Thursday, December 29, 2011
ORNL in the News

Huge 'Mother Earth' research computer loaded with new processors

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Cray Inc. recently delivered the final 26 cabinets of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's climate research supercomputer, which is housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Cray XE6 supercomputer, nicknamed "Gaea, Mother Earth," is loaded with new AMD 16-core Interlagos processors, according to Jeff Nichols, an associate lab director at ORNL who heads the computational sciences program...12/29

ORNL image analysis prowess advances retina research

(Health News) 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...12/28


Describing reactions in a fuel cell on the nanoscale

(Nanowerk) Heidelberg University mathematician Dr. Francesco Ciucci in conjunction with Dr. Amit Kumar at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Dr. Anna Morozovska of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences has developed a new microscopy technique that can monitor ion transfer on the nanoscale....12/28


Team uses high-tech optical technique to pull sound from 125 year old recordings

( Scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have succeeded in using 3D optical scanning technology to effectively lift the voices from 125 year old recordings created by researchers working in Alexander Graham Bell’s Volta laboratory...12/28

State & Regional

TVA razes Watts Bar coal plant

(Knoxville News Sentinel) TVA has torn down its old Watts Bar coal plant near Spring City in Rhea County and is eliminating more than $1 million in annual maintenance costs. TVA said in a statement that it has sold metals from the plant to recyclers and is reusing some of the materials...12/28


U.S. Warns Tehran on Strait

(Wall Street Journal) Tensions between Iran and the U.S. rose Wednesday as the U.S. Navy warned it would prevent any attempt to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, as Iranian officials threatened to do in response to imposing sanctions on its oil exports...12/29

East Tennessee

ORTEC: The management team

(Oak Ridger) Continuing with Hal Schmitt's history of the early years of Oak Ridge Technical Enterprises Corp. (ORTEC), we pick up at the point where a president and management team is put in place. ...12/27

Could funding issues end Discover Life in America's nearly 15 years of work in the Smokies?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Vivid butterflies, a taxidermied baby bear and a passenger pigeon — the now extinct namesake of Pigeon Forge — are just some of the organisms housed at the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center in Gatlinburg...12/29

energy & science policy

Scientists Need to Be More Visible to Public and Lawmakers to Avoid Deep Funding Cuts, Policy Experts Say

(Lab Manager Magazine) Federal funding for science is facing intense, sustained budget pressure because of the weak economy and historic budget deficits, but the impact could be eased if scientists step up efforts to engage lawmakers and the public on the benefit of investing in research, experts said at AAAS...12/12

science & technology

Technology: Rise of the e-book

(Nature) Carl Zimmer charts the boom in electronic publishing and what that spells for wood pulp and ink...12/22

In Solar Power, India Begins Living Up to Its Own Ambitions

(NY Times) Solar power is a clean energy source. But in this arid part of northwest India it can also be a dusty one...12/28

More Powerful Supercomputers?

(Science Daily) Researchers have created a new type of optical device small enough to fit millions on a computer chip that could lead to faster, more powerful information processing and supercomputers...12/22

China Seeks Steady Rare Earths Exports In 2012

(Discovery News) China, the world's largest rare earths producer, said Tuesday that its export quota for the sought-after commodities will remain roughly the same in 2012 as this year...12/28

5 Things We Fear New Technologies Will Replace

(The Atlantic) It's the end of the year, the time when we take stock of what we've gained and lost, and what we expect (or hope) to gain and lose in the months ahead. When it comes to technology, the gains and losses go pretty much hand in hand...12/27

Doh! Top Science Journal Retractions of 2011

(Scientific American) Each year hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles are retracted. Most involve no blatant malfeasance; the authors themselves often detect errors and retract the paper. Some retractions, however, entail plagiarism, false authorship or cooked data...12/27

Other Stories

Three 401(k) Reforms That Can Help Save America's Retirement

(Forbes) Since its introduction 30 years ago, the 401(k) has evolved in a lot of smart and innovative ways. Starting as a basic savings tool in 1981, today’s 401(k) offers a range of features including Roth and penalty-free loan options, increased contribution limits and catch-up options, auto-enrollment, tax credits for those with less than 100 employees that start a plan and the list goes on...12/28