BIOLOGY -- Soil sleuths . . .
By applying new DNA chip technology, scientists are for the first time able to study the diversity of the thousands of microbial species present in soil over an entire forest stand. For most plants and animals, scientists understand these basic patterns well enough to describe them mathematically as "ecological laws." However, because microbes cannot be identified by eye like plants and animals, it has been unclear how these laws and patterns apply to microbial habitats. "Understanding the basic patterns of organism diversity in nature is the first step to understanding how species and ecosystems may change in relationship to stresses such as those induced by future climate change scenarios," said the University of Oklahoma's Joe Zhou, lead author of the paper to appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Co-authors are Sanghoon Kang of the University of Oklahoma, Christopher Schadt and Charles Garten of ORNL. Funding was provided the Department of Energy and the University of Oklahoma Research Foundation. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; email@example.com]
ENERGY -- Cheaper, efficient power . . .
A second generation high-temperature superconducting wire measuring 935 meters developed through the combined efforts of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's superconductivity technology group and SuperPower of Schenectady, N.Y., recently transmitted a record 158,950 amps-per-meter of current. These
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DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory