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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 426-450 out of 749.

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Public Release: 9-Jan-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
Acid mine drainage reduces radioactivity in fracking waste
Blending fracking wastewater with acid mine drainage causes most of the naturally radioactive metals in the fracking water to precipitate into a solid for disposal. The practice also could help reduce the depletion of local freshwater resources by giving drillers a source of usable recycled water for the hydraulic fracturing process.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Tim Lucas
tdlucas@duke.edu
919-613-8084
Duke University

Public Release: 9-Jan-2014
223rd AAS Annual Meeting
Astrophysical Journal
Surprising new class of 'hypervelocity stars' discovered escaping the galaxy
An international team of astronomers has discovered a surprising new class of "hypervelocity stars" -- solitary stars moving fast enough to escape the gravitational grasp of the Milky Way galaxy.
National Science Foundation, Aspen Center for Physics, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, US Department of Energy Office of Science

Contact: David Salisbury
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-6803
Vanderbilt University

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Coral chemical warfare: Suppressing a competitor enhances susceptibility to a predator
Competition may have a high cost for at least one species of tropical seaweed. Researchers examining the chemical warfare taking place on Fijian coral reefs have found that one species of seaweed increases its production of noxious anti-coral compounds when placed into contact with reef-building corals, but at the same time becomes more attractive to herbivorous fish.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: John Toon
jtoon@gatech.edu
404-894-6986
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Infants show ability to tell friends from foes
Even before babies have language skills or much information about social structures, they can infer whether other people are likely to be friends by observing their likes and dislikes, a new study on infant cognition has found.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Jann Ingmire
jingmire@uchicago.edu
773-702-2772
University of Chicago

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
223rd AAS Annual Meeting
Astrophysical Journal
Many small exoplanets found to be covered in gas
NASA's Kepler space telescope discovered thousands of "planetary candidates," but what are the planets made of? To know this, each planet's mass first must be determined. A Northwestern University astronomer reports having measured the masses of approximately 60 exoplanets larger than Earth and smaller than Neptune. The measurements greatly expand scientists' knowledge of sub-Neptune exoplanets because once the mass and size of a planet are known, the density can be determined and the composition of the planet inferred.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
Genome Biology
Penn biologists establish new method for studying RNA's regulatory 'footprint'
Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues have teamed up to offer a new method to efficiently obtain an entire "footprint" of interactions between RNA and the proteins that bind to RNA molecules.
National Science Foundation, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Contact: Katherine Unger Baillie
kbaillie@upenn.edu
215-898-9194
University of Pennsylvania

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
EMBO Reports
Researchers propose alternative way to allocate science funding
Researchers in the United States have suggested an alternative way to allocate science funding. The method, which is described in EMBO reports, depends on a collective distribution of funding by the scientific community, requires only a fraction of the costs associated with the traditional peer review of grant proposals and, according to the authors, may yield comparable or even better results.
National Science Foundation, Andrew W Mellon Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Barry Whyte
barry.whyte@embo.org
European Molecular Biology Organization

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
Nature
Fungi may determine the future of soil carbon
Soil contains more carbon than air and plants combined. This means that even a minor change in soil carbon could have major implications for the Earth's atmosphere and climate. New research by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute scientist Benjamin Turner and colleagues at the University of Texas, Austin, and Boston University points to an unexpected driver of soil carbon content: fungi.
Smithsonian Institution, National Science Foundation, University of Texas -- Austin

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

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
PLOS ONE
Researchers unveil rich world of fish biofluorescence
A team led by scientists from the American Museum of Natural History has released the first report of widespread biofluorescence in fishes, identifying more than 180 species that glow in a wide range of colors and patterns. Published today in PLOS ONE, the research shows that biofluorescence -- a phenomenon by which organisms absorb light, transform it, and eject it as a different color -- is common and variable among marine fish species, indicating its potential use in communication and mating.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
Nature
Organic mega flow battery promises breakthrough for renewable energy
A team of Harvard scientists and engineers has demonstrated a new type of battery that could fundamentally transform the way electricity is stored on the grid, making power from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar far more economical and reliable.
Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

Contact: Paul Karoff
karoff@seas.harvard.edu
617-496-0450
Harvard University

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
PLOS ONE
New study finds extreme longevity in white sharks
Great white sharks -- top predators throughout the world's ocean -- grow much slower and live significantly longer than previously thought, according to a new study led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Media Relations Office
media@whoi.edu
508-289-3340
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
Nature
Symbiotic fungi inhabiting plant roots have major impact on atmospheric carbon, scientists say
Microscopic fungi that live in plants' roots play a major role in the storage and release of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere, according to a University of Texas at Austin researcher and his colleagues at Boston University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The role of these fungi is currently unaccounted for in global climate models.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Colin Averill
colin.averill@utexas.edu
203-444-8925
University of Texas at Austin

Public Release: 8-Jan-2014
223rd AAS Annual Meeting
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
BOSS measures the universe to 1-percent accuracy
The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), led by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey. BOSS has measured the clustering of nearly 1.3 million galaxies spectroscopically, determining the "standard ruler" of the universe's large-scale structure to within one percent. This is the most precise such measurement ever made and likely to be the standard for years to come.
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Participating Institutions, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science

Contact: Paul Preuss
paul_preuss@lbl.gov
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Public Release: 7-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Of lice and men (and chimps): Study tracks pace of molecular evolution
A new study compares the relative rate of molecular evolution between humans and chimps with that of their lice. The researchers wanted to know whether evolution marches on at a steady pace in all creatures or if subtle changes in genes -- substitutions of individual letters of the genetic code -- occur more rapidly in some groups than in others.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 7-Jan-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Synthetic genetic clock checks the thermometer
Scientists have developed a method to make robust synthetic gene circuits that can adjust to changing temperatures. The research may provide a window into natural genetic regulatory processes.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Welch Foundation

Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@rice.edu
713-348-6775
Rice University

Public Release: 7-Jan-2014
Scientists to examine Pacific's 'global chimney'
NCAR scientists and partners next week launch a field project in the tropical Pacific, a remote region that holds a key to understanding worldwide climate. The warm waters fuel huge clusters of thunderstorms that act as a global chimney, lofting gases and particles into the stratosphere and affecting the planet.
National Science Foundation

Contact: David Hosansky
hosansky@ucar.edu
303-497-8611
National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Public Release: 7-Jan-2014
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Ancient sharks reared young in prehistoric river-delta nursery
Like salmon in reverse, long-snouted Bandringa sharks migrated downstream from freshwater swamps to a tropical coastline to spawn 310 million years ago, leaving behind fossil evidence of one of the earliest known shark nurseries.
National Science Foundation, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, and others

Contact: Jim Erickson
ericksn@umich.edu
734-647-1842
University of Michigan

Public Release: 6-Jan-2014
Developmental Science
Babbling babies -- responding to one-on-one 'baby talk' -- master more words
Common advice to new parents is that the more words babies hear the faster their vocabulary grows. Now new findings show that what spurs early language development isn't so much the quantity of words as the style of speech and social context in which speech occurs.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Molly McElroy
mollywmc@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 6-Jan-2014
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Worker wasps grow visual brains, queens stay in the dark
A queen in a paperwasp colony largely stays in the dark. The worker wasps, who fly outside to seek food and building materials, see much more of the world around them. A new Drexel University study indicates that the brain regions involved in sensory perception also develop differently in these castes, according to the different behavioral reliance on the senses. The study is published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Rachel Ewing
raewing@drexel.edu
215-895-2614
Drexel University

Public Release: 6-Jan-2014
Nature
Discovery spotlights key role of mystery RNA modification in cells
Researchers had known for several decades that a certain chemical modification exists on messenger ribonucleic acid, which is essential to the flow of genetic information. But only recently did experiments at the University of Chicago show that one major function of this modification governs the longevity and decay of RNA, a process critical to the development of healthy cells.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Steve Koppes
skoppes@uchicago.edu
773-702-8366
University of Chicago

Public Release: 6-Jan-2014
Review of Scientific Instruments
RAMBO a small but powerful magnet
Rice pioneers a tabletop magnetic pulse generator that allows researchers to collect real-time, high-resolution data in a system that couples high magnetic fields and low temperature with direct optical access to the magnet's core.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, Robert A. Welch Foundation

Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@rice.edu
713-348-6775
Rice University

Public Release: 6-Jan-2014
Environmental Science and Technology
Suburban sprawl cancels carbon footprint savings of dense urban cores
According to a new study by UC Berkeley researchers, population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse gas emissions per person than other areas of the country, but these cities' extensive suburbs essentially wipe out the climate benefits. Dominated by emissions from cars, trucks and other forms of transportation, suburbs account for about 50 percent of all household emissions -- largely carbon dioxide -- in the United States.
National Science Foundation, California Air Resources Board

Contact: Robert Sanders
rlsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 6-Jan-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
New compounds discovered that are hundreds of times more mutagenic
Researchers have discovered novel compounds produced by certain types of chemical reactions -- such as those found in vehicle exhaust or grilling meat -- that are hundreds of times more mutagenic than their parent compounds which are known carcinogens. These compounds were not previously known to exist.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Science Foundation

Contact: Staci Simonich
staci.simonich@oregonstate.edu
541-737-0787
Oregon State University

Public Release: 6-Jan-2014
223rd AAS Annual Meeting
Astrophysical Journal
Newfound planet is Earth-mass but gassy
An international team of astronomers has discovered the first Earth-mass planet that transits, or crosses in front of, its host star. KOI-314c is the lightest planet to have both its mass and physical size measured. Surprisingly, although the planet weighs the same as Earth, it is 60 percent larger in diameter, meaning that it must have a very thick, gaseous atmosphere.
NASA, National Science Foundation

Contact: Christine Pulliam
cpulliam@cfa.harvard.edu
617-495-7463
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Public Release: 5-Jan-2014
223rd AAS Annual Meeting
Nature
Pulsar in stellar triple system makes unique gravitational laboratory
The discovery of a millisecond pulsar -- a superdense neutron star -- in a triple system with two white dwarfs gives astronomers the most precise tool yet for studying the gravitational three-body problem. In addition, the nature of the stars and their interactions may give an unprecedented clue that points toward a new theory of gravity compatible, unlike general relativity, with quantum theory.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Dave Finley
dfinley@nrao.edu
575-835-7302
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Showing releases 426-450 out of 749.

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