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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 226-250 out of 888.

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Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
Science
Hungry bats compete for prey by jamming sonar
A study published today in Science shows that Mexican free-tailed bats jam the sonar of competitors to gain advantage in aerial foraging contests.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Bonnie Davis
davisbl@wfu.edu
336-758-5390
Wake Forest University

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
Science
Transitions between states of matter: It's more complicated, scientists find
The seemingly simple process of phase changes -- those transitions between states of matter -- is more complex than previously known, according to research based at Princeton University, Peking University, and NYU.
Office of Naval Research, Army Research Office, US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation of China

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

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
Science
Rare 2.5-billion-year-old rocks reveal hot spot of sulfur-breathing bacteria
Biogeochemical signals in 2.5-billion-year-old carbonate rocks from Brazil reveal that sulfur-consuming bacteria were active at a time when ocean sulfur levels were low. Geology graduate student Iadviga Zhelezinskaia is the first researcher to focus on sulfur isotopes in ancient carbonate rocks. Her study sheds light on Earth's early atmospheric chemistry, and appears in the Nov. 7 issue of Science.
Fulbright Program, NASA Astrobiology Institute, National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Robinson
abbyr@umd.edu
301-405-5845
University of Maryland

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
Evolutionary Applications
Mosquitofish genitalia change rapidly due to human impacts
Human environmental changes can markedly -- and rapidly -- affect fish shape, specifically the shape of mosquitofish genitalia in the Bahamas.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brian Langerhans
langerhans@ncsu.edu
919-515-3514
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
Astrophysical Journal
European satellite could discover thousands of planets in Earth's galaxy
Princeton University and Lund University researchers project that the recently launched European satellite Gaia could discover tens of thousands of planets during its five-year mission.
National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Morgan Kelly
mgnkelly@princeton.edu
609-258-5729
Princeton University

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
Nature
Madagascar: Fossil skull analysis offers clue to mammals' evolution
The surprise discovery of the fossilized skull of a 66- to 70-million-year-old, groundhog-like creature on Madagascar has led to new analyses of the lifestyle of the largest known mammal of its time by a team of specialists including biologist Elizabeth Dumont at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an expert in jaw structure and bite mechanics.
National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society

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

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
Nature
Coexist or perish, new wildfire analysis says
An international team of fire experts led by UC Berkeley's Max Moritz concluded that it is time to stop fighting fires and instead develop strategies to live with fire. In many areas, fire management is difficult or impossible, and interferes with fire's key role in the ecosystem. Instead, we should develop zoning and building codes and evacuation protocols to allow people to live with fire, just as we now live with earthquake and tornado hazards.
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
How important is long-distance travel in the spread of epidemics?
When modeling the spread of epidemics, such as the Ebola outbreak, scientists must take into account the long-distance hops now possible with international air travel. But how important are such long-distance jumps? A new model by biophysicists Oskar Hallatschek of UC Berkeley and Daniel Fisher of Stanford shows that how common long-range jumps are makes a big difference in the dispersal of a disease, that is, whether you get slow, rippling versus rapid metastatic spread.
Simons Foundation, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Geology
Study shows tectonic plates not rigid, deform horizontally in cooling process
The puzzle pieces of tectonic plates are not rigid and don't fit together as nicely as we were taught in high school. A study published in the journal Geology by Corné Kreemer, an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and his colleague Richard Gordon of Rice University, quantifies deformation of the Pacific plate and challenges the central approximation of the plate tectonic paradigm that plates are rigid.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Mike Wolterbeek
mwolterbeek@unr.edu
University of Nevada, Reno

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
ACS Catalysis
Jet-fueled electricity at room temperature
University of Utah engineers developed the first room-temperature fuel cell that uses enzymes to help jet fuel produce electricity without needing to ignite the fuel. These new fuel cells can be used to power portable electronics, off-grid power and sensors.
Northrop Grumman Corp., National Science Foundation via University of Utah Materials Research Science and Engineering Center

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

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Journal of Neuroscience
New insight into the neuroscience of choking under pressure
Recent research from the Johns Hopkins University suggests that in situations like this, performance depends on two factors: the framing of the incentive in terms of a loss or a gain, and a person's aversion to loss.
National Science Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Japan Science and Technology Agency/Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, California Institute of Technology/Tamagawa Global Center of Excellence

Contact: Catherine Kolf
ckolf@jhmi.edu
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Nature Communications
Less reward, more aversion when learning tricky tasks
We can easily learn by seeking reward or avoiding punishment. But either way, we'd rather have any task be easy. A new study finds a direct behavioral and physiological linkage between those inclinations: When even subtle conflict made an experimental task harder, it affected the perception of reward and punishment, skewing how subjects learned the task.
National Science Foundation

Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Advanced Materials
Better bomb-sniffing technology
University of Utah engineers have developed a new type of carbon nanotube material for handheld sensors that will be quicker and better at sniffing out explosives, deadly gases and illegal drugs.
US Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Vince Horiuchi
vincent.horiuchi@utah.edu
801-585-7499
University of Utah

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Nature Nanotechnology
Outsmarting thermodynamics in self-assembly of nanostructures
Berkeley Lab researchers have achieved symmetry-breaking in a bulk metamaterial solution for the first time, a critical step game toward achieving new and exciting properties in metamaterials.
National Science Foundation, DOE/Office of Science

Contact: Rachel Berkowitz
rberkowitz@lbl.gov
510-486-7254
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Compared with apes, people's gut bacteria lack diversity, study finds
The microbes living in people's guts are much less diverse than those in humans' closest relatives, the African apes, an apparently long evolutionary trend that appears to be speeding up in more modern societies, with possible implications for human health, according to a new study.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Marc Airhart
mairhart@austin.utexas.edu
512-232-1066
University of Texas at Austin

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Groundwater patches play important role in forest health, water quality
Patches of soaked soil act as hot spots for microbes removing nitrogen from groundwater and returning it to the atmosphere.The discovery provides insight into forest health and water quality, say researchers from Virginia Tech and Cornell.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lynn Davis
davisl@vt.edu
540-231-6157
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Technology, Knowledge and Learning
Dance choreography improves girls' computational skills
Clemson researchers find that blending movement and computer programming supports girls in building computational thinking skills, according to an ongoing study funded by the National Science Foundation and emerging technology report published in journal Technology, Knowledge and Learning.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Alison Leonard
aleona2@clemson.edu
864-656-5117
Clemson University

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Journal of Clinical Investigation
How bile acids could fight diabetes
EPFL scientists have shown that a receptor activated by bile acids can reduce fat-tissue inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity-linked diabetes.
Swiss National Science Foundation, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, European Molecular Biology Organization, Federation of European Biochemical Societies, Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research

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

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Sociological Science
NYU study points to perception divide in abortion: Whom we think we know
Pro-life Americans are less likely to hear about the abortions women they know have had than are pro-choice Americans, a New York University study shows. The findings point to a previously unexplored divide on the abortion issue: differences in perceptions of those we associate with.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 2-Nov-2014
Nature Physics
Ultracold disappearing act
How can two clumps of matter pass through each other without sharing space? Rice University physicists have documented a strange disappearing act by colliding Bose Einstein condensates that appear to keep their distance even as they pass through one another. The research is published online this week in Nature Physics.
National Science Foundation, US Office of Naval Research, Army Research Office, Welch Foundation, US-Israel Binational Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 2-Nov-2014
Nature Genetics
Getting more out of nature: Genetic toolkit finds new maximum for crop yields
CSHL scientists have found a new way to dramatically increase crop yields. The team has discovered a set of gene variations that boost fruit production in the tomato plant by as much as 100 percent. Plant breeders will be able to combine different gene variants to create an optimal plant architecture for particular varieties and growing conditions. The set will enable farmers to maximize yield in tomatoes and potentially other flowering plants, including crops like soybeans.
European Research Council-Advanced, Israeli Science Foundation, Binational Agricultural and Research Fund, National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program

Contact: Jaclyn Jansen
jjansen@cshl.edu
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Public Release: 31-Oct-2014
168th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America
Are my muscular dystrophy drugs working?
People with muscular dystrophy could one day assess the effectiveness of their medication with the help of a smartphone-linked device, a new study in mice suggests. The study used a new method to process ultrasound imaging information that could lead to hand-held instruments that provide fast, convenient medical information.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 31-Oct-2014
American Journal of Botany
Breaking down DNA by genome
A new study in the November issue of Applications in Plant Sciences provides plant biologists with an efficient approach for separating plant nuclear DNA from organellar DNA for genomic and metagenomic studies. The approach targets the methyl-CpG-binding domain and allows researchers to isolate nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial DNA, and can also target genomes of endophytes and prokaryotic parasites in plant DNA samples.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Beth Parada
apps@botany.org
American Journal of Botany

Public Release: 31-Oct-2014
Interface
Decoding the emergence of metastatic cancer stem cells
In the first study of its kind, Rice University researchers have mapped how information flows through the genetic circuits that cause cancer cells to become metastatic. The research reveals a common pattern in the decision-making that allows cancer cells to both migrate and form new tumors.
Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, National Science Foundation, Tauber Family Funds

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

Public Release: 31-Oct-2014
Science
Lack of oxygen delayed the rise of animals on Earth
Scientists have long speculated as to why animal species didn't flourish sooner, once sufficient oxygen covered the Earth's surface. Animals began to prosper at the end of the Proterozoic period -- but what about the billion-year stretch before that, when most researchers think there also was plenty of oxygen? Yale University researcher Noah Planavsky and his colleagues found that oxygen levels during the 'boring billion' period were only 0.1 percent of what they are today.
NASA Exobiology Program, National Science Foundation

Contact: Jim Shelton
james.shelton@yale.edu
203-432-3881
Yale University

Showing releases 226-250 out of 888.

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