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  News From the National Science Foundation
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NSF Funded News

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Showing releases 176-200 out of 917.

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Public Release: 28-Oct-2015
Current Biology
Electric eels curl up to deliver even more powerful shocks
Electric eels temporarily paralyze their prey by shocking them with electricity using a series of brief, high-voltage pulses, much as a Taser would do. Now, a researcher has discovered that the eels can double the power of their electrical discharge by curling up their bodies. In bringing their tail up and around, the eels sandwich prey between the two poles of their electric organ, which runs most of the length of their long, flexible bodies.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Joseph Caputo
Cell Press

Public Release: 27-Oct-2015
$3 million NSF grant to transform STEM teaching approaches at Wayne State University
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $3 million grant to Wayne State University for an institutional transformation project aimed at reformulating teaching approaches in STEM courses.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Julie O'Connor
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research

Public Release: 27-Oct-2015
Geophysical Research Letters
Dartmouth-led study explores wave-particle interaction in atmosphere
A Dartmouth-led study sheds light on the impact of plasma waves on high-energy electrons streaking into Earth's magnetic field from space.
NASA, US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: John Cramer
Dartmouth College

Public Release: 27-Oct-2015
IEEE Transactions on Robotics
'Spring-mass' technology heralds the future of walking robots
A new study suggests that researchers have achieved the most realistic robotic implementation of human walking dynamics that has ever been done, which may ultimately allow human-like versatility and performance. The work opens the door for robots to be more fully integrated into our daily lives.
National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Contact: Jonathan Hurst
Oregon State University

Public Release: 27-Oct-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Marine reserves will need stepping stones to help fishes disperse between them
A massive field effort on the Belizean Barrier Reef has revealed for the first time that the offspring of at least one coral reef fish, a neon goby, do not disperse far from their parents. The results indicate that if marine protected areas aim to conserve such fishes, and biodiversity more broadly, then they must be spaced closely enough to allow larvae to disperse successfully between them.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Peter Buston
Boston University

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Scientific Reports
Seeing sound
Caltech researchers have discovered that intrinsic neural connections -- called crossmodal mappings -- can be used by assistive devices to help the blind detect their environment without requiring intense concentration or hundreds of hours of training. This new multisensory perspective on such aids (called sensory substitution devices) could make tasks that were previously attention-consuming much easier, allowing nonsighted people to acquire a new sensory functionality similar to vision.
National Science Foundation, Della Martin Fund for Discoveries in Mental Illness, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology

Contact: Deborah Williams-Hedges
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Nature Methods
CRISPR brings precise control to gene expression
Previous studies have shown that the emerging gene-editing technology called CRISPR can have off-target effects. A new Duke study shows that CRISPR can be used with a high degree of specificity to deliver proteins controlling DNA packaging, in effect exerting epigenetic controls that alter gene expression without changing the coding portions of DNA.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Heart Association

Contact: Ken Kingery
Duke University

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Nature Communications
Nanoquakes probe new 2-dimensional material
An international team of researchers, including scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found a new and exciting way to elucidate the properties of novel two-dimensional semiconductors. These materials have unique properties that promise better integration of optical communication with traditional silicon-based devices.
National Science Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Bavaria-California Technology Center

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Scientists devise new method to solve significant variables conundrum
Scientists at Columbia University, the University of California, San Diego and Harvard University have presented an alternative method to address the challenge of using significant variables to make useful predictions in areas such as complex disease.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Beth Kwon
Columbia University

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Grant enables pioneering research of vast river systems in Great Plains and Asia
A five-year, $4.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation will empower researchers from multiple institutions in the US and Mongolia to develop wide-ranging scientific knowledge of river systems spanning two continents. Half the funds will support work at the University of Kansas, the lead institution on the project.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brendan M. Lynch
University of Kansas

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Scientific Reports
Response to environmental change depends on variation in corals and algae partnerships
Some corals are more protective than others of their partner algae in harsh environmental conditions, new research reveals. This individual variation among corals could reflect a greater capacity than currently is recognized to adapt to changing ocean conditions brought about by climate change.
National Science Foundation, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Penn State

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Renewed hope for the brain-injured
Researchers from the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering -- from SDSU, MIT and UW -- have received $15-$20 million from the NSF to continue their work on technology that may someday help the brain-injured regain their mobility thanks to a clever workaround: a brain chip that reroutes neural signals around the injured nerves combined with a receiver that picks them up on the other side.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Beth Chee
San Diego State University

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Journal of Experimental Biology
Virginia Tech researchers take cue from spider glue in efforts to create new materials
Researchers found that the webs of sun-soaked spiders were far more resistant to UVB rays than the webs of those that hunt in the dark or shade, perhaps indicating an important adaptive trait.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lindsay Key
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Nature Physics
Researchers observe surprising phase transition
An ultrapure material taken to pressures greater than that in the depths of the ocean and chilled to temperatures colder than outer space has revealed an unexpected phase transition that crosses two different phase categories. The researchers observed electrons transition from a topologically ordered to a broken symmetry phase. 'To our knowledge, a transition across the two groups of phases had not been unambiguously demonstrated before, and existing theories cannot describe it,' said Gábor Csáthy, who led the research.
Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: Elizabeth K. Gardner
Purdue University

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Persistence toxin promotes antibiotic resistance
Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have obtained precise pictures showing how a toxin protein, called HigB, recognizes and rips up RNA as part of its growth-inhibition function. Their findings could lead to a better understanding of the formation of persister cells and how they maintain themselves.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Contact: Quinn Eastman
Emory Health Sciences

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Loss of large land mammals could change landscapes forever
California scientists led by UC Berkeley paleontologist Anthony Barnosky looked at the environmental changes that occurred in North and South America after large megafauna went extinct over the past 15,000 years, and found long-lasting impacts. Particularly in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the loss of mammoths and mastodons affected forests and grasslands and changed the small mammal populations. Similar lasting changes could result from the extinction of large land animals today, in particular African elephants.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
'Hypercarnivores' kept massive ancient herbivores in check
Based on a series of mathematical models for the sizes of predators and prey in the late Pleistocene age (about one million to 11,000 years ago), a research team concludes that giant herbivores were not immune to predators. The largest cave hyena might have taken a 5-year-old juvenile mastodon weighing more than a ton. Hunting in packs, hyenas could bring down a 9-year-old mastodon weighing two tons.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Karl Leif Bates
Duke University

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
NYU researchers find neurological notes that help identify how we process music
NYU researchers have identified how brain rhythms are used to process music, a finding that also shows how our perception of notes and melodies can be used as a method to better understand the auditory system.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: James Devitt
New York University

Public Release: 26-Oct-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Ancient babies boost Bering land bridge layover
University of Utah scientists deciphered maternal genetic material from two babies buried together in Alaska 11,500 years ago. They found the infants had different mothers and were the northernmost known kin to two lineages of Native Americans found farther south throughout North and South America. The study supports the theory that Native Americans descended from people who migrated from Asia to Bering land bridge, then spent up to 10,000 years there before moving into the Americas beginning at least 15,000 years ago.
National Science Foundation, University of Utah

Contact: Lee J. Siegel
University of Utah

Public Release: 25-Oct-2015
Virginia Tech researchers will use NSF award to probe circadian rhythms
A $750,000 National Science Foundation award will aid researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech to study circadian rhythms' effects on processes that affect numerous diseases and disorders, including cancer.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Tiffany Trent
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 23-Oct-2015
UT Dallas researcher receives NSF grant to update conflict database
The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to a UT Dallas political science researcher to update a widely used database documenting uses of military force and threats of force among nations. Dr. Vito D'Orazio, assistant professor of political science in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, will lead the project to extend coverage of the Correlates of War Projects' Militarized Interstate Dispute (MID) data through 2017.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kim Horner
University of Texas at Dallas

Public Release: 23-Oct-2015
NSF awards $2 milion to UT Dallas for international conflict projects
UT Dallas political and computer scientists have received nearly $2 million from the National Science Foundation to collaborate on two projects focused on international conflict. The first grant includes $1.5 million to create a research tool that uses big data to provide updated information on civil protests and unrest, and international conflicts. A second grant totaling $401,051 will help researchers study Colombia's efforts to protect its power grid, pipelines and other infrastructure from decades of physical assaults and cyberattacks.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kim Horner
University of Texas at Dallas

Public Release: 23-Oct-2015
Waste Management
Potato harvest reduced by half
On the way from field to fork, more than half of the potato harvest is lost. This is according to a new study conducted by researchers from Agroscope and ETH Zurich.
Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: Dr. Christian Willersinn
ETH Zurich

Public Release: 22-Oct-2015
Nature Cell Biology
Collaborative research reveals a new view of cell division
Basic research into the mechanisms of cell division, using eggs and embryos from frogs and starfish, has led researchers to an unexpected discovery about how animal cells control the forces that shape themselves. During a key point in cytokinesis a cell's cortex becomes an excitable medium resulting in waves that serve to regulate enzyme activities.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Jim Barlow
University of Oregon

Public Release: 22-Oct-2015
Acta Crystallographica Section D
Deep-sea bacteria could help neutralize greenhouse gas, researchers find
A type of bacteria plucked from the bottom of the ocean could be put to work neutralizing large amounts of industrial carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, a group of University of Florida researchers has found.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Doug Bennett
University of Florida

Showing releases 176-200 out of 917.

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