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  News From the National Science Foundation
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Showing releases 426-450 out of 752.

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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
University of Chicago Medical Center

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
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
University of Washington

Public Release: 16-Jan-2014
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
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
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
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
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
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
Trees grow faster and store more carbon as they age
Trees put on weight faster and faster as they grow older, according to a new study in the journal Nature. The finding that most trees' growth accelerates as they age suggests that large, old trees may play an unexpectedly dynamic role in removing carbon from the atmosphere.
US Geological Survey, Smithsonian, National Science Foundation

Contact: Beth King
202-633-4700 x28216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Acidification, predators pose double threat to oysters
The once-booming, now struggling Olympia oyster native to the West Coast could face a double threat from ocean acidification and invasive predators, according to new research from UC Davis' Bodega Marine Laboratory.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Andy Fell
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
Geophysical Research Letters
Coral reefs in Palau surprisingly resistant to naturally acidified waters
Ocean researchers working on the coral reefs of Palau in 2011 and 2012 made two unexpected discoveries that could provide insight into corals' resistance and resilience to ocean acidification, and aid in the creation of a plan to protect them.
National Science Foundation, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Ocean Life Institute, Nature Conservancy

Contact: Media Relations Office
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
UD-developed smart gels deliver medicine on demand
Researchers at the University of Delaware have developed a "smart" hydrogel that can deliver medicine on demand, in response to mechanical force. Over the past few decades, smart hydrogels have been created that respond to pH, temperature, DNA, light and other stimuli.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, State of Delaware

Contact: Andrea Boyle Tippet
University of Delaware

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
Cognitive Science
IU study: Copycats pave the way to problem-solving success
It often is better to be surrounded by copycats than innovators, according to a new Indiana U. study. Imitators, say researchers, "often make their own improvements to the original solution, and these can, in turn, be adopted and improved upon by the originator and others." In such fields as medicine, software development or art, where there are a "huge number of ideas with unknown potential," having copycats around you can provide an edge.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Liz Rosdeitcher
Indiana University

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
Oldest trees are growing faster, storing more carbon as they age
In a finding that overturns the conventional view that large old trees are unproductive, scientists have determined that for most species, the biggest trees increase their growth rates and sequester more carbon as they age. An international research group reports that 97 percent of 403 tropical and temperate species grow more quickly the older they get.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Mark Harmon
Oregon State University

Public Release: 15-Jan-2014
Ecology Letters
Key species of algae shows effects of climate change over time
A study of marine life in the temperate coastal waters of the northeast Pacific Ocean shows a reversal of competitive dominance among species of algae, suggesting that increased ocean acidification caused by global climate change is altering biodiversity.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense, and others

Contact: Matt Wood
University of Chicago Medical Center

Public Release: 14-Jan-2014
Plant cell growth studies funded by NSF grant at UMass Amherst
"Think of it as the difference between building a short round adobe house and a long, tall steel skyscraper. The shapes are very different in part because of the material that's used and its original shape." She'll study "how the cell controls delivery of new building blocks of the extracellular matrix. In plants it's a bunch of carbohydrates that form the cell wall and contribute to its function within a leaf, a stem or root."
National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Janet Lathrop
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 14-Jan-2014
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
New patent mapping system helps find innovation pathways
A new patent mapping system that considers how patents cite one another may help researchers better understand the relationships between technologies -- and how they may come together to spur disruptive new areas of innovation.
National Science Foundation

Contact: John Toon
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 13-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Weighing particles at the attogram scale
New device from MIT can measure masses as small as one millionth of a trillionth of a gram, in solution.
US Army Research Office, Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, National Science Foundation, NIH/National Cancer Institute

Contact: Sarah McDonnell
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 13-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
More to biofuel production than yield
When it comes to biofuels, corn leads the all-important category of biomass yield. However, focusing solely on yield comes at a high price. In the current issue of the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences, Michigan State University researchers show that looking at the big picture allows other biofuel crops, such as native perennial grasses, to score higher as viable alternatives.
Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: Layne Cameron
Michigan State University

Public Release: 13-Jan-2014
Developing methods for building precise nanostructures
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have received a $540,000 NSF grant to test new methods of synthesizing nanostructures, using a plant virus as a template.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Mayhood
Case Western Reserve University

Public Release: 13-Jan-2014
Nature Photonics
Towards perfect control of light waves
A team at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics in Garching (Germany) has constructed a detector, which provides a detailed picture of the waveforms of femtosecond laser pulses (1 fs = 10-15 seconds). Knowledge of the exact waveform of these pulses enables scientists to reproducibly generate light flashes that are a thousand times shorter -- lasting only for attoseconds -- and can be used to study ultrafast processes at the molecular and atomic levels.
European Research Council, European Union, German Research Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Contact: Dr. Andreas Battenberg
Technische Universitaet Muenchen

Public Release: 13-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
How fruit flies detect sweet foods
Using the common fruit fly, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have performed a study that describes just how the fly's taste receptors detect sweet compounds. Even though these taste receptors were discovered more than a decade ago, how they recognize diverse chemicals remained an enigma and an unmet challenge -- until now. Understanding the mechanisms by which the fly tastes and ingests sweet substances may offer tools to control insect feeding, the researchers say.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Whitehall Foundation

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

Public Release: 13-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Discovery of new Tiktaalik roseae fossils reveals key link in evolution of hind limbs
The discovery of well-preserved pelves and a partial pelvic fin from Tiktaalik roseae, a 375-million-year-old transitional species between fish and the first legged animals, reveals that the evolution of hind legs actually began as enhanced hind fins. This challenges existing theory that large, mobile hind appendages were developed only after vertebrates transitioned to land. The fossils are described by scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online on Jan. 13.
National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society

Contact: Kevin Jiang
University of Chicago Medical Center

Public Release: 12-Jan-2014
Nature Geoscience
High levels of molecular chlorine found in arctic atmosphere
Scientists studying the atmosphere above Barrow, Alaska, have discovered unprecedented levels of molecular chlorine in the air, a new study reports.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brett Israel
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 12-Jan-2014
Nature Neuroscience
It's all coming back to me now: Researchers find caffeine enhances memory
Caffeine is the energy boost of choice for millions. Now, however, researchers have found another use for the stimulant: memory enhancer.
NIH/National Institute on Aging, National Science Foundation, Johns Hopkins University

Contact: Latarsha Gatlin
Johns Hopkins University

Public Release: 10-Jan-2014
Innovative soft robotics technology spawns new products
The robot gripper invented by researchers at the University of Chicago and Cornell University is now available commercially. Empire Robotics, the company founded to commercialize the invention, is taking orders for the limited first release of its product called VERSABALL, scheduled to ship later this month.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Steve Koppes
University of Chicago

Public Release: 10-Jan-2014
Biophysical Journal
Cilia use different motors for different tasks
Cilia -- tiny, hair-like fibers -- are widely present in nature. Single-celled paramecia use one set of cilia for locomotion and another set to sweep nutrients into their oral grooves. Researchers at Brown have discovered that those two cilia sets operate at different speeds when the viscosity of the environment changes. That suggests different molecular motors driving them, which could help explain how cilia have come to be used for so many different tasks in nature.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Stacey
Brown University

Showing releases 426-450 out of 752.

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