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  News From the National Science Foundation
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Showing releases 751-775 out of 807.

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Public Release: 11-Dec-2014
International team maps 'big bang' of bird evolution
The first findings of the Avian Phylogenomics Consortium are being reported nearly simultaneously in 29 papers -- eight papers in a Dec. 12 special issue of Science and 21 more in Genome Biology, GigaScience and other journals. The analyses suggest some remarkable new ideas about bird evolution, including insights into vocal learning and the brain, colored plumage, sex chromosomes and the birds' relationship to dinosaurs and crocodiles.
BGI and the China National GeneBank, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lundbeck Foundation, Danish National Research Foundation, and others

Contact: Karl Bates
Duke University

Public Release: 10-Dec-2014
Worms' mental GPS helps them find food
Salk scientists develop a theory to explain how animals gather information and switch attention.
National Science Foundation, University of California San Diego Institute, Rita Allen Foundation, National Institutes of Health, McKnight Endowment Fund, Ray Thomas Edwards Foundation

Contact: Salk Communications
Salk Institute

Public Release: 10-Dec-2014
NSF funds Kent State study of human chromosome
A Kent State University scientist has received a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to lead a study of the workings and dynamics of a structure inside the human chromosome.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Cindy Weiss
Kent State University

Public Release: 10-Dec-2014
Materials Research Letters
New 'high-entropy' alloy is as light as aluminum, as strong as titanium alloys
Researchers have developed a new 'high-entropy' metal alloy that has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than any other existing metal material.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Matt Shipman
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 10-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
Organic electronics could lead to cheap, wearable medical sensors
University of California Berkeley researchers have created a pulse oximeter, commonly used to measure heart rate and blood oxygen levels, using all organic materials instead of silicon. The advance could lead to cheap, flexible sensors that could be used like a Band-Aid.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Sarah Yang
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 10-Dec-2014
Physical Review Letters
Theory details how 'hot' monomers affect thin-film formation
Researchers have devised a mathematical model to predict how 'hot' monomers on cold substrates affect the growth of thin films being developed for next-generation electronics.
National Science Foundation

Contact: David Ruth
Rice University

Public Release: 10-Dec-2014
No laughing matter: Nitrous oxide rose at end of last ice age
Nitrous oxide is an important greenhouse gas that doesn't receive as much notoriety as carbon dioxide or methane, but a new study confirms that atmospheric levels of N2O rose significantly as the Earth came out of the last ice age and addresses the cause.
United States National Science Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: Mark Floyd
Oregon State University

Public Release: 10-Dec-2014
Nature Communications
Defects are perfect in laser-induced graphene
Rice University researchers use lasers to create graphene foam from inexpensive polymers in ambient conditions. The laser-induced graphene may be suitable for electronics and energy storage.
US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, Office of Naval Research, National Center for Research Resources, National Science Foundation

Contact: David Ruth
Rice University

Public Release: 10-Dec-2014
Proteins stepping on 'landmines': How they survive the immense heat they create
Research from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the University of California Berkeley published online on Dec. 10 in Nature reports on how some proteins survive extreme heat generated when they catalyze reactions.
National Institutes of Health, US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science

Public Release: 10-Dec-2014
Sharing that crowded holiday flight with countless hitchhiking dust mites
As if holiday travel isn't stressful enough. Now University of Michigan researchers say we're likely sharing that already overcrowded airline cabin with countless tiny creatures including house dust mites.
US National Science Foundation, Higher Education Commission and the International Research Support Initiative Program in Pakistan, Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, US National Pediculosis Association

Contact: Jim Erickson
University of Michigan

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
Carbon soot particles, dust blamed for discoloring India's Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal's iconic marble dome and soaring minarets require regular cleaning to maintain their dazzling appearance, and scientists now know why. Researchers from the United States and India are pointing the finger at airborne carbon particles and dust for giving the gleaming white landmark a brownish cast.
Indo US Science and Technology Forum, US Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation

Contact: John Toon
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
UH professor honored for materials research, STEM outreach
University of Houston mathematician Yuliya Gorb recently received a five-year, $420,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for both her research and an outreach program she's developing for high school girls. Gorb is the first Department of Mathematics faculty member to receive an NSF CAREER award while at University of Houston.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Now researchers can see how unfolded proteins move in the cell
When a large protein unfolds in transit through a cell, it slows down and can get stuck in traffic. Using a specialized microscope -- a sort of cellular traffic camera -- University of Illinois chemists now can watch the way the unfolded protein diffuses. Studying the relationship between protein folding and transport could provide great insight into protein-misfolding diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's
National Science Foundation

Contact: Liz Ahlberg
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
It doesn't add up: People who say they are good at math, but aren't
Thinking you're good at math and actually being good at it are not the same thing, new research has found. About one in five people who say they are bad at math in fact score in the top half of those taking an objective math test. But one-third of people who say they are good at math actually score in the bottom half.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Ellen Peters
Ohio State University

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Multiple, short learning sessions strengthen memory formation in fragile X syndrome
A learning technique that maximizes the brain's ability to make and store memories may help overcome cognitive issues seen in fragile X syndrome, a leading form of intellectual disability, according to University of California Irvine neurobiologists.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, William & Nancy Thompson Family Foundation

Contact: Tom Vasich
University of California - Irvine

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Global Ecology and Conservation
Conservation targeting tigers pushes leopards to change
A leopard may not be able to change its spots, but new research from a World Heritage site in Nepal indicates that leopards do change their activity patterns in response to tigers and humans -- but in different ways.
US Fish and Wildlife Service Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund, National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Sue Nichols
Michigan State University

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Penn researchers show commonalities in how different glassy materials fail
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have now shown an important commonality that seems to extend through the range of glassy materials. They have demonstrated that the scaling between a glassy material's stiffness and strength remains unchanged, implying a constant critical strain that these materials can withstand before catastrophic failure, despite the extreme variation found among this class of material's physical properties.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Evan Lerner
University of Pennsylvania

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Geophysical Research Letters
Warmer Pacific Ocean could release millions of tons of seafloor methane
Water off Washington's coast is warming a third of a mile down, where seafloor methane shifts from a frozen solid to a gas. Calculations suggest ocean warming is already releasing significant methane offshore of Alaska to Northern California.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Hannah Hickey
University of Washington

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Geophysical Review Letters
Temperature anomalies are warming faster than Earth's average
It's widely known that the Earth's average temperature has been rising. But research by an Indiana University geographer and colleagues finds that spatial patterns of extreme temperature anomalies -- readings well above or below the mean -- are warming even faster than the overall average.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Steve Hinnefeld
Indiana University

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Scientific Reports
Ancient balloon-shaped animal fossil sheds light on Earth's ancient seas
A rare 520 million year old fossil shaped like a 'squashed bird's nest' that will help to shed new light on life within Earth's ancient seas has been discovered in China by an international research team -- and will honor the memory of a University of Leicester scientist who passed away earlier this year.
National Science Foundation in China, Royal Society in the UK

Contact: Tom Harvey
University of Leicester

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
PLOS Biology
Birdsong study reveals how brain uses timing during motor activity
Timing is key for brain cells controlling a complex motor activity like the singing of a bird, finds a new study published by PLOS Biology. The findings are the first to suggest that fine-scale timing of neurons is at least as important in motor systems as in sensory systems, and perhaps more critical.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, James S. McDonnell Foundation

Contact: Megan McRainey
Emory Health Sciences

Public Release: 9-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Can organic crops compete with industrial agriculture?
An analysis of 115 studies comparing organic and conventional farming finds that the crop yields of organic agriculture are higher than previously thought. Researchers also found that taking into account methods that optimize the productivity of organic agriculture could minimize the yield gap between organic and conventional farming.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Postdoctoral Fellowship

Contact: Sarah Yang
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 8-Dec-2014
Science Express
New technique could harvest more of the sun's energy
As solar panels become less expensive and capable of generating more power, solar energy is becoming a more commercially viable alternative source of electricity. However, the photovoltaic cells now used to turn sunlight into electricity can only absorb and use a small fraction of that light, and that means a significant amount of solar energy goes untapped. A new technology created by researchers from Caltech represents a first step toward harnessing that lost energy.
Department of Energy, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Contact: Deborah Williams-Hedges
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 8-Dec-2014
Kent State's SOLE Center researchers to study informal STEM learning experiences
While most can agree that STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) experiences outside of school can be exciting and engaging for young people, there is much that isn't known about its impact on short-term and long-term learning. That's why the National Science Foundation has recently awarded Kent State University, and its collaborative partners, a $115,000 grant to develop a prototype assessment tool to map informal STEM learning experiences.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Bradley Morris
Kent State University

Public Release: 8-Dec-2014
Re-thinking Southern California earthquake scenarios in Coachella Valley, San Andreas Fault
New 3-D numerical modeling that captures far more geometric complexity of an active fault segment in southern California than any other, suggests that the overall earthquake hazard for towns on the west side of the Coachella Valley such as Palm Springs and Palm Desert may be slightly lower than previously believed.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Janet Lathrop
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

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