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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 176-200 out of 867.

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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

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Genome Medicine
People may inherit 'gut' bacteria that cause Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
A new study by an international team of researchers shows for the first time that people may inherit some of the intestinal bacteria that cause Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively know as inflammatory bowel disease.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada

Contact: Rhonda Zurn
rzurn@umn.edu
612-626-7959
University of Minnesota

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
New tracers can identify coal ash contamination in water
Laboratory and field tests confirm that new boron and strontium tracers, developed by researchers at Duke, the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, and the University of Kentucky, can detect the distinctive isotopic and geochemical fingerprints of coal ash contamination in water. The tracers will allow the US Environmental Protection Agency and other regulators to distinguish coal ash contamination from other, similar contamination coming from different sources in a watershed, and trace the coal ash to its source.
National Science Foundation, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment

Contact: Tim Lucas
tdlucas@duke.edu
919-613-8084
Duke University

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
Carbon-trapping 'sponges' can cut greenhouse gases
In the fight against global warming, carbon capture -- chemically trapping carbon dioxide before it releases into the atmosphere -- is gaining momentum, but standard methods are plagued by toxicity, corrosiveness and inefficiency. Using a bag of chemistry tricks, Cornell materials scientists have invented low-toxicity, highly effective carbon-trapping 'sponges' that could lead to increased use of the technology.
National Science Foundation, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Qatar University

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

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
Scientists trace nanoparticles from plants to caterpillars
In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, Rice University scientists tracked uptake and accumulation of quantum dot nanoparticles from water to plant roots, plant leaves and leaf-eating caterpillars. The research is available online in Environmental Science & Technology.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
Zhang receives CAREER Award from National Science Foundation
Engineers design metabolic pathways in cells to convert cheap raw materials into useful chemicals, biofuels and pharmaceuticals, but it's a delicate balance of systems for that to happen. Fuzhong Zhang, Ph.D., assistant professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering, will study these systems with a prestigious five-year, $605,000 Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Julie Flory
julie.flory@wustl.edu
314-935-5408
Washington University in St. Louis

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Journal of Archaeological Science
Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet
A University of Otago, New Zealand, Ph.D. student analyzing dental calculus from ancient teeth is helping resolve the question of what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before European contact.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Monica Tromp
monica.tromp@anatomy.otago.ac.nz
University of Otago

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Psychological Science
Cake or carrots? Timing may decide what you'll nosh on
When you open the refrigerator for a late-night snack, are you more likely to grab a slice of chocolate cake or a bag of carrot sticks? Your ability to exercise self-control -- i.e., to settle for the carrots -- may depend upon just how quickly your brain factors healthfulness into a decision, according to a recent study by Caltech neuroeconomists.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institute on Aging, Lipper Foundation

Contact: Deborah Williams-Hedges
debwms@caltech.edu
626-395-3227
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Climatic Change
Climate change could leave cities more in the dark
Cities like Miami are all too familiar with hurricane-related power outages. But a Johns Hopkins University analysis finds climate change will give other major metro areas a lot to worry about in future storms.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jill Rosen
jrosen@jhu.edu
443-997-9906
Johns Hopkins University

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Team led by Louisiana Tech University biomed professor receives NSF funding
National Science Foundation funding to develop and commercialize artificially manufactured cells and cell platforms for educational, research and industry application has been awarded to a team of scientists led by Dr. Mark DeCoster, the James E. Wyche III Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Dave Guerin
dguerin@latech.edu
318-257-4854
Louisiana Tech University

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Nature Materials
Molecular 'hats' allow in vivo activation of disguised signaling peptides
When someone you know is wearing an unfamiliar hat, you might not recognize them. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers are using just such a disguise to sneak biomaterials containing peptide signaling molecules into living animals.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: John Toon
jtoon@gatech.edu
404-894-6986
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Research links soil mineral surfaces to key atmospheric processes
Research by Indiana University scientists finds that soil may be a significant and underappreciated source of nitrous acid, a chemical that plays a pivotal role in atmospheric processes such as the formation of smog and determining the lifetime of greenhouse gases.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Steve Hinnefeld
slhinnef@iu.edu
812-856-3488
Indiana University

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Nature Nanotechnology
Promising new method for rapidly screening cancer drugs
Traditional genomic, proteomic and other screening methods currently used to characterize drug mechanisms are time-consuming and require special equipment, but now researchers led by chemist Vincent Rotello at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offer a multi-channel sensor method using gold nanoparticles that can accurately profile various anti-cancer drugs and their mechanisms in minutes.
NIH/Institute for General Medical Sciences, National Science Foundation's Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at UMass Amherst.

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

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Nature Genetics
Algorithm identifies networks of genetic changes across cancers
Using a computer algorithm that can sift through mounds of genetic data, researchers from Brown University have identified several networks of genes that, when hit by a mutation, could play a role in the development of multiple types of cancer. The researchers hope the new genetic insights might aid in the development of new drugs and treatment approaches for cancer.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Kevin Stacey
kevin_stacey@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Nature Geoscience
Past global warming similar to today's
The rate at which carbon emissions warmed Earth's climate almost 56 million years ago resembles modern, human-caused global warming much more than previously believed, but involved two pulses of carbon to the atmosphere, University of Utah researchers and their colleagues found.
National Science Foundation, German Research Foundation

Contact: Lee J. Siegel
lee.siegel@utah.edu
801-244-5399
University of Utah

Showing releases 176-200 out of 867.

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