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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 878.

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Public Release: 3-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Parasites and the evolution of primate culture
Learning from others and innovation have undoubtedly helped advance civilization. But these behaviors can carry costs as well as benefits. And a new study by an international team of evolutionary biologists sheds light on how one particular cost -- increased exposure to parasites -- may affect cultural evolution in non-human primates.
National Science Foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

Contact: Chris Chipello
christopher.chipello@mcgill.ca
514-398-4201
McGill University

Public Release: 3-Dec-2014
Energy & Environmental Science
Bioplastic -- greener than ever
Polylactic acid is a degradable plastic used mostly for packaging. To meet the rising demand, ETH researchers have developed an eco-friendly process to make large amounts of lactic acid from glycerol, a waste by-product in the production of biodiesel.
Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: Javier Pérez-Ramírez
jpr@chem.ethz.ch
41-446-337-120
ETH Zurich

Public Release: 3-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
Computer model enables design of complex DNA shapes
MIT biological engineers have created a new computer model that allows them to design the most complex three-dimensional DNA shapes ever produced, including rings, bowls, and geometric structures such as icosahedrons that resemble viral particles.
Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 2-Dec-2014
Environmental Politics
UNH research: On environment, Republicans closer to Independents than Tea Party
Environmentalists dispirited by the Republicans' dominance of the recent midterm elections can take heart: non-Tea Party Republicans' views on science and environmental issues are closer to those of Independents than to Tea Party supporters. That's the primary finding of new research by University of New Hampshire sociologists, published this week in the journal Environmental Politics.
National Science Foundation, Carsey School of Public Policy, UNH Sustainability Institute

Contact: Beth Potier
beth.potier@unh.edu
603-862-1566
University of New Hampshire

Public Release: 2-Dec-2014
The Professional Geographer
Fighting air pollution in China with social media
The serious air pollution problem in China has attracted the attention of online activists who want the government to take action, but their advocacy has had only limited success, a new study has revealed.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Daniel Sui
Sui.10@osu.edu
614-688-5441
Ohio State University

Public Release: 2-Dec-2014
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Strange galaxy perplexes astronomers
With the help of citizen scientists, astronomers have found an important new example of a very rare type of galaxy that may provide valuable insight on galaxy evolution in the early Universe.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 2-Dec-2014
New Phytologist
Turn back the molecular clock, say Argentina's plant fossils
Molecular clocks -- based on changes in genetic material -- indicate much younger ages for a wide variety of plants found as fossils in southern Argentina than do the solid, geologic dates of those fossils, according to geoscientists who surveyed recent paleobotanical discoveries in Patagonia.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 2-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Study of deadly bat disease finds surprising seasonal pattern of infections
The deadly fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome has spread to bat colonies throughout eastern North America over the past seven years, causing bat populations to crash, with several species now at risk of extinction. The devastating impact of this disease is due in part to the seasonal dynamics of infection and transmission, according to a new study led by scientists at UC Santa Cruz.
National Science Foundation, Bat Conservation International, National Geographic Society

Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-4352
University of California - Santa Cruz

Public Release: 2-Dec-2014
Global Change Biology
Study finds insects play important role in dealing with garbage on NYC streets
In the city that never sleeps, it's easy to overlook the insects underfoot. But that doesn't mean they're not working hard. A new study shows that insects and other arthropods play a significant role in disposing of garbage on the streets of Manhattan.
National Science Foundation, US Department of the Interior

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

Public Release: 1-Dec-2014
Nature Methods
TSRI scientists create new tool for exploring cells in 3-D
Researchers can now explore viruses, bacteria and components of the human body in more detail than ever before with software developed at the Scripps Research Institute. In a study published Dec. 1 in the journal Nature Methods, the researchers demonstrated how the software, called cellPACK, can be used to model viruses such as HIV.
National Science Foundation, Autodesk, National Institutes of Health, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, UCSF School of Pharmacy 2013 Mary Anne Koda-Kimble Seed Award for Innovation.

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

Public Release: 1-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Most of Earth's carbon may be hidden in the planet's inner core, new model suggests
As much as two-thirds of Earth's carbon may be hidden in the inner core, making it the planet's largest carbon reservoir, according to a new model that even its backers acknowledge is 'provocative and speculative'.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, Crosby Award from the U-M ADVANCE program, U-M's Associate Professor Support Fund

Contact: Jim Erickson
ericksn@umich.edu
734-647-1842
University of Michigan

Public Release: 1-Dec-2014
GSA Today
UW team explores large, restless volcanic field in Chile
For seven years, an area larger than the city of Madison has been rising by 10 inches per year. That rapid rise provides a major scientific opportunity: to explore a mega-volcano before it erupts. That effort, and the hazard posed by the restless magma reservoir beneath Laguna del Maule, are described in a major research article in the December issue of GSA Today.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brad Singer
bsinger@geology.wisc.edu
608-265-8650
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public Release: 1-Dec-2014
Neuroscience 2014
Minute movements of autistic children and parents provide clue to severity of disorder
Imperceptible variations in movement patterns among individuals with autism spectrum disorder are important indicators of the severity of the disorder in children and adults, according to a report presented at the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.
National Science Foundation, New Jersey Governor's Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism

Contact: Mary Hardin
mhardin@iu.edu
317-274-5456
Indiana University

Public Release: 1-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Widely used osteoporosis drugs may prevent breast, lung and colon cancers
The most commonly used medications for osteoporosis worldwide, bisphosphonates, may also prevent certain kinds of lung, breast and colon cancers.
National Institutes of Health, Italian Space Agency, National Science Foundation of China, National Center for Advancing Translational Science/Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Clinical and Translational Science Award

Contact: Renatt Brodsky
renatt.brodsky@mountsinai.org
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Public Release: 1-Dec-2014
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
NYU researchers find silver lining playbook for performance
If we believe a negative trait we possess is linked to a related positive characteristic, we will be more productive in that domain, NYU researchers have found. Their study establishes a novel 'silver lining theory': negative attributes can produce positive results.
National Science Foundation, German Research Foundation

Contact: James Devitt
james.devitt@nyu.edu
212-998-6808
New York University

Public Release: 27-Nov-2014
Science
Another human footprint in the ocean
Human-induced changes to Earth's carbon cycle -- for example, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean acidification -- have been observed for decades. However, a study published this week in Science showed human activities, in particular industrial and agricultural processes, have also had significant impacts on the upper ocean nitrogen cycle.
Korean National Research Foundation of Ministry of Science, National Science Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Contact: Marcie Grabowski
mworkman@hawaii.edu
808-956-3151
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Nature Communications
University of Minnesota engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip
University of Minnesota engineering researchers have developed a chip on which both sound wave and light wave are generated and confined together so that the sound can very efficiently control the light.
National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Contact: Rhonda Zurn
rzurn@umn.edu
612-624-5551
University of Minnesota

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
Nature
Shaping the future of energy storage with conductive clay
Materials scientists from Drexel University's College of Engineering invented the clay, which is both highly conductive and can easily be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes. It represents a turn away from the rather complicated and costly processing -- currently used to make materials for lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors -- and toward one that looks a bit like rolling out cookie dough with results that are even sweeter from an energy storage standpoint.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Britt Faulstick
bef29@drexel.edu
215-895-2617
Drexel University

Public Release: 26-Nov-2014
PLOS ONE
Carnegie Mellon researchers identify brain regions that encode words, grammar, story
Carnegie Mellon University scientists have produced the first integrated computational model of reading, identifying which parts of the brain are responsible for such sub-processes as parsing sentences, determining the meaning of words and understanding relationships between characters. They based their results on brain scan of people reading a Harry Potter book.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Contact: Byron Spice
bspice@cs.cmu.edu
412-268-9068
Carnegie Mellon University

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
Nature Communications
Physicists bind single-atom sheets with the same force geckos use to climb walls
The approach is to design synergistic materials by combining two single-atom thick sheets, for example, that act as a photovoltaic cell as well as a light-emitting diode, converting energy between electricity and radiation.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brendan M. Lynch
brendan@ku.edu
785-864-8855
University of Kansas

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
Nature Communications
Blu-ray disc can be used to improve solar cell performance
Who knew about Blu-ray discs? One of the best ways to store high-definition movies and television shows because of their high-density data storage, Blu-ray discs also improve the performance of solar cells, according to a new Northwestern University study. Researchers have discovered that the pattern of information written on a Blu-ray disc -- and it doesn't matter if it's Jackie Chan's 'Supercop' or the cartoon 'Family Guy' -- works very well for improving light absorption across the solar spectrum.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University

Public Release: 25-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Female color perception affects evolution of male plumage in birds
The expression of a gene involved in female birds' color vision is linked to the evolution of colorful plumage in males, reports a new study from the University of Chicago. The findings, published Nov. 26 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, confirm the essential role of female color perception in mate selection and sexual dimorphism.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Kevin Jiang
kevin.jiang@uchospitals.edu
773-795-5227
University of Chicago Medical Center

Public Release: 24-Nov-2014
Marine Ecology Progress Series
CT scans of coral skeletons reveal ocean acidity increases reef erosion
For coral reefs to persist, rates of reef construction must exceed reef breakdown. Prior research has largely focused on the negative impacts of ocean acidification on reef growth, but new research this week from scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology, based at the University of Hawai'i - Mānoa, demonstrates that lower ocean pH also enhances reef breakdown: a double-whammy for coral reefs in a changing climate.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, Sigma-Xi, and University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program

Contact: Marcie Grabowski
mworkman@hawaii.edu
808-956-3151
University of Hawaii ‑ SOEST

Public Release: 24-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Boy moms more social in chimpanzees
Four decades of chimpanzee observations reveals the mothers of sons are 25 percent more social than the mothers of daughters, spending about two hours more per day with other chimpanzees than the girl moms did. Researchers from Duke and George Washington University believe mothers are giving young males the opportunity to observe males in social situations to help them develop the social skills they'll need to thrive in adult male competition.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Harris Steel Group, Windibrow Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, University of Minnesota, Duke University, National Geographic Society

Contact: Karl Leif Bates
karl.bates@duke.edu
919-681-8054
Duke University

Public Release: 24-Nov-2014
New NSF-funded platform takes science to the clouds
Researchers are working to store, manage, share and analyze their data on virtual computing machines hosted in a cloud-based environment.
National Science Foundation

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

Showing releases 101-125 out of 878.

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