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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 401-425 out of 752.

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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

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

Showing releases 401-425 out of 752.

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