Thursday, December 22, 2012
ORNL in the News

ORNL Image Analysis Prowess Advances Retina Research

(Newswise) Armed with a new ability to find retinal anomalies at the cellular level, neurobiologists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have made a discovery they hope will ultimately lead to a treatment for cancer of the retina. While much work remains, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s specialized tracing algorithm allows researchers to analyze thousands of cells instead of just a few dozen. This tool has helped reveal a previously undiscovered role of Rb, the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene in the developing retina...12/21

DOE: Public to Vote on America's Next Top Energy Innovator

(OH&S) With submissions in for the "America's Next Top Energy Innovator" challenge, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it will give the public a chance to vote for the most innovative and promising technologies from the 36 start-up companies that entered. The companies have signed 43 option agreements allowing them to license technologies developed and patented by one of the department's 17 National Laboratories and the Y-12 National Security Complex...TrakLok, Inc. (Knoxville, Tenn.) intends to use an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-developed technology for tagging, tracking, locating, and communicating with cargo containers and trailers in transit...12/22

Battery-powered Christmas carol: A trip down memory (effect) lane

( As consumers anticipate unwrapping the latest electronic gadget during the holidays, they may not give much thought to how long their shiny devices will last. But it's a topic under significant consideration at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where researchers such as Claus Daniel are working to understand a critical lifetime component in these devices -- the battery...12/21

Study: Uranium mining presents challenges

(Davis-Womack Publishing) Virginia will face "steep hurdles" to protect the health and safety of workers, the public and the environment if lawmakers lift a 30-year moratorium on uranium mining and milling, according to a long-awaited scientific report released Monday. The 350-page study, "Uranium Mining in Virginia," was conducted by the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering... members of the study committee included Dr. Corby G. Anderson, Colorado School of Mines; Dr. Lawrence W. Barnthouse, LWB Environmental Services Inc.; Dr. Scott C. Brooks, Oak Ridge National Laboratory...12/21


Energy Department Awards Nearly $7 Million for Research to Reduce Costs of Electric Vehicle Chargers

(DOE Press Release) As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to reduce America’s dependence on oil through advanced vehicle technologies, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced awards totaling nearly $7 million in research and development funding that will help to reduce the current costs of electric vehicle chargers by 50 percent over the next three years...12/21




Report Blames Both U.S. and Pakistan for Errant Airstrike That Killed 24

(NY Times) Mistakes by both American and Pakistani forces led to airstrikes against Pakistani border posts that killed 24 Pakistani Army soldiers last month, according to the findings of a United States military investigation of the incident...12/22

East Tennessee

State comptroller criticizes Oak Ridge Utility District's spending

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge Utility District officials say they've changed policy and repaid money after criticism from state auditors that its manager and workers milked programs for personal gain...12/22

energy & science policy

U.S. Rolls Out Tough Rules on Coal Plant Pollution

(Scientific American) The Obama administration on Wednesday unveiled the first-ever standards to slash mercury emissions from coal-fired plants, a move aimed at protecting public health that critics say will kill jobs as plants shut down...12/22

Inside Energy Extra

12/21 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

science & technology

365 days: 2011 in review

(Nature News) From neutrinos to stem cells: a round-up of the year in research and science policy...12/21

Planets May Have Survived Star's Death

(Discovery News) Scientists have found a system of planets that appears to have survived being engulfed by their dying parent star. The discovery raises questions about the ultimate fate of our solar system when the sun runs out of hydrogen gas in about 5 billion years and violently transform into an expanding red giant star...12/21

Gray wolves taken off endangered species list

(AP) ...The Associated Press obtained a Wednesday statement in which Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the more than 4,000 wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have exceeded recovery goals and no longer need federal protection...12/21

Planting Wind Energy on Farms May Help Crops, Say Researchers

(National Geographic News) America's corn belt overlaps with its central "wind belt"—a wide swath of the midsection of the United States that is ideal for wind energy development-an intersection that could be good news for corn, new research suggests...12/16

Other Stories

With Kim's Death, Defectors See Chance For Change

(NPR) While North Korean mourners trudged through snow in Pyongyang to pay last respects to their "Dear Leader," defectors from the North now in South Korea are celebrating the sudden death of Kim Jong Il, who died from a heart attack this past weekend...12/21