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  News From the National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) — For more information about NSF and its programs, visit www.nsf.gov

NSF Funded News

Key: Meeting M      Journal J      Funder F

Showing releases 1-25 out of 904.

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Public Release: 24-Jun-2016
Geophysical Research Letters
Beach replenishment helps protect against storm erosion during El Niño
Sand added to three San Diego County beaches in 2012 has partially remained, surviving the large waves of the El Nio winter of 2015-16. The analysis could guide future beach nourishment projects necessitated by climate change.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Monroe
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-822-4487
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 24-Jun-2016
Optics Express
Researchers devise new tool to measure polarization of light
Researchers have developed a new tool for detecting and measuring the polarization of light based on a single spatial sampling of the light, rather than the multiple samples required by previous technologies. The new device makes use of the unique properties of organic polymers, rather than traditional silicon, for polarization detection and measurement.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 24-Jun-2016
Nature Communications
'Amazing protein diversity' is discovered in the maize plant
New research establishes the amazing diversity of maize -- specifically the variety of proteins that the plant's genes can generate. The finding has great import for agriculture., as maize is one of the world's top-three staple foods, along with rice and wheat accounting for two-thirds of world food consumption.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture

Contact: Peter Tarr
tarr@cshl.edu
516-367-5055
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Public Release: 24-Jun-2016
Physical Review Letters
Scientists begin modeling universe with Einstein's full theory of general relativity
Research teams on both sides of the Atlantic have shown that precise modeling of the universe and its contents will change the detailed understanding of the evolution of the universe and the growth of structure in it. Both groups independently created software to solve the Einstein Field Equations, which describe the complicated interrelationships between the contents of the universe and the curvature of space and time, at billions of places and times over the history of the universe.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Kevin Mayhood
kevin.mayhood@case.edu
216-534-7183
Case Western Reserve University

Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
Nature
Simulations foresee hordes of colliding black holes in LIGO's future
New calculations predict that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) will detect approximately 1,000 mergers of massive black holes annually once it achieves full sensitivity early next decade. The prediction, published online June 22 in the journal Nature, is based on computer simulations of more than a billion evolving binary stars. The simulations are based on state-of-the-art modeling of the physics involved, informed by the most recent astronomical and astrophysical observations.
National Science Centre Poland, National Science Foundation

Contact: Steve Koppes
skoppes@uchicago.edu
773-702-8366
University of Chicago

Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
Researchers put manganese's role in coastal waters under the microscope
Researcher George Luther from the University of Delaware recently received $870,000 from the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences to continue investigating the important role that manganese plays in the biogeochemistry of ocean and coastal waters. The work, with Brad Tebo from Oregon Health and Science University, will compare field sites in the lower St. Lawrence Estuary, Delaware's Broadkill River and Chesapeake Bay.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Peter Bothum
pbothum@udel.edu
302-831-1418
University of Delaware

Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Should I stay or should I go?
Researchers at the University of Delaware's Disaster Research Center have been studying evacuation data and have published two new papers that may help to improve prediction models used by emergency planners, leading to more efficient evacuations and possibly saving lives.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Peter Bothum
pbothum@udel.edu
302-831-1418
University of Delaware

Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2016)
How well do facial recognition algorithms cope with a million strangers?
University of Washington computer scientists and engineers have launched the 'MegaFace Challenge,' the world's first competition aimed at evaluating and improving the performance of face recognition algorithms at the million person scale.
National Science Foundation, Intel, Samsung, Google, University of Washington Animation Research Labs

Contact: Jennifer Langston
jlangst@uw.edu
206-430-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Proteins put up with the roar of the crowd
Proteins that activate DNA binding sites appear to have no problems with crowded conditions, according to Rice University scientists.
Welch Foundation, National Science Foundation, Center for Theoretical Biological Physics

Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University

Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volcanoes get quiet before they erupt!
Until now, there has not been a way to forecast eruptions of restless volcanoes because of the constant seismic activity and gas and steam emissions. Carnegie volcanologist Diana Roman and team have shown that periods of seismic quiet occur immediately before eruptions and can be used to forecast an eruption. The duration of the silence can indicate the level of energy that will be released. Longer quiet periods mean a bigger bang.
National Science Foundation, Nicaraguan Institute of Earth Sciences

Contact: Diana Roman
droman@carnegiescience.edu
Carnegie Institution for Science

Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
Nano Letters
Ultrathin, flat lens resolves chirality and color
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed an ultra-compact, flat lens that can simultaneously capture both spectral information and the chirality of an object.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Leah Burrows
lburrows@seas.harvard.edu
617-496-1351
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
Journal of Zoology
Migratory bears down in the dumps
University of Utah biologists working in Turkey discovered two surprising facts about a group of 16 brown bears: First, six of the bears seasonally migrated between feeding and breeding sites, the first known brown bears to do so. Second, and more sobering, the other 10 bears stayed in one spot all year long: the city dump.
Forschungskredit der Universitat Zurich, Claraz Foundation, Christensen Fund, Fondation Segre, National Geographic Society, National Science Foundation, University of Utah, Whitley Fund, Nature Turkiye Foundation

Contact: Paul Gabrielsen
paul.gabrielsen@utah.edu
801-505-8253
University of Utah

Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
The Cryosphere
New technique settles old debate on highest peaks in US Arctic
Finding out which is the highest mountain in the US Arctic may be the last thing on your mind, unless you are an explorer who skis from the tallest peaks around the globe. Ski mountaineer Kit DesLauriers joined forces with glaciologist Matt Nolan to settle a debate of more than 50 years, while testing a new, affordable mapping technique in a steep mountainous region. Their research is published June 23 in The Cryosphere.
National Geographic Society, National Science Foundation

Contact: Bárbara Ferreira
media@egu.eu
49-892-180-6703
European Geosciences Union

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Crop Science
A 'Fitbit' for plants?
Knowing what physical traits a plant has is called phenotyping. Because it is such a labor intensive process, scientists are working to develop technology that makes phenotyping much easier. The tool is called the Phenocart, and it captures essential plant health data. The Phenocart measures plant vital signs like growth rate and color, the same way a Fitbit monitors human health signals like blood pressure and physical activity.
National Science Foundation-Plant Genome Research Program, US Agency for International Development Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Applied Wheat Genomics

Contact: Susan Fisk
sfisk@sciencesocieties.org
608-273-8091
American Society of Agronomy

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Get a clue: Biochemist studies fruit fly to understand Parkinson's disease, muscle wasting
By studying the fruit fly, Kansas State University researchers have found a connection between a gene called clueless and genes that cause Parkinson's disease.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association

Contact: Jennifer Tidball
jtidball@k-state.edu
785-532-0847
Kansas State University

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Neutralizing acidic forest soils boosts tree growth, causes spike in nitrogen export
A legacy of acid rain has acidified forest soils throughout the northeastern US, lowering the growth rate of trees. In an attempt to mitigate this trend, in 1999 scientists added calcium to an experimental forest in New Hampshire. Tree growth recovered, but a decade later there was a major increase in the nitrogen content of stream water draining the site.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lori M. Quillen
quillenl@caryinstitute.org
845-677-7600 x233
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
CWRU researcher scaling up knotty polymer research
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University developed a technique that produces a long chain molecule in the shape of a trefoil knot. They're now using a $300,000 NSF grant to scale up the work to make molecular knots that are expected to produce different physical and chemical properties in plastics, coatings, rubber, composites and more.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Mayhood
kevin.mayhood@case.edu
216-534-7183
Case Western Reserve University

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
PLOS ONE
The world's oldest farmers
An international team of researchers has discovered the oldest fossil evidence of agriculture, not by humans, but by insects.
National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, James Cook University, Ohio University, Portuguese Foundation for Science and Fellowship, Marie Curie Fellowship

Contact: Alistair Bone
alistair.bone@jcu.edu.au
James Cook University

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Physical Review Letters
Negative feedback loops help maintain the function of mutated proteins
Negative feedback is a universal control mechanism that lets a system's output throttle its input. If an engine revs up, negative feedback tapers its power source. But if the engine slows down, it re-opens the power source, keeping output reliably steady. This is an example of a negative feedback that can be found in many systems.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, DARPA, and Baylor College of Medicine

Contact: Allison Huseman
allison.huseman@bcm.edu
713-798-4710
Baylor College of Medicine

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
New England Journal of Medicine
Zika warnings lead to 'significant' increase in demand for abortion in Latin America
Health warnings about complications related to Zika virus significantly increased demand for abortions in Latin American countries, according to a new study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, in many of these countries, abortion is either illegal or highly restricted, leaving pregnant women with few options and potentially driving women to use unsafe methods, access abortion drugs without medical supervision or visit underground providers.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Craig Brierley
craig.brierley@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-012-237-66205
University of Cambridge

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Nature
Dormant black hole eats star, becomes X-ray flashlight
Astronomers from the University of Maryland are the first to document X-rays bouncing around deep within the walls of a once-dormant supermassive black hole's newly formed accretion disk -- the giant, puffy cloud of shredded star stuff circling the black hole, waiting for its turn to be swallowed up -- following a tidal disruption event. The results appear in the June 22, 2016 early online edition of the journal Nature.
NASA, National Science Foundation, European Space Agency, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency

Contact: Matthew Wright
mewright@umd.edu
301-405-9267
University of Maryland

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
Cognitive Science
Making computers reason and learn by analogy
Using the power of analogy, Northwestern University professor Ken Forbus's structure-mapping engine gives computers the ability to reason like humans and even solve moral dilemmas.
Office of Naval Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,Air Force Office of Scientific Research, National Science Foundation

Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
EPJ D
Better material insights with gentle e-beams
There are several ways to change a molecule, chemically or physically. A lesser known method relies on electron collision, or e-beam technology. In a review outlining new research avenues based on electron scattering, Michael Allan from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and colleagues explain the subtle intricacies of the extremely brief electron-molecule encounter, in particular with gentle, i.e., very low energy electrons. The study was recently published in EPJ D.
Swiss National Science Foundation, Fonds der Chemischen Industrie, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, COST

Contact: Sabine Lehr
sabine.lehr@springer.com
49-622-148-78336
Springer

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Core proteins exert control over DNA function
Histone proteins at the core of nucleosomes and their tails exert control over the exposure of genes for binding, as demonstrated in simulations by Rice University researchers.
National Science Foundation, Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
New research details how big game follow spring green-up
While biologists long have thought that animals essentially 'surf the green wave' of new plant growth from low-elevation winter range to high-elevation summer range, the new research has measured how precisely the animal movements are aligned with the green-up.
US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, University of Wyoming Berry Fellowship

Contact: Jerod Merkle
jmerkle@uwyo.edu
307-766-5448
University of Wyoming

Showing releases 1-25 out of 904.

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