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Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September 2015

( To arrange for an interview with a researcher, please contact the Communications staff member identified at the end of each tip. For more information on ORNL and its research and development activities, please refer to one of our media contacts. If you have a general media-related question or comment, you can send it to

MATERIALS - Solar bake test for NASA ...

To test an instrument for a spacecraft that will fly closer to the sun than any before, engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of California-Berkeley used ORNL's powerful plasma-arc lamp to simulate the sun's intense heat flux. Tests at ORNL proved that the instrument for the Fields Experiment--which will measure electric and magnetic fields, radio emissions and shock waves coursing through the sun's atmospheric plasma--can survive high-heat flux during a NASA mission. Solar Probe Plus will pass a mere 3.7 million miles from the sun's surface, where outside temperatures approach 1,200 degrees Celsius. "During the ORNL tests, that temperature was attained with the plasma-arc lamp operating at only 58 percent power," said ORNL's Adrian Sabau. [Contact: Dawn Levy, (865) 576-6448;]

HEALTH -- Diabetes progression ...

A team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers -- Jack Schryver, James Nutaro and Mallikarjun Shankar -- has produced an agent-based simulation model for behaviors critical to the progression of diabetes type 2. This research approximates essential findings from a complex model of diabetes progression over an aggregated U.S. population. The ORNL model offers a more compact explanation of the disease progression in an effort to understand which factors in the original study best explain the trend of the disease in the United States. Factors in the ORNL models include age, obesity and other health-related human behaviors. The study provides increased understanding of how specific demographics behaviors and social mechanisms could affect disease and healthcare progression. [Contact: Jeff Gary, (865) 574-8066;]

TRANSPORTATION - Synergistic lubricant pair ...

A new hybrid lubricant additive discovered by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Shell Global Solutions shows tremendous promise for improving energy efficiency and durability of the nation's 250 million cars and trucks. The research team, led by Jun Qu, recently reported on synergistic effects between ORNL-invented ionic liquids and a lubricant additive. With a treat rate of about 1 percent in a base oil, the hybrid lubricant additive demonstrated reductions in friction and wear by 30 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Characterizations revealed a significantly higher-than-nominal additive concentration at the lubricant interface, which researchers believe is responsible for the superior lubricating behavior. The results are published in Advanced Materials ( and highlighted at ( [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]

ELECTRIC VEHICLES -- Wireless charging success ...

With the successful demonstration of a 6.9-kilowatt wireless power transfer system boasting 85 percent grid-to-vehicle efficiency, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and partners are gearing up for the next phase of the electrified vehicles project. The recent demonstration, hosted by Clemson University, utilized several Toyota vehicles and power electronics solutions developed by ORNL. Cisco collaborated with ORNL to provide wireless communications solutions while Clemson's International Center for Automotive Research and International Transportation Innovation Center provided a testing facility and communications integration. Next, researchers will install a sequence of coils that will allow vehicles to receive power wirelessly while in motion at the test site, located in Greenville, S.C. In addition to Toyota and Cisco, other partners in the $8.3 million project are Duke Energy and Evatran. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]

COMPUTING -- New tool improves modeling ...

Software developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory allows users to simulate the structure of advanced materials, explore the design of quantum computers and investigate battery performance. The technology, the Eclipse Integrated Computational Environment, greatly reduces the learning curve for new users while improving the efficiency of computational science veterans. "One of its strongest applications is for nuclear energy tools, where it can be used to study fuel performance, reactors and to visualize fuel rods, reactor parts and other components," said Jay Jay Billings, the project lead and a member of ORNL's Computer Science Research Group. Billings envisions other potential applications in data visualization, fusion, climate science and astrophysics. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]



To email or not to email? For those in love, it's better than leaving a voice message

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In her hit single, Carly Rae Jepsen may have sung, "Here's my number, so call me maybe." But according to a new research study from Indiana University, she might be more successful in finding love if she asked him to send her an email. The research, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, suggests that, in this digital age, an email can be more effective in expressing romantic feelings than leaving a voicemail message. Previous research and conventional wisdom suggested the opposite, that a voicemail message ...

How much liposuction is 'safe'? The answer varies by body weight

September 1, 2015 - What's the "safe" amount of fat to remove in patients undergoing liposuction? Rather than a hard-and-fast rule, the answer depends on the patient's body mass index (BMI), according to a report in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). "Our study shows that liposuction is associated with a very low complication rate, with major complications occurring in less than 1 in 1,000 patients," comments ASPS Member Surgeon John Y.S. Kim of Northwestern ...

Yeast study yields insights into cell-division cycle

ANN ARBOR--Studies using yeast genetics have provided new, fundamental insights into the cell-division cycle, researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute report. Findings published Aug. 31 in the journal eLife show that an organelle known as the vacuole, which performs a variety of cellular housekeeping functions, plays an essential role in the initiation of the cell-division cycle. The cell-division cycle, also known simply as the cell cycle, is the series of events inside a cell that leads to its division. "The yeast vacuole has a counterpart ...

Study in mice suggests how anesthesia may fight lung infections

In use for more than a century, inhaled anesthetics like nitrous oxide and halothane have made modern surgery possible. Now, in experiments in mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have added to evidence that certain so-called "volatile" anesthetics -- commonly used during surgeries -- may also possess powerful effects on the immune system that can combat viral and bacterial infections in the lung, including influenza and pneumonia. A report on the experiments is published in the September 1 issue of the journal Anesthesiology. The Johns Hopkins and University ...

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite sees Tropical Depression 14E disorganized

NASA-NOAAs Suomi NPP satellite sees Tropical Depression 14E disorganized
Tropical Depression 14E was born in the Eastern Pacific Ocean early on September 1 when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead and looked at it in infrared light. Infrared light shows temperature, which is helpful in determining cloud top temperatures of the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone line Tropical Depression 14E (TD 14E). The colder the storm, the higher they stretch into the troposphere (lowest layer of the atmosphere) and the stronger the storms tend to be. On September 1 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT), NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed ...

NASA sees wind shear affecting Hurricane Ignacio

NASA sees wind shear affecting Hurricane Ignacio
Hurricane Ignacio is staying far enough away from the Hawaiian Islands to not bring heavy rainfall or gusty winds, but is still causing rough surf. Infrared satellite data on September 1 shows that wind shear is adversely affecting the storm and weakening it. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite gathers infrared data that reveals temperatures. When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Ignacio on September 1 at 11:41 UTC (7:41 a.m. EDT), the AIRS data and showed some high, cold, strong thunderstorms surrounded the center ...

Could tiny jellyfish propulsion drive design of new underwater craft?

Could tiny jellyfish propulsion drive design of new underwater craft?
EUGENE, Ore. - Sept. 1, 2015 - The University of Oregon's Kelly Sutherland has seen the future of under-sea exploration by studying the swimming prowess of tiny jellyfish gathered from Puget Sound off Washington's San Juan Island. In a paper with four colleagues in the Sept. 2 issue of the journal Nature Communications, Sutherland details how a tiny type of jellyfish - colonial siphonophores - swim rapidly by coordinating multiple water-shooting jets from separate but genetically identical units that make up the animal. Information on the biomechanics of a living organism ...

Marine animal colony is a multi-jet swimming machine, scientists report

Marine animal colony is a multi-jet swimming machine, scientists report
WOODS HOLE, MASS.--Marine animals that swim by jet propulsion, such as squid and jellyfish, are not uncommon. But it's rare to find a colony of animals that coordinates multiple jets for whole-group locomotion. This week in Nature Communications, scientists report on a colonial jellyfish-like species, Nanomia bijuga, that uses a sophisticated, multi-jet propulsion system based on an elegant division of labor among young and old members of the colony. This locomotive solution, the team suggests, could illuminate the design of underwater distributed-propulsion vehicles. "This ...

Can marijuana help transplant patients? New research says maybe

Here's another discovery to bolster the case for medical marijuana: New research in mice suggests that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, may delay the rejection of incompatible organs. Although more research is necessary to determine if there are benefits to humans, this suggests that THC, or a derivative, might prove to be a useful antirejection therapy, particularly in situations where transplanted organs may not be a perfect match. These findings were published in the September 2015 issue of The Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "We are excited to demonstrate for ...

Forgiving others protects women from depression, but not men

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Forgiveness is a complex process, one often fraught with difficulty and angst. Now, researchers in the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences studied how different facets of forgiveness affected aging adults' feelings of depression. The researchers found older women who forgave others were less likely to report depressive symptoms regardless of whether they felt unforgiven by others. Older men, however, reported the highest levels of depression when they both forgave others and felt unforgiven by others. The researchers say their ...


How your brain decides blame and punishment -- and how it can be changed

Uniquely human brain region enables punishment decisions

Pinpointing punishment

Chapman University publishes research on attractiveness and mating

E-cigarettes: Special issue from Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Placental problems in early pregnancy associated with 5-fold increased risk of OB & fetal disorders

UT study: Invasive brood parasites a threat to native bird species

Criminals acquire guns through social connections

Restoring ocean health

Report: Cancer remains leading cause of death in US Hispanics

Twin study suggests genetic factors contribute to insomnia in adults

To be fragrant or not: Why do some male hairstreak butterflies lack scent organs?

International team discovers natural defense against HIV

Bolivian biodiversity observatory takes its first steps

Choice of college major influences lifetime earnings more than simply getting a degree

Dominant strain of drug-resistant MRSA decreases in hospitals, but persists in community

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application

US defense agencies increase investment in federal synthetic biology research

Robots help to map England's only deep-water Marine Conservation Zone

Mayo researchers identify protein -- may predict who will respond to PD-1 immunotherapy for melanoma

How much water do US fracking operations really use?

New approach to mammograms could improve reliability

The influence of citizen science grows despite some resistance

Unlocking secrets of how fossils form

What happens on the molecular level when smog gets into the lungs?

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done

Tiny silica particles could be used to repair damaged teeth, research shows

A quantum lab for everyone

No way? Charity's logo may influence perception of food in package

[] Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September 2015 is a service of DragonFly Company. All Rights Reserved.
Issuers of news releases are solely responsible for the accuracy of their content.