Tuesday, December 17, 2013
ORNL in the News

Supercomputer Research Finds Molecular Switch that Controls Cell Behavior

(Tennessee Today) Using supercomputing power, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the UT–ORNL Joint Institute for Computational Sciences have discovered a molecular “switch” in a receptor that controls cell behavior. The finding can help in medical drug development...12/16

ORNL devises recipe to fine-tune diameter of silica rods

(PhysOrg) By controlling the temperature of silica rods as they grow, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory could be setting the stage for advances in anti-reflective solar cells, computer monitors, TV screens, eye glasses and more...12/16

189 ORNL employees leaving payroll by year’s end

(Knoxville News Sentinel) UT-Battelle, the government’s managing contractor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, received the Department of Energy’s approval earlier this year to reduce the workforce by up to 475 jobs. As such, a Voluntary Separation Program was announced in September, and ultimately, 220 lab employees applied for the departure program that included financial incentives...12/16

DOE

85% at Pantex facility

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The National Nuclear Security Administration this week said construction of the High Explosives Pressing Facility at the Pantex nuclear weapons plant is now 85 percent complete, on schedule and under budget...12/16

DOE announces new investment in small modular reactors

(Oak Ridge Today) The U.S. Department of Energy last week announced a second round of funding for small modular reactors...12/16

State & Regional

Feds partially refund TN cash to reopen shutdown Smokies

(WBIR-TV) The State of Tennessee and a couple of counties in East Tennessee have been refunded most of the cash they sent to the federal government to reopen the Great Smoky Mountains during the shutdown in October. Getting the rest of the money back will require an act of Congress...12/16

National

Bipartisan Senate budget deal appears likely to pass

(Washington Post) Despite a concerted attack by conservative advocacy groups, a bipartisan deal to roll back sharp spending cuts known as the sequester appeared on track to clear the Senate after a growing number of Republicans declared their support for the measure...12/16

East Tennessee

Clinton industrial site one of four state certified sites

(Oak Ridge Today) The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced the next four Select Tennessee Certified Sites, and a site in Clinton is among those selected...12/15

energy & science policy

A Struggle to Balance Wind Energy With Wildlife

(NY Times) As the Obama administration seeks to clear a path for more renewable energy projects, it has increasingly found itself caught between two staunch allies: the wind energy industry and environmental organizations...12/16

science & technology

New genetic analysis method holds promise for understanding causes of disease

(Medical Xpress) University of Michigan School of Public Health researchers have developed a new method for identifying rare gene variants, which scientists now believe are more informative for human disease studies than the common variants extensively researched over the past few years...12/17

How a Manmade Greenhouse Gas Can Be 7100 Times Worse Than CO2

(Popular Mechanics) Perfluorotributylamine, produced by the electronics industry, absorbs heat better than any other known greenhouse gas, researchers report, but has been previously overlooked...12/12

Flame-Taming Electric Fields Could Make Power Plants Cleaner

(Scientific American) An emerging technology could offer a more efficient way of reducing air pollution from power plants. A Seattle-based company called ClearSign Combustion has demonstrated how to manipulate flames using high-voltage electric fields to prevent pollution from forming in the first place...12/17

Scientists Discover Potential Vaccine for Malaria

(Science Daily) Scientists from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have discovered a key process during the invasion of the blood cell by the Malaria parasite, and more importantly, found a way to block this invasion...12/16

Other Stories

Japan boosts military forces to counter China

(BBC) Japan's cabinet has approved a new national security strategy and increased defence spending in a move widely seen as aimed at China...12/17

Is Silicon Valley Automating Our Obsolescence?

(NPR) Silicon Valley has created mind-boggling amounts of wealth. Entire industries have been invented here. Smartphones, search engines, cloud computing and cars that drive themselves are designed here...12/16