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  News From the National Science Foundation
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Showing releases 651-675 out of 838.

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Public Release: 12-Feb-2015
Developmental Cell
Under pressure
Just as human relationships are a two-way street, fusion between cells requires two active partners: one to send protrusions into its neighbor, and one to hold its ground and help complete the process. Researchers have found that one way the receiving cell plays its role is by having a key structural protein come running in response to pressure on the cell membrane, rather than waiting for chemical signals to tell it that it's needed.
NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Science Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association

Contact: Shawna Williams
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Public Release: 12-Feb-2015
Current Directions in Psychological Science
Carnegie Mellon researchers reveal how mindfulness training affects health
Over the past decade, there have been many encouraging findings suggesting that mindfulness training can improve a broad range of mental and physical health problems. Yet, exactly how mindfulness positively impacts health is not clear. Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a model suggesting that mindfulness influences health via stress reduction pathways.
National Science Foundation, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse

Contact: Shilo Rea
Carnegie Mellon University

Public Release: 12-Feb-2015
Rutgers-led team makes stride in explaining 30-year-old 'hidden order' physics mystery
A new explanation for a type of order, or symmetry, in an exotic material made with uranium is a major step toward explaining a puzzle that physicists worldwide have been struggling with for 30 years. This 'hidden order' appears as a subtle change in the material's electrical and magnetic properties when the material is cooled to 17.5 degrees above absolute zero or lower -- a bone-chilling minus 428 degrees Fahrenheit.
National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering

Contact: Carl Blesch
Rutgers University

Public Release: 12-Feb-2015
Making teeth tough: Beavers show way to improve our enamel
Beavers don't brush their teeth or drink fluoridated water, but a new Northwestern University study reports beavers do have protection against tooth decay built into the chemical structure of their teeth: iron. This pigmented enamel, the researchers found, is both harder and more resistant to acid than regular enamel, including that treated with fluoride. This discovery is among others that could lead to a better understanding of human tooth decay, earlier detection of the disease and improving on current fluoride treatments.
National Science Foundation, Northwestern University Materials Research Center

Contact: Megan Fellman
Northwestern University

Public Release: 12-Feb-2015
Psychological Science
People value resources more consistently when they are scarce
We tend to be economically irrational when it comes to choosing how we use resources like money and time but scarcity can convert us into economically rational decision makers, according to research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
National Science Foundation, Sloan Foundation, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Neubauer Family Faculty Fellowship

Contact: Anna Mikulak
Association for Psychological Science

Public Release: 12-Feb-2015
2015 AAAS Annual Meeting
Science Advances
Warming pushes Western US toward driest period in 1,000 years
During the second half of the 21st century, the US Southwest and Great Plains will face persistent drought worse than anything seen in times ancient or modern, with the drying conditions 'driven primarily' by human-induced global warming, a new study predicts.
NASA Modeling, Analysis and Prediction Program, NASA Strategic Science, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Krajick
The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Public Release: 12-Feb-2015
Better catalysts, made-to-order
In a study appearing in the journal Science, University of Utah chemists captured enough data on the crucial steps in a reaction to accurately predict the structures of the most efficient catalysts, those that would speed the process with the least amount of unwanted byproducts.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Contact: Joe Rojas-Burke
University of Utah

Public Release: 11-Feb-2015
The Auk
A new species of hummingbird?
The Bahama Woodstar is a hummingbird found in the Bahamas, and comprises two subspecies. One of these is found throughout the islands of the Bahamas, and especially in the northern islands. The other is found only among the southern Inaguan islands of the Bahama Archipelago. A research team that includes biologist Christopher J. Clark at the University of California, Riverside now argues that the two subspecies should be recognized as two distinct species.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

Public Release: 11-Feb-2015
A gene that shaped the evolution of Darwin's finches
Researchers from Princeton University and Uppsala University in Sweden have identified a gene in Galápagos finches studied by English naturalist Charles Darwin that influences beak shape and that played a role in the birds' evolution from a common ancestor. The study illustrates the genetic foundation of evolution, including how genes can flow from one species to another, and how different versions of a gene within a species can contribute to the formation of new species.
National Science Foundation, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Uppsala University and Hospital, SciLifeLab, Swedish Research Council

Contact: Catherine Zandonella
Princeton University

Public Release: 11-Feb-2015
Earth's Future
Monster hurricanes reached US Northeast during prehistoric periods of ocean warming
Intense hurricanes possibly more powerful than any storms New England has experienced in recorded history frequently pounded the region during the first millennium, from the peak of the Roman Empire into the height of the Middle Ages, according to a new study. The findings could have implications for the intensity and frequency of hurricanes that the US East and Gulf coasts could experience as ocean temperatures increase as a result of climate change.
National Science Foundation, Risk Prediction Initiative at the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences, DOE/National Institute for Climate Change Research, NOAA, Dalio Explore

Contact: Peter Weiss
American Geophysical Union

Public Release: 11-Feb-2015
New technology could help patients make better decisions on care
Traditional decision aids to help patient-doctor discussions have drawbacks, but a new electronic model developed by McMaster University researchers holds promise of revolutionizing shared decision-making in the doctor's office with the touch of an electronic tablet.
Swiss National Science Foundation, University Hospitals of Geneva and from Eugenio Litta--Fondation Genevoise de Bienfaisance Valeria Rossi di Montelera, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Academy of Finland, Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, Sigrid Jusé

Contact: Amanda Boundris
905-525-9140 x22196
McMaster University

Public Release: 11-Feb-2015
Biology Letters
Apes prefer the glass half full
Humans aren't the only species to be influenced by spin. Our closest primate relatives are susceptible, too. For example, people rate a burger as more tasty when it is described as '75 percent lean' than when it is described as '25 percent fat,' even though that's the same thing. A Duke University study finds that positive and negative framing make a big difference for chimpanzees and bonobos too.
National Science Foundation, LSB Leakey Foundation, European Research Commission Advanced Grant Agreement

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
Duke University

Public Release: 11-Feb-2015
Astrophysical Journal
VLA finds unexpected 'storm' at galaxy's core
A 'boring' galaxy shows unexpected activity and yields important insight on black holes' effects on their home galaxies.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Dave Finley
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Public Release: 11-Feb-2015
Astronomers catch multiple-star system in first stages of formation
Radio telescopes reveal filaments of gas fragmenting in first step of process that will produce a gravitationally bound multiple-star system in the astronomically short time span of 40,000 years.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Dave Finley
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Public Release: 10-Feb-2015
Researchers investigate the communications behind swarming
New research seeks to investigate the directional information flow underlying collective animal behavior. The implications of this work, which integrates dynamical systems theory and behavioral studies, could transform the fields of behavioral brain research and neuropsychobiology. Experiments will employ robotic replicas, live zebrafish, and novel experimental protocols complemented with state-of-the-art behavioral quantification tools. They will seek to demonstrate that an information-theoretic approach can measure social animal behavior.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kathleen Hamilton
New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Nature Climate Change
Study finds Midwest flooding more frequent
The US Midwest and surrounding states have endured increasingly more frequent flood episodes over the past half-century, according to a study from the University of Iowa.
US Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources, Iowa Flood Center, IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, National Science Foundation

Contact: Gary Galluzzo
University of Iowa

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Nature Climate Change
Electricity from biomass with carbon capture could make western US carbon-negative
Biomass conversion to electricity combined with technologies for capturing and storing carbon, which should become viable within 35 years, could result in a carbon-negative power grid in the western US by 2050. That prediction comes from an analysis by UC Berkeley's Daniel Kammen and Daniel Sanchez, who modeled various fuel scenarios using their SWITCH model. Bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration may be a better use of plant feedstocks than making biofuels.
National Science Foundation, California Energy Commission, Link Energy Fellowship

Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Bringing texture to your flat touchscreen
What if the touchscreen of your smartphone or tablet could touch you back? Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University researchers now report a discovery that provides insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers. When people draw their fingers over a flat surface with two 'virtual bumps,' the researchers found that, under certain circumstances, the subjects feel only one bump when there really are two. And the researchers can explain why the brain comes to this conclusion.
National Science Foundation Division of Information and Intelligent Systems grant, Surface Haptics via Tractive Forces

Contact: Megan Fellman
Northwestern University

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Nature Chemical Biology
Controlling genes with light
Researchers at Duke University have demonstrated a new way to activate genes with light, allowing precisely controlled and targeted genetic studies and applications. The method might be used to activate genes in a specific location or pattern, allowing more precise study of gene function, or to create complex systems for growing tissue or new therapies.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Heart Association

Contact: Ken Kingery
Duke University

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Bionic leaf
Solar energy can be harnessed using electricity from photovoltaic cells to yield hydrogen that can be stored in fuel cells. But hydrogen has failed to catch on as a practical fuel for cars or for power. Converting solar energy into liquid fuel could accelerate its adoption as a power source.
Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation

Contact: David Cameron
Harvard Medical School

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Queen's University Belfast plays leading role in world's biggest solar telescope
Queen's University Belfast and Belfast business Andor Technology are playing a leading role in the construction of the world's biggest solar telescope. Queen's University is leading a consortium of eight UK universities and associated businesses to build the cameras for the $344 million super-telescope.
National Science Foundation, Science and Technology Facilities Council

Contact: Una Bradley
Queen's University Belfast

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Nature Geoscience
Reduced rainfall in the northern tropics linked to industrial emissions, research suggests
Scientists have produced a rainfall record strongly suggesting that man-made industrial emissions have contributed to less rainfall in the northern tropics.
European Research Council, National Science Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, Schweizer National Fund, Sinergia

Contact: Leighton Kitson
Durham University

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Nature Geoscience
Earth's surprise inside: Geologists unlock mysteries of the planet's inner core
Seismic waves are helping scientists to plumb the world's deepest mystery: the planet's inner core. Thanks to a novel application of earthquake-reading technology, a research team at the University of Illinois and colleagues at Nanjing University in China have found that the Earth's inner core has an inner core of its own, which has surprising properties that could reveal information about our planet.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Liz Ahlberg
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
F-bombs notwithstanding, all languages skew toward happiness
Arabic movie subtitles, Korean tweets, Russian novels, Chinese websites, English lyrics, and even the war-torn pages of the New York Times -- Big Data research from the University of Vermont, examining billions of words, shows that these sources -- and all human language -- skews toward the use of happy words. This study confirms the 1969 Pollyanna Hypothesis that there is a universal human tendency to 'look on and talk about the bright side of life.'
National Science Foundation, The Mitre Corporation

Contact: Joshua Brown
University of Vermont

Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Earliest evidence of large-scale human-produced air pollution in South America found
Researchers have uncovered the earliest evidence of widespread, human-produced air pollution in South America -- from the Spanish conquest of the Inca.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Pam Frost Gorder
Ohio State University

Showing releases 651-675 out of 838.

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