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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 251-275 out of 823.

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Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
Quaternary Science Reviews
On a tropical island, fossils reveal the past -- and possible future -- of polar ice
The balmy islands of Seychelles couldn't feel farther from Antarctica, but their fossil corals could reveal much about the fate of polar ice sheets.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Andrea Dutton
adutton@ufl.edu
352-392-3626
University of Florida

Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
Nature Geoscience
New research outlines global threat of smoldering peat fires
New research published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, co-authored by Adam Watts, a fire ecologist at Nevada's Desert Research Institute and deputy director of DRI's Climate, Ecosystems, Fire and Applications Program, outlines the threat of drying peatlands (also known as mires) across the globe and their increased vulnerability to fire and carbon loss.
National Science Foundation, NASA, European Research Council, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Desert Research Institute's Division of Atmospheric Sciences

Contact: Justin Broglio
justin.broglio@dri.edu
775-762-8320
Desert Research Institute

Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
Genetics
Mapping snake venom variety reveals unexpected evolutionary pattern
Venom from an eastern diamondback rattlesnake in the Everglades is distinct from the cocktail of toxins delivered by the same species in the Florida panhandle area, some 500 miles away. But no matter where you go in the Southeastern United States, the venom of the eastern coral snake is always the same. The results challenge common assumptions in venom evolution research, provide crucial information for rattlesnake conservation, and will help coral snake antivenom development.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Raeka Aiyar, Ph.D.
press@genetics-gsa.org
202-412-1120
Genetics Society of America

Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
Psychological Science
Focusing on lasting legacy prompts environmental action
Prompting people to think about the legacy they want to leave for future generations can boost their desire and intention to take action on climate change, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
National Science Foundation, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies Communicating Uncertainty

Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science

Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
47th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture
Researchers work to counter a new class of coffee shop hackers
If you're sitting in a coffee shop, tapping away on your laptop, feeling safe from hackers because you didn't connect to the shop's Wi-Fi, think again. The bad guys may be able to see what you're doing just by analyzing the low-power electronic signals your laptop emits even when it's not connected to the Internet.
National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research

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

Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
Nature Plants
Algae use same molecular machinery as land plants to respond to a plant hormone
Land-based plants -- including the fruits and vegetables in your kitchen -- produce and respond to hormones in order to survive. Scientists once believed that hormone signaling machinery only existed in these relatively complex plants. But new research from the University of Maryland shows that some types of freshwater algae can also detect ethylene gas -- the same stress hormone found in land plants -- and might use these signals to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
National Science Foundation, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, Belgian American Educational Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, American Society of Plant Biologists

Contact: Matthew Wright
mewright@umd.edu
301-405-9267
University of Maryland

Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
American Astronomical Society 225th Meeting
'Assassin' targets supernovae in our neighborhood of the universe
While many astronomical collaborations use powerful telescopes to target individual objects in the distant universe, a new project at The Ohio State University is doing something radically different: using small telescopes to study a growing portion of the nearby universe all at once. Since it officially launched in May 2014, the project has detected 89 bright supernovae and counting -- more than all other professional astronomical surveys combined.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Pam Frost Gorder
Gorder.1@osu.edu
614-292-9475
Ohio State University

Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
American Astronomical Society 225th Meeting
Study of Andromeda's stellar disk indicates more violent history than Milky Way
A detailed study of the motions of different stellar populations in the disk of the Andromeda galaxy has found striking differences from our own Milky Way, suggesting a more violent history of mergers with smaller galaxies in Andromeda's recent past.
National Science Foundation, NASA

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

Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
Science
Deworming programs in animal, human populations may have unwanted impacts
A study of the effects of worming medications on infectious disease in wildlife herds showed an unexpected and alarming result -- it helped reduce individual deaths from a bovine tuberculosis infection, but hugely increased the potential for spread of the disease to other animals. The findings suggest that some treatments may increase problems with diseases they were meant to reduce.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Anna Jolles
jollesa@science.oregonstate.edu
541-737-4719
Oregon State University

Public Release: 8-Jan-2015
Ecosphere
Algae blooms create their own favorable conditions, new study finds
Fertilizers are known to promote the growth of toxic cyanobacterial blooms in freshwater and oceans worldwide, but a new multi-institution study shows the aquatic microbes themselves can drive nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in a combined one-two punch in lakes.
National Science Foundation

Contact: John Cramer
john.cramer@dartmouth.edu
603-646-9130
Dartmouth College

Public Release: 7-Jan-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Why some geckos lose their ability to stick to surfaces
A study led by biologists at the University of California, Riverside has found that evolution can downgrade or entirely remove adaptations a species has previously acquired, giving the species new survival advantages. The researchers focused their attention on geckos, specifically the adhesive system that allows geckos to cling to surfaces. They found that gecko species in which the adhesive system was either lost or simplified saw elevated rates of evolution related to morphology and locomotion.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside

Public Release: 7-Jan-2015
Nature Communications
Researchers make new discoveries in key pathway for neurological diseases
A new intermediate step and unexpected enzymatic activity in a metabolic pathway in the body, which could lead to new drug design for psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, has been discovered by researchers at Georgia State University.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: LaTina Emerson
lemerson1@gsu.edu
404-413-1353
Georgia State University

Public Release: 7-Jan-2015
Researchers to design, market smartphone app that gauges Ebola risk
Within six months, your iPhone or Android mobile device could supply a real-time estimate of your likelihood of contact with the deadly Ebola virus. To create the digital tool, researchers at the University of Kansas recently won a rapid-response grant to advance Ebola-related fundamental research from the National Science Foundation.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 7-Jan-2015
Geology
Coral reefs threatened by a deadly combination of changing ocean conditions
The lowering of the ocean's pH is making it harder for corals to grow their skeletons and easier for bioeroding organisms to tear them down. Erosion rates increase tenfold in areas where corals are also exposed to high levels of nutrients, according to a study published January 2015 in the journal Geology. As sea level rises, these reefs may have a harder time growing toward the ocean surface, where they get sunlight they need to survive.
National Science Foundation, Nature Conservancy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Conservation Program.

Contact: WHOI Media Office
media@whoi.edu
508-289-3340
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Public Release: 7-Jan-2015
Immunity
The best offense against bacteria is a good defense
A small protein active in the human immune response can disable bacterial toxins by exploiting a property that makes the toxins effective -- but also turns out to be a weakness.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Emily Caldwell
caldwell.151@osu.edu
614-292-8310
Ohio State University

Public Release: 7-Jan-2015
Geology
Humans erode soil 100 times faster than nature
European colonization accelerated rates of soil loss in parts of North America to more than 100 times that of pre-settlement, new research shows. Scientists from the University of Vermont and London have, for the first time, precisely quantified background rates of erosion in ten US river basins to compare with modern ones. Their data show that logging and farming led to as much erosion in decades as would have occurred naturally in thousands of years.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Joshua Brown
joshua.e.brown@uvm.edu
802-656-3039
University of Vermont

Public Release: 7-Jan-2015
Science
Scientists identify first nutrient sensor in key growth-regulating metabolic pathway
Whitehead Institute scientists have for the first time identified a protein that appears to act as a nutrient sensor in the key growth-regulating mTORC1 metabolic pathway.
National Institutes of Health, US Department of Defense, American Cancer Society, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Science Foundation

Contact: Matt Fearer
fearer@wi.mit.edu
617-452-4630
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

Public Release: 6-Jan-2015
American Journal of Botany
An old genetic tool in plant biology still has value
A review in a recent issue of Applications in Plant Sciences looks at the status of chloroplast simple sequence repeats or microsatellites in plant genetics, exploring their risks, benefits, and use in future studies. While many research labs are turning to next-generation sequencing methods, these tools can be expensive. The review shows that cpSSRs continue to be both popular and informative in distinguishing plant groups and resolving their evolutionary relationships.
National Science Foundation, Mississippi State University

Contact: Beth Parada
apps@botany.org
Botanical Society of America

Public Release: 6-Jan-2015
Nature
Unraveling controls for plant root growth
Green shoots are a sign of spring, but growing those shoots and roots is a complicated process. Now researchers at UC Davis and the University of Massachusetts Amherst have for the first time described part of the network of genetic controls that allows a plant to grow.
US Department of Energy, National Insitutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 6-Jan-2015
Environmental Science & Technology
Drought led to massive 'dead zone' in Lake Erie
Lake Erie just can't catch a break. The lake has experienced harmful algal blooms and severe oxygen-depleted 'dead zones' for years, but now a team of researchers led by Carnegie's Anna Michalak and Yuntao Zhou has shown that the widespread drought in 2012 was associated with the largest dead zone since at least the mid-1980s.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Anna Michalak
michalak@carnegiescience.edu
650-201-2667
Carnegie Institution

Public Release: 6-Jan-2015
Science Signaling
Researchers uncover key cancer-promoting gene
One of the mysteries in cancer biology is how one protein, TGF-beta, can both stop cancer from forming and encourage its aggressive growth. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have uncovered a key gene that may explain this paradox and provide a potential target for treatment.
NIH/National Cancer Institute, National Science Foundation

Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System

Public Release: 5-Jan-2015
NSF awards $15 million to Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science
The Center for Nanoscale Science, a National Science Foundation-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Penn State, has been awarded a six-year, $15 million grant to continue research on materials at the nanoscale.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 5-Jan-2015
Nature Chemistry
Freshmen-level chemistry solves the solubility mystery of graphene oxide films
For many years, researchers did not understand why graphene oxide remained stable in water. A Northwestern University research team finds that it's due to a common contaminant introduced during filtration.
National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research

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

Public Release: 5-Jan-2015
American Naturalist
Seeds out of season
Past research has examined how environmental and genetic factors affect plant life stages individually, but a new study models how the three stages (seed, vegetative, and reproductive) interact with each other.
National Science Foundation, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Contact: Nicole Duncan
nicole.duncan@duke.edu
919-668-7993
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

Public Release: 5-Jan-2015
Oryx
Endangered Madagascar lemurs illegally kept as pets may threaten species conservation and survival
An estimated 28,000 lemurs, the world's most endangered primates, have been illegally kept as pets in urban areas of Madagascar over the past three years, possibly threatening conservation efforts and hastening the extinction of some of lemur species.
National Science Foundation, Explorers Club, Temple Faculty Senate

Contact: Preston M. Moretz
pmoretz@temple.edu
215-204-4380
Temple University

Showing releases 251-275 out of 823.

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