaching the supermassive black hole that lies at the center of our Milky Way galaxy—and astronomers are hoping they'll soon get to watch the monster feed....12/14