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Darwin on fast forward: ORNL study on COVID-19 earns Gordon Bell Special Prize nomination

Scientists used the nation’s fastest supercomputer to teach an algorithm the language of molecules to search for COVID-19 treatments. “The approach we used to search for promising molecules resembles natural selection in fast forward,” said Andrew Blanchard, one of the study’s authors. “We focused on two aspects: how to generate new molecules and how to score them according to their potential to inhibit the virus.”

Granholm Urges Vaccinations, Discloses Recent DOE Deaths

Top brass at DOE are urging workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, revealing that 10 employees have died from the coronavirus in just the last three weeks. Granholm applauded several companies and universities that manage a few of DOE’s 17 national laboratories for instituting vaccine mandates for employees, including UT-Battelle at ORNL in Tennessee.

Association Honors EM Contractor for Achievements in Safety, Health

An association recently recognized several EM contractors across the DOE complex with a variety of awards for safety, health, innovation, and outreach. The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA), which helps worksites advance safety and health goals, honored contractors at the Oak Ridge site. UCOR established an in-house training program for radiological control technicians, which includes a 16-week onboarding period with classroom and on-the-job training. The end result has given UCOR 160 radiological control technicians who have the technical depth of knowledge to rotate between diverse cleanup projects at the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and East Tennessee Technology Park.