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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 51-75 out of 866.

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Public Release: 15-Jan-2015
Science
Vaccine-induced CD4 T cells have adverse effect in a mouse model of infection
New findings demonstrate that vaccine-elicted CD4 T cells lead to overwhelming inflammatory response in mouse model of chronic infection.
National Institutes of Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, European Research Council, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Intramural Research Program

Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Public Release: 15-Jan-2015
Science
Charge instability detected across all types of copper-based superconductors
Superconductors made of copper-oxide ceramics called cuprates are capable of conducting electricity without resistance at record-high temperatures -- but still only at about one-third of room temperature. A phenomenon called charge ordering appears to compete with superconductivity and reduce the temperature at which cuprates demonstrate superconducting properties. The behavior, which had been previously observed in a class of cuprates known as hole-doped cuprates, has now been detected in electron-doped cuprate superconductors for the first time.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Robinson
abbyr@umd.edu
301-405-5845
University of Maryland

Public Release: 15-Jan-2015
Science
Study supports new explanation of gender gaps in academia
It isn't that women don't want to work long hours or can't compete in highly selective fields, and it isn't that they are less analytical than men, researchers report in a study of gender gaps in academia. It appears instead that women are underrepresented in academic fields whose practitioners put a lot of emphasis on the importance of being brilliant -- a quality many people assume women lack.
National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation

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

Public Release: 15-Jan-2015
Science
Tiny plant fossils a window into Earth's landscape millions of years ago
A team led by the University of Washington has discovered a way to determine the tree cover and density of trees, shrubs and bushes in locations over time based on clues in the cells of plant fossils preserved in rocks and soil. Quantifying vegetation structure throughout time could shed light on how the Earth's ecosystems changed over millions of years.
National Science Foundation, Geological Society of America, University of Washington, Burke Museum

Contact: Michelle Ma
mcma@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 14-Jan-2015
Frontiers in Microbiology
New species discovered beneath ocean crust
Researchers have found a new species of sulfate-breathing microbes locked away in an aquifer that flows underneath the ocean floor.
National Science Foundation, NASA Astrobiology Institute

Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California

Public Release: 14-Jan-2015
ACS Nano
Carbon nanotube finding could lead to flexible electronics with longer battery life
University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers have made a significant leap toward creating higher-performance electronics with improved battery life -- and the ability to flex and stretch. The team has reported the highest-performing carbon nanotube transistors ever demonstrated. In addition to paving the way for improved consumer electronics, this technology could also have specific uses in industrial and military applications.
National Science Foundation, UW-Madison Center of Excellence for Materials Research and Innovation, US Army Research Office, National Science Foundation, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Contact: Michael S. Arnold
msarnold@wisc.edu
608-262-3863
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public Release: 14-Jan-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Paradox revealed: Cues associated with infant abuse may help reduce stress in adult brain
Neurobiologists at New York University Langone Medical Center and elsewhere found a surprising and paradoxical effect of abuse-related cues in rat pups: those cues also can lower depressive-like behavior when the rat pups are fully grown. These properties may help shed light on why certain cues associated with early life abuse can sometimes reduce stress in those same individuals as adults.
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: David March
david.march@nyumc.org
212-404-3528
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine

Public Release: 14-Jan-2015
Nature
Chemical dial controls attraction between water-repelling molecules
A group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has provided new insights on hydrophobic interactions within complex systems. In a study published today in the journal Nature, the researchers show how the nearby presence of polar substances can change the way the non-polar hydrophobic groups want to stick to each other.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Nicholas Abbott
abbott@engr.wisc.edu
608-265-5278
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public Release: 14-Jan-2015
Applied Materials and Interfaces
Atomic placement of elements counts for strong concrete
The forces that bind atoms and molecules can impact the strength of particulate materials like concrete. Rice University researchers carried out simulations to determine how the atomic placement of elements in concrete can be tuned to maximize its mechanical properties.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, IBM Shared University Research Award

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

Public Release: 14-Jan-2015
Ecology and Society
Sustainability challenged as many renewable resources max out
The days of assuming natural resources can be swapped in and out to solve shortages -- corn for oil, soy for beef -- may be over. An international group of scientists demonstrate that many key resources have peaked in productivity, pointing to the sobering conclusion that 'renewable' is not synonymous with 'unlimited.'
National Science Foundation

Contact: Sue Nichols
Nichols@msu.edu
517-432-0206
Michigan State University

Public Release: 14-Jan-2015
Environmental Science & Technology
New contaminants found in oil and gas wastewater
Duke University scientists have documented high levels of two potentially hazardous contaminants, ammonium and iodide, in wastewater being discharged into area streams and rivers from oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania. Levels of contamination were just as high in wastewater coming from conventional oil and gas wells as from hydraulically fractured shale gas wells.
National Science Foundation, Park Foundation

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

Public Release: 13-Jan-2015
Applied Materials and Interfaces
Crush those clinkers while they're hot
Clinkers pulverized to make cement should be processed right out of the kiln to save the most energy. The environmentally friendly advice is the result of a computational study by scientists at Rice University.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 13-Jan-2015
Lab on a Chip
New device allows for manipulation of differentiating stem cells
A new device developed by researchers at Northwestern University creates nanopores in adherent cell membranes, allowing researchers to deliver molecules directly into the cells during differentiation.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

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

Public Release: 13-Jan-2015
Royal Society Open Science
Men want commitment when women are scarce
The sexual stereotype, in line with evolutionary theory, is that women want commitment and men want lots of flings. But a study of the Makushi people in Guyana shows the truth is more complex, with men more likely to seek long-term relationships when women are in short supply.
National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation

Contact: Lee J. Siegel
lee.siegel@utah.edu
801-244-5399
University of Utah

Public Release: 13-Jan-2015
PeerJ
Sizing up giants under the sea
Researchers sifted through multiple datasets and historical records to produce more accurate and comprehensive measurements for 25 species including the blue whale, giant squid, and great white shark. The team, comprised of a mix of scientists and students, also utilized social media to promote the research and reach potential collaborators from across the world.
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, National Science Foundation

Contact: Nicole Duncan
nicole.duncan@nescent.org
919-668-7993
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
29th Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Conference
Robots learn to use kitchen tools by watching YouTube videos
Researchers at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies have developed robotic systems that are able to teach themselves. Specifically, these robots are able to learn the intricate grasping and manipulation movements required for cooking by watching online cooking videos. The key breakthrough is that the robots can 'think' for themselves, determining the best combination of observed motions that will allow them to efficiently accomplish a given task.
European Union, National Science Foundation, US Army

Contact: Matthew Wright
mewright@umd.edu
301-405-9267
University of Maryland

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Ancient fossils reveal rise in parasitic infections due to climate change
A paleobiologist from the University of Missouri has found indications of a greater risk of parasitic infection due to climate change in ancient mollusk fossils. His study of clams from the Holocene Epoch indicates that current sea level rise may mimic the same conditions that led to an upsurge in parasitic trematodes, or flatworms, he found from that time. He cautions that an outbreak in human infections could occur.
National Science Foundation of China, University of Missouri Research Council, Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, German Academic Exchange Service

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

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
Journal of Experimental Biology
Slick and slender snake beats short and stubby lizard in sand swimming
For swimming through sand, a slick and slender snake can perform better than a short and stubby lizard. That's one conclusion from a study of the movement patterns of the shovel-nosed snake, a native of the Mojave Desert of the Southwest United States.
National Science Foundation, US Army Research Office

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

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Rise in mass die-offs seen among birds, fish and marine invertebrates
An analysis of 727 studies reveals that there have been more instances of rapid, catastrophic animal die-offs over the past 75 years. These mass kills appear to have hit birds, fish and marine invertebrates harder than other species.
US Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
University of Tennessee professor uses plantations to examine race in America
Derek Alderman, head of the geography department at UT, has received $62,000 from the National Science Foundation to study how the representation of Southern slavery at tourism sites is changing. The research will use plantations to understand ongoing debates about race relations, racism and white supremacy within the United States.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Whitney Heins
wheins@utk.edu
865-974-5460
University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
Physical Review Letters
They see flow signals: Researchers identify nature of fish's 'sixth sense'
A team of scientists has identified how a 'sixth sense' in fish allows them to detect flows of water, which helps resolve a long-standing mystery about how these aquatic creatures respond to their environment.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy

Contact: James Devitt
james.devitt@nyu.edu
212-998-6808
New York University

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
Nature Chemical Biology
TSRI scientists discover possible new target for treating brain inflammation
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has identified an enzyme that produces a class of inflammatory lipid molecules in the brain. Abnormally high levels of these molecules appear to cause a rare inherited neurodegenerative disorder, and that disorder now may be treatable if researchers can develop suitable drug candidates that inhibit this enzyme.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Chemical Society, Hewitt Foundation for Medical Research, US Department of Veterans Affairs

Contact: Madeline McCurry-Schmidt
madms@scripps.edu
858-784-9254
Scripps Research Institute

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
Nature Materials
Solar cell polymers with multiplied electrical output
A team from Brookhaven Lab and Columbia University has paired up photovoltaic polymers that produce two units of electricity per unit of light instead of the usual one on a single molecular polymer chain. Having the two charges on the same molecule means the light-absorbing, energy-producing materials work efficiently when dissolved in liquids, which opens the way for a wide range of industrial scale manufacturing processes, including 'printing' solar-energy-producing material like ink.
US Department of Energy Office of Science, National Science Foundation, 3M

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
Nature Nanotechnology
From the bottom up: Manipulating nanoribbons at the molecular level
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new precision approach for synthesizing graphene nanoribbons from pre-designed molecular building blocks. Using this process the researchers have built nanoribbons that have enhanced properties -- such as position-dependent, tunable bandgaps -- that are potentially very useful for next-generation electronic circuitry.
US Department of Energy Office of Science, National Science Foundation

Contact: Rachel Berkowitz
rberkowitz@lbl.gov
510-486-7254
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Public Release: 12-Jan-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
People watching: Different brain pathways responsible for person, movement recognition
Researchers from University College London, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, San Diego have found that the ability to understand different movements, such as walking, skipping and jumping, engages different brain mechanisms from those that recognize who is initiating the action. Published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study illustrates for the first time how individuals with prosopagnosia, or face blindness, are still able to recognize other people's movements.
The Royal Society, National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institute of Mental Health, Wellcome Trust, Marie-Curie

Contact: Shilo Rea
shilo@cmu.edu
412-268-6094
Carnegie Mellon University

Showing releases 51-75 out of 866.

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