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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 793.

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Public Release: 26-Mar-2014
BioScience
Decline of natural history troubling for science, society
Seventeen North American scientists outline the importance of natural science and call for a revitalization of the practice.
National Science Foundation, University of Washington/College of the Environment

Contact: Sandra Hines
shines@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 26-Mar-2014
Journal of Experimental Biology
Canal between ears helps alligators pinpoint sound
Alligators can accurately pinpoint the source of sounds. But it wasn't clear exactly how they did it because they lack external auditory structures. A new study shows that the alligator's ear is strongly directional because of large, air-filled channels connecting the two middle ears. This configuration is similar in birds, which have an interaural canal that increases directionality.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Danish National Science Foundation, Carlsberg Foundation

Contact: Heather Dewar
hdewar@umd.edu
301-405-9267
University of Maryland

Public Release: 26-Mar-2014
West Virginia chemical spill into Elk River contaminating air and water quality
The complexities and implications of the chemical spill into West Virginia's Elk River keep growing, according to a study led by Virginia Tech professor of civil and environmental engineering Andrea Dietrich.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 26-Mar-2014
BioScience
Natural history must reclaim its place
A group of scientists argues in the April BioScience that the study of natural history has waned in recent decades in developed countries. Declining course requirements and support for herbaria are among the documented evidence. Yet costly mistakes in policy relating to natural resources, agriculture, and health might have been avoided by paying attention to organisms' natural history, and future policies will be improved if natural history knowledge is used and expanded. New technologies offer ways to increase natural history research partnerships.
National Science Foundation, University of Washington, Prescott College, Walker Chair in Natural History, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Contact: Jennifer Williams
jwilliams@aibs.org
703-674-2500 x209
American Institute of Biological Sciences

Public Release: 25-Mar-2014
Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Model predicts blood glucose levels 30 minutes later
A mathematical model created by Penn State researchers can predict with more than 90 percent accuracy the blood glucose levels of individuals with type 1 diabetes up to 30 minutes in advance of imminent changes in their levels -- plenty of time to take preventative action.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State

Public Release: 25-Mar-2014
Angewandte Chemie
Nanotube coating helps shrink mass spectrometers
Nanotechnology is advancing tools that perform on-the-spot chemical analysis for a range of applications including medical testing, explosives detection and food safety. When paper used to collect a sample was coated with carbon nanotubes, the voltage required was 1,000 times reduced, the signal was sharpened and the equipment was able to capture far more delicate molecules. The research is detailed in a designated 'very important paper' by the journal Angewandte Chemie.
National Science Foundation, Nano Mission of the Government of India

Contact: Elizabeth K. Gardner
ekgardner@purdue.edu
765-494-2081
Purdue University

Public Release: 25-Mar-2014
Lab on a Chip
ISU engineer builds instrument to study effects of genes, environment on plant traits
Iowa State University's Liang Dong is leading a research team that's developing an accessible instrument with the scale, flexibility and resolution needed to study how genes and environmental conditions affect plant traits. The project is supported by a three-year, $697,550 grant from the National Science Foundation.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Liang Dong
ldong@iastate.edu
515-294-0388
Iowa State University

Public Release: 25-Mar-2014
Telecoupling paper honored as 2013's best
A new way scientists -- all kinds of natural and social scientists -- are using to scrutinize some of the world's biggest challenges in sustainability is getting its turn in the spotlight. This week, a scientific publication written by Jianguo 'Jack' Liu and some of the world's most noted sustainability scholars has been given the Ralf Yorque Memorial Competition Award as best paper in 2013.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Sue Nichols
nichols@msu.edu
517-432-0206
Michigan State University

Public Release: 25-Mar-2014
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Lick's new Automated Planet Finder: First robotic telescope for planet hunters
Lick Observatory's newest telescope, the Automated Planet Finder, has been operating robotically night after night on Mt. Hamilton since January, searching nearby stars for Earth-sized planets. Its technical performance has been outstanding, making it not only the first robotic planet-finding facility but also one of the most sensitive.
US Naval Observatory, NASA, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 25-Mar-2014
Advanced Healthcare Materials
Catheter innovation destroys dangerous biofilms
Duke University engineers have developed a new design that could help eliminate the threat of infection from millions of urinary catheters. The dual-channel design uses a mechanical method to uproot biofilms from their moorings so that they can easily be flushed away.
National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Ken Kingery
ken.kingery@duke.edu
919-660-8414
Duke University

Public Release: 25-Mar-2014
European Physical Journal D
Plasma tool for destroying cancer cells
Plasma medicine is a new and rapidly developing area of medical technology. Specifically, understanding the interaction of so-called atmospheric pressure plasma jets with biological tissues could help to use them in medical practice. Under the supervision of Sylwia Ptasinska, Xu Han and colleagues conducted a quantitative and qualitative study of the different types of DNA damage induced by atmospheric pressure plasma exposure. The paper is published in European Physical Journal D.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Saskia Rohmer
saskia.rohmer@springer.com
49-622-148-78414
Springer

Public Release: 25-Mar-2014
Journal of Neuroscience
EEG study shows how brain infers structure, rules when learning
A new study documents the brain activity underlying our strong tendency to infer a structure of context and rules when learning new tasks (even when a structure isn't valid). The findings, which revealed individual differences, shows how we try to apply task knowledge to similar situations and could inform future research on learning disabilities.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 24-Mar-2014
Scientific Reports
New technique sheds light on human neural networks
A new technique, developed by researchers in the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, provides a method to noninvasively measure human neural networks in order to characterize how they form.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Maeve Reilly
mjreilly@illinois.edu
217-244-7316
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Public Release: 24-Mar-2014
Nature
Computer models solve geologic riddle millions of years in the making
3-D computer simulations show how continental plates collide and create arc-shaped mountain belts.
Australian Research Council, National Science Foundation CAREER Award

Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California

Public Release: 24-Mar-2014
Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology
Researchers grow carbon nanofibers using ambient air, without toxic ammonia
Materials science researchers have demonstrated that vertically aligned carbon nanofibers can be manufactured using ambient air, making the manufacturing process safer and less expensive. Vertically aligned carbon nanofibers hold promise for use in gene-delivery tools, sensors, batteries and other technologies.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 24-Mar-2014
Ecology
Mice give ticks a free lunch
Mice are effective at transferring disease-causing pathogens to feeding ticks. And, according to an in-press paper in the journal Ecology, these 'super hosts' appear indifferent to larval tick infestations.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lori M. Quillen
quillenl@caryinstitute.org
845-677-7600 x121
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Public Release: 24-Mar-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Scientists find a molecular clue to the complex mystery of auxin signaling in plants
Plants fine-tune the response of their cells to the potent plant hormone auxin by means of large families of proteins that either step on the gas or put on the brake in auxin's presence. Scientists at Washington University have learned that one of these proteins, a transcription factor, has an interaction region that, like a button magne, has a positive and negative face. Because of this domain, the protein can bind two other proteins or even chains of proteins arranged back to front.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Diana Lutz
dlutz@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis

Public Release: 24-Mar-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Researchers see Kelvin wave on quantum 'tornado' for first time
A spinning tornado of very cold liquid helium obeys the laws of quantum mechanics. Sometimes, two quantum tornadoes flex into curved lines, cross over and form an X, swap ends, and then retract -- a process called reconnection. For the first time, researchers provide visual evidence that the reconnection of quantum vortexes launches Kelvin waves to quickly relax the system. Understanding turbulence in quantum fluids may offer clues to neutron stars, trapped atom systems and superconductors.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Robinson
abbyr@umd.edu
301-405-5845
University of Maryland

Public Release: 24-Mar-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Ancient Indonesian climate shift linked to glacial cycle
Brown University researchers have compiled a detailed climate record for central Indonesia over the last 60,000 years. They find that prolonged dry spell in the region thousands of years ago correlates with the peak of the last ice age in the northern hemisphere. The data will help scientists understand the climate history of a region that wields a strong influence on global climate as a whole.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Stacey
kevin_stacey@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University

Public Release: 23-Mar-2014
Nature Chemical Biology
Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs
A proof-of-concept experiment has shown that, by shifting evolution into reverse, it may be possible to use 'green chemistry' to make a number of costly synthetic drugs as easily and cheaply as brewing beer.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Energy

Contact: David Salisbury
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-6803
Vanderbilt University

Public Release: 23-Mar-2014
Nature Materials
MIT engineers design 'living materials'
Hybrid materials combine bacterial cells with nonliving elements that can conduct electricity or emit light.
Office of Naval Research, US Army Research Office, National Science Foundation, Hertz Foundation, US Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Presidential Early Career Awrd for Scientists & Engineers

Contact: Sarah McDonnell
s_mcd@mit.edu
617-253-8923
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 23-Mar-2014
Nature Nanotechnology
Could diamonds be a computer's best friend?
For the first time, physicists have demonstrated that information can flow through a diamond wire.
US Army Research Office, National Science Foundation

Contact: Pam Frost Gorder
gorder.1@osu.edu
614-292-9475
Ohio State University

Public Release: 21-Mar-2014
Ecology
Permafrost thaw: No upside
A new study published in the journal Ecology by Woods Hole Research Center assistant scientist, Susan Natali, finds that growing season gains do not offset carbon emissions from permafrost thaw.
Bonanza Creek LTER, National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Eunice Youmans
eyoumans@whrc.org
508-444-1509
Woods Hole Research Center

Public Release: 21-Mar-2014
Nature Physics
Pushing and pulling: Using strain to tune a new quantum material
New research has revealed a method of controlling the surface electronic state of topological insulators -- an important step in realizing the material's potential use in energy efficient devices.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lian Li
lianli@uwm.edu
414-229-5108
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Public Release: 21-Mar-2014
New Zealand Japan Workshop on Soil Liquefaction during Recent Large-Scale Earthquakes
Ground-improvement methods might protect against earthquakes
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering are developing ground-improvement methods to help increase the resilience of homes and low-rise structures built on top of soils prone to liquefaction during strong earthquakes.
National Science Foundation

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

Showing releases 676-700 out of 793.

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