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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 426-450 out of 744.

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Public Release: 10-Apr-2014
Current Biology
Four-eyed daddy longlegs fossil fills in evolutionary tree
Living harvestmen -- a group of arachnids more commonly known as daddy longlegs -- have a single pair of eyes that help them navigate every continent except Antarctica. But a newly described 305-million-year-old fossil shows that wasn't always the case. Research led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and the University of Manchester indicates that primitive harvestmen had two pairs of eyes, adding significant details to the evolutionary story of this highly successful group.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 10-Apr-2014
Journal of Paleontology
MU researchers find rare fossilized embryos more than 500 million years old
The Cambrian Period is a time when most phyla of marine invertebrates first appeared. Also dubbed the 'Cambrian explosion,' fossilized records from this time provide glimpses into evolutionary biology. Most fossils show the organisms' skeletal structure, which may give researchers accurate pictures of these prehistoric organisms. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found rare, fossilized embryos they believe were undiscovered previously. Their methods of study may help with future interpretation of evolutionary history.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jeff Sossamon
sossamonj@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia

Public Release: 10-Apr-2014
Chemistry & Biology
Enzyme 'wrench' could be key to stronger, more effective antibiotics
Builders and factory workers know that getting a job done right requires precision and specialized tools. The same is true when you're building antibiotic compounds at the molecular level. New findings from North Carolina State University may turn an enzyme that acts as a specialized 'wrench' in antibiotic assembly into a set of wrenches that will allow for greater customization.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Tracey Peake
tracey_peake@ncsu.edu
919-515-6142
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 10-Apr-2014
Science
How the brain pays attention
MIT neuroscientists identify a brain circuit that's key to shifting our focus from one object to another.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Sarah McDonnell
s_mcd@mit.edu
617-253-8923
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Reef fish arrived in 2 waves
The world's reefs are hotbeds of biological diversity, including over 4,500 species of fish. A new study shows that the ancestors of these fish colonized reefs in two distinct waves, before and after the mass extinction event about 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs.
National Science Foundation, Natural Environment Research Council

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

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
The motion of the medium matters for self-assembling particles, Penn research shows
Earlier work assumed that the liquid medium in which certain self-assembling particles float could be treated as a placid vacuum, but a University of Pennsylvania team has shown that fluid dynamics play a crucial role in the kind and quality of the structures that can be made in this way.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
Molecular Ecology
Scientists firm up origin of cold-adapted yeasts that make cold beer
As one of the most widely consumed and commercially important beverages on the planet, one would expect the experts to know everything there is to know about lager beer. Now, however, scientists are beginning to color in the margins of yeast ecology and genetics, identifying new strains in new environments and using the tools of molecular biology to ferret out traits that could aid industrial fermentation technologies.
National Science Foundation, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center

Contact: Chris Hittinger
cthittinger@wisc.edu
608-890-2586
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
Biomacromolecules
Synthetic collagen promotes natural clotting
Synthetic collagen invented at Rice University may help wounds heal by directing the natural clotting of blood.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Robert A. Welch Foundation

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

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
ACS Nano
No compromises: JILA's short, flexible, reusable AFM probe
JILA researchers have engineered a short, flexible, reusable probe for the atomic force microscope that enables state-of-the-art precision and stability in picoscale force measurements. Shorter, softer and more agile than standard and recently enhanced AFM probes, the JILA tips will benefit nanotechnology and studies of folding and stretching in biomolecules such as proteins and DNA.
National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Contact: Laura Ost
laura.ost@nist.gov
303-497-4880
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Study tests theory that life originated at deep sea vents
One of the greatest mysteries facing humans is how life originated on Earth. Scientists have determined approximately when life began, roughly 3.8 billion years ago, but there is still intense debate about exactly how life began. One possibility -- that simple metabolic reactions emerged near ancient seafloor hot springs, enabling the leap from a non-living to a living world -- has grown in popularity in the last two decades.
National Science Foundation, NASA

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

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
Nature
UC San Diego researchers develop bacterial 'FM radio'
A team of biologists and engineers at UC San Diego has developed a 'rapid and tunable post-translational coupling' for genetic circuits.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kim McDonald
kmcdonald@ucsd.edu
858-534-7572
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 9-Apr-2014
BioScience
Farming for improved ecosystem services seen as economically feasible
Research conducted over 25 years shows that lowering -- or avoiding -- the use of chemical fertilizers in row-crop agriculture in the northern United States can reduce polluting nitrogen runoff, mitigate greenhouse warming, and improve soils while producing good crop yields. 'No-till' agriculture provided some similar benefits. The most effective regimes required that farmers adopt more complex crop rotations, but many indicated that they would accept payments to do so, and the public seems willing to pay.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jennifer Williams
jwilliams@aibs.org
703-674-2500
American Institute of Biological Sciences

Public Release: 8-Apr-2014
Geophysical Research Letters
Study: Black carbon is ancient by the time it reaches seafloor
A fraction of the carbon that finds its way into Earth's oceans -- the black soot and charcoal residue of fires -- stays there for thousands for years. A first-of-its-kind analysis shows how some black carbon breaks away and hitches a ride to the ocean floor on passing particles.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 8-Apr-2014
Journal of Fluid Mechanics
How coughs and sneezes float farther than you think
A novel study uncovers the way coughs and sneezes stay airborne for long distances.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Abazorius
abbya@mit.edu
617-253-2709
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems
Personal touch signature makes mobile devices more secure
Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new security system that continuously monitors how a user taps and swipes a mobile device. If the movements don't match the owner's tendencies, the system recognizes the differences and can be programmed to lock the device.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Seeing double: New study explains evolution of duplicate genes
From time to time, living cells will accidentally make an extra copy of a gene during the normal replication process. Throughout the history of life, evolution has molded some of these seemingly superfluous genes into a source of genetic novelty, adaptation and diversity. A new study shows one way that some duplicate genes could have long-ago escaped elimination from the genome, leading to the genetic innovation seen in modern life.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brett Israel
brett.israel@comm.gatech.edu
404-385-1933
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
Geophysical Research Letters
Slowdown of global warming fleeting
The recent slowdown in the warming rate of the Northern Hemisphere may be a result of internal variability of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation -- a natural phenomenon related to sea surface temperatures, according to Penn State researchers.
National Science Foundation

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
Nature Photonics
Organic solar cells more efficient with molecules face-to-face
New research from North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill reveals that energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor. This finding may aid in the design and manufacture of more efficient and economically viable organic solar cell technology.
Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research

Contact: Tracey Peake
tracey_peake@ncsu.edu
919-515-6142
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Scientists find missing piece of air particle equation hiding in the walls
A new study from UC Davis and California Institute of Technology showed that vapor losses to the walls of laboratory chambers can suppress the formation of secondary organic aerosol, which in turn has contributed to the underprediction of SOA in climate and air quality models.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, California Air Resources Board

Contact: Christopher Cappa
cdcappa@ucdavis.edu
530-752-8180
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
2014 American Physical Society April Meeting
Astronomy & Astrophysics
BOSS quasars track the expanding universe -- most precise measurement yet
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists and their colleagues have made novel measurements of the structure of the universe when it was only about 3 billion years old, using quasars collected by the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). Results include the most precise measurement of expansion since galaxies formed. BOSS, the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey, pioneered the use of quasars to chart universal expansion and the role of dark energy.
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, SDSS-III Participating Institutions, National Science Foundation, DOE/Office of Science

Contact: Paul Preuss
paul_preuss@lbl.gov
415-272-3253
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Public Release: 6-Apr-2014
Nature Climate Change
Researchers find arid areas absorb unexpected amounts of atmospheric carbon
Researchers led by a Washington State University biologist have found that arid areas, among the biggest ecosystems on the planet, take up an unexpectedly large amount of carbon as levels of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere. The findings give scientists a better handle on the earth's carbon budget -- how much carbon remains in the atmosphere as CO2, contributing to global warming, and how much gets stored in the land or ocean in other carbon-containing forms.
US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: R. Dave Evans
rdevans@wsu.edu
509-335-7466
Washington State University

Public Release: 6-Apr-2014
Nature Climate Change
Field study shows why food quality will suffer with rising CO2
Climate change is hitting home -- in the pantry, this time. This field study of wheat demonstrates how the nutritional quality of food crops can be diminished when elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide interfere with a plant's ability to process nitrate into proteins.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture

Contact: Patricia Bailey
pjbailey@ucdavis.edu
530-752-9843
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 4-Apr-2014
Researchers receive $1.14 million to study threats to honey bees
Scientists in the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State received three grants from the US Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation to study various threats to honey bees, including disease, pesticides and the extinction and invasion of other species into their habitats.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
Current Biology
Hummingbird evolution soared after they invaded South America 22 million years ago
Researchers led by Jim McGuire of UC Berkeley generated a family tree of the hummingbirds that shows they diverged from swifts and treeswifts 42 million years ago, invaded South America 22 million years ago, and diversified rapidly to take over America. They occupied high elevations as the Andes rose and invaded North America and the Caribbean less than 5 million years ago. Their diversity continues to increase, potentially doubling the number of species over the next few million years.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
Current Biology
Ouch! Computer system spots fake expressions of pain better than people
A joint study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University at Buffalo, and the University of Toronto has found that a computer–vision system can distinguish between real or faked expressions of pain more accurately than can humans.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Patricia Donovan
pdonovan@buffalo.edu
716-645-4602
University at Buffalo

Showing releases 426-450 out of 744.

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