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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

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Showing releases 1-25 out of 864.

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Public Release: 30-Jan-2015
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Researchers develop new instrument to monitor atmospheric mercury
Researchers at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science developed and tested a new sensor to detect ambient levels of mercury in the atmosphere.
National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Grant

Contact: Diana Udel
dudel@rsmas.miami.edu
305-421-4061
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

Public Release: 30-Jan-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory
A new study from Rice University, Zhejiang University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Florida State University and the Max Planck Institute adds to the growing evidence supporting a theory that strange electronic behaviors -- including high-temperature superconductivity and heavy fermion physics -- arise from quantum fluctuations of strongly correlated electrons.
National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Basic Research Program of China, National Science Foundation of China, German Research Foundation, Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation, State of Florida, Robert A. Welch Foundation

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University

Public Release: 30-Jan-2015
Ecosphere
Blue mussels not yet the bellwether of NE coastal environment
Mussels could be the perfect 'sentinel' species to signal the health of coastal ecosystems. But a new study of blue mussels in estuary ecosystems along 600 kilometers of coastline in the Northeast uncovered three key mysteries that will have to be solved first.
National Science Foundation

Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University

Public Release: 29-Jan-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Picking up on the smell of evolution
UA researchers have discovered some of the changes in genes, physiology and behavior that enable a species to drastically change its lifestyle in the course of evolution.
National Science Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, National Institutes of Health, University of Arizona Foundation

Contact: Daniel Stolte
stolte@email.arizona.edu
520-626-4402
University of Arizona

Public Release: 29-Jan-2015
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Canceled flights: For monarch butterflies, loss of migration means more disease
A new study by University of Georgia ecologists finds that sedentary winter-breeding monarch butterflies are at increased risk of disease, a discovery that could apply to other migratory species as well. But, for the monarchs, there may be a relatively simple solution. The study's lead author, Dara Satterfield, said the monarchs' winter-breeding behavior is made possible by the presence of tropical milkweed and recommends gardeners gradually replace it with native milkweeds as they become available.
National Science Foundation, US Forest Service

Contact: Dara Satterfield
dara7@uga.edu
706-542-3485
University of Georgia

Public Release: 29-Jan-2015
Ecological Applications
Bird watchers help federal agencies pinpoint conservation priorities
Migratory birds are a little like college students moving from home to school and back over the year. With each move they switch landlords, encountering new rules and different living conditions. That's the finding of one of the most detailed assessments of bird ranges ever conducted, work begun as part of the State of the Birds 2011 report and published this month in the journal Ecological Applications.
Leon Levy Foundation, Wolf Creek Foundation, National Science Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Contact: Pat Leonard
pel27@cornell.edu
607-254-2137
Cornell University

Public Release: 29-Jan-2015
Geophysical Research Letters
Iceland rises as its glaciers melt from climate change
The Earth's crust under Iceland is rebounding as global warming melts the island's great ice caps. In south-central Iceland some sites are moving upward as much as 1.4 inches (35 mm) per year. The forthcoming paper is the first to show the current fast uplift of the Icelandic crust is a result of accelerated melting of the island's glaciers and coincides with the onset of warming that began about 30 years ago, the researchers said.
National Science Foundation, Icelandic Center for Research RANNIS

Contact: Mari N. Jensen
mnjensen@email.arizona.edu
520-626-9635
University of Arizona

Public Release: 29-Jan-2015
Cell
Why is a dolphin not a cat?
A study of gene regulation in 20 mammals, published in Cell, provides new insights into how species diverged millions of years ago. The findings demonstrate how methods and tools for genetic analysis of humans and mice can be adapted to study non-model species, such as whales and Tasmanian devils.
Cancer Research UK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Wellcome Trust, European Research Council, EMBO Young Investigator Programme, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Mary Todd Bergman
mary@ebi.ac.uk
01-223-494-665
European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Public Release: 29-Jan-2015
American Sociological Review
Many religious people view science favorably, but reject certain scientific theories
A new study finds that many US adults -- roughly one in five -- are deeply religious, know a lot about science, and support many practical uses of science and technology in everyday life, but reject scientific explanations of creation and evolution.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Geophysical Research Letters
Satellites can improve regional air quality forecasting
University of Iowa researchers found that data gathered from geo-stationary satellites -- satellites orbiting Earth at about 22,000 miles above the equator and commonly used for telecommunications and weather imaging -- can greatly improve air-quality forecasting.
NASA, US Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute

Contact: Gary Galluzzo
gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu
319-384-0009
University of Iowa

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Energy & Fuels
Researchers produce two bio-fuels from a single algae
A common algae commercially grown to make fish food holds promise as a source for both biodiesel and jet fuel, according to a new study published in the journal Energy & Fuels.
National Science Foundation, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Contact: WHOI Media Office
media@whoi.edu
508-289-3340
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Nature Communications
Damaged DNA may stall patrolling molecule to initiate repair
Sites where DNA is damaged may cause a molecule that slides along the DNA strand to scan for damage to slow on its patrol, delaying it long enough to recognize and initiate repair. The finding suggests that the delay itself may be the key that allows the protein molecule to find its target, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
UIC's Chancellor's Discovery Fund, Chicago Biomedical Consortium's Catalyst Award, Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, National Institutes of Health. National Science Foundation, UIC startup fund

Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgala@uic.edu
312-996-1583
University of Illinois at Chicago

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Long series of droughts doomed Mexican city 1,000 years ago
The former city and now archaeological site called Cantona in the highlands east of Mexico City appears to have been abandoned nearly 1,000 years ago as a result of a prolonged dry spell that lasted about 650 years, according to a new study by UC Berkeley geographers. The dry period, characterized by a long series of droughts, occurred during a nearly 2,000-year-long period of increasing aridity throughout Mesoamerica that impacted other civilizations, including Teotihuacan.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Sanders
rlsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Animal Behaviour
Chimps with higher-ranking moms do better in fights
For chimpanzees, just like humans, teasing, taunting and bullying are familiar parts of playground politics. An analysis of twelve years of observations of playground fights between young chimpanzees in East Africa finds that chimps with higher-ranked moms are more likely to win.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Leo S. Guthman Foundation

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
ras10@duke.edu
919-681-8057
Duke University

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Psychological Science
Playing with puzzles and blocks may build children's spatial skills
Play may seem like fun and games, but new research shows that specific kinds of play are actually associated with development of particular cognitive skills. Data from a nationally representative study show that children who play frequently with puzzles, blocks, and board games tend to have better spatial reasoning ability. The research is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
IEEE Control Systems
Mobile apps take students into the laboratory
Mobile apps have proved to be valuable educational tools, but laboratory instructors thus far have been limited to using mobile devices only for virtual laboratories with simulated experiments. Now, researchers have developed a series of mobile applications that allow students to remotely interact with real data and equipment in real laboratories. Students reported deeper engagement levels using mobile apps and the virtual lab.
National Science Foundation, NASA/NY Space Grant Consortium

Contact: Teena Touch
teena.touch@nyu.edu
415-310-3125
New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Custom tailoring robotic exoskeletons that fit to perfection
Researchers are developing a design framework that will help speed the design of powered exoskeletons for the lower body. The modeling will enable highly customized exoskeletons that give disabled persons natural motion with better comfort and safety. The devices will also allow military personnel and construction workers to carry heavy loads over long distances.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kathleen Hamilton
kathleen.hamilton@nyu.edu
718-260-3792
New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Customized soap bubbles set to transform drug and vaccine delivery
At a University of Maryland start-up called SD Nanosciences, scientists are covering soap bubbles with biomolecules that act as a disguise, tricking the body's cells into mistaking the capsule for a bacterium, a cancer cell or almost any other disease-causing cell. Because the technology is flexible, cost-effective and highly efficient, it is drawing a lot of attention from both public and private funders for drug delivery and vaccine production.
MedImmune, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, DuPont, Maryland Industrial Partnerships

Contact: Abby Robinson
abbyr@umd.edu
301-405-5845
University of Maryland

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Nature
Anthropology: Ancient skull from Galilee cave offers clues to the first modern Europeans
The discovery of a 55,000-year-old skull in Northern Israel provides new insights into the migration of modern humans. The skull has a bun-shaped region at the back resembling modern African and European skulls, suggesting the people of this area could be closely related to the first modern humans that colonized Europe. It also indicates that modern humans and Neanderthals inhabited the southern Levant close in time to the two groups' likely interbreeding event.
Dan David Foundation, Israel Antiquities Authority, Case Western Reserve University, Leakey Foundation, Irene Levi Sala CARE Archaeological Foundation, Keren Kayemet L'Israel, Israel Science Foundation, National Science Foundation, and others

Contact: Dov Smith
dovs@savion.huji.ac.il
972-258-82844
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
National Science Review
Chinese and American scientists review early evolution of eukaryotic multicellularity
The rise of multicellularity represents a major evolutionary transition and it occurred independently in multiple eukaryote clades. Complex multicellular eukaryotes began diversifying in the Ediacaran Period, just before the Cambrian explosion. The Ediacaran fossil record can provide key paleontological evidence about the early radiation of multicellular eukaryotes. In a new study, Chinese and American scientists review exceptionally preserved eukaryote fossils from the Ediacaran Weng'an biota in South China, along with varying interpretations of these fossils.
National Science Foundation, National Natural Science Foundation of China, The Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and The Chinese Academy of Sciences

Contact: Shuhai Xiao
xiao@vt.edu
Science China Press

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
National Science Review
Scientists in China and US chart latest discoveries of iron-based superconductors
In a superconductor electricity is transported without loss of energy at extremely low temperatures. Recently discovered iron-based superconductors have the highest superconducting transition temperature next to copper oxides. In a recent paper, scientists based in China and the US review material aspects and physical properties of iron-based superconductors. They outline the transition temperature's dependence on the crystal structure, the interplay between antiferromagnetism and superconductivity, and the electronic properties of compounds obtained by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy.
National Science Foundation of China and Ministry of Science and Technology

Contact: Fu-Chun Zhang
fuchun@hku.hk
Science China Press

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Nature
Quantum computer as detector shows space is not squeezed
Ever since Einstein proposed his special theory of relativity in 1905, physics and cosmology have been based on the assumption that space looks the same in all directions -- that it's not squeezed in one direction relative to another. A new experiment by UC Berkeley physicists used partially entangled atoms -- identical to the qubits in a quantum computer -- to demonstrate more precisely than ever before that this is true: to one part in a billion billion.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Sanders
rlsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
PLOS ONE
Smothered oceans
From the subarctic Pacific to the Chilean margins, extreme oxygen loss is stretching from the upper ocean to about 3,000 meters deep. In some oceanic regions, such loss occurred within 100 years or less, according to a UC Davis study.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Sarah Moffitt
semoffitt@ucdavis.edu
808-381-9177
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Nature
Spiky 'hedgehog particles' for safer paints, fewer VOC emissions
A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.
Center for Solar and Thermal Energy Conversion, National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense

Contact: Gabe Cherry
gcherry@umich.edu
734-647-7085
University of Michigan

Public Release: 28-Jan-2015
Nature Communications
Nanoscale mirrored cavities amplify, connect quantum memories
Constructing tiny 'mirrors' to trap light increases the efficiency with which photons can pick up and transmit information about electronic spin states -- which is essential for scaling up quantum memories for functional quantum computing systems and networks.
Air Force Office of Scientific Research, DOE/Office of Science, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, NASA/Office of the Chief Technologist's Space Technology Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

Showing releases 1-25 out of 864.

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