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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

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Showing releases 501-525 out of 743.

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Public Release: 19-Dec-2013
Cell
Nutrition influences metabolism through circadian rhythms, UCI study finds
A high-fat diet affects the molecular mechanism controlling the internal body clock that regulates metabolic functions in the liver, UC Irvine scientists have found. Disruption of these circadian rhythms may contribute to metabolic distress ailments, such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Merieux Research Institute, Sirtiris/GSK

Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
University of California - Irvine

Public Release: 19-Dec-2013
Science
Electron's shapeliness throws a curve at supersymmetry
A small band of particle-seeking scientists at Yale and Harvard has established a new benchmark for the electron's almost perfect roundness, raising doubts about certain theories that predict what lies beyond physics' reigning model of fundamental forces and particles, the Standard Model.
National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Contact: Eric Gershon
eric.gershon@yale.edu
203-432-8555
Yale University

Public Release: 19-Dec-2013
Functional Ecology
Modern caterpillars feed at higher temperatures in response to climate change
Caterpillars of two species of butterflies in Colorado and California have evolved to feed rapidly at higher and at a broader range of temperatures in the past 40 years, suggesting that they are evolving quickly to cope with a hotter, more variable climate.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Thania Benios
thania_benios@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Public Release: 19-Dec-2013
Science
Team finds new way to map important drug targets
Researchers have used new techniques and one of the brightest X-ray sources on the planet to map the 3-D structure of an important cellular gatekeeper in a more natural state than possible before.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
858-784-2052
Scripps Research Institute

Public Release: 19-Dec-2013
Science
The origin of flowers: DNA of storied plant provides insight into the evolution of flowering plants
The newly sequenced genome of the Amborella plant will be published in the journal Science on 20 December 2013. The genome sequence sheds new light on a major event in the history of life on Earth: the origin of flowering plants, including all major food crop species. The paper is among three on different research areas related to the Amborella genome that will be published in the same issue of the journal.
US National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
science@psu.edu
814-863-4682
Penn State

Public Release: 19-Dec-2013
Science
Gene transfer gone wild reveals driving force behind mitochondrial sex
Pioneering research led by Indiana University has identified genes from a number of plant species, including the entire mitochondrial genomes from three green algae and one moss, in the mitochondrial genome of Amborella trichopoda. The South Pacific shrub is considered to be the sole survivor -- the "last man standing" -- of one of the two oldest lineages of flowering plants, while the other lineage comprises the other 300,000 species of flowering plants.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Stephen Chaplin
stjchap@iu.edu
812-856-1896
Indiana University

Public Release: 18-Dec-2013
PLOS ONE
New study reveals the biomechanics of how marine snail larvae swim
Equipped with high-speed, high-resolution video, scientists have discovered important new information on how marine snail larvae swim, a key behavior that determines individual dispersal and ultimately, survival.
National Science Foundation, Croucher Foundation, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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

Public Release: 18-Dec-2013
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Diamonds in Earth's oldest zircons are nothing but laboratory contamination
In 2007 and 2008, two research papers reported in the journal Nature that a suite of zircons from the Jack Hills included diamonds. Now geologists at the University of California, Riverside have discovered using electron microscopy that the diamonds in the Jack Hills of western Australia are not diamonds but broken fragments of a diamond-polishing compound that got embedded when the zircon specimen was prepared for analysis by the authors of the Nature papers.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside

Public Release: 18-Dec-2013
Physicists delve into fundamental laws of biological materials
Physicists at the University of Chicago and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, are uncovering the fundamental physical laws that govern the behavior of cellular materials.
National Science Foundation, American Asthma Foundation

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

Public Release: 18-Dec-2013
Acta Crystallographica
Scientists reduce protein crystal damage, improve pharmaceutical development
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with two other institutions, have identified a method for protein crystallography that reduces damage to the protein crystal. This will allow crystals to be studied for longer periods of time as researchers study protein structures for new pharmaceuticals.
US Department of Energy Office of Science, National Science Foundation

Contact: Jared Sagoff
jsagoff@anl.gov
630-252-5549
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Public Release: 18-Dec-2013
PLOS ONE
Lemur babies of older moms less likely to get hurt
A long-term study of aggression in lemurs finds that infants born to older mothers are less likely to get hurt than those born to younger mothers. The findings come from an analysis of detailed medical records for more than 240 ring-tailed lemurs that were monitored daily from infancy to adulthood over a 35-year period at the Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina.
National Science Foundation, Marie Curie Actions

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
ras10@duke.edu
919-668-4544
Duke University

Public Release: 18-Dec-2013
Water Resources Research
Tropical forests mitigate extreme weather events
Tropical forests reduce peak runoff during storms and release stored water during droughts, according to researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Their results lend credence to a controversial phenomenon known as the sponge effect, which is at the center of a debate about how to minimize flood damage and maximize water availability in the tropics.
SIForestGEO, US Geological Survey, National Science Foundation, Panama Canal Authority, National Environmental Authority of Panama, HSBC Climate Partnership, Hoch family, and others

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

Public Release: 17-Dec-2013
Predicting antibiotic resistance among goals of UH research
Going back in time to compare evolutionary changes in several thousand generations of E. coli, a University of Houston biologist hopes to one day be able to isolate a bacterial pathogen and predict the likelihood it will become resistant to a particular antibiotic. Timothy Cooper and his team are studying the causes and consequences of evolvability in bacterial populations. Gaining a better understanding is important in vaccine and antibiotic design, as well as in biotechnology.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lisa Merkl
lkmerkl@uh.edu
713-743-8192
University of Houston

Public Release: 17-Dec-2013
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Water in cells behaves in complex and intricate ways
In a sort of biological "spooky action at a distance," water in a cell slows down in the tightest confines between proteins and develops the ability to affect other proteins much farther away, University of Michigan researchers have discovered.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

Contact: Nicole Casal Moore
ncmoore@umich.edu
734-647-7087
University of Michigan

Public Release: 17-Dec-2013
Nano Letters
MU researchers develop advanced 3-dimensional 'force microscope'
Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a three-dimensional microscope that will yield unparalleled study of membrane proteins and how they interact on the cellular level. These microscopes could help pharmaceutical companies bring drugs to market faster.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 17-Dec-2013
Animal Behaviour
Rainforest rodents risk their lives to eat
Hungry rodents that wake up early are much more likely to be eaten by ocelots than rodents getting plenty of food and shut-eye, according to new results from a study at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. The study was published in the journal Animal Behavior, early online edition, Dec., 2013.
National Science Foundation, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, Frank Levinson

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

Public Release: 17-Dec-2013
Journal of Mammalogy
A roly-poly pika gathers much moss
In some mountain ranges, Earth's warming climate is driving rabbit relatives known as pikas to higher elevations or wiping them out. But University of Utah biologists discovered that roly-poly pikas living in rockslides near sea level in Oregon can survive hot weather by eating more moss than any other mammal.
National Science Foundation, University of Utah, Wilderness Society, Southwestern Association of Naturalists, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, American Society of Mammalogists

Contact: Lee J. Siegel
lee.siegel@utah.edu
801-581-8993
University of Utah

Public Release: 17-Dec-2013
Ecology Letters
Ancestor of snakes, lizards likely gave birth to live young
The ancestor of snakes and lizards likely gave birth to live young, rather than laid eggs, and over time species have switched back and forth in their preferred reproductive mode, according to research published in print in Ecology Letters Dec. 17.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kurtis Hiatt
kkhiatt@gwu.edu
202-944-1849
George Washington University

Public Release: 16-Dec-2013
American Journal of Botany
A universal RNA extraction protocol for land plants
Studies of gene expression in plants and other organisms rely on the extraction of high-quality RNA. Although numerous protocols for RNA extraction have been developed, most of these are plant-specific, with many tailored for particular crop plants or model organisms. Researchers have developed a new protocol for RNA extraction (available for free viewing in the December issue of Applications in Plant Sciences) that can be used across land plants, which comprise over 300,000 species.
National Science Foundation, University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States, El Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología

Contact: Beth Parada
apps@botany.org
American Journal of Botany

Public Release: 16-Dec-2013
Cellulose
Cellulose nanocrystals possible 'green' wonder material
The same tiny cellulose crystals that give trees and plants their high strength, light weight and resilience, have now been shown to have the stiffness of steel. The nanocrystals might be used to create a new class of biomaterials with wide-ranging applications, such as strengthening construction materials and automotive components.
US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation

Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University

Public Release: 16-Dec-2013
Biomaterials
Researchers engineer a hybrid 5 times more effective in delivering genetic material into cells
Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and the NYU College of Dentistry have developed a carrier in their lab that is five times more efficient in delivering DNA into cells than today's commercial delivery methods -- reagent vectors. This novel complex is a peptide-polymer hybrid, assembled from two separate, less effective vectors that are used to carry DNA into cells. The study helps researchers better understand gene function.
National Science Foundation, US Army Research Office

Contact: Kathleen Hamilton
kathleen.hamilton@nyu.edu
718-260-3792
New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering

Public Release: 16-Dec-2013
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Innovative instrument probes close binary stars, may soon image exoplanets
Close binary stars cannot be resolved with today's optical telescopes, despite adaptive optics that removes the fuzziness caused by atmospheric turbulence. An international team of astronomers has built and mounted on a 3-meter California telescope a fibered optic imager that combines AO and interferometry to resolve for the first time close binaries such as Capella, and have mounted an improved imager on an 8-meter Subaru telescope that may one day resolve planets around dwarf stars.
American Astronomical Society, NASA, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 16-Dec-2013
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Cat domestication traced to Chinese farmers 5,300 years ago
Five-thousand years before it was immortalized in a British nursery rhyme, the cat that caught the rat that ate the malt was doing just fine living alongside farmers in the ancient Chinese village of Quanhucun, a forthcoming study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed.
National Science Foundation in China

Contact: Gerry Everding
gerry_everding@wustl.edu
314-935-6357
Washington University in St. Louis

Public Release: 15-Dec-2013
Nature
Virus grows tube to insert DNA during infection then sheds it
Researchers have discovered a tube-shaped structure that forms temporarily in a certain type of virus to deliver its DNA during the infection process and then dissolves after its job is completed.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture

Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University

Public Release: 15-Dec-2013
Nature
Deep-sea corals record dramatic long-term shift in Pacific Ocean ecosystem
Long-lived deep-sea corals preserve evidence of a major shift in the open Pacific Ocean ecosystem since around 1850, according to a study by researchers at UC Santa Cruz. The findings indicate that changes at the base of the marine food web observed in recent decades in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre may have begun more than 150 years ago at the end of the Little Ice Age.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-2495
University of California - Santa Cruz

Showing releases 501-525 out of 743.

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