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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

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Showing releases 301-325 out of 751.

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Public Release: 12-May-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Scientists from USC and NYU design a molecule that blocks cancer growth in mice
New cancer-fighting drug prevents two critical proteins from interacting by mimicking the surface topography of one protein -- like wearing a mask -- which tricks the other protein into binding with it.
National Science Foundation, New York University Perlmutter Cancer Center

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

Public Release: 12-May-2014
Nano Letters
Penn research combines graphene and painkiller receptor into scalable chemical sensor
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have led an effort to create an artificial chemical sensor based on one of the human body's most important receptors, one that is critical in the action of painkillers and anesthetics. In these devices, the receptors' activation produces an electrical response rather than a biochemical one, allowing that response to be read out by a computer.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Frank & Louise Groff Foundation

Contact: Evan Lerner
elerner@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania

Public Release: 12-May-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Which has a more efficient 'engine': A tuna or a whale?
A large whale and a much smaller tuna each propels itself through water. Which is the more efficient swimmer? It has been difficult to compare propulsion efficiencies of animals of different sizes, but now Northwestern University researchers have developed a metric to measure individual energy consumption efficiency and make such a comparison possible. (The two are almost equally efficient.) The new metric could help in the design of cars and underwater vehicles as efficient and agile as real fish.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 11-May-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Revealed:Protein's role in preventing heart muscle growth leading to heart failure
Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine researchers showed for the first time that the protein Erbin is an important brake that helps prevent pathological cardiac hypertrophy. They showed that damage to this protein leads to excess growth of heart muscle, a decrease in function, and severe pathological growth of heart muscle. Their research has implications for breast cancer treatment, as Erbin interacts with the receptor Her2/ErBb2, which is overexpressed in approximately 30 percent of breast cancers.
United States Binational Science Foundation, Israeli Academy of Science, and others

Contact: Dov Smith
dovs@savion.huji.ac.il
972-258-82844
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Public Release: 11-May-2014
Nature Geoscience
UGA research examines fate of methane following the Deepwater Horizon spill
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout discharged roughly five million barrels of oil and up to 500,000 metric tonnes of natural gas into Gulf of Mexico offshore waters over a period of 84 days. In the face of a seemingly insurmountable cleanup effort, many were relieved by reports following the disaster that naturally-occurring microbes had consumed much of the gas and oil.
NOAA, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

Contact: Samantha Joye
mjoye@uga.edu
706-542-6818
University of Georgia

Public Release: 11-May-2014
Nature Geoscience
Hydrologists find Mississippi River network's buffering system for nitrates is overwhelmed
A new method of measuring surface water-ground water interaction along the length of the Mississippi River suggests the nitrates causing the Gulf of Mexico dead zone can not be controlled through existing natural filtration systems. The research provides valuable information for water quality efforts, including tracking of nitrogen fertilizers that flow through the river network into the gulf.
National Science Foundation

Contact: J.B. Bird
jbird@austin.utexas.edu
512-750-3512
University of Texas at Austin

Public Release: 9-May-2014
Journal of Paleontology
Paleontologists discover new fossil organism
UC Riverside paleontologists have discovered a fossil of a newly discovered organism from the Ediacara Biota. Plexus ricei was a broadly curving tube that resided on the seafloor. Individuals range in size from 5 to 80 cm long and 5 to 20 mm wide, and comprise a rigid median tubular structure and a fragile outer tubular wall. Plexus ricei evolved around 575 million years ago, disappearing from the fossil record around 540 million years ago.
National Science Foundation, NASA, Australian Research Council

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

Public Release: 8-May-2014
Journal of Cell Science
Ovarian cancer cells are more aggressive on soft tissues
When ovarian cancer spreads from the ovaries it almost always does so to a layer of fatty tissue that lines the gut. A new study has found that ovarian cancer cells are more aggressive on these soft tissues due to the mechanical properties of this environment. The finding is contrary to what is seen with other malignant cancer cells that seem to prefer stiffer tissues.
National Science Foundation, Georgia Tech, Emory Center for Regenerative Medicine

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

Public Release: 8-May-2014
Science
Plant hormone has dual role in triggering flower formation, Penn study finds
A new paper by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania published in the journal Science has revealed that a plant hormone once believed to promote flower formation in annual plants also plays a role in inhibiting flowers from forming. The dual role of this hormone, gibberellin, could be exploited to produce higher-yielding crop plants.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Katherine Unger Baillie
kbaillie@upenn.edu
215-898-9194
University of Pennsylvania

Public Release: 8-May-2014
Researching an endangered relationship
Imperfect together? Climate change could endanger the relationship between bees and the plants they pollinate say NJIT Researchers. That's what Daniel Bunker, assistant professor of biology at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Ph.D. candidate Caroline DeVan intend to determine with the help of a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Tanya Klein
973-596-3433
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Public Release: 8-May-2014
International Union of Crystallography Journal
Rotational X-ray tracking uncovers hidden motion at the nanoscale
Over the past two decades or so, there has been increasing interest and development in measuring slow dynamics in disordered systems at the nanoscale, brought about in part from a demand for advancements in the food and consumer products industries.
National Science Foundation, DOE/Office of Science, DOE/Office of Basic Energy Sciences

Contact: Jonathan Agbenyega
ja@iucr.org
International Union of Crystallography

Public Release: 8-May-2014
Nature Communications
Bioprinting a 3D liver-like device to detoxify the blood
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a 3-D-printed device inspired by the liver to remove dangerous toxins from the blood. The device, which is designed to be used outside the body -- much like dialysis -- uses nanoparticles to trap pore-forming toxins that can damage cellular membranes and are a key factor in illnesses that result from animal bites and stings, and bacterial infections. Their findings were published May 8 in the journal Nature Communications.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Catherine Hockmuth
chockmuth@ucsd.edu
858-822-1359
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 8-May-2014
Human Communication Research
Partisan media driving a wedge between citizens, study finds
Viewing partisan news reports from both the conservative and liberal viewpoints doesn't make people more accepting of citizens on the other side of the political fence.
National Science Foundation

Contact: R. Kelly Garrett
Garrett.258@osu.edu
614-247-7414
Ohio State University

Public Release: 8-May-2014
Science
Exploring the magnetism of a single atom
An EPFL-led research collaboration has shown for the first time the maximum theoretical limit of energy needed to control the magnetization of a single atom. The fundamental work can have great implications for the future of magnetic research and technology.
CCMX, SNSF, Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 7-May-2014
PLOS ONE
New study sheds light on survivors of the Black Death
A new study in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that people who survived the medieval mass-killing plague known as the Black Death lived significantly longer and were healthier than people who lived before the epidemic struck in 1347. It provides the first look at how the plague, called bubonic plague today, shaped population demographics and health for generations. The findings have significant implications for understanding emerging diseases today.
National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Grenn Foundation, the American Association of Physical Anthropology

Contact: Peggy Binette
peggy@mailbox.sc.edu
803-777-7704
University of South Carolina

Public Release: 7-May-2014
PLOS ONE
New order of marine creatures discovered among sea anemones
A deep-water creature once thought to be one of the world's largest sea anemones, with tentacles reaching more than 6.5 feet long, actually belongs to a new order of animals. The finding is part of a new DNA-based study led by the American Museum of Natural History that presents the first tree of life for sea anemones, a group that includes more than 1,200 species.
National Science Foundation, Lerner Gray Fund for Marine Research, Gerstner Family Foundation

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History

Public Release: 7-May-2014
New sensor array to monitor changing Gulf of Maine conditions and New England red tide
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are kicking off an innovative NOAA-funded pilot program using robotic instruments and computer modeling analysis to shed light on changing ocean conditions in the Gulf of Maine as they relate to the harmful algal bloom phenomenon commonly known as the New England red tide.
NOAA, National Science Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant Program, Tom and Robin Wheeler

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

Public Release: 7-May-2014
Nature Communications
Sprites form at plasma irregularities in the lower ionosphere
Atmospheric sprites have been known for nearly a century, but their origins were a mystery. Now, a team of researchers has evidence that sprites form at plasma irregularities and may be useful in remote sensing of the lower ionosphere.
National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

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

Public Release: 7-May-2014
Nature Communications
Newly found dinosaur is long-nosed cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex
Scientists have discovered a new species of long-snouted tyrannosaur, nicknamed Pinocchio rex, which stalked the Earth more than 66 million years ago.
Natural Science Foundation of China, National Science Foundation

Contact: Corin Campbell
corin.campbell@ed.ac.uk
44-131-650-2246
University of Edinburgh

Public Release: 7-May-2014
Nature
Greenland melting due equally to global warming, natural variations
Up to half of the recent warming in Greenland and neighboring parts of the Canadian Arctic may be due to climate variations that originate in the tropical Pacific and are not connected with the overall warming of the planet. The other portion is likely due to global warming.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 6-May-2014
Applied Physics Letters
Graphene for real-world devices
Graphene is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, but a number of practical challenges must be overcome before it can emerge as a replacement for silicon. University of Texas professor Li Shi is exploring novel ways of supporting and connecting graphene using experimental and computational methods. Using the Stampede supercomputer, Shi inferred how phonons (the vibrations of atoms in solids) scatter as a function of the thickness of graphene layers.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Faith Singer-Villalobos
faithsinger@austin.rr.com
512-232-5771
University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

Public Release: 6-May-2014
Computer scientists develop tool for uncovering bot-controlled Twitter accounts
Complex networks researchers at Indiana University have developed a tool that helps anyone determine whether a Twitter account is operated by a human or an automated software application known as a social bot.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense

Contact: Steve Chaplin
stjchap@iu.edu
812-856-1896
Indiana University

Public Release: 6-May-2014
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Nearest bright 'hypervelocity star' found
A University of Utah-led team discovered a 'hypervelocity star' that is the closest, second-brightest and among the largest of 20 found so far. Speeding at more than 1 million mph, the star may provide clues about the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way and the halo of mysterious 'dark matter' surrounding the galaxy, astronomers say.
National Science Foundation, National Development and Reform Commission of China

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

Public Release: 5-May-2014
Journal of Human Evolution
Getting to the root of enamel evolution
Thick tooth enamel is one of the features that distinguishes our genus, Homo, from our primate relatives and forebears. A new study offers insight into exactly how evolution shaped our teeth, one gene at a time. By comparing the human genome with those of five other primate species, a team of geneticists and evolutionary anthropologists at Duke University has identified two segments of DNA where natural selection acted to give modern humans their thick enamel.
National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Duke Primate Genomics Initiative

Contact: Karl Bates
karl.bates@duke.edu
919-681-8054
Duke University

Public Release: 5-May-2014
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Climate change threatens to worsen US ozone pollution
Ozone pollution across the continental United States will become far more difficult to keep in check as temperatures rise, according to new research led by NCAR. The detailed study shows that Americans face the risk of a 70 percent increase in unhealthy summertime ozone levels by 2050.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: David Hosansky
hosansky@ucar.edu
303-497-8611
National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Showing releases 301-325 out of 751.

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