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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 201-225 out of 749.

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Public Release: 10-Mar-2014
PLOS ONE
Impersonating poisonous prey
Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery -- especially in the predator/prey/poison cycle. In nature, bright colors are basically neon signs that scream, 'Don't eat me!' But how did prey evolve these characteristics? When did predators translate the meaning?
National Science Foundation

Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University

Public Release: 10-Mar-2014
Nature Nanotechnology
Two-dimensional material shows promise for optoelectronics
A team creates LEDs, photovoltaic cells, and light detectors using novel one-molecule-thick material.
US Office of Naval Research, Packard, Pappalardo, National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Abazorius
abbya@mit.edu
617-253-2709
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 10-Mar-2014
Nature Methods
Rice synthetic biologists shine light on genetic circuit analysis
In a significant advance for the growing field of synthetic biology, Rice University bioengineers have created a toolkit of genes and hardware that uses colored lights and engineered bacteria to bring both mathematical predictability and cut-and-paste simplicity to the world of genetic circuit design.
National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, NASA

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

Public Release: 10-Mar-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Turing's theory of chemical morphogenesis validated 60 years after his death
Sixty years after Alan Turing's death, researchers from Brandeis University and the University of Pittsburgh have provided the first experimental evidence that validates Turing's theory of chemical morphogenesis in cell-like structures.
National Science Foundation Material Research Science and Engineering Center

Contact: Leah Burrows
lburrows@brandeis.edu
781-736-4027
Brandeis University

Public Release: 10-Mar-2014
2014 American Physical Society March Meeting
Nature Communications
Mapping the behavior of charges in correlated spin-orbit coupled materials
A team of Boston College physicists has mapped the inner atomic workings of a compound within the mysterious class of materials known as spin-orbit Mott insulators. The findings confirm the properties that theorists predict could lead to discoveries in superconductivity, the topological phases of matter and new forms of magnetism.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Ed Hayward
ed.hayward@bc.edu
617-552-4826
Boston College

Public Release: 10-Mar-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Lawn care practices across the nation vary more than expected
A paper published today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences digs into the concept of the 'Urban Homogenization Hypothesis,' an assumption that urbanization is creating landscapes that are indistinguishable despite regional differences in climate and vegetation.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jane Hodgins
jmhodgins@fs.fed.us
651-649-5281
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station

Public Release: 10-Mar-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Mongol Empire rode wave of mild climate, says study
Researchers studying the rings of ancient trees in mountainous central Mongolia think they may have gotten at the mystery of how small bands of nomadic Mongol horsemen united to conquer much of the world within a span of decades, 800 years ago. The rise of the great leader Genghis Khan and the start of the largest contiguous empire in human history was propelled by a temporary run of nice weather.
National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society

Contact: Kevin Krajick
kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu
212-854-9729
The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Public Release: 9-Mar-2014
Nature Geoscience
Sun's energy influences 1,000 years of natural climate variability in North Atlantic
Changes in the sun's energy output may have led to marked natural climate change in Europe over the last 1,000 years, according to researchers at Cardiff University. Scientists studying seafloor sediments found that changes in the sun's activity can have a considerable impact on the ocean-atmospheric dynamics in the North Atlantic, with potential effects on regional climate.
Natural Environment Research Council, National Science Foundation, Switzerland

Contact: Heath Jeffries
jeffrieshv1@cardiff.ac.uk
44-790-882-4029
Cardiff University

Public Release: 9-Mar-2014
Nature
In grasslands remade by humans, animals may protect biodiversity
A study of grasslands on six continents suggests a way to counteract the human-made overdose of fertilizer that threatens the biodiversity of the world's prairies. The solution originates in nature: let grazing animals crop fast growing grasses, which have a competitive advantage in an over-fertilized world. The grasses block sunlight from ground level, but herbivores make light available to other plants.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Heather Dewar
hdewar@umd.edu
301-405-9267
University of Maryland

Public Release: 7-Mar-2014
PLOS ONE
Deer proliferation disrupts a forest's natural growth
Cornell researchers have discovered that a burgeoning deer population forever alters the progression of a forest's natural future by creating environmental havoc in the soil and disrupting the soil's natural seed banks.
USDA/Federal Formula Funds, National Science Foundation

Contact: Joe Schwartz
Joe.Schwartz@cornell.edu
607-254-6235
Cornell University

Public Release: 7-Mar-2014
New center expands materials research partnerships with industry
A new Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics, supported by the National Science Foundation and co-located at Penn State and North Carolina State University, will build on and expand the research capabilities of Penn State's long-running Center for Dielectrics Studies.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 7-Mar-2014
Advanced Optical Materials
Squeezing light into metals
Using an inexpensive inkjet printer, University of Utah electrical engineers produced microscopic structures that use light in metals to carry information. This new technique, which controls electrical conductivity within such microstructures, could be used to rapidly fabricate superfast components in electronic devices, make wireless technology faster or print magnetic materials.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Aditi Risbud
aditi.risbud@coe.utah.edu
801-587-9038
University of Utah

Public Release: 6-Mar-2014
Physical Review B
Colored diamonds are a superconductor's best friend
Nitrogen-vacancy centers -- flaws in a diamond's crystal lattice that produce color -- have received much attention for their sensitivity to magnetic fields. University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles and Ben-Gurion researchers have now used N-V diamond sensors to detect the tiny magnetic fluctuations that occur on the surface of high-temperature superconductors in hopes of discovering how these much ballyhooed but still mysterious materials work. With their chip sensor, they hope to measure the properties of a single magnetic vortex.
National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, North Atlantic Treaty Organization

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

Public Release: 6-Mar-2014
Developmental Science
Are you smarter than a 5-year-old? Preschoolers can do algebra
Most preschoolers and kindergarteners, or children between four and six, can do basic algebra naturally using their Approximate Number System.
National Science Foundation, NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Contact: Latarsha Gatlin
lgatlin1@jhu.edu
443-997-9909
Johns Hopkins University

Public Release: 6-Mar-2014
NeuroImage
IUPUI researchers use computers to 'see' neurons to better understand brain function
A study from the Department of Computer and Information Science at the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis reveals new information about the motor circuits of the brain that may one day help those developing therapies to treat conditions such as stroke, schizophrenia, spinal cord injury or Alzheimer's disease.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-843-2276
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science

Public Release: 6-Mar-2014
Robotic prosthesis turns drummer into a 3-armed cyborg
Georgia Tech has created a robotic drumming prosthesis with motors that power two drumsticks. The first stick is controlled both physically by the musicians' arms and electronically using electromyography muscle sensors. The other stick 'listens' to the music being played and improvises. The robot that can be attached to amputees, allowing its technology to be embedded into humans.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jason Maderer
maderer@gatech.edu
404-385-2966
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 5-Mar-2014
Astrophysical Journal
A small step toward discovering habitable earths
For the first time, University of Arizona astronomers have used the same imaging technology found in a digital camera to take a picture of a planet far from our solar system with an Earth-based telescope. The accomplishment is a small step toward the technology astronomers will need in order to characterize planets suitable for harboring life.
National Science Foundation, NASA

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

Public Release: 5-Mar-2014
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
First-ever 3-D image created of the structure beneath Sierra Negra volcano
The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most active volcanoes in the world, with more than 50 eruptions in the last 200 years. Yet until recently, scientists knew far more about the history of finches, tortoises, and iguanas than of the volcanoes on which these unusual fauna had evolved. Now research out of the University of Rochester is providing a better picture of the subterranean plumbing system that feeds the Galapagos volcanoes.
National Science Foundation, Charles Darwin Foundation

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

Public Release: 5-Mar-2014
Nature Communications
Darwin: It's not all sexual (selection)
Scientists have long considered bird song to be an exclusively male trait, resulting from sexual selection. Now an international team of researchers says that's not the whole story. In Nature Communications, they write that 71 percent of songbirds in their extensive global survey had female song, and trait mapping revealed a common ancestor of modern songbirds also had female song. This research opens the door to explore alternative processes in the evolution of bird song.
National Science Foundation, Australian Academy of Science, Australian Research Council

Contact: Dinah Winnick
dwinnick@umbc.edu
410-455-8117
University of Maryland Baltimore County

Public Release: 5-Mar-2014
Nature Physics
Seeking quantum-ness: D-Wave chip passes rigorous tests
D-Wave quantum processor passes tests indicating that it uses special laws of quantum mechanics to operate.
Swiss National Science Foundation, Army Research Office, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California

Public Release: 5-Mar-2014
Scientific Reports
Pigment or bacteria? Researchers re-examine the idea of 'color' in fossil feathers
Paleontologists studying fossilized feathers have proposed that the shapes of certain microscopic structures inside the feathers can tell us the color of ancient birds. But new research from North Carolina State University demonstrates that it is not yet possible to tell if these structures -- thought to be melanosomes -- are what they seem, or if they are merely the remnants of ancient bacteria.
National Science Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Contact: Tracey Peake
tracey_peake@ncsu.edu
919-515-6142
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 5-Mar-2014
Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
New technique allows frequent water quality monitoring for suite of pollutants
Researchers have developed a new technique that uses existing technology to allow researchers and natural resource managers to collect significantly more information on water quality to better inform policy decisions.
National Science Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency

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

Public Release: 5-Mar-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
New fins evolve repeatedly in teleost fishes
Present in more than 6,000 living species of fish, the adipose fin, which lies between the dorsal fin and tail, has no clear function and is thought to be vestigial. However, a new study analyzing their origins finds that these fins arose repeatedly and independently in multiple species -- a striking example of convergent evolution. In addition, adipose fins appear to have repeatedly and independently evolved a skeleton, offering a glimpse the evolution of vertebrate appendages.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 5-Mar-2014
Nature
A single gene, doublesex, controls wing mimicry in butterflies
A single gene regulates the complex wing patterns, colors and structures required for mimicry in swallowtail butterflies, report scientists from the University of Chicago, March 5 in Nature. Surprisingly, the gene described, doublesex, is already well-known for its critical role in sexual differentiation in insects.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 5-Mar-2014
Neuron
Brain circuits multitask to detect, discriminate the outside world
A new study found that neural circuits in the brain rapidly multitask between detecting and discriminating sensory input, such as car headlights in the distance. That's different from how electronic circuits work, where one circuit performs a very specific task. The brain, the study found, is wired in way that allows a single pathway to perform multiple tasks.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Brett Israel
brett.israel@comm.gatech.edu
404-385-1933
Georgia Institute of Technology

Showing releases 201-225 out of 749.

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