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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 743.

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Public Release: 5-Feb-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Paper offers insights into network that plays crucial role in cell function and disease
A new research paper from the labs of University of Notre Dame researchers Holly Goodson and Mark Alber helps resolve an ongoing debate about the assembly of a subcellular network that plays a critical role in cell function and disease.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Mark Alber
malber@nd.edu
574-631-8371
University of Notre Dame

Public Release: 5-Feb-2014
Advanced Materials
Graphene 'sandwich' improves images of biomolecules
By sandwiching a biological molecule between sheets of graphene, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have obtained atomic-level images of the molecule in its natural watery environment.
Michigan Technological University, National Science Foundation

Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgala@uic.edu
312-996-1583
University of Illinois at Chicago

Public Release: 5-Feb-2014
Applied Physics Letters
Vanadium dioxide research opens door to new, multifunctional spintronic smart sensors
New research findings open the door to smarter sensors by integrating vanadium dioxide onto a silicon chip and using lasers to make the material magnetic. The advance paves the way for multifunctional spintronic smart sensors for use in military applications and next-generation spintronic devices.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 5-Feb-2014
Nature
Quarks in the looking glass
A recent experiment carried out at DOE's Jefferson Lab has determined how much of the mirror-symmetry breaking in the electron-quark interaction originates from quarks' spin preference in the weak interaction five times more precisely than a previous measurement. The result has also set new limits, in a way complementary to high-energy colliders such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, for the energies that researchers would need to access physics beyond the Standard Model.
Department of Energy Office of Science, National Science Foundation Division of Physics, Jeffress Memorial Trust

Contact: Kandice Carter
kcarter@jlab.org
757-269-7263
DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Public Release: 5-Feb-2014
Nature
Ballistic transport in graphene suggests new type of electronic device
Using electrons more like photons could provide the foundation for a new type of electronic device that would capitalize on the ability of graphene to carry electrons with almost no resistance even at room temperature -- a property known as ballistic transport.
National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research

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

Public Release: 4-Feb-2014
Advanced Materials
It's the water
An ingenious new technique will allow scientists to view and analyze intact proteins and other biomolecules using electron microscopy.
Michigan Technological University, National Science Foundation

Contact: Marcia Goodrich
mlgoodri@mtu.edu
906-487-2343
Michigan Technological University

Public Release: 4-Feb-2014
PLOS ONE
Presence of humans and urban landscapes increase illness in songbirds, researchers find
Humans living in densely populated urban areas have a profound impact not only on their physical environment, but also on the health and fitness of native wildlife. For the first time, scientists have found a direct link between the degree of urbanization and the prevalence and severity of two distinct parasites in wild house finches. Loss of natural habitat may be a driving force behind increases in avian parasite infections.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Sandra Leander
sandra.leander@asu.edu
480-965-9865
Arizona State University

Public Release: 4-Feb-2014
Current Biology
Fruit flies -- fermented-fruit connoisseurs -- are relentless party crashers
That fruit fly appearing moments after you poured that first glass of cabernet, has just used a poppy-seed-sized brain to conduct a finely-choreographed search and arrive in time for happy hour.
National Science Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Hertz Foundation, US Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Contact: Sandra Hines
shines@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 4-Feb-2014
Nature Communications
Off-the-shelf materials lead to self-healing polymers
Look out, super glue and paint thinner. Thanks to new dynamic materials developed at the University of Illinois, removable paint and self-healing plastics soon could be household products. A slight tweak in chemistry to elastic materials made of polyurea, one of the most widely used classes of polymers in consumer goods, yields materials that bond back together on a molecular level without the need for other chemicals or adhesives.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Liz Ahlberg
eahlberg@illinois.edu
217-244-1073
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 4-Feb-2014
Researchers build 3-D structures to test breast cancer treatments
Clemson University researchers are developing a new, integrative means of studying the complex behavior of cancer cells in breast tissue that may one day change the way doctors treat the disease.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Karen Burg
kburg@clemson.edu
864-656-6462
Clemson University

Public Release: 4-Feb-2014
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Research: It's more than just the science
In a newly published paper, a team of researchers from institutions across the country, including Michigan State University, outline not only why it's important to pursue science collaboratively, but how to create and maintain science teams to get better research results.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Tom Oswald
Tom.oswald@cabs.msu.edu
517-432-0920
Michigan State University

Public Release: 4-Feb-2014
PLOS ONE
Sucker-footed fossils broaden the bat map
Today, Madagascar sucker-footed bats live nowhere outside their island home, but new research shows that hasn't always been the case. The discovery of the jawbones of two extinct relatives in northern Egypt suggests the unusual creatures, which evolved sticky footpads to roost on slick surfaces, are primitive members of a group of bats that evolved in Africa and ultimately went on to flourish in South America.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Erin Weeks
erin.weeks@duke.edu
919-681-8057
Duke University

Public Release: 3-Feb-2014
WPI researchers tackle the challenges of putting robots on the shop floor and in our homes
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have received awards through the National Science Foundation's National Robotics Initiative to investigate and overcome fundamental challenges involved with robots working alongside people. Dmitry Berenson will develop algorithms that will permit robots to collaborate with people on small-scale manufacturing operations. Sonia Chernova will draw on the experience of thousands of online "teachers" to learn more about how "everyday people" can teach robots to do simple tasks.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Michael Dorsey
mwdorsey@wpi.edu
508-831-5609
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Public Release: 3-Feb-2014
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
New scientific field looks at the big picture
Big data is changing the field of ecology. The shift is dramatic enough to warrant the creation of an entirely new field: macrosystems ecology. "Ecologists can no longer sample and study just one or even a handful of ecosystems," said Patricia Soranno, Michigan State University professor of fisheries and wildlife and macrosystems ecology pioneer.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 3-Feb-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
In the brain the number of neurons in a network may not matter
A study has found that the time it takes neural networks in the brain to make decisions is remarkably stable regardless of size: a finding that could make it easier to achieve the goal of the President's BRAIN Initiative established last spring.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Eye Insitute

Contact: David Salisbury
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-6803
Vanderbilt University

Public Release: 3-Feb-2014
The Cryosphere
Greenland's fastest glacier reaches record speeds
Jakobshavn Isbræ is moving ice from the Greenland ice sheet into the ocean at a speed that appears to be the fastest ever recorded. Researchers from the University of Washington and the German Space Agency measured the dramatic speeds of the fast-flowing glacier in 2012 and 2013. The results are published today in The Cryosphere, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union.
NASA, National Science Foundation

Contact: Bárbara Ferreira
media@egu.eu
49-892-180-6703
European Geosciences Union

Public Release: 31-Jan-2014
UH researcher works on plant-based plastics
Megan Robertson, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Houston, will use vegetable oils to develop new polymers that function as well as traditional petroleum-based plastics but are also biodegradable.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jeannie Kever
jekever@uh.edu
713-743-0778
University of Houston

Public Release: 31-Jan-2014
Ecology and Society
To calculate long-term conservation pay off, factor in people
Paying people to protect their natural environment is a popular conservation tool around the world – but figure out that return on investment, for both people and nature, is a thorny problem, especially since such efforts typically stretch on for years. Reseachers have developed a new way to evaluate and model the long-term effectiveness of conservation investments.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, NASA

Contact: Sue Nichols
nichols@msu.edu
517-432-0206
Michigan State University

Public Release: 31-Jan-2014
Animal Behaviour
Lemur lovers sync their scents
Mating pairs of lemurs mirror each other's scent-marking behavior and even start to smell alike after they have reproduced. Matched scents are possibly a way to combine territory defenses or to advertise their relationship status to the rest of their group, according to researchers at the Duke Lemur Center. Couples who haven't had kids yet spend the most time scent-marking and investigating each other's odors.
Duke University, National Science Foundation

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
ras10@duke.edu
919-668-4544
Duke University

Public Release: 30-Jan-2014
Journal of Molecular Diagnostics
RI Hospital researchers identify components in C. diff that may lead to better treatment
Rhode Island Hospital researchers have identified components in Clostridium difficile (C. diff) that may lead to new diagnostic tools, and ultimately more timely and effective treatment for this often fatal infection. C. diff is a spore-forming bacterium that causes severe diarrhea and is responsible for 14,000 deaths annually in the US.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Ellen Slingsby
eslingsby@lifespan.org
401-444-6421
Lifespan

Public Release: 30-Jan-2014
Journal of Management
What your company can learn from NASA tragedies
BYU business professor Peter Madsen has been researching how NASA recognizes "near-miss" events ever since the Columbia shuttle was destroyed in flight 11 years ago Saturday. A new study coauthored by Madsen finds recognition of near-misses goes up when leaders emphasize project significance and weigh safety over other goals.
NASA/USRA Center for Program/Project Management Research, National Science Foundation

Contact: Todd Hollingshead
toddh@byu.edu
801-422-8373
Brigham Young University

Public Release: 30-Jan-2014
ACS Nano
Rice lab clocks 'hot' electrons
Rice University scientists time "hot" electrons as they transfer from excited plasmons in gold nanorods to graphene.
National Science Foundation, Welch Foundation, US Army Research Office, American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund

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

Public Release: 30-Jan-2014
Expanding the range of nature's catalysts for industrial applications
"We've learned to make changes in the stability of the protein. But every protein has a limit; there's nothing you can do to make a protein stable at 500 degrees, for example," said Makhatadze. "So can we somehow make it unfold more slowly by modulating the charge-charge interactions? If you can extend that process, it will function at a high temperature for a longer period of time, and that's beneficial."
National Science Foundation

Contact: Mary Martialay
martim12@rpi.edu
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Public Release: 30-Jan-2014
PLOS ONE
CU-Boulder researchers sequence world's first butterfly bacteria, find surprises
For the first time ever, a team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has sequenced the internal bacterial makeup of the three major life stages of a butterfly species, a project that showed some surprising events occur during metamorphosis.
National Science Foundation, University of Colorado

Contact: Tobin Hammer
tobin.hammer@colorado.edu
650-996-1315
University of Colorado at Boulder

Public Release: 29-Jan-2014
PLOS ONE
Dinosaur fossils from China help Penn researchers describe new 'Titan'
A team led by University of Pennsylvania paleontologists has characterized a new dinosaur based on fossil remains found in northwestern China. The species, a plant-eating sauropod named Yongjinglong datangi, roamed during the Early Cretaceous period, more than 100 million years ago. This sauropod belonged to a group known as Titanosauria, members of which were among the largest living creatures to ever walk the earth.
National Natural Science Foundation of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Science Foundation

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

Showing releases 301-325 out of 743.

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