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  News From the National Science Foundation
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NSF Funded News

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Showing releases 551-575 out of 914.

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Public Release: 10-Mar-2016
Climatic Change
Climate change less politicized among minority groups
Race and ethnicity as a function of climate-change attitudes is the subject of a recent study by Jonathon Schuldt, assistant professor of communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and collaborator Adam Pearson, assistant professor of psychology at Pomona (Calif.) College.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Melissa Osgood
Cornell University

Public Release: 10-Mar-2016
Insect Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
How stick insects handle indigestive food
Plant cell walls are comprised of many complex polymers that require multiple different enzymes to fully break down, such as cellulase to digest cellulose and xylanase to digest xylan. For decades scientists thought only microbes could produce cellulase, until cellulase genes were found in wood-feeding insects. Now, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, discovered that stick insects produce cellulases that can handle several types of cell wall polymers equally.
National Science Foundation, University of California -- Davis, Max Planck Society

Contact: Matan Shelomi
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

Public Release: 10-Mar-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Early human habitat, recreated for first time, shows life was no picnic
Scientists have pieced together an early human habitat for the first time, and life was no picnic in Tanzania in East Africa 1.8 million years ago.
Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, National Science Foundation

Contact: Todd B. Bates
Rutgers University

Public Release: 10-Mar-2016
CHI 2016
Smartphone security: Why doodling trumps text passwords
Someday soon, you may be able to log into your smartphone with sweeping gestures or doodling, using one or more fingers. Rutgers University researchers have performed the first study of free-form gesture passwords for smartphones in the field. Such passwords allow people to draw a password of any shape with any number of fingers. Gesture, or doodling, passwords are very suitable for touchscreens, faster to use, easy to remember and hard to guess.
National Science Foundation, Department of Defense through the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program

Contact: Todd B. Bates
Rutgers University

Public Release: 10-Mar-2016
Major source of methanol in the ocean identified
As one of the most abundant organic compounds on the planet, methanol occurs naturally in the environment as plants release it as they grow and decompose. It is also found in the ocean, where it is a welcome food source for ravenous microbes that feast on it for energy and growth.
National Science Foundation

Contact: WHOI Media Relations Office
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
UTA alums receive NSF small-business grant to spur K-12 STEM interest through technology
A team of UTA engineering and business school graduates is designing a hands-on, reconfigurable Build-Teach-Play Robots package to stimulate STEM learning in kindergarten through 12th grades.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Herb Booth
University of Texas at Arlington

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
The Science of Nature
Seeing the light: Army ants evolve to regain sight and more in return to surface
A study of army ants revealed that some species increased their brain size, including visual brain regions, after evolving above-ground behavior. Their ancestors had lived mainly underground for nearly 60 million years. Such increases in brain capacity are a rarely-studied evolutionary phenomenon.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Frank Otto
Drexel University

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
Plant pathologist awarded nearly $2 million
Hailing Jin, a University of California, Riverside professor of plant pathology and microbiology, recently received two grants totaling $1.95 million to study molecular regulatory mechanisms of plant immunity and pathogen virulence, which will help with disease control and to ensure the quality and quantity of agricultural food production.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Sean Nealon
University of California - Riverside

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
Announcing the PALM Network Spring 2016 Fellows
The Genetics Society of America takes an active and collaborative role in the Promoting Active Learning & Mentoring Network, along with our partners: the American Society for Cell Biology and the American Society of Plant Biologists. PALM funds one-on-one, long-term mentorships for faculty or postdocs new to the effective biology education approaches outlined in the Vision and Change recommendations.
NSF Research Coordination Network in Undergraduate Biology Education

Contact: Chloe Poston
Genetics Society of America

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
NSF awards IU biologist $750,000 to study effect of environment on development
An Indiana University biologist has been awarded $750,000 to identify the genetic mechanism that makes up a 'switch' allowing some genetically identical species to develop strikingly different physical characteristics based on their environment, a phenomenon known as 'polyphenism.'
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin D. Fryling
Indiana University

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
Nature Nanotechnology
ASRC professor leads study on reconfigurable magnetic nanopatterns
A team of international scientists led by researchers of the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) and the Politecnico of Milan in Italy has demonstrated a novel approach for designing fully reconfigurable magnetic nanopatterns whose properties and functionality can be programmed and reprogrammed on-demand.
US Department of Energy, US National Science Foundation, The Fondazione Cariplo

Contact: Paul McQuiston
CUNY Advanced Science Research Center

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
Atomic vibrations in nanomaterials
Researchers at ETH have shown for the first time what happens to atomic vibrations when materials are nanosized and how this knowledge can be used to systematically engineer nanomaterials for different applications.
Swiss National Science Foundation, NCCR Quantum Science and Technology, ETH Research Grant, SNF TORNAD

Contact: Prof. Vanessa Wood
ETH Zurich

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
PLOS Computational Biology
'Big data' drills down into metabolic details
Rice University bioengineers have introduced a fast computational method to model tissue-specific metabolic pathways that may help find new therapeutic targets for cancer and other diseases.
National Science Foundation

Contact: David Ruth
Rice University

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
Greenhouse gas 'bookkeeping' turned on its head
For the first time scientists have looked at the net balance of the three major greenhouse gases -- carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide -- for every region of Earth's landmasses. They found surprisingly, that human-induced emissions of methane and nitrous oxide from ecosystems overwhelmingly surpass the ability of the land to soak up carbon dioxide emissions, which makes the terrestrial biosphere a contributor to climate change
NASA, Australian Climate Change Science Program, NOAA, National Science Foundation

Contact: Anna Michalak
Carnegie Institution for Science

Public Release: 9-Mar-2016
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Bats in Asia found to have resistance to white-nose syndrome fungus
As the deadly bat disease called white-nose syndrome continues to spread across North America, scientists are studying bats in China to understand how they are able to survive infections with the same fungus that has wiped out millions of North American bats. By comparing disease dynamics in North American and Asian bat populations, researchers have found evidence that Asian bat species are resistant to the fungus.
National Science Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, China National Science and Technology Foundation, Switzer Foundation

Contact: Tim Stephens
University of California - Santa Cruz

Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
How an artificial protein rescues dying cells
Researchers in the Hecht lab discovered the unexpected way in which a synthetic protein called SynSerB promotes the growth of cells that lack the natural SerB gene, offering insight into how life can adapt to survive and potentially be reinvented.
US National Science Foundation

Contact: Tien Nguyen
Princeton University

Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
UTSA professor receives grant to study climate change in Earth's distant past
Marina Suarez, assistant professor of geology at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. It includes a $478,000 grant to support her top-tier research in paleoclimatology.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Joanna Carver
University of Texas at San Antonio

Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
UTA researcher would transform sensor network into device with supercomputer power
Ioannis Schizas, an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering Department, will create a sensing environment that will use many simple devices to process data that currently requires the use of a supercomputer as part of a three-year, $150,000 National Science Foundation grant.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Herb Booth
University of Texas at Arlington

Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
Researcher asks what makes a species by looking closely at lizards
Richard Glor hopes to determine the genetic basis for species differences and why these species diverged in the first place.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brendan M. Lynch
University of Kansas

Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
Family technology rules: What kids expect of parents
A new study on family technology rules is among the first to explore children's expectations for parents' technology use -- revealing kids' feelings about fairness and 'oversharing' and the most effective types of household technology rules.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jennifer Langston
University of Washington

Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
Geochemical Perspectives Letters
Geochemists show experimental verification of principle of detailed balance
Geochemists at Indiana University and Virginia Tech have developed and demonstrated a technique for assessing the validity of a principle that has long been important in thermodynamics and chemical kinetics but has proven resistant to experimental verification.
National Science Foundation, Zhejiang University

Contact: Steve Hinnefeld
Indiana University

Public Release: 8-Mar-2016
Nature Communications
Syntax is not unique to human language
Human communication is powered by rules for combining words to generate novel meanings. Such syntactical rules have long been assumed to be unique humans. A new study, published in Nature Communications, show that Japanese great tits combine their calls using specific rules to communicate important compound messages. These results demonstrate that syntax is not unique to humans. Instead, syntax may be a general adaptation to social and behavioral complexity in communication systems.
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI, National Science Foundation

Contact: David Wheatcroft
Uppsala University

Public Release: 7-Mar-2016
Treeing it up: Research team documents design of wood-based polymers
The University of Delaware's Thomas Epps, III, and co-authors recently demonstrated the design of softwood lignin-based polymers with potential application as alternatives to petroleum-based polystyrene. These softwood materials can be obtained from sources such as pine, cedar, spruce, and cypress trees. The work is documented in a paper in Macromolecules, a journal of the American Chemical Society,
National Science Foundation

Contact: Peter Bothum
University of Delaware

Public Release: 7-Mar-2016
Big data project aims to make breathing easier by mapping air quality
Heavy city traffic contributes significantly to air pollution and health problems such as asthma, but University of Texas at Dallas researchers think another kind of traffic -- data traffic -- might help citizens better cope with pollution.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Amanda Siegfried
University of Texas at Dallas

Public Release: 7-Mar-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Leaf mysteries revealed through the computer's eye
A computer program that learns and can categorize leaves into large evolutionary categories such as plant families will lead to greatly improved fossil identification and a better understanding of flowering plant evolution, according to an international team of researchers.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, National Science Foundation Early Career Award, DARPA, Office of Naval Research, National Natural Science Foundation of China

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Penn State

Showing releases 551-575 out of 914.

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