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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

Key: Meeting M      Journal J      Funder F

Showing releases 676-700 out of 818.

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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
rlsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
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
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
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
ken.kingery@duke.edu
919-660-8414
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
david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0441
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
u.bradley@qub.ac.uk
0044-028-909-75320
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
leighton.kitson@durham.ac.uk
44-019-133-46074
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
eahlberg@illinois.edu
217-244-1073
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
joshua.e.brown@uvm.edu
802-656-3039
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
gorder.1@osu.edu
614-292-9475
Ohio State University

Public Release: 5-Feb-2015
Science
A nanoscale solution to the big problem of overheating in microelectronic devices
Currently, microelectronic device manufacturers must rely on simulations alone to understand the temperatures inside individual devices. A team of USC and UCLA researchers has developed a way to determine actual temperatures within these devices by using material within them as its own thermometer.
National Science Foundation, Function Accelerated nanoMaterial Engineering, United States Department of Energy

Contact: Megan Hazle
hazle@usc.edu
213-821-1887
University of Southern California

Public Release: 5-Feb-2015
Physical Review Letters
Cesium atoms shaken, not stirred, to create elusive excitation in superfluid
In 1941, future Nobel laureate Lev Landau predicted that superfluid helium-4 should contain an exotic, particle-like excitation called a roton. Roton structure has been a matter of debate ever since. University of Chicago physicists have now created roton structure in the laboratory.
National Science Foundation, Army Research Office, University of Chicago's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

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

Public Release: 5-Feb-2015
Geophysical Research Letters
Seafloor volcano pulses may alter climate
A new study shows that undersea volcanoes flare up on strikingly regular cycles, ranging from two weeks to 100,000 years -- and, that they erupt almost exclusively during the first six months of each year. The pulses -- apparently tied to short- and long-term changes in earth's orbit, and to sea levels -- may help trigger natural climate swings.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Krajick
kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu
212-854-9729
The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Public Release: 5-Feb-2015
Hepatology
MRI technique developed for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in children
Between 5 and 8 million children in the United States have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), yet most cases go undiagnosed. To help address this issue, researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based technique to help clinicians and researchers better detect and evaluate NAFLD in children.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Heather Buschman
hbuschman@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 4-Feb-2015
Biological Conservation
Shade coffee is for the birds
The conservation value of growing coffee under trees instead of on open farms is well known, but hasn't been studied much in Africa. So a University of Utah-led research team studied birds in the Ethiopian home of Arabica coffee and found that 'shade coffee' farms are good for birds, but some species do best in forest.
National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, VLIR-Belgian Research Cooperation, Christensen Fund, University of Utah.

Contact: Lee J. Siegel
lee.siegel@utah.edu
801-244-5399
University of Utah

Public Release: 4-Feb-2015
Nature Geoscience
Inhospitable climate fosters gold ore formation
South Africa's Witwatersrand is the site of the world's largest and richest gold deposit. In order to explain its formation, ETH professor Christoph Heinrich took a look back into the Earth's early climatic history.
ETH Zurich, Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: Christoph Heinrich
christoph.heinrich@erdw.ethz.ch
ETH Zurich

Public Release: 4-Feb-2015
Nature
Scientists reprogram plants for drought tolerance
A team led by a University of California, Riverside plant biologist reports that drought tolerance in plants can be improved by engineering them to activate water-conserving processes in response to an agrochemical already in use -- an approach that could be broadly applied to other parts of the same drought-response pathway and a range of other agrochemicals. The finding illustrates the power of synthetic biological approaches for manipulating crops, opening new doors for crop improvement.
National Science Foundation, Syngenta

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

Public Release: 4-Feb-2015
Nature
Cheap and abundant chemical outperforms precious metals as a catalyst
Caltech chemists discover that a cheap, safe, and abundant potassium compound can be used instead of rare precious metals as a catalyst in the production of chemicals important for drug discovery, agricultural science, medical imaging, and the creation of new materials.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brian Bell
bpbell@caltech.edu
626-395-5832
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 3-Feb-2015
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Rediscovering spontaneous light emission
LEDs could replace lasers for short-range optical communications with the use of an optical antenna that enhances the spontaneous emission of light from atoms, molecules and semiconductor quantum dots.
NSF/Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science

Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Public Release: 3-Feb-2015
Astrophysical Journal Letters
CWRU astronomers find new details in first known spiral galaxy
Case Western Reserve University astronomers discovered faint plumes extending from the northeast and south of the nearby spiral galaxy M51a, also called the 'Whirlpool Galaxy,' by taking what is essentially a photograph made by a 20-hour exposure.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Mayhood
kevin.mayhood@case.edu
216-534-7183
Case Western Reserve University

Public Release: 3-Feb-2015
PLOS Genetics
Fruitful collaboration yields insight on the tomato genome
Plant biologists Julin Maloof and Neelima Sinha collaborate to understand how wild and cultivated tomato species thrive in disparate environments. Using resources at the iPlant Collaborative, the researchers managed their increasing data and perform analyses on big datasets in a collaborative environment. Maloof and Sinha's work will not only advance the scientific community, but can also help the crop industry develop crops that can withstand periods of prolonged heat or drought.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Faith Singer-Villalobos
faith@tacc.utexas.edu
512-232-5771
University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

Public Release: 3-Feb-2015
Arthritis & Rheumatology
Seeing the knee in a new light: Fluorescent probe tracks osteoarthritis development
A harmless fluorescent probe injected into a joint may make it easier to diagnose and monitor osteoarthritis, leading to better patient care. A new study led by biomedical researchers at Tufts University reports that such a probe successfully tracked the development of early to moderate osteoarthritis in male mice.
NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Science Foundation

Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
Siobhan.gallagher@tufts.edu
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus

Public Release: 3-Feb-2015
Journal of Neuroscience
New findings on how the brain ignores distractions
By scanning the brains of people engaged in selective attention to sensations, researchers have learned how the brain appears to coordinate the response needed to ignore distractors. They are now studying whether that ability can be harnessed, for instance to suppress pain.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University

Public Release: 2-Feb-2015
Geophysical Research Letters
Rivers might constitute just 20 percent of continental water flowing into oceans
The Amazon, Nile and Mississippi are mighty rivers, but they and all their worldwide brethren might be a relative trickle compared with an unseen torrent below the surface. New research shows that rivers might constitute as little as 20 percent of the water that flows yearly into the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans from the continents. The rest flows through what is termed the 'subterranean estuary,' which some researchers think supply the lion's share of terrestrial nutrients to the oceans.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Steven Powell
spowell2@mailbox.sc.edu
803-777-1923
University of South Carolina

Public Release: 2-Feb-2015
NSF grant awarded to Wake Forest University to fund summer research program
A National Science Foundation grant will support summer research program for undergraduates interested in number theory research.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Bonnie Davis
davisbl@wfu.edu
336-758-5390
Wake Forest University

Public Release: 2-Feb-2015
Nature Geoscience
Tree species influence boreal forest fire behavior and subsequent effects on climate
For a better understanding of how forest fires behave and interact with climate, scientists are turning to the trees. A new study out of UC Irvine shows that differences in individual tree species between Eurasia and North America alter the continental patterns of fire -- and that blazes burning the hottest actually cool the climate.
National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Cathy Lawhon
clawhon@uci.edu
949-824-1151
University of California - Irvine

Showing releases 676-700 out of 818.

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