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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

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Showing releases 376-400 out of 749.

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Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
Nature Geoscience
Source of Galapagos eruptions is not where models place it
Images gathered by University of Oregon scientists using seismic waves penetrating to a depth of 300 kilometers have found an anomaly that likely is the volcanic mantle plume of the Galapagos Islands. It's not where geologists and computer modeling had assumed.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon

Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
Nature Communications
Virginia Tech researcher develops energy-dense sugar battery
A new sugar battery that could be on the market and powering the world's gadgets in three years has an energy density and order of magnitude higher than others.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Zeke Barlow
bzeke@vt.edu
540-231-5417
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
Nature Communications
Turkeys inspire smartphone-capable early warning system for toxins
UC Berkeley bioengineers looked to turkeys for inspiration when developing a new type of biosensor that changes color when exposed to chemical vapors. They mimicked the way turkey skin changes color to create easy-to-read sensors that can detect toxins or airborne pathogens.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Sarah Yang
scyang@berkeley.edu
510-643-7741
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
Nature Communications
Peekaboo... I see through!
A team from the MIT and Harvard departments of Physics, and the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, has developed a new approach to produce transparent projection screens. Their result paves the way for a new class of transparent displays with many attractive features, including wide viewing angle, scalability to large size, and low cost.
Army Research Office, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, National Science Foundation

Contact: Chia Wei Hsu
cwhsu@MIT.EDU
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies

Public Release: 21-Jan-2014
PLOS Biology
How the genetic blueprints for limbs came from fish
A study led by Denis Duboule shows that limbs emerged during evolution by modernisation of a preexisting DNA structure. Our first four-legged land ancestor came out of the sea some 350 million years ago. Watching a lungfish, our closest living fish relative, crawl on its four pointed fins gives us an idea of what the first evolutionary steps on land probably looked like. However, the transitional path between fin structural elements in fish and limbs in tetrapods remains elusive.
University of Geneva, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: PLOS Biology
plosbiology@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 20-Jan-2014
Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Bio-inspired robotic device could aid ankle-foot rehabilitation, CMU researcher says
A soft, wearable device that mimics the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the lower leg could aid in the rehabilitation of patients with ankle-foot disorders such as drop foot, said Yong-Lae Park, an assistant professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Park, working with collaborators at Harvard University, the University of Southern California, MIT and BioSensics, developed an active orthotic device using soft plastics and composite materials, instead of a rigid exoskeleton.
National Science Foundation, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering

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

Public Release: 20-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Dispersal patterns key to invasive species' success
Using synthetic biology, engineers have tested the limits of the Allee effect, where a certain number of individuals are needed for a group to survive. While intuition suggests that the more places a species spreads, the more it will thrive, scattering a population too thin by forming too many new colonies could result in the ruin of them all. The results have implications for both ecologists dealing with invasive species and medical practitioners fighting infections.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Ken Kingery
ken.kingery@duke.edu
919-660-8414
Duke University

Public Release: 19-Jan-2014
Nature Photonics
Understanding the functioning of a new type of solar cell
EPFL scientists have uncovered the mechanism by which novel, revolutionary solar cells based on lead iodide perovskite light-absorbing semiconductor transfer electrons along their surface. The finding shows these devices constitute a new type of solar cells and open the way to the design of photovoltaic converters with improved efficiency.
Swiss National Science Foundation, National Center of Competence Research MUST, European Research Council

Contact: Nikolaos Papageorgiou
n.papageorgiou@epfl.ch
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Public Release: 19-Jan-2014
Nature
Distant quasar illuminates a filament of the cosmic web
Astronomers have discovered a distant quasar illuminating a vast nebula of diffuse gas, revealing for the first time part of the network of filaments thought to connect galaxies in a cosmic web. Using the 10-meter Keck I Telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, researchers at University of California at Santa Cruz detected a very large, luminous nebula of gas extending about 2 million light-years across intergalactic space.
National Science Foundation, NASA

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

Public Release: 17-Jan-2014
Nature Communications
Tiny swimming bio-bots boldly go where no bot has swum before
The alien world of aquatic micro-organisms just got new residents: synthetic self-propelled swimming bio-bots. A team of University of Illinois engineers has developed a class of tiny bio-hybrid machines that swim like sperm, the first synthetic structures that can traverse the viscous fluids of biological environments on their own.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 17-Jan-2014
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
What comforts targets of prejudice the most
Rare in history are moments like the 1960s civil rights movement, in which members of a majority group vocally support minority groups in their fight against prejudice. New research not only confirms the power of speaking up for those facing prejudice but also underlines the importance of exactly what is communicated. Looking at YouTube video messages, researchers found that homosexual youth found the most comfort in messages that both supported them and advocated social change.
Stanford University, National Science Foundation

Contact: Chad Rummel
press@spsp.org
202-524-6541
Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Public Release: 17-Jan-2014
Journal of American Chemical Society
Clever chemistry improves a new class of antibiotics
A new class of molecules called acyldepsipeptides -- ADEPs -- may provide a new way to attack bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics. Researchers at Brown and MIT have discovered a way to increase the potency of ADEPs by up to 1,200 times. Their findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Kevin Stacey
kevin_stacey@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
Journal of Experimental Biology
1 step at a time, researchers learning how humans walk
Humans and some of our hominid ancestors such as Homo erectus have been walking for more than a million years, and researchers are close to figuring out how we do it. The findings could find some of their earliest applications in improved prosthetic limbs, and later on, a more complete grasp of these principles could lead to walking or running robots that are far more agile and energy-efficient than anything that exists today.
National Science Foundation, German Research Foundation

Contact: Jonathan Hurst
jonathan.hurst@oregonstate.edu
541-737-7010
Oregon State University

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
Human arm sensors make robot smarter
Using arm sensors that can "read" a person's muscle movements, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have created a control system that makes robots more intelligent. The sensors send information to the robot, allowing it to anticipate a human's movements and correct its own. The system is intended to improve time, safety and efficiency in manufacturing plants.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jason Maderer
maderer@gatech.edu
404-385-2966
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
Scientific Reports
Understanding collective animal behavior may be in the eye of the computer
An international team of researchers is the first to successfully apply machine learning toward understanding collective animal behavior from raw data such as video without tracking each individual. The findings stand to significantly impact the field of ethology -- the objective study of animal behavior -- and may prove as profound as the breakthroughs that allowed robots to learn to recognize obstacles and navigate their environment.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kathleen Hamilton
kathleen.hamilton@nyu.edu
718-260-3792
New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
PLOS ONE
Ice-loving sea anemones discovered in Antarctica
Engineers using a camera-equipped robot to explore the waters beneath 250 meters of ice discover thousands of small sea anemones living on the underside of the ice.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Frank Rack
frack2@unl.edu
402-472-4785
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
With NSF CAREER Award, Virginia Tech engineer pursues development of 5-dimensional image
Virginia Tech biomedical engineering faculty member Guohua Cao, director of the X-Ray Systems Laboratory, is leading an effort to develop a new type of X-ray scanner that is an unprecedented five dimensional technology. Cao is using his NSF CAREER award to combine three separately developed technologies into one synergistic imaging system that will improve aspects of personalized medicine and help with early disease screening.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
Nanoscale
Silver nanowire sensors hold promise for prosthetics, robotics
North Carolina State University researchers have used silver nanowires to develop wearable, multifunctional sensors that could be used in biomedical, military or athletic applications, including new prosthetics, robotic systems and flexible touch panels. The sensors can measure strain, pressure, human touch and bioelectronic signals such as electrocardiograms.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
Nature Communications
How metabolism and brain activity are linked
A new study by scientists at McGill University and the University of Zurich shows a direct link between metabolism in brain cells and their ability to signal information. The research may explain why the seizures of many epilepsy patients can be controlled by a specially formulated diet.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Swiss National Science Foundation, Savoy Foundation, and others

Contact: Chris Chipello
christopher.chipello@mcgill.ca
514-398-4201
McGill University

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
PLOS Genetics
Genomes of modern dogs and wolves provide new insights on domestication
Dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 9,000 and 34,000 years ago, before humans transitioned to agricultural societies, according to an analysis of modern dog and wolf genomes from areas of the world thought to be centers of dog domestication.
National Science Foundation, Life Technologies

Contact: Matt Wood
matthew.wood@uchospitals.edu
University of Chicago Medical Center

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
Science
Soil production breaks geologic speed record
New measurements from mountains in New Zealand show that rock can transform into soil more than twice as fast as previously believed possible.
National Science Foundation, Royal Society of New Zealand, NASA, Geological Society of America

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

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
Science
Renewable chemical ready for biofuels scale-up
Using a plant-derived chemical, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have developed a process for creating a concentrated stream of sugars that's ripe with possibility for biofuels.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jeremy Luterbacher
luterbacher@wisc.edu
607-280-6364
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
Astrophysical Journal
Massive galaxy cluster verifies predictions of cosmological theory
By observing a high-speed component of a massive galaxy cluster, Caltech/JPL scientists and collaborators have detected for the first time in an individual object the kinetic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, a change in the cosmic microwave background caused by its interaction with massive moving objects.
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, NASA, National Science Foundation, Norris Foundation, National Science Council of Taiwan

Contact: Caltech Media Relations
mr@caltech.edu
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
Neuron
Assessing others: Evaluating the expertise of humans and computer algorithms
Caltech researchers used fMRI technology to monitor the brain activity of volunteers as they interacted with "experts"--some human, others computer algorithms--to predict the behavior of a hypothetical financial asset. Volunteers responded more positively to human rather than computer "experts."
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation, Lipper Foundation, Wellcome Trust

Contact: Caltech Media Relations
mr@caltech.edu
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Megafloods: What they leave behind
South-central Idaho and the surface of Mars have an interesting geological feature in common: amphitheater-headed canyons. Caltech professor of geology Michael P. Lamb, Benjamin Mackey, formerly a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, and W. M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry Kenneth A. Farley offer a plausible account that all these canyons were created by enormous floods.
National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Caltech Media Relations
mr@caltech.edu
California Institute of Technology

Showing releases 376-400 out of 749.

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