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  News From the National Science Foundation
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Showing releases 501-525 out of 900.

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Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Quaternary Science Reviews
Humans settled, set fire to Madagascar's forests 1,000 years ago
Scientists from MIT and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have found that a widespread and permanent loss of forests in Madagascar that occurred 1,000 years ago was due not to climate change or any natural disaster, but to human settlers who set fire to the forests to make way for grazing cattle.
National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society

Contact: Abby Abazorius
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Nature Chemical Biology
Study reveals mechanism behind enzyme that tags unneeded DNA
Researchers at Princeton have discovered the two-step process that activates an essential human enzyme, called Suv39h1, which is responsible for organizing large portions of the DNA found in every living cell. Mistakes in packing DNA jeopardizes the stability of chromosomes and can result in severe diseases. Suv39h1 is one of the main enzymes that chemically mark the irrelevant regions of DNA to be compacted by cellular machinery, but little has been known about how it installs its tag until now.
National Institutes of Health, Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: Tien Nguyen
Princeton University

Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Journal of Hydrometeorology
Dartmouth-led team develops method to predict local climate change
Global climate models are essential for climate prediction and assessing the impacts of climate change across large areas, but a Dartmouth College-led team has developed a new method to project future climate scenarios at the local level.
National Science Foundation

Contact: John Cramer
Dartmouth College

Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Nature Scientific Reports
New image analytics may offer quick guidance for breast cancer treatment
For women with the most common type of breast cancer, a new way to analyze magnetic resonance images (MRI) data appears to reliably distinguish between patients who would need only hormonal treatment and those who also need chemotherapy. The analysis may provide women diagnosed with estrogen positive-receptor (ER-positive) breast cancer answers far faster than current tests and, due to its expected low cost, open the door to this kind of testing worldwide.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, NIHNational Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIH/Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Contact: Bill Lubinger
Case Western Reserve University

Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing
Algorithm makes hyperspectral imaging faster
Researchers have developed an algorithm that can quickly and accurately reconstruct hyperspectral images using less data. The images are created using instruments that capture hyperspectral information succinctly, and the combination of algorithm and hardware makes it possible to acquire hyperspectral images in less time and to store those images using less memory.
National Science Foundation, US Army Research Office

Contact: Matt Shipman
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Prehistoric village links old and new stone ages
Archaeologists from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem revealed in Israel a prehistoric village, dated around 12,000 years ago, in excavations in the fertile Jordan Valley.
American School of Prehistoric research (Peabody Museum, Harvard University), The Israel Science Foundation, National Science Foundation

Contact: Avivit Delgoshen
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Public Release: 18-Feb-2016
Astronomical Journal
Longest-lasting stellar eclipse discovered
Astronomers have discovered an unnamed pair of stars that sets a new record for both the longest duration stellar eclipse (3.5 years) and longest period between eclipses (69 years) in a binary system.
National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Contact: David F Salisbury
Vanderbilt University

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
Physical Review Letters
New clues in the hunt for the sources of cosmic neutrinos
Incredibly dense and powerful objects beyond our Milky Way Galaxy may prevent the escape of high-energy gamma rays that accompany the production of the cosmic neutrinos detected on Earth by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory buried deep in the Antarctic ice sheet, according to a paper to be published in the early online edition of the journal Physical Review Letters on Feb. 18, 2016.
Penn State University, US Nation Science Foundation, US Israel Binational Science Foundation

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Penn State

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
Wearable robot transforms musicians into 3-armed drummers
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have built a wearable robotic limb that allows drummers to play with three arms. The two-foot long 'smart arm' can be attached to a musician's shoulder and responds to human gestures and the music it hears. When the drummer moves to play the high hat cymbal, for example, the robotic arm maneuvers to play the ride cymbal.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jason Maderer
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
Frontiers in Microbiology
Marine virus outbreaks linked to coral bleaching
A study by biologists from Rice University and Oregon State University has found that significant outbreaks of marine viruses may be associated with coral bleaching events, especially as a result of multiple environmental stresses.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jade Boyd
Rice University

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
Journal of Hydrology
How climate change will affect western groundwater
By 2050 climate change will increase the groundwater deficit even more for four economically important aquifers in the western US, reports a University of Arizona-led team of scientists. The new report is the first to integrate scientists' knowledge about groundwater in the US West with scientific models that show how climate change will affect the region.
US Geological Survey, National Science Foundation

Contact: Mari N. Jensen
University of Arizona

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
Nature Nanotechnology
CU-Boulder ultrafast microscope used to make slow-motion electron movie
University of Colorado Boulder researchers have demonstrated the use of the world's first ultrafast optical microscope, allowing them to probe and visualize matter at the atomic level with mind-bending speed.
National Science Foundation, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Contact: Markus Rasche
University of Colorado at Boulder

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
UTA researcher earns grant to build conductive bioelastomers for safer tissue engineering
Yi Hong, an assistant professor of bioengineering, has won a five-year, $500,000 National Science Foundation Early Career Development, or CAREER, Program grant to create conductive, single-component and biodegradable elastomers. Hong's technology is an advancement over conventional conductive polymers that are very stiff, hard to be processed and non-degradable.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Herb Booth
University of Texas at Arlington

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
ACS Environmental Science and Technology
Best regions for growing bioenergy crops identified
Researchers at Illinois have identified regions in the United States where bioenergy crops would grow best while minimizing effects on aquatic ecosystems. 'We expect the outcome of this study to support scientifically sound national policy decisions on bioenergy crops development especially with regards to cellulosic grasses,' wrote Atul Jain, professor of atmospheric sciences.
National Science Foundation, DOE/Office of Science

Contact: Atul Jain
University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
UMass Amherst research creating tool for sustainable cities
Green building expert Simi Hoque at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently received a five-year, $508,714 National Science Foundation CAREER award to develop an integrated planning tool that will measure, evaluate and predict the impacts of energy, water and land use, waste management and transportation systems at an urban scale.
National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development program

Contact: Janet Lathrop
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
FAU scientist receives NSF grant to develop robotic boats with a 'mind of their own'
The notion of robotic boats that can move, think and make decisions on their own to help human supervisors may be closer than you think. A researcher at FAU has received a $469,822 grant from the NSF to advance technology on risk-informed decision making that will enable unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to team up with humans to work on a wide variety of civilian marine missions.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Gisele Galoustian
Florida Atlantic University

Public Release: 17-Feb-2016
Journal of Experimental Biology
Bizarre snail that swims like a flying insect
Sea butterflies are microscopic snails that swim in Arctic waters using wing-like structures that protrude from the shell opening, but now scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, have discovered that they probably have more in common with insects than other molluscs. Instead of using a paddling technique to swim, the minute snails beat their wings in a figure-of-eight wing beat pattern, just like flying insects.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kathryn Knight
The Company of Biologists

Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
TAxI shuttles protein cargo into spinal cord
The peptide TAxi is an effective vehichle for shuttling functional proteins, such as active enzymes, into the spinal cord after a muscle injection. The peptide and its cargo travel up the fibers on motor neurons to bypass the spinal cord/blood barrier. TAxI holds promise for carrying biologic therapeutics into this hard to reach location for treating disorders like motor neuron disease and other degenerative nerve conditions
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Leila Gray
University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Nature Geoscience
Breaking the strongest link triggered Big Baja Earthquake
An earthquake involving a system of small faults can be more damaging than a single event.
National Council of Science and Technology, National Science Foundation, Southern California Earthquake Center

Contact: Mike Oskin
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Physical Review Letters
Gravitational wave detection validates Einstein & early work of UMD physicists
An international team of scientists that includes UMD physicists has opened an unprecedented new window on the universe with the first observation of ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves. The finding confirms Einstein's prediction of gravitational waves, and it is built, in part, on more than 50 years of work by UMD physicists.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lee Tune
University of Maryland

Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Journal of Materials Chemistry A
UTA researchers devise more efficient materials for solar fuel cells
University of Texas at Arlington chemists have developed new high-performing materials for cells that harness sunlight to split carbon dioxide and water into usable fuels like methanol and hydrogen gas. These 'green fuels' can be used to power cars, home appliances or even to store energy in batteries.
Hungarian Academy of Science 'Momentum' Excellence Program, National Science Foundation

Contact: Louisa Kellie
University of Texas at Arlington

Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Scientific Reports
Nocturnal migrating songbirds drift with crosswinds and compensate near coastal areas
Using novel, recently developed techniques for analysis of Doppler polarimetric weather surveillance radar data, a University of Oklahoma team examined impediments (crosswinds and oceans) of nocturnally migrating songbirds in Eastern North America. Migrants in flight drifted sideways on crosswinds, but most strongly compensated for drift near the Atlantic coast. Coastal migrants' tendency to compensate for wind drift increased through the night, while no strong differences were observed at inlands sites. This behavior suggests birds adapt in flight and compensate for wind drift near coastal areas.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jana Smith
University of Oklahoma

Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Impact of climate change on parasite infections depends on host immunity
New research demonstrates how climate change and an individual's immune reaction can affect the dynamics of parasite infections. The study's results could lead to new strategies for the treatment and prevention of infections from soil-transmitted parasites in humans, livestock, and wildlife. A video is available at
National Science Foundation

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Penn State

Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Combating the sinister side of crowdsourcing
Computer science researchers at Utah State University have secured a major grant for an ongoing study on crowdsource manipulation. This growing and lucrative corner of the Internet impacts everything from e-commerce sites to social media and threatens to undermine even basic online trustworthiness.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kyumin Lee
Utah State University

Public Release: 16-Feb-2016
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
Disease, warming oceans rock lobster and sea star populations
Two new Cornell University studies show how diverse marine organisms are susceptible to diseases made worse by warming oceans. The first study warns that warm sea temperatures in 2015 may increase the levels of epizootic shell disease in American lobster in the northern Gulf of Maine in 2016. The second provides the first evidence linking warmer ocean temperatures with a West Coast epidemic of sea star wasting disease that has infected more than 20 species and devastated populations since 2013.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Melissa Osgood
Cornell University

Showing releases 501-525 out of 900.

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