Friday, December 26, 2014
ORNL in the News

Man killed in Haw Ridge accident was skilled biker, valuable ORNL researcher

(Oak Ridge Today) ...Michael David Biegalski, who was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, had been a research and development staff member at the Center for Nanophase Materials Science at Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 2008 and had worked there from 2006 to 2008 as a postdoctoral research associate...12/23

Addition of a wheat gene increases the blight resistance of American chestnut trees

(PhysOrg) Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, working collaboratively with scientists funded by The American Chestnut Foundation, have helped confirm that addition of a wheat gene increases the blight resistance of American chestnut trees...12/23

Crown ethers flatten in graphene for strong, specific binding

(PhysOrg) ...a team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered a way to dramatically increase the selectivity and binding strength of crown ethers. The researchers have incorporated them within a rigid framework of graphene—ultra strong and light one-atom-thick carbon...12/23

Scientists tap trees' evolutionary databanks to discover environment adaptation strategies

(PhysOrg) After decades of extrapolating about gene function in trees based on gene function in a tiny, less complex plant, a team of scientists has sequenced whole genomes—determined the DNA sequence of all the genes—from 544 unrelated trees of the same species...12/23

UT-Battelle gives $100K to Children’s Hospital

(Knoxville News Sentinel) UT-Battelle, the government’s managing contractor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has given $100,000 to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital for a proposed expansion at the Knoxville medical center...12/22

Science and Technology

Unexpected Life Found In The Ocean's Deepest Trench

(NPR) The Mariana Trench cuts a 1,500-mile incision in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean near the island of Guam. That's where an international team of scientists has just spent over a month sending probes down to the deepest place on Earth...12/25

Locking mechanism found for 'scissors' that cut DNA

(EurekAlert) Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered what keeps an enzyme from becoming overzealous in its clipping of DNA. Since controlled clipping is required for the production of specialized immune system proteins, an understanding of what keeps the enzyme in check should help explain why its mutant forms can lead to immunodeficiency and cancer...12/24

Energy and Science Policy

E.P.A. Wrestles With Role of Nuclear Plants in Carbon Emission Rules

(NY Times) Trying to write a complicated formula to cut carbon emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency thinks it has found a magic number: 5.8...12/25

Looking Ahead to the Next Budget Request: Coalition Asks Administration to Prioritize DOE Science

(AIP) The federal budget cycle never stops.  Although President Obama just signed the $1.1 trillion appropriations bill last week providing funding for FY 2015, work on the request he will send to Congress early next year has long been under development...12/23


2014 was time of big changes at government's Oak Ridge operations

(Knoxville News Sentinel) More than anything else, 2014 was a time of change at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge operations, and the biggest change of all took place at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant...12/26

Oak Ridge cleanup budget $431.2M for FY2015

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Based on what has already been spent and the amount allotted under the omnibus spending bill approved by Congress for the rest of Fiscal Year 2015, the Department of Energy’s cleanup budget in Oak Ridge will be about $431.2 million...12/23

DOE will re-compete ORAU’s contract

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge Associated Universities, which has been a government contractor in Oak Ridge since the 1940s, may have to fight to keep its existing role with the U.S. Department of Energy...12/23

Piezoelectricity in a 2D Semiconductor

(Berkekey Lab News Center) A door has been opened to low-power off/on switches in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectronic devices, as well as ultrasensitive bio-sensors, with the first observation of piezoelectricity in a free standing two-dimensional semiconductor by a team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory...12/22

LLNL's Top 10 Science and Technology Stories of 2014

(Lab Manager) The top stories of the year are a reflection of the Laboratory’s ability to apply its core national security competencies to a broad set of rapidly evolving national and global challenges, including: energy, climate change, biodefense and detection, forensic science, high performance computing and materials science...12/26

Local and State

Generator part weighing 200 tons shipped from Shawnee to Kingston

(Oak Ridge Today) ...When the TVA team at Shawnee heard about the challenges at Kingston, they realized they had the perfect “gift.” Unit 10 at the Shawnee plant was retired four years ago, but had the same Siemens-Westinghouse generator as Kingston, and it was still in operating condition....12/23