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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 326-350 out of 924.

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Public Release: 23-Jun-2016
The Cryosphere
New technique settles old debate on highest peaks in US Arctic
Finding out which is the highest mountain in the US Arctic may be the last thing on your mind, unless you are an explorer who skis from the tallest peaks around the globe. Ski mountaineer Kit DesLauriers joined forces with glaciologist Matt Nolan to settle a debate of more than 50 years, while testing a new, affordable mapping technique in a steep mountainous region. Their research is published June 23 in The Cryosphere.
National Geographic Society, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Crop Science
A 'Fitbit' for plants?
Knowing what physical traits a plant has is called phenotyping. Because it is such a labor intensive process, scientists are working to develop technology that makes phenotyping much easier. The tool is called the Phenocart, and it captures essential plant health data. The Phenocart measures plant vital signs like growth rate and color, the same way a Fitbit monitors human health signals like blood pressure and physical activity.
National Science Foundation-Plant Genome Research Program, US Agency for International Development Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Applied Wheat Genomics

Contact: Susan Fisk
sfisk@sciencesocieties.org
608-273-8091
American Society of Agronomy

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Get a clue: Biochemist studies fruit fly to understand Parkinson's disease, muscle wasting
By studying the fruit fly, Kansas State University researchers have found a connection between a gene called clueless and genes that cause Parkinson's disease.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association

Contact: Jennifer Tidball
jtidball@k-state.edu
785-532-0847
Kansas State University

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Neutralizing acidic forest soils boosts tree growth, causes spike in nitrogen export
A legacy of acid rain has acidified forest soils throughout the northeastern US, lowering the growth rate of trees. In an attempt to mitigate this trend, in 1999 scientists added calcium to an experimental forest in New Hampshire. Tree growth recovered, but a decade later there was a major increase in the nitrogen content of stream water draining the site.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lori M. Quillen
quillenl@caryinstitute.org
845-677-7600 x233
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
CWRU researcher scaling up knotty polymer research
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University developed a technique that produces a long chain molecule in the shape of a trefoil knot. They're now using a $300,000 NSF grant to scale up the work to make molecular knots that are expected to produce different physical and chemical properties in plastics, coatings, rubber, composites and more.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Mayhood
kevin.mayhood@case.edu
216-534-7183
Case Western Reserve University

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
PLOS ONE
The world's oldest farmers
An international team of researchers has discovered the oldest fossil evidence of agriculture, not by humans, but by insects.
National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, James Cook University, Ohio University, Portuguese Foundation for Science and Fellowship, Marie Curie Fellowship

Contact: Alistair Bone
alistair.bone@jcu.edu.au
James Cook University

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Physical Review Letters
Negative feedback loops help maintain the function of mutated proteins
Negative feedback is a universal control mechanism that lets a system's output throttle its input. If an engine revs up, negative feedback tapers its power source. But if the engine slows down, it re-opens the power source, keeping output reliably steady. This is an example of a negative feedback that can be found in many systems.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, DARPA, and Baylor College of Medicine

Contact: Allison Huseman
allison.huseman@bcm.edu
713-798-4710
Baylor College of Medicine

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
New England Journal of Medicine
Zika warnings lead to 'significant' increase in demand for abortion in Latin America
Health warnings about complications related to Zika virus significantly increased demand for abortions in Latin American countries, according to a new study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, in many of these countries, abortion is either illegal or highly restricted, leaving pregnant women with few options and potentially driving women to use unsafe methods, access abortion drugs without medical supervision or visit underground providers.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Craig Brierley
craig.brierley@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-012-237-66205
University of Cambridge

Public Release: 22-Jun-2016
Nature
Dormant black hole eats star, becomes X-ray flashlight
Astronomers from the University of Maryland are the first to document X-rays bouncing around deep within the walls of a once-dormant supermassive black hole's newly formed accretion disk -- the giant, puffy cloud of shredded star stuff circling the black hole, waiting for its turn to be swallowed up -- following a tidal disruption event. The results appear in the June 22, 2016 early online edition of the journal Nature.
NASA, National Science Foundation, European Space Agency, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency

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

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
Cognitive Science
Making computers reason and learn by analogy
Using the power of analogy, Northwestern University professor Ken Forbus's structure-mapping engine gives computers the ability to reason like humans and even solve moral dilemmas.
Office of Naval Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,Air Force Office of Scientific Research, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
EPJ D
Better material insights with gentle e-beams
There are several ways to change a molecule, chemically or physically. A lesser known method relies on electron collision, or e-beam technology. In a review outlining new research avenues based on electron scattering, Michael Allan from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and colleagues explain the subtle intricacies of the extremely brief electron-molecule encounter, in particular with gentle, i.e., very low energy electrons. The study was recently published in EPJ D.
Swiss National Science Foundation, Fonds der Chemischen Industrie, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, COST

Contact: Sabine Lehr
sabine.lehr@springer.com
49-622-148-78336
Springer

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Core proteins exert control over DNA function
Histone proteins at the core of nucleosomes and their tails exert control over the exposure of genes for binding, as demonstrated in simulations by Rice University researchers.
National Science Foundation, Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

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

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
New research details how big game follow spring green-up
While biologists long have thought that animals essentially 'surf the green wave' of new plant growth from low-elevation winter range to high-elevation summer range, the new research has measured how precisely the animal movements are aligned with the green-up.
US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, University of Wyoming Berry Fellowship

Contact: Jerod Merkle
jmerkle@uwyo.edu
307-766-5448
University of Wyoming

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
Journal of Neuroscience
New view of brain development: Striking differences between adult and newborn mouse brain
Spikes in neuronal activity in young mice do not spur corresponding boosts in blood flow -- a discovery that stands in stark contrast to the adult mouse brain. This new study raises questions about how the growing human brain meets its energy needs, as well as how best to track brain development with fMRI, which relies on blood-flow changes to map neuronal activity. The research could also provide critical insights for improving care for infants.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Human Frontier Science Program, Kavli Foundation

Contact: Anne Holden
anne.holden@columbia.edu
212-853-0171
The Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University

Public Release: 21-Jun-2016
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
How squash agriculture spread bees in pre-Columbian North America
Using genetic markers, researchers have for the first time shown how cultivating a specific crop led to the expansion of a pollinator species. In this case, the researchers found that the spread of a bee species in pre-Columbian Central and North America was tied to the spread of squash agriculture.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
Nature
Self-assembling icosahedral protein designed
Researchers have designed and produced a self-assembling protein shell shaped like an icosahedron -- similar to those that encapsulate viruses. The achievement may open new avenues for engineering cargo-containing nano-cages to package and deliver drugs and vaccines directly into cells, or building small reactors to catalyze biochemical reactions. The shell is also amenable to genetic fusion, such as the addition of fluorescent proteins.
Howard Hughes Medical Instititute, JRC Visitors Program, National Science Foundation, National Cancer Institute, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Institutes of Health, US Public Health Services

Contact: Leila Gray
leilag@uw.edu
206-685-0381
University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Researchers find Highland East Asian origin for prehistoric Himalayan populations
In a collaborative study by the University of Oklahoma, University of Chicago, University of California, Merced, and Uppsala University, researchers conduct the first ancient DNA investigation of the Himalayan arc, generating genomic data for eight individuals ranging in time from the earliest known human settlements to the establishment of the Tibetan Empire. The findings demonstrate that the genetic make-up of high-altitude Himalayan populations has remained remarkably stable despite cultural transitions and exposure to outside populations through trade.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, National Geographic Society, Henry Luce Foundation, Samsung Scholarship, The North Face and Field Museum

Contact: Jana Smith
jana.smith@ou.edu
405-325-1322
University of Oklahoma

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA 2016)
RedEye could let your phone see 24-7
Rice University researchers have just the thing for information overload: image-processing technology that sees all and remembers only what it should. RedEye, which was unveiled today at ISCA 2016 in Seoul, South Korea, could allow computers to continuously see what their owners see.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
Earth and Space Science
Research aims to make water-cycle modeling data more accessible
Improved publication strategy for authors who use hydrological modeling software will make model data easier for readers to understand and reuse, according to an international team of researchers.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
Nature Chemistry
Tailored DNA shifts electrons into the 'fast lane'
DNA molecules don't just code our genetic instructions. They also have the unique ability to conduct electricity and self-assemble into well-defined shapes, making them potential candidates for building low-cost nanoelectronic devices. A study by a team of researchers from Duke University and Arizona State University shows how DNA sequences can be manipulated to turn these ribbon-shaped molecules into electron 'highways,' allowing electricity to flow more easily through the strand.
Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kara J. Manke
kara.manke@duke.edu
919-681-8064
Duke University

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
New technique improves accuracy of computer vision technologies
Researchers have developed a new technique that improves the ability of computer vision technologies to better identify and separate objects in an image, a process called segmentation.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
Nature
Newborn exoplanet discovered around young star
A team of Caltech-led researchers has discovered the youngest fully-formed exoplanet ever detected.
NSF/Graduate Research Fellowship, NASA, NASA/Office of Space Science

Contact: Whitney Clavin
wclavin@caltech.edu
626-395-1856
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
Nature Geoscience
New analysis reveals large-scale motion around San Andreas Fault System
By carefully analyzing the data recorded by the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory's GPS array researchers from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM), University of Washington and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) discovered nearly 125 mile-wide 'lobes' of uplift and subsidence -- a few millimeters of motion each year -- straddling the San Andreas Fault System. This large scale motion was previously predicted in models but until now had not been documented.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Marcie Grabowski
mworkman@hawaii.edu
808-956-3151
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Controlling light: New protection for photosynthetic organisms
Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered a previously unknown strategy photosynthetic organisms use to protect themselves from the dangers of excessive light, providing further insight into photosynthesis and opening up new avenues for engineering this process, which underlies the global food chain.
US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis

Public Release: 20-Jun-2016
Nature
Discovery of newborn exoplanet could help explain planetary evolution
A team of international researchers have discovered the youngest fully formed exoplanet ever detected, orbiting a young star 500 light years from Earth.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Duncan Sandes
d.sandes@exeter.ac.uk
University of Exeter

Showing releases 326-350 out of 924.

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