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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 351-375 out of 747.

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Public Release: 27-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Crowdsourced RNA designs outperform computer algorithms, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford researchers say
An enthusiastic group of non-experts, working through an online interface and receiving feedback from lab experiments, has produced designs for RNA molecules that are consistently more successful than those generated by the best computerized design algorithms, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University report.
National Science Foundation, National Research Foundation of Korea, Google, W.M. Keck Foundation

Contact: Byron Spice
bspice@cs.cmu.edu
412-268-9068
Carnegie Mellon University

Public Release: 27-Jan-2014
Journal of General Physiology
Protecting the skin from sun exposure
The ultraviolet radiation (UVR) present in sunlight is the most common environmental carcinogen. To develop better methods of protection from the sun, we need to understand how the human skin detects and responds to UVR. Researchers provide new insight into the molecular pathway underlying this process.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Brown University

Contact: Rita Sullivan King
news@rupress.org
212-327-8603
Rockefeller University Press

Public Release: 24-Jan-2014
Journal of Immunology
Immune system drives pregnancy complications after fetal surgery in mice
UCSF researchers have shown that, in mice at least, pregnancy complications after fetal surgery are triggered by activation of the mother's T cells.
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, March of Dimes

Contact: Juliana Bunim
juliana.bunim@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco

Public Release: 24-Jan-2014
Perspectives on Psychological Science
Researchers use sensory integration model to understand unconscious priming
Priming, an unconscious phenomenon that causes the context of information to change the way we think or behave, has frustrated scientists as they have unsuccessfully attempted to understand how it works. But, recent failures to replicate demonstrations of unconscious priming have resulted in a heated debate within the field of psychology. In a breakthrough paper, Carnegie Mellon University researchers use a well-established human perception theory to illustrate the mechanisms underlying priming and explain how its effects do not always act as predicted.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institute of Mental Health, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Opportunity Fund

Contact: Shilo Rea
shilo@cmu.edu
412-268-6094
Carnegie Mellon University

Public Release: 24-Jan-2014
Digging Into Data award winner
A winning team is developing MIning Relationships Among variables in large data sets from CompLEx systems. The project is specifically for social and environmental scientists using models whose outputs are difficult to analyze using traditional statistical methods. The project will develop interconnected, web-based analysis and visualization tools that provide automated ways to discern complex relationships among societies and their environments.
National Science Foundation and others

Contact: Julie Newberg
Julie.Newberg@asu.edu
480-727-3116
Arizona State University

Public Release: 23-Jan-2014
Evolution
Using engineering plus evolutionary analyses to answer natural selection questions
UMass Amherst's Dumont and colleagues built an engineering model of a bat skull that can morph into the shape of any species, and used it to create skulls with all possible combinations of snout length and width. Then they ran engineering analyses on all the models to assess their structural strength and mechanical advantage, a measure of how efficiently and how hard bats can bite.
National Science Foundation, NASA

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

Public Release: 23-Jan-2014
Geothermics
World's first magma-enhanced geothermal system created in Iceland
In 2009, a borehole drilled at Krafla, northeast Iceland, as part of the Icelandic Deep Drilling Project, unexpectedly penetrated into magma (molten rock) at only 2,100 meters depth, with a temperature of 900-1,000 C. The January 2014 issue of Geothermics is dedicated to scientific and engineering results arising from that unusual occurrence. This special issue is edited by Wilfred Elders, a professor emeritus of geology at the University of California, Riverside.
National Science Foundation, International Continental Scientific Drilling Program

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

Public Release: 23-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Tracing unique cells with mathematics
Stem cells can turn into heart cells. Skin cells can mutate to cancer cells; even cells of the same tissue type exhibit small heterogeneities. Scientists use single-cell analyses to investigate these heterogeneities. But the method is still laborious, and considerable inaccuracies conceal smaller effects. Scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, the Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen and the University of Virginia have now found a way to simplify and improve the analysis by mathematical methods.
National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, National Science Foundation, European Research Council, German Research Foundation, German Academic Exchange Service, Pew Scholars Program, and David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Contact: Andreas Battenberg
battenberg@zv.tum.de
49-892-891-0510
Technische Universitaet Muenchen

Public Release: 23-Jan-2014
Population Research and Policy Review
Cohabitation plays 'major role' in number of long-term relationships
A new national study provides surprising evidence of how cohabitation contributes to the number of long-term relationships lasting eight years or longer.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jeff Grabmeier
grabmeier.1@osu.edu
614-292-8457
Ohio State University

Public Release: 23-Jan-2014
Science
New genes spring and spread from non-coding DNA
"Where do new genes come from?" is a long-standing question in genetics and evolutionary biology. A new study from researchers at UC Davis shows that new genes can spring from non-coding DNA more rapidly than expected.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

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

Public Release: 23-Jan-2014
Science
Bats use water ripples to hunt frogs
As the male tungara frog serenades females from a pond, he creates watery ripples that make him easier to target by rivals and predators such as bats. He will stop calling if he sees a bat overhead, but ripples continue moving for several seconds after the call ceases. In the study, researchers found evidence that bats use echolocation to detect these ripples and home in on a frog.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 23-Jan-2014
Science
Wisconsin researchers identify key pathway for plant cell growth
For plants, the only way to grow is for cells to expand. Unlike animals, cell division in plants happens only within a tiny region of the root and stem apex. But just how plants regulate cell growth at the molecular level using the genes, receptors and hormones that govern the process has been something of a black box. Now, a team of scientists from Wisconsin reports the discovery of a hormone and receptor that control cell expansion in plants.
National Science Foundation, Department of Energy

Contact: Mike Sussman
msussman@wisc.edu
608-262-8608
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public Release: 23-Jan-2014
Science
Risky ripples: Frog's love song may summon kiss of death
Male túngara frogs call from puddles to attract females. Their call incidentally creates ripples. Researchers at the Smithsonian in Panama revealed that ripples are used by frog-eating bats to locate their prey.
Smithsonian Institution, National Science Foundation, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
202-633-4700 x28216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Public Release: 22-Jan-2014
Neuron
Study identifies gene tied to motor neuron loss in ALS
Columbia University Medical Center researchers have identified a gene, called matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), that appears to play a major role in motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The findings, made in mice, explain why most but not all motor neurons are affected by the disease and identify a potential therapeutic target for this still-incurable neurodegenerative disease. The study was published today in the online edition of the journal Neuron.
P2ALS, Target ALS, Tow Foundation, SMA Foundation, NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Science Foundation

Contact: Karin Eskenazi
ket2116@columbia.edu
212-342-0508
Columbia University Medical Center

Public Release: 22-Jan-2014
Scientific Reports
Detecting chemicals, measuring strain with a pencil and paper
A team of Northwestern University students has proven that pencils and regular office paper can be used to measure strain on an object and detect hazardous gases.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 22-Jan-2014
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Galaxies on FIRE: Star feedback results in less massive galaxies
For decades, astrophysicists have encountered a contradiction: although many galactic-wind models -- simulations of how matter is distributed in our universe -- predict that most matter exists in stars at the center of galaxies, in actuality these stars account for less than 10 percent of the matter in the universe. New simulations offer insight into this mismatch between the models and reality: energy released by individual stars can have a substantial effect on where matter ends up.
National Science Foundation, NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship, Gordon and Betty More Foundation

Contact: Brian Bell
mr@caltech.edu
626-395-5832
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 22-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Better protein capture a boon for drug manufacturers
Rice University scientists have created a way to fine tune a process critical to the pharmaceutical industry that could save time and money.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Welch Foundation

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

Public Release: 22-Jan-2014
Global Change Biology
New CU-Boulder study shows differences in mammal responses to climate change
Large mammals are responding more to human-caused climate change than small mammals, according to a new assessment by a University of Colorado Boulder research team.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Christy McCain
christy.mccain@colorado.edu
303-735-1016
University of Colorado at Boulder

Public Release: 22-Jan-2014
Analyst
Rice University laser scientists create portable sensor for nitrous oxide, methane
Rice University scientists have created a highly sensitive portable sensor to test the air for the most damaging greenhouse gases.
National Science Foundation, Robert Welch Foundation

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

Public Release: 22-Jan-2014
Nature
JILA strontium atomic clock sets new records in both precision and stability
Heralding a new age of terrific timekeeping, a research group led by a National Institute of Standards and Technology physicist has unveiled an experimental strontium atomic clock that has set new world records for both precision and stability -- key metrics for the performance of a clock.
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Science Foundation

Contact: Laura Ost
laura.ost@nist.gov
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
Nature Photonics
3-D imaging provides window into living cells, no dye required
Living cells are ready for their close-ups, thanks to a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures -- all with conventional microscopes and white light. Called white-light diffraction tomography, the imaging technique opens a window into the life of a cell without disturbing it and could allow cellular biologists unprecedented insight into cellular processes, drug effects and stem cell differentiation.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Liquid crystal turns water droplets into 'gemstones,' Penn materials research shows
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College describe new research into a type of liquid crystal that dissolves in water rather than avoids it as do the oily liquid crystals found in displays. This property means that these liquid crystals hold potential for biomedical applications, where their changing internal patterns could signal the presence of specific proteins or other biological macromolecules.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
Nature Communications
Researchers model macroscale plasmonic convection to control fluid and particle motion
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new theoretical model that explains macroscale fluid convection induced by plasmonic (metal) nanostructures. This work is the first to establish both theoretically and experimentally that micron/s fluid velocities can be generated using a plasmonic architecture, and provides important insight into the flows affecting particle dynamics in plasmonic optical trapping experiments.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kimani Toussaint
ktoussai@illinois.edu
217-244-4088
University of Illinois College of Engineering

Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
Psychological Science
CU-built software uses big data to battle forgetting with personalized content review
Computer software similar to that used by online retailers to recommend products to a shopper can help students remember the content they've studied, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.
National Science Foundation, McDonnell Foundation

Contact: Michael Mozer
303-517-2777
University of Colorado at Boulder

Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
Study: Electric drive vehicles have little impact on US pollutant emissions
A new study from North Carolina State University indicates that even a sharp increase in the use of electric drive passenger vehicles by 2050 would not significantly reduce emissions of high-profile air pollutants carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides.
National Science Foundation

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

Showing releases 351-375 out of 747.

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