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  News From the National Science Foundation
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NSF Funded News

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Showing releases 501-525 out of 831.

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Public Release: 10-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Of gods and men
New research finds that cultures living in harsher ecosystems with limited resources are more prone to a belief in moralizing, high gods. The results indicate that other cross-disciplinary factors, including as political complexity, also influence this belief.
National Science Foundation, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, John Templeton Foundation, Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant

Contact: Nicole Duncan
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

Public Release: 10-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
How variable are ocean temperatures?
The earth's climate appears to have been more variable over the past 7,000 years than often thought. In a new study, scientists from the Potsdam-based Alfred Wegener Institute and Harvard University show that sea surface temperatures reconstructed from climate archives vary to a much greater extent on long time scales than simulated by climate models. The consequence: either the analysed climate archives supply inaccurate temperature signals, or the tested models underestimate the regional climate fluctuations in the Earth's recent history.
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Daimler and Benz Foundation, Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association, National Science Foundation

Contact: Thomas Laepple
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Public Release: 10-Nov-2014
Cancer Cell
Classification of gene mutations in a children's cancer may point to improved treatments
Oncology researchers studying gene mutations in the children's cancer neuroblastoma are refining their diagnostic tools to predict which patients are more likely to respond to drugs called ALK inhibitors that target such mutations.
National Institutes of Health, US Army Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program, National Science Foundation

Contact: Rachel Salis-Silverman
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Public Release: 8-Nov-2014
74th Annual Meeting of The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
A/C came standard on armored dinosaur models
A new study shows that armor-plated dinosaurs (ankylosaurs) had the capacity to modify the temperature of the air they breathed in an exceptional way: by using their long, winding nasal passages as heat transfer devices.
National Science Foundation, Ohio University, Jurassic Foundation, Sigma Xi

Contact: Anthony Friscia
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
Physical Review E
Researchers develop new model to study epidemics
For decades, scientists have been perfecting models of how contagions spread, but newly published research takes the first steps toward a model that includes the interaction between individual human behavior and the behavior of the epidemic itself. The highly complex model accounts for the speed of modern communication and travel, both of which change contagion probability. The team hopes the model will more accurately guide travel restrictions and who should be vaccinated and isolated.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kathleen Hamilton
New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
Konza Prairie research program receives $6.76 million NSF grant renewal
The National Science Foundation renewed Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research program with a $6.76 million grant.
National Science Foundation

Contact: John Blair
Kansas State University

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
IEEE Sensors 2014 conference
Cockroach cyborgs use microphones to detect, trace sounds
Researchers have developed technology that allows cyborg cockroaches, or biobots, to pick up sounds with small microphones and seek out the source of the sound. The technology is designed to help emergency personnel find and rescue survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Matt Shipman
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
Hungry bats compete for prey by jamming sonar
A study published today in Science shows that Mexican free-tailed bats jam the sonar of competitors to gain advantage in aerial foraging contests.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Bonnie Davis
Wake Forest University

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
Transitions between states of matter: It's more complicated, scientists find
The seemingly simple process of phase changes -- those transitions between states of matter -- is more complex than previously known, according to research based at Princeton University, Peking University, and NYU.
Office of Naval Research, Army Research Office, US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation of China

Contact: James Devitt
New York University

Public Release: 6-Nov-2014
Rare 2.5-billion-year-old rocks reveal hot spot of sulfur-breathing bacteria
Biogeochemical signals in 2.5-billion-year-old carbonate rocks from Brazil reveal that sulfur-consuming bacteria were active at a time when ocean sulfur levels were low. Geology graduate student Iadviga Zhelezinskaia is the first researcher to focus on sulfur isotopes in ancient carbonate rocks. Her study sheds light on Earth's early atmospheric chemistry, and appears in the Nov. 7 issue of Science.
Fulbright Program, NASA Astrobiology Institute, National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Robinson
University of Maryland

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
Evolutionary Applications
Mosquitofish genitalia change rapidly due to human impacts
Human environmental changes can markedly -- and rapidly -- affect fish shape, specifically the shape of mosquitofish genitalia in the Bahamas.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brian Langerhans
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
Astrophysical Journal
European satellite could discover thousands of planets in Earth's galaxy
Princeton University and Lund University researchers project that the recently launched European satellite Gaia could discover tens of thousands of planets during its five-year mission.
National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Morgan Kelly
Princeton University

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
Madagascar: Fossil skull analysis offers clue to mammals' evolution
The surprise discovery of the fossilized skull of a 66- to 70-million-year-old, groundhog-like creature on Madagascar has led to new analyses of the lifestyle of the largest known mammal of its time by a team of specialists including biologist Elizabeth Dumont at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an expert in jaw structure and bite mechanics.
National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society

Contact: Janet Lathrop
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 5-Nov-2014
Coexist or perish, new wildfire analysis says
An international team of fire experts led by UC Berkeley's Max Moritz concluded that it is time to stop fighting fires and instead develop strategies to live with fire. In many areas, fire management is difficult or impossible, and interferes with fire's key role in the ecosystem. Instead, we should develop zoning and building codes and evacuation protocols to allow people to live with fire, just as we now live with earthquake and tornado hazards.
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
How important is long-distance travel in the spread of epidemics?
When modeling the spread of epidemics, such as the Ebola outbreak, scientists must take into account the long-distance hops now possible with international air travel. But how important are such long-distance jumps? A new model by biophysicists Oskar Hallatschek of UC Berkeley and Daniel Fisher of Stanford shows that how common long-range jumps are makes a big difference in the dispersal of a disease, that is, whether you get slow, rippling versus rapid metastatic spread.
Simons Foundation, National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Study shows tectonic plates not rigid, deform horizontally in cooling process
The puzzle pieces of tectonic plates are not rigid and don't fit together as nicely as we were taught in high school. A study published in the journal Geology by Corné Kreemer, an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and his colleague Richard Gordon of Rice University, quantifies deformation of the Pacific plate and challenges the central approximation of the plate tectonic paradigm that plates are rigid.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Mike Wolterbeek
University of Nevada, Reno

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
ACS Catalysis
Jet-fueled electricity at room temperature
University of Utah engineers developed the first room-temperature fuel cell that uses enzymes to help jet fuel produce electricity without needing to ignite the fuel. These new fuel cells can be used to power portable electronics, off-grid power and sensors.
Northrop Grumman Corp., National Science Foundation via University of Utah Materials Research Science and Engineering Center

Contact: Aditi Risbud
University of Utah

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Journal of Neuroscience
New insight into the neuroscience of choking under pressure
Recent research from the Johns Hopkins University suggests that in situations like this, performance depends on two factors: the framing of the incentive in terms of a loss or a gain, and a person's aversion to loss.
National Science Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Japan Science and Technology Agency/Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, California Institute of Technology/Tamagawa Global Center of Excellence

Contact: Catherine Kolf
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Nature Communications
Less reward, more aversion when learning tricky tasks
We can easily learn by seeking reward or avoiding punishment. But either way, we'd rather have any task be easy. A new study finds a direct behavioral and physiological linkage between those inclinations: When even subtle conflict made an experimental task harder, it affected the perception of reward and punishment, skewing how subjects learned the task.
National Science Foundation

Contact: David Orenstein
Brown University

Public Release: 4-Nov-2014
Advanced Materials
Better bomb-sniffing technology
University of Utah engineers have developed a new type of carbon nanotube material for handheld sensors that will be quicker and better at sniffing out explosives, deadly gases and illegal drugs.
US Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Vince Horiuchi
University of Utah

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Nature Nanotechnology
Outsmarting thermodynamics in self-assembly of nanostructures
Berkeley Lab researchers have achieved symmetry-breaking in a bulk metamaterial solution for the first time, a critical step game toward achieving new and exciting properties in metamaterials.
National Science Foundation, DOE/Office of Science

Contact: Rachel Berkowitz
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Compared with apes, people's gut bacteria lack diversity, study finds
The microbes living in people's guts are much less diverse than those in humans' closest relatives, the African apes, an apparently long evolutionary trend that appears to be speeding up in more modern societies, with possible implications for human health, according to a new study.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Marc Airhart
University of Texas at Austin

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Groundwater patches play important role in forest health, water quality
Patches of soaked soil act as hot spots for microbes removing nitrogen from groundwater and returning it to the atmosphere.The discovery provides insight into forest health and water quality, say researchers from Virginia Tech and Cornell.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lynn Davis
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Technology, Knowledge and Learning
Dance choreography improves girls' computational skills
Clemson researchers find that blending movement and computer programming supports girls in building computational thinking skills, according to an ongoing study funded by the National Science Foundation and emerging technology report published in journal Technology, Knowledge and Learning.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Alison Leonard
Clemson University

Public Release: 3-Nov-2014
Journal of Clinical Investigation
How bile acids could fight diabetes
EPFL scientists have shown that a receptor activated by bile acids can reduce fat-tissue inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity-linked diabetes.
Swiss National Science Foundation, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, European Molecular Biology Organization, Federation of European Biochemical Societies, Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research

Contact: Nik Papageorgiou
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Showing releases 501-525 out of 831.

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