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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 101-125 out of 804.

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Public Release: 30-Apr-2015
Science
Meet the beetle that packs a machine gun
An interdisciplinary collaboration including materials scientists, an imaging expert and an entomologist discovered how bombardier beetles manage to fire rapid bursts of a searing hot chemical mix at predators or other creatures that harass them.
US Department of Energy, MIT Institute of Soldier Nanotechnologies, MIT Center for Materials Science and Engineering, National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 30-Apr-2015
Science
Fossils inform marine conservation
Fossils help predict which animals are likely to go extinct. Scientists combine information from the fossil record with information about hotspots of human impact to pinpoint animal groups and geographic areas of highest concern for marine conservation.
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, National Science Foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Panama's National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation, Australian Research Council and others

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
202-633-4700 x28216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Public Release: 30-Apr-2015
Science
Waking proteins up from deep sleep to study their motions
In order to carry out their functions, proteins need to move. Scientists at EPFL have developed a new technique to study motions in proteins with unprecedented accuracy. The method, which is based on NMR, freezes proteins down to immobility, then slowly heats them to 'wake them up' and restart motions individually and in sequence, providing a slow-motion image of real conditions.
Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Access to Research Infrastructures Activity in the Seventh Framework Program of the European Commission, Swiss National Science Foundation, European Union Independent Regulators Group, University of Warwick

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

Public Release: 30-Apr-2015
Science
Fossils help identify marine life at high risk of extinction today
A study of marine animals that went extinct over the past 23 million years found commonalities that can tell biologists which taxa and ecosystems are most at risk of extinction today. When overlaid with human impacts of overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction and ocean acidification, these risk maps may help pinpoint hotspots of future extinction. The study, led by Seth Finnegan of UC Berkeley, found that mammals are 10 times more vulnerable to extinction than clams.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 30-Apr-2015
Science
Quantum-mechanical monopoles discovered
Researchers at Aalto University and Amherst College have observed a point-like monopole in a quantum field itself for the first time. This discovery connects to important characteristics of the elusive monopole magnet. The researchers performed an experiment in which they manipulated a gas of rubidium atoms prepared in a nonmagnetic state near absolute zero temperature. Under these extreme conditions they were able to create a monopole in the quantum-mechanical field that describes the gas.
National Science Foundation, Academy of Finland, Finnish Doctoral Programme in Computational Sciences, Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation

Contact: Mikko Möttönen
mikko.mottonen@aalto.fi
358-505-940-950
Aalto University

Public Release: 29-Apr-2015
Geophysical Research Letters
Can photosynthesis be measured over large areas? MBL, Brown U. scientists find a way
By mounting cameras and spectral sensors over a forest canopy in central Massachusetts, scientists have developed an innovative system to measure plant photosynthesis over large areas, such as acres of crops or trees, using information on solar-induced fluorescence in the leaves. The system, which can monitor plant growth and several other ecosystem changes, was developed by a team led by Marine Biological Laboratory and Brown University scientists. It is described in a recent paper in Geophysical Research Letters.
US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu
508-289-7139
Marine Biological Laboratory

Public Release: 29-Apr-2015
Food Microbiology
Research seeks alternatives for reducing bacteria in fresh produce using nanoengineering
Nearly half of foodborne illnesses in the US have been attributed to contaminated fresh produce. Prevention and control of bacterial contamination on fresh produce is critical to ensure food safety. The current strategy remains industrial washing of the product in water containing chlorine. Due to sanitizer ineffectiveness there is an urgent need to identify alternative, natural antimicrobials. Wayne State University researchers have been exploring alternative antimicrobials along with nanoengineering techniques to address this need.
Nell I Mondy Fellowship and National Science Foundation

Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research

Public Release: 29-Apr-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Chromosome-folding theory shows promise
Rice University biophysicists are working toward an energy-landscape theory for chromosomes. The theory could help scientists understand the genomic roots of gene regulation, DNA replication and cell differentiation.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 29-Apr-2015
Nature
Ice core reveals ocean currents transmitted climate changes from Arctic to Antarctic
A new highly detailed ice core from West Antarctica has revealed a consistent pattern of climate changes that started in the Arctic and spread across the globe to the Antarctic during planet Earth's last glacial period. Representing more than 68,000 years of climate history, data extracted from this extraordinary ice core is helping scientists understand past, rapid climate fluctuations between warm and cool periods that are known as Dansgaard-Oeschger events.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Justin Broglio
jbroglio@dri.edu
775-762-8320
Desert Research Institute

Public Release: 29-Apr-2015
PLOS ONE
Can skull shape and function determine what kind of food was on prehistoric plates?
When paleontologists put together a life history for a long-extinct animal, it's common to infer the foods it ate by looking at modern animals with similar skull shapes and tooth patterns. But this practice is far from foolproof. New modeling and tests based on living species done at the American Museum of Natural History show that the link between animal diets and skull biomechanics is complex, with a stronger influence from ancestry than previously thought.
National Science Foundation, American Museum of Natural History Frick Postdoctoral Fellowship

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History

Public Release: 29-Apr-2015
Nature
Researchers find 200-year lag between climate events in Greenland, Antarctica
A new study using evidence from a highly detailed ice core from West Antarctica shows a consistent link between abrupt temperature changes on Greenland and Antarctica during the last ice age, giving scientists a clearer picture of the link between climate in the northern and southern hemispheres.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Christo Buizert
buizertc@science.oregonstate.edu
541-737-1209
Oregon State University

Public Release: 29-Apr-2015
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
DNA suggests all early Eskimos migrated from Alaska's North Slope
Genetic testing of Iñupiat people currently living in Alaska's North Slope is helping Northwestern University scientists fill in the blanks on questions about the migration patterns and ancestral pool of the people who populated the North American Arctic over the last 5,000 years.
National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs

Contact: Erin Spain
spain@northwestern.edu
847-491-4888
Northwestern University

Public Release: 28-Apr-2015
Nature Communications
Researchers find evidence of groundwater in Antarctica's Dry Valleys
Using a novel, helicopter-borne sensor to penetrate below the surface of large swathes of terrain, a team of researchers supported by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, has gathered compelling evidence that beneath the Antarctica ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys lies a salty aquifer that may support previously unknown microbial ecosystems and retain evidence of ancient climate change.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Tara Kistler
tkistler@lsu.edu
225-578-3869
Louisiana State University

Public Release: 28-Apr-2015
Physical Review Letters
Electron chirp: Cyclotron radiation from single electrons measured directly for first time
A group of almost 30 scientists and engineers from six research institutions reported the direct detection of cyclotron radiation from individual electrons April 20 in Physical Review Letters. They used a specially developed spectroscopic method that allowed them to measure the energy of electrons, one single electron at a time. The method provides a new way to potentially measure the mass of the neutrino, a subatomic particle that weighs at most two-billionths of a proton.
US Department of Energy Office of Science, University of Washington Royalty Research Foundation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Wade Fellowship, National Science Foundation

Contact: Mary Beckman
mary.beckman@pnnl.gov
509-375-3688
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Public Release: 28-Apr-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Ancient connection between the Americas enhanced extreme biodiversity
Species migrations across the Isthmus of Panama began about 20 million years ago, some six times earlier than commonly assumed, a new study by Smithsonian scientists and colleagues published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows.
Smithsonian Institution, Wenner-Gren and Carl Tryggers Foundations, Autoridad del Canal de Panama, Mark Tupper Smithsonian Fellowship, Ricardo Perez, S.A., National Science Foundation, Swedish Research Council, European Research Council and others

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
202-633-4700 x28216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Public Release: 28-Apr-2015
Water companies license 2 UW-Milwaukee sensor technologies
Two novel water-sensing technologies that offer low-cost, immediate protection from the threat of contaminated water supplies were developed at UWM and have subsequently been licensed to four water-related companies. The products came from collaborative research at the Water Equipment and Policy Center, which is helping Milwaukee snare its part of the $500 billion global freshwater technology market.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Junhong Chen
jhchen@uwm.edu
414-229-2615
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Public Release: 28-Apr-2015
DIS 2015 XXIII International Workshop on Deep-Inelastic Scattering and Related Subjects
First proton collisions at world's largest science experiment should start in early June
First collisions of protons at the world's largest science experiment should start the first or second week of June, said CERN Large Hadron Collider senior research scientist Albert DeRoeck, speaking at the DIS 2015 international physics workshop, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The LHC restarted is second run in early April. There are no significant signs of new physics yet, but DeRoeck said it will take only one significant deviation in the data to change everything.
SMU, US Department of Energy, CERN, National Science Foundation, Fermilab, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Jefferson Lab, DESY

Contact: Margaret Allen
mallen@smu.edu
214-768-7664
Southern Methodist University

Public Release: 28-Apr-2015
Nature Communications
UT research uncovers lakes, signs of life under Antarctica's dry valleys
Many view Antarctica as a frozen wasteland. Turns out there are hidden interconnected lakes underneath its dry valleys that could sustain life and shed light on ancient climate change. Jill Mikucki, a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, microbiology assistant professor, was part of a team that detected extensive salty groundwater networks in Antarctica using a novel airborne electromagnetic mapping sensor system called SkyTEM.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lola Alapo
lalapo@utk.edu
865-974-3993
University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Public Release: 28-Apr-2015
Nature Communications
Scientists discover salty aquifer, previously unknown microbial habitat under Antarctica
Using an airborne imaging system for the first time in Antarctica, scientists have discovered a vast network of unfrozen salty groundwater that may support previously unknown microbial life deep under the coldest, driest desert on our planet. The findings shed new light on ancient climate change on Earth and provide strong evidence that a similar briny aquifer could support microscopic life on Mars.
National Science Foundation

Contact: John Cramer
john.cramer@dartmouth.edu
603-646-9130
Dartmouth College

Public Release: 27-Apr-2015
Nature Geoscience
Tidal tugs on Teflon faults drive slow-slipping earthquakes
Teasing out how slow, silent earthquakes respond to tidal forces lets researchers calculate the friction inside the fault, which could help understand when and how the more hazardous earthquakes occur.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 27-Apr-2015
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
Time to move Lyme Disease Awareness Month to April?
The month of May brings many things, among them Mother's Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., if we want to get a leg up on tick-borne illness we need to become vigilant earlier in the season.
National Science Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency

Contact: Lori Quillen
quillenl@caryinstitute.org
845-677-7600 x121
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Public Release: 27-Apr-2015
Astrophysical Journal
Strange supernova is 'missing link' in gamma-ray burst connection
Astronomers find that 'central engines' in supernova explosions can come in different strengths, and include those that produce powerful blasts of gamma rays, and weaker versions that produce no such bursts.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Dave Finley
dfinley@nrao.edu
575-385-7302
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Public Release: 27-Apr-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Ocean bacteria get 'pumped up'
Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and their Rutgers University colleague discovered a surprising new short-circuit to the biological pump. They found that sinking particles of stressed and dying phytoplankton release chemicals that have a steroid-like effect on marine bacteria feeding on the particles. The chemicals juice up the bacteria's metabolism causing them to more rapidly convert organic carbon in the particles back into CO2 before they can sink to the deep ocean.
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research

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

Public Release: 27-Apr-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression
A team of researchers from four universities, including Carnegie Mellon, has pinpointed one of the mechanisms responsible for the progression of malaria, providing a new target for possible treatments. Using computer modeling, the group found that nanoscale knobs, which form at the membrane of infected red blood cells, cause the cell stiffening that is in part responsible for the reduced blood flow that can turn malaria deadly.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jocelyn Duffy
jhduffy@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-9982
Carnegie Mellon University

Public Release: 27-Apr-2015
MobiSYS 2015
New UW app can detect sleep apnea events via smartphone
The gold standard for diagnosing sleep apnea -- a disease which affects roughly 1 in 13 Americans -- requires an overnight hospital stay and costs thousands of dollars. A new smartphone app developed at the University of Washington can wirelessly test for sleep apnea events in a person's own bedroom without needing special sensors attached to the body.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jennifer Langston
jlangst@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Showing releases 101-125 out of 804.

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