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January 2013 story tips from Oak Ridge National Laboratory

CYBER SECURITY -- Thwarting threats . . .

Many of the nation's foremost authorities on cyber security will gather in Oak Ridge Jan. 8-12 for the inaugural Cyber Sciences Laboratory workshop. The event will feature 10 plenary keynotes, including Richard Clarke, author of "CYBER WAR: The Next Threat to National Security and What to do About it." Also on the agenda are four plenary panels, 44 research talks and 20 research posters. Researchers from nine Department of Energy laboratories will focus on emerging strategies for cost-effective deterrents to cyber attacks. "The future of America's prosperity hinges on rebalancing cyberspace to mitigate threats and maximize benefits, ensuring security and privacy in a constantly changing adversarial environment," said ORNL's Frederick Sheldon, general chair. Sheldon expects 350-plus participants and more than 30 industry and academic sponsors. More information about the event is available at [Contact: Ron Walli, (865)-576-0226;]

MEDICAL -- Unlocking secrets of protein . . .

Scientists are using an instrument at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor to discover how a key binding protein protects our DNA double helix. This special Replication Protein, or RPA, is critical to keeping our hereditary information intact, which allows geneticists to track diseases that may be passed from one generation to another. RPA keeps the single DNA strands untangled and also prevents attacks by enzymes that can break up the DNA and render the code indecipherable. Little is known about how RPA molecules perform these complex roles, but using the CG-3 Bio SANS instrument as part of a multi-pronged approach neutron scattering, X-ray scattering and computational simulation scientists hope to develop many answers. [Contact: Agatha Bardoel, (865) 576-0644;]

MATERIALS -- Virtually friction free . . .

Ships of tomorrow could glide through the water with less energy because of a technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Pittsburgh. By coating grooves called riblets with superhydrophobic material, researchers can encase ship hulls in a pinned layer of air, allowing them to race through the waves faster while using about half the fuel. Superhydrophobic riblets could impact a wide variety of applications that involve water by decreasing the drag force. The paper was published in the Proceedings of the ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition. [Written by Jennifer Brouner, (865) 241-9515;; media contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226;]


Contact: Ron Walli
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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