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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 878.

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Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Journal of Physical Chemistry
Research aims to improve rechargeable batteries by focusing on graphene oxide paper
A Kansas State University engineering team has discovered some of graphene oxide's important properties that can improve sodium- and lithium-ion flexible batteries.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Gurpreet Singh
gurpreet@k-state.edu
785-532-7085
Kansas State University

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Nature
Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough
If data could instead be encoded without current it would require much less energy, and make things like low-power, instant-on computing a ubiquitous reality. A team at Cornell University has made a breakthrough in that direction with a room-temperature magnetoelectric memory device. Equivalent to one computer bit, it exhibits the holy grail of next-generation nonvolatile memory: magnetic switchability, in two steps, with nothing but an electric field. Their results were published online Dec. 17 in Nature.
National Science Foundation, Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science

Contact: Syl Kacapyr
vpk6@cornell.edu
607-255-7701
Cornell University

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity
Four pulses of laser light on nanoparticle photocells in a University of Oregon spectroscopy experiment has opened a window on how captured sunlight can be converted into electricity.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Current Biology
Of bugs and brains
The fundamental structures underlying learning and memory in the brains of Invertebrates as different as a fruit fly and an earthworm are remarkably similar, according to UA neuroscientists.
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Arizona Center for Insect Science

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

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
Team develops 'cool' new method for probing how molecules fold
Collaborating scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and the University of California San Diego have developed a powerful new system for studying how proteins and other biological molecules form and lose their natural folded structures. Using the new system, researchers can force a sample of molecules to unfold and refold by boosting and then dropping the temperature, so quickly that even some of the fastest molecular folding events can be tracked.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Madeline McCurry-Schmidt
madms@scripps.edu
858-784-9254
Scripps Research Institute

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
550-million-year-old fossils provide new clues about fossil formation
A new study from University of Missouri and Virginia Tech researchers is challenging accepted ideas about how ancient soft-bodied organisms become part of the fossil record. Findings suggest that bacteria involved in the decay of those organisms play an active role in how fossils are formed -- often in a matter of just a few tens to hundreds of years. Understanding the relationship between decay and fossilization will inform future study and help researchers interpret fossils in a new way.
NASA Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology Program, NASA Astrobiology Institute, National Science Foundation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China

Contact: Jeff Sossamon
sossamonj@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
PLOS Computational Biology
In one aspect of vision, computers catch up to primate brain
A new study from MIT neuroscientists has found that one of the latest generation of 'deep neural networks' matches the primate brain.
NIH/National Eye Institute, National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Contact: Sarah McDonnell
s_mcd@mit.edu
617-253-8923
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
Electron spin could be the key to high-temperature superconductivity
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne scientists take a significant step in our understanding of superconductivity by studying the strange quantum events in a unique superconducting material.
Swiss National Science Foundation, Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation

Contact: Nik Papageorgiou
n.papageorgiou@epfl.ch
41-216-932-105
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
The Greenland Ice Sheet: Now in HD
The highest-resolution maps of the Greenland Ice Sheet are debuting at AGU. Starting with Worldview satellite imagery, Researchers at The Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota created the maps, which are already revealing previously unknown features on the ice sheet.
NASA, National Science Foundation

Contact: Pam Frost Gorder
Gorder.1@osu.edu
614-292-9475
Ohio State University

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Current Biology
Sensing distant tornadoes, birds flew the coop
A University of California Berkeley-led research team found that golden-winged warblers in Tennessee fled the path of tornado-generating storms one to two days ahead, well before any local signs of troubling weather. Signs point to the use of infrasound as Mother Nature's early warning system.
US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, National Science Foundation

Contact: Sarah Yang
scyang@berkeley.edu
510-643-7741
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
PLOS Genetics
Could ibuprofen be an anti-aging medicine?
Could a drug that is in most people's medicine cabinets hold the key to a longer, healthier life? New research shows that ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter remedy used to relieve pain and fever, extends the lifespan of yeast, worms and fruit flies -- given in doses comparable to those taken by humans.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, Presidium of RAS, President of Russian Federation

Contact: Kris Rebillot
krebillot@buckinstitute.org
415-209-2080
Buck Institute for Age Research

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Science
'Hairclip' protein mechanism explained
A new study describes, for the first time, a fundamental mechanism regulating a protein's shape. The 'Hairclip' mechanism involves mutations acting on one side of a protein to open or close the configuration of amino acids on the other. The findings have implications for the manipulation of proteins, with potential applications in biotechnology and drug development.
Nakajima Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Bergen Forskningsstiftelse, UK Medical Research Council

Contact: Sonia Furtado Neves
contactpress@ebi.ac.uk
49-062-213-878-263
European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Nature
Switching to spintronics
Berkeley Lab researchers used an electric field to reverse the magnetization direction in a multiferroic spintronic device at room temperature, a demonstration that points a new way towards spintronics and smaller, faster and cheaper ways of storing and processing data.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Green Chemistry
New conversion process turns biomass 'waste' into lucrative chemical products
A new catalytic process is able to convert what was once considered biomass waste into lucrative chemical products that can be used in fragrances, flavorings or to create high-octane fuel for racecars and jets. A team of researchers from a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center has developed a process that uses a chemical catalyst and heat to spur reactions that convert lignin into valuable chemical commodities.
Department of EnergyNSF

Contact: Elizabeth K. Gardner
ekgardner@purdue.edu
765-494-2081
Purdue University

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
'Draw me a picture,' say scientists: Computer may respond
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Hawaii to take the first steps towards developing a computer that can take data and produce meaningful visualizations based on natural language requests, accompanied by common gestures like pointing.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
FASEB Journal
Study shows how breast cancer cells break free to spread in the body
More than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths are caused by the spread of cancer cells from their primary tumor site to other areas of the body. A new study has identified how one important gene helps cancer cells break free from the primary tumor.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brett Israel
brett.israel@comm.gatech.edu
404-385-1933
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Environmental Science and Technology
Heat boosts phthalate emissions from vinyl crib mattress covers
The US continues to look at the use and regulation of phthalates, which have been associated with health problems. Of particular concern is the safety of these plastic additives to children. A new study aims to improve our understanding of one possible exposure route for babies: vinyl crib mattress covers. Scientists report in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology that as these covers warm up, they emit more phthalates into the air.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-6042
American Chemical Society

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Nature
Ancient, hydrogen-rich waters discovered deep underground at locations around the world
A team of scientists, led by the University of Toronto's Barbara Sherwood Lollar, has mapped the location of hydrogen-rich waters found trapped kilometers beneath Earth's surface in rock fractures in Canada, South Africa and Scandinavia. Common in Precambrian Shield rocks -- the oldest rocks on Earth -- the ancient waters have a chemistry similar to that found near deep sea vents, suggesting these waters can support microbes living in isolation from the surface.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada Research Chairs Program, Sloan Foundation Deep Carbon Observatory, Canadian Space Agency, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kim Luke
kim.luke@utoronto.ca
416-978-4352
University of Toronto

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Grant funds national expansion of watershed modeling website for science curriculum
Stroud Water Research Center, in collaboration with the Concord Consortium and Millersville University of Pennsylvania, received a $2.9 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to dramatically expand Model My Watershed, part of the WikiWatershed suite of online tools. This application allows users to explore how land use affects stream ecology and hydrology.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Beverly Payton
bpayton@stroudcenter.org
610-268-2153 x305
Stroud Water Research Center

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Big-data analysis reveals gene sharing in mice
Rice University scientists have detected at least three potential hybridization events that likely shaped the evolutionary paths of 'old world' mice, two in recent times and one in the ancient past.
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Library of Medicine, National Science Foundation, Keck Center of the Gulf Coast Consortia

Contact: Mike Williams
mikewilliams@rice.edu
713-348-6728
Rice University

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
PLOS Biology
Stay complex, my friends
The KISS concept -- keep it simple, stupid -- may work for many situations. However, when it comes to evolution, complexity appears to be key for prosperity and propagating future generations.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Journal of Human Evolution
DNA sheds light on why largest lemurs disappeared
DNA from giant lemurs that lived thousands of years ago in Madagascar may help explain why the animals went extinct, and what makes some lemurs more at risk today. Scientists have little doubt that humans played a role in the giant lemurs' demise. By comparing the species that died out to those that survived, scientists hope to better predict which lemurs are most in need of protection in the future.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Research studies role native language plays in processing words in new languages
Research at the University of Kansas is exploring how a person's native language can influence the way the brain processes auditory words in a second language. Annie Tremblay, an assistant professor of linguistics, and a group of international collaborators received a three-year, $259,000 National Science Foundation Grant for the research.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Christine Metz Howard
cmetzhoward@ku.edu
785-864-8852
University of Kansas

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Journal of Glaciology
Glacier beds can get slipperier at higher sliding speeds
Using the Iowa State University Sliding Simulator, Iowa State glaciologists Lucas Zoet and Neal Iverson have found that as a glacier's sliding speed increases, the bed beneath the glacier can grow slipperier. That laboratory finding could help researchers make better predictions of glacier response to climate change and the corresponding sea-level rise. The research results were just published in the Journal of Glaciology.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lucas K. Zoet
lzoet@iastate.edu
515-294-4477
Iowa State University

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Developmental Science
Naming people and objects in baby's first year may offer learning benefits years later
In a follow-up to her earlier studies of learning in infancy, developmental psychologist Lisa Scott and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are reporting that talking to babies in their first year, in particular naming things in their world, can help them make connections between what they see and hear, and these learning benefits can be seen as much as five years later.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@admin.umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Showing releases 1-25 out of 878.

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