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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 888.

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Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
Applied Physics Letters
Hands on: Crafting ultrathin color coatings
Research from Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences suggests that an ultra-thin layer of a metal and a semiconductor could be applied to essentially any rough or flexible material to produce a vividly colored coating. The technique, which exploits optical interference effects, could potentially be used on wearable fabrics or stretchable electronics.
US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Draper Lab, National Science Foundation

Contact: Caroline Perry
cperry@seas.harvard.edu
617-496-1351
Harvard University

Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
SIAM Journal on Computing
Decision 'cascades' in social networks
A paper published this month in the SIAM Journal on Computing shows how people in social networks are often influenced by each other's decisions, resulting in a run of behaviors in which their choices become highly correlated, causing a cascade of decisions.
National Science Foundation, Google Research Award, Google Focused Research Award, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Google Research Grant, Yahoo! Research Alliance Grant

Contact: Karthika Muthukumaraswamy
karthika@siam.org
267-350-6383
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Acoustic tweezers manipulate cell-to-cell contact
Sound waves can precisely position groups of cells for study without the danger of changing or damaging the cells, according to a team of Penn State researchers who are using surface acoustic waves to manipulate cell spacing and contact.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State

Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Fragile bones of modern humans result from reduced physical activity
The comparatively light bone structure of modern humans compared to early human species and other modern primates may be due to the modern abandonment of the constant physical activity that was inherent in the life of early hunter gathers, according to an international team of researchers. This knowledge may aid in prevention of osteoporosis and hip fracture in the elderly.
National Science Foundation

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State

Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
Tissue Engineering, Parts A, B, C
New technology makes tissues, someday maybe organs
A new device for building large tissues from living components of three-dimensional microtissues borrows on ideas from electronics manufacturing. The Bio-Pick, Place, and Perfuse is a step toward someday making whole organs. A new grant from the National Science Foundation will allow for major improvements including automation.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Modern genetics confirm ancient relationship between fins and hands
Efforts to connect the evolutionary transition from fish fins to wrist and fingers with the genetic machinery for this adaptation have fallen short because they focused on the wrong fish. Now, researchers describe the genetic machinery for autopod assembly in a non-model fish, the spotted gar.
The Brinson Foundation, National Science Foundation, Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, National Institutes of Health, Volkswagen Foundation, The Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation

Contact: John Easton
john.easton@uchospitals.edu
773-795-5225
University of Chicago Medical Center

Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
Nature Geoscience
Coral reveals long-term link between Pacific winds, global climate
New research indicates that shifts in Pacific trade winds played a key role in twentieth century climate variation and are likely again influencing global temperatures. The study, led by NCAR and the University of Arizona, uses a novel method of analyzing coral chemistry to reveal winds from a century ago.
National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of Arizona, Philanthropic Education Organization, UK Natural Environment Research Council, US Department of Energy

Contact: David Hosansky
hosansky@ucar.edu
303-497-8611
National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
PNAS study: Devising a way to count proteins as they group
A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and UC Berkeley researchers reports on an innovative theoretical methodology to solve 'the counting problem,' which is key to understanding how proteins group and perform their vital functions within the human body.
Burroughs-Wellcome Fund, National Science Foundation

Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-843-2276
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science

Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
Researchers discover new genetic anomalies in lung cancer
By analyzing the DNA and RNA of lung cancers, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that patients whose tumors contained a large number of gene fusions had worse outcomes than patients with fewer gene fusions. In addition, the researchers identified several new genetic anomalies that occur in lung cancer, including in patients with a history of smoking.
NIH/National Cancer Institute, Dermatology Foundation, Spanish Society of Medical Oncology Fellowship, China Scholarship Council Award, National Science Foundation

Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System

Public Release: 22-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Tales from a Martian rock
A new analysis of a Martian rock that meteorite hunters plucked from an Antarctic ice field 30 years ago this month reveals a record of the planet's climate billions of years ago, back when water likely washed across its surface and any life that ever formed there might have emerged.
NASA, National Science Foundation

Contact: Susan Brown
sdbrown@ucsd.edu
University of California - San Diego

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

Showing releases 1-25 out of 888.

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