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  News From the National Science Foundation
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Showing releases 751-775 out of 813.

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Public Release: 8-Apr-2014
Journal of Fluid Mechanics
How coughs and sneezes float farther than you think
A novel study uncovers the way coughs and sneezes stay airborne for long distances.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Abazorius
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems
Personal touch signature makes mobile devices more secure
Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new security system that continuously monitors how a user taps and swipes a mobile device. If the movements don't match the owner's tendencies, the system recognizes the differences and can be programmed to lock the device.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jason Maderer
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Seeing double: New study explains evolution of duplicate genes
From time to time, living cells will accidentally make an extra copy of a gene during the normal replication process. Throughout the history of life, evolution has molded some of these seemingly superfluous genes into a source of genetic novelty, adaptation and diversity. A new study shows one way that some duplicate genes could have long-ago escaped elimination from the genome, leading to the genetic innovation seen in modern life.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brett Israel
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
Geophysical Research Letters
Slowdown of global warming fleeting
The recent slowdown in the warming rate of the Northern Hemisphere may be a result of internal variability of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation -- a natural phenomenon related to sea surface temperatures, according to Penn State researchers.
National Science Foundation

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Penn State

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
Nature Photonics
Organic solar cells more efficient with molecules face-to-face
New research from North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill reveals that energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor. This finding may aid in the design and manufacture of more efficient and economically viable organic solar cell technology.
Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research

Contact: Tracey Peake
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Scientists find missing piece of air particle equation hiding in the walls
A new study from UC Davis and California Institute of Technology showed that vapor losses to the walls of laboratory chambers can suppress the formation of secondary organic aerosol, which in turn has contributed to the underprediction of SOA in climate and air quality models.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, California Air Resources Board

Contact: Christopher Cappa
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 7-Apr-2014
2014 American Physical Society April Meeting
Astronomy & Astrophysics
BOSS quasars track the expanding universe -- most precise measurement yet
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists and their colleagues have made novel measurements of the structure of the universe when it was only about 3 billion years old, using quasars collected by the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). Results include the most precise measurement of expansion since galaxies formed. BOSS, the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey, pioneered the use of quasars to chart universal expansion and the role of dark energy.
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, SDSS-III Participating Institutions, National Science Foundation, DOE/Office of Science

Contact: Paul Preuss
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Public Release: 6-Apr-2014
Nature Climate Change
Researchers find arid areas absorb unexpected amounts of atmospheric carbon
Researchers led by a Washington State University biologist have found that arid areas, among the biggest ecosystems on the planet, take up an unexpectedly large amount of carbon as levels of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere. The findings give scientists a better handle on the earth's carbon budget -- how much carbon remains in the atmosphere as CO2, contributing to global warming, and how much gets stored in the land or ocean in other carbon-containing forms.
US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: R. Dave Evans
Washington State University

Public Release: 6-Apr-2014
Nature Climate Change
Field study shows why food quality will suffer with rising CO2
Climate change is hitting home -- in the pantry, this time. This field study of wheat demonstrates how the nutritional quality of food crops can be diminished when elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide interfere with a plant's ability to process nitrate into proteins.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture

Contact: Patricia Bailey
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 4-Apr-2014
Researchers receive $1.14 million to study threats to honey bees
Scientists in the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State received three grants from the US Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation to study various threats to honey bees, including disease, pesticides and the extinction and invasion of other species into their habitats.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Penn State

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
Current Biology
Hummingbird evolution soared after they invaded South America 22 million years ago
Researchers led by Jim McGuire of UC Berkeley generated a family tree of the hummingbirds that shows they diverged from swifts and treeswifts 42 million years ago, invaded South America 22 million years ago, and diversified rapidly to take over America. They occupied high elevations as the Andes rose and invaded North America and the Caribbean less than 5 million years ago. Their diversity continues to increase, potentially doubling the number of species over the next few million years.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
Current Biology
Ouch! Computer system spots fake expressions of pain better than people
A joint study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University at Buffalo, and the University of Toronto has found that a computer–vision system can distinguish between real or faked expressions of pain more accurately than can humans.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Patricia Donovan
University at Buffalo

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
Global Change Biology
Scientists say new computer model amounts to a lot more than a hill of beans
Crops that produce more while using less water seem like a dream for a world with a burgeoning population and already strained resources. This dream is closer to reality for University of Illinois researchers who developed a new computer model to help plant scientists breed better soybean crops. The model predicts a soybean crop with 8.5 percent more productivity, but using 13 percent less water, by breeding for slightly different leaf distribution, angles and reflectivity.
National Science Foundation, Gates Foundation

Contact: Liz Ahlberg
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
RSC Advances
Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials
Researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible. This breakthrough could make the sun almost a 'one-stop shop' that produces both the materials for solar devices and the eternal energy to power them.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Chih-hung Chang
Oregon State University

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
Nature Communications
Fighting cancer with lasers and nanoballoons that pop
Researchers are developing a better delivery method for cancer drugs by encapsulating the drugs in nanoballoons -- which are tiny modified liposomes that, upon being struck by a red laser, pop open and deliver concentrated doses of medicine.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Cory Nealon
University at Buffalo

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
Hot mantle drives elevation, volcanism along mid-ocean ridges
Using data from seismic waves, scientists have shown that temperature deep in Earth's mantle controls the elevation and volcanic activity along mid-ocean ridges, colossal mountain ranges that line the ocean floor. The findings, published this week in Science, bolster the idea that warm mantle plumes are responsible for 'hot spot' volcanism, and shed new light on how temperature in the depths of the mantle influences the contours of the Earth's crust.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Stacey
Brown University

Public Release: 3-Apr-2014
New data show the immediate value of scientific research
University research is a key component of the US economic ecosystem, returning the investment through enormous public value and impact on employment, business, and manufacturing nationwide.
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Contact: Barbara McFadden Allen
Committee on Institutional Cooperation

Public Release: 2-Apr-2014
Science China: Life Sciences
A new tree-planting technique for ecological control of desert
A recent research using desert plant Haloxylon ammodendron discovered that high desert surface temperature is a major limiting factor under numerous desert habitats. It provides a novel idea for the measures of desert ecological control. Based on the discovery, a new tree-planting technique for desert afforestation is invented. This study has been published in a new issue of SCIENCE CHINA.
National Natural Science Foundation of China, Transformation Fund for Agricultural Science

Contact: MA Hao
Science China Press

Public Release: 2-Apr-2014
Environmental Science & Technology
Crib mattresses emit potentially harmful chemicals, Cockrell School engineers find
In a first-of-its-kind study, a team of environmental engineers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses while they sleep. The research team analyzed the foam padding in crib mattresses to gain knowledge about the chemical composition of the mattresses, the rate at which volatile organic compounds are released into the air and the emission levels that sleeping infants are exposed to.
National Science Foundation, Nordic Research Opportunity program

Contact: Sandra Zaragoza
University of Texas at Austin

Public Release: 2-Apr-2014
Earthquake research explores use of high-performance concrete
Bora Gencturk, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Houston, is studying ways to selectively use high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete in buildings, making them more likely to survive an earthquake without suffering major damage. To minimize cost he proposes using the material only at those spots where structures are likely to fail and believes his work could lead to design specifications for the use of high-performance concrete at beam-column joints.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

Public Release: 1-Apr-2014
Global Change Biology
Deforestation of sandy soils a greater climate threat
A new Yale-led study finds that tree removal has far greater consequences for climate change in some soils than in others, a finding that could provide key insights into which ecosystems should be managed with extra care.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Dennehy
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Public Release: 1-Apr-2014
Connection Science
Computers teach each other Pac-Man
Researchers in Washington State University's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have developed a method to allow a computer to give advice and teach skills to another computer in a way that mimics how a real teacher and student might interact.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Matthew E. Taylor
Washington State University

Public Release: 1-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Ancient nomads spread earliest domestic grains along Silk Road, study finds
Charred grains of barley, millet and wheat deposited nearly 5,000 years ago at campsites in the high plains of Kazakhstan show that nomadic sheepherders played a surprisingly important role in the early spread of domesticated crops throughout a mountainous east-west corridor along the historic Silk Road, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.
National Science Foundation, Lambda Alpha National Honor Society, Mary Morris-Stein Foundation

Contact: Gerry Everding
Washington University in St. Louis

Public Release: 1-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
'Touched' female cockroaches reproduce faster
To speed up reproduction, there's no substitute for the tender touch of a live cockroach. That's the major takeaway from a North Carolina State University study examining whether artificial antennae -- in this case, duck feathers -- can mimic a cockroach antenna's capacity to hasten reproduction in cockroach females.
US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation

Contact: Coby Schal
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 31-Mar-2014
Electrical engineering professor Javad Lavaei wins NSF Career Award
Javad Lavaei, assistant professor of electrical engineering, has won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research on electrical power networks. The five-year, $400,000 award, National Science Foundation's preeminent recognition of exceptional junior faculty, will support his project, 'High-Performance Optimization Methods for Power Systems.'
National Science Foundation

Contact: Holly Evarts
Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Showing releases 751-775 out of 813.

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