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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 789.

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Public Release: 29-Aug-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
CCNY team defines new biodiversity metric
To understand how the repeated climatic shifts over the last 120,000 years may have influenced today's patterns of genetic diversity, a team of researchers led by City College of New York biologist Dr. Ana Carnaval developed a new biodiversity metric called 'phylogeographic endemism.'
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jay Mwamba
jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
212-650-7580
City College of New York

Public Release: 29-Aug-2014
Personality and Social Psychology Review
Meaningful relationships can help you thrive
Deep and meaningful relationships play a vital role in overall well-being. A paper published in Personality and Social Psychology Review provides an important perspective on thriving through relationships, emphasizes two types of support that relationships provide, and illuminates aspects where further study is necessary.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Health and Human Services, Fetzer Institute

Contact: Jennifer Santisi
press@spsp.org
202-524-6543
Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Biology Letters
Flapping baby birds give clues to origin of flight
The origin of flight is a contentious issue: some argue that tree-climbing dinosaurs learned to fly in order to avoid hard falls. Others favor the story that theropod dinosaurs ran along the ground and pumped their forelimbs to gain lift, eventually talking off. New evidence showing the early development of aerial righting in birds, published by biologists Robert Dudley of UC Berkeley and Dennis Evangelista of the University of North Carolina, favors the tree-dweller hypothesis.
National Science Foundation, Sigma Xi

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

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication
Socially-assistive robots help kids with autism learn by providing personalized prompts
In a pilot study led by Maja Mataric at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, researchers found that children with autism spectrum disorders showed improved or maintained performance in learning imitative behavior by interacting with humanoid robots that provided graded cueing, an occupational therapy technique that shapes behavior by providing increasingly specific cues to help a person learn new skills.
NSF/Human-Centered Computing, NSF/CISE Research Infrastructure

Contact: Megan Hazle
hazle@usc.edu
213-821-1887
University of Southern California

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Science
Watching the structure of glass under pressure
Glass has many applications that call for different properties, such as resistance to thermal shock or to chemically harsh environments. Glassmakers commonly use additives such as boron oxide to tweak these properties by changing the atomic structure of glass. Now researchers at UC Davis have for the first time captured atoms in borosilicate glass flipping from one structure to another as it is placed under high pressure.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Journal of Applied Physics
New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits
A new research platform uses a laser to measure the 'nanomechanical' properties of tiny structures undergoing stress and heating, an approach likely to yield insights to improve designs for microelectronics and batteries.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
American Journal of Botany
Together, humans and computers can figure out the plant world
Recent research applying bioinformatics and biometrics to the study of plant form and function is presented in a special issue on Bioinformatic and Biometric Methods in Plant Morphology, published in Applications in Plant Sciences. The methods presented in the issue include automated classification and identification, a new online pollen database with semantic search capabilities, geometric morphometrics, and skeleton networks, and present a picture of a renaissance in morphometric approaches that capitalize on recent technological advances.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Beth Parada
apps@botany.org
American Journal of Botany

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Physical Review Letters
New technique uses fraction of measurements to efficiently find quantum wave functions
Just two years ago, with the advent of a technique called direct measurement, scientists discovered they could reliably determine a system's wave function by 'weakly' measuring one of its variables (e.g. position) and 'strongly' measuring a complementary variable (momentum). Researchers at the University of Rochester have now taken this method one step forward by combining direct measurement with an efficient computational technique.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Information in a Photon program, US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, National Science Foundation, El Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Canadian Excellence Research Chair

Contact: Peter Iglinski
peter.iglinski@rochester.edu
585-273-4726
University of Rochester

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Science
Home is where the microbes are
A study published today in Science reports provides a detailed analysis of the microbes that live in houses and apartments. The study was conducted by researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago.
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, National Institutes of Health, US Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation

Contact: Brian Grabowski
bgrabowski@anl.gov
630-252-1232
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Science
Radio telescopes settle controversy over distance to Pleiades
A worldwide network of radio telescopes measured the distance to the famous star cluster the Pleiades to an accuracy within 1 percent. The result resolved a controversy raised by a satellite's measurement that now is shown to be wrong. The incorrect measurement had challenged standard models of star formation and evolution.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Dave Finley
dfinley@nrao.edu
575-835-7302
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Science
Genomic sequencing reveals mutations, insights into 2014 Ebola outbreak
In response to an ongoing, unprecedented outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, a team of researchers from the Broad Institute and Harvard University, in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation and researchers across institutions and continents, has rapidly sequenced and analyzed more than 99 Ebola virus genomes. Their findings could have important implications for rapid field diagnostic tests. The team reports its results online in the journal Science.
Common Fund, NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, US Department of Health and Human Services, National Science Foundation, European Union Seventh Framework Programme, Natural Environment Research Council

Contact: Haley Bridger
hbridger@broadinstitute.org
617-714-7968
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Cell
Non-adaptive evolution in a cicada's gut
Organisms in a symbiotic relationship will often shed genes as they come to rely on the other organism for crucial functions. But now researchers have uncovered an unusual event in which a bacterium that lives in a type of cicada split into two species, doubling the number of organisms required for the symbiosis to survive.
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, National Science Foundation

Contact: Lindsay Jolivet
lindsay.jolivet@cifar.ca
416-971-4871
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Public Release: 28-Aug-2014
Cell
University of Montana cicada study discovers 2 genomes that function as 1
University of Montana researchers discovered that Hodgkinia had subtly become more complex through a speciation event, in which the original lineage split to produce two separate but interdependent species of Hodgkinia. What was previously thought to be a tripartite, or a three-way symbiosis, is now proven to actually be a four-way symbiosis.
National Science Foundation

Contact: John McCutcheon
john.mccutcheon@umontana.edu
406-243-6071
The University of Montana

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
Nature
Water 'thermostat' could help engineer drought-resistant crops
Researchers have identified a gene that could help engineer drought-resistant crops. The gene, called OSCA1, encodes a protein in the cell membrane of plants that senses changes in water availability and adjusts the plant's water conservation machinery accordingly. The findings appear in the journal Nature and could make it easier to feed the world's growing population in the face of climate change.
US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
Nature
Scientists plug into a learning brain
Scientists explored the brain's capacity to learn and found learning is easier when it only requires nerve cells to rearrange existing patterns of activity than when the nerve cells have to generate new patterns.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Contact: Christopher G. Thomas
thomaschr@ninds.nih.gov
301-496-5751
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
New Media and Society
MU researchers develop more accurate Twitter analysis tools
'Trending' topics on Twitter show the quantity of tweets associated with a specific event but trends only show the highest volume keywords and hashtags, and may not give information about the tweets themselves. Now, using data associated with the Super Bowl and World Series, researchers at the University of Missouri have developed and validated a software program that analyzes event-based tweets and measures the context of tweets rather than just the quantity.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate
Southwest may face 'megadrought' this century
Due to global warming, scientists say, the chances of the southwestern United States experiencing a decade long drought is at least 50 percent, and the chances of a 'megadrought' -- one that lasts over 30 years -- ranges from 20 to 50 percent over the next century.
National Science Foundation, National Center for Atmospheric Research, US Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Contact: Melissa Osgood
mmo59@cornell.edu
607-255-2059
Cornell University

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing
New smartphone app can detect newborn jaundice in minutes
University of Washington engineers and physicians have developed a smartphone application that checks for jaundice in newborns and can deliver results to parents and pediatricians within minutes.
Coulter Foundation, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Contact: Michelle Ma
mcma@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
Geology
Pacific plate shrinking as it cools
The Pacific tectonic plate is not as rigid as scientists believe, according to new calculations by researchers at Rice University and the University of Nevada, Reno.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@rice.edu
713-348-6775
Rice University

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
Cretaceous Research
Penn paleontologists describe a possible dinosaur nest and young 'babysitter'
A new examination of a rock slab containing fossils of 24 very young dinosaurs and one older individual is suggestive of a group of hatchlings overseen by a caretaker, according to a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Katherine Unger Baillie
kbaillie@upenn.edu
215-898-9194
University of Pennsylvania

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
Global Change Biology
Museum specimens, modern cities show how an insect pest will respond to climate change
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that century-old museum specimens hold clues to how global climate change will affect a common insect pest that can weaken and kill trees -- and the news is not good.
US Geological Survey, National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture

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

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
Nature
Detecting neutrinos, physicists look into the heart of the sun
Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, an international team of physicists including Andrea Pocar, Laura Cadonati and doctoral student Keith Otis at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report in the current issue of Nature that for the first time they have directly detected neutrinos created by the 'keystone' proton-proton fusion process going on at the sun's core.
National Science Foundation, Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics

Contact: Edward Blaguszewski
edblag@admin.umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
Astrophysical Journal Letters
What lit up the universe?
New research from UCL shows we will soon uncover the origin of the ultraviolet light that bathes the cosmos, helping scientists understand how galaxies were built. The study published today in the Astrophysical Journal Letters by UCL cosmologists Dr. Andrew Pontzen and Dr. Hiranya Peiris, together with collaborators at Princeton and Barcelona universities, shows how forthcoming astronomical surveys will reveal what lit up the cosmos.
Royal Society, National Science Foundation, Science and Technology Facilities Council, European Research Council

Contact: Rebecca Caygill
r.caygill@ucl.ac.uk
020-310-83846
University College London

Public Release: 27-Aug-2014
Nature
Flexing the brain: Why learning tasks can be difficult
Learning a new skill is easier when it is related to an ability we already have. For example, a trained pianist can learn a new melody easier than learning how to hit a tennis serve. Scientists from the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition -- a joint program between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh -- have discovered a fundamental constraint in the brain that may explain why this happens.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Contact: Shilo Rea
shilo@cmu.edu
412-268-6094
Carnegie Mellon University

Public Release: 26-Aug-2014
Journal of Royal Society Interface
New technology may identify tiny strains in body tissues before injuries occur
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed algorithms to identify weak spots in tendons, muscles and bones prone to tearing or breaking. The technology, which needs to be refined before it is used in patients, one day may help pinpoint minor strains and tiny injuries in the body's tissues long before bigger problems occur.
NIH/National Institute on Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Science Foundation

Contact: Jim Dryden
jdryden@wustl.edu
314-286-0110
Washington University School of Medicine

Showing releases 1-25 out of 789.

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