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  News From the National Science Foundation
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NSF Funded News

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Showing releases 1-25 out of 1077.

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Public Release: 22-Jun-2018
BMC Bioinformatics
Blood test predicts spastic cerebral palsy
Researchers at Nemours and the University of Delaware have developed a blood test predictive of spastic cerebral palsy. Their study, published in BMC Bioinformatics, showed that DNA patterns in circulating blood cells can be used to help identify spastic CP patients (Crowgey et al.). New and better ways to identify infants with CP are needed so that interventions can start earlier for more children.
Delaware Bioscience Center for Advanced Technology, National Science Foundation, American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, Nemours

Contact: Karen Bengston

Public Release: 22-Jun-2018
Ecological Monographs
Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' not so scary after all
After wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s, some scientists thought the large predator reestablished a 'landscape of fear' that caused elk, the wolf's main prey, to avoid risky places where wolves killed them. But according to findings from Michel Kohl and Dan MacNulty, Yellowstone's 'landscape of fear' is not as scary as first thought.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Dan MacNulty
S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
NSF funds Natural History Museum of Utah, College of Ed to develop online curriculum
NSF has awarded a grant with total funding expected to reach $1.3 million this month to the Natural History Museum of Utah and the College of Education at the University of Utah. This project, titled Engaging Practices for Inquiry with Collections in Bioscience, uses authentic research investigations of objects from the museum's digitized collections to provide students, particularly traditionally underserved populations, with access to museum objects and engaging STEM investigations to improve critical thinking skills.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Patti Carpernter
University of Utah

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Researchers solve major challenge in mass production of low-cost solar cells
A team led by led by André D. Taylor of NYU Tandon School of Engineering and Yifan Zheng of Peking University solved a major fabrication challenge for perovskite cells -- the intriguing potential challengers to silicon-based solar cells. In a cover article in the June 28, 2018 issue of Nanoscale, a publication of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the team reveals a new scalable means of applying the compound PCBM, a critical component, to perovskite cells.
The Foundation of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Foundation for Innovation Research Groups National Natural Science Foundation of China, Chinese Scholarship Council, National Science Foundation

Contact: Karl Greenberg
NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Researchers engineer bacteria to exhibit stochastic Turing patterns
A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University has brought science one step closer to a molecular-level understanding of how patterns form in living tissue. The researchers engineered bacteria that, when incubated and grown, exhibited stochastic Turing patterns: a 'lawn' of synthesized bacteria in a petri dish fluoresced an irregular pattern of red polka dots on a field of green.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, Center for the Physics of Living Cells

Contact: Nigel Goldenfeld
University of Illinois College of Engineering

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Astronomical Journal
Nearly 80 exoplanet candidates identified in record time
Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have analyzed data from K2, the follow-up mission to NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, and have discovered a trove of possible exoplanets amid some 50,000 stars. In a paper that appears online today in The Astronomical Journal, the scientists report the discovery of nearly 80 new planetary candidates, including a particular standout: a likely planet that orbits the star HD 73344, which would be the brightest planet host ever discovered by the K2 mission.
NASA, National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Abazorius
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Nature Communications
DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpart
A new synthetic enzyme, crafted from DNA rather than protein, flips lipid molecules within the cell membrane, triggering a signal pathway that could be harnessed to induce cell death in cancer cells. This is the first such synthetic enzyme to outperform its natural counterpart -- and it does so by three orders of magnitude.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Liz Ahlberg Touchstone
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Angewandte Chemie International Edition
Hitchhiking to kill
How can elimination of therapeutics from the bloodstream or their early enzymatic degradation be avoided in systemic delivery? Chinese scientists have new developed a method to bind an established cancer therapeutic, floxuridine, with natural serum albumin for its transport and delivery to target cancer cells. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the authors demonstrate the automated synthesis of a conjugated floxuridine polymer, its successful transport and delivery, and its efficiency in stopping tumor growth.
National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Mario Mueller

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Antarctic ice sheet is melting, but rising bedrock below could slow it down
An international team of researchers has found that the bedrock below the remote West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much more rapidly than previously thought, in response to ongoing ice melt.
European Space Agency, National Science Foundation, US Antarctic Program

Contact: Mary Guiden
Colorado State University

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Crowding inside cells may influence many functions and major diseases
A new study finds that mTORC1 controls how 'crowded' human cells become as a person ages.
National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, William Bowes Fellows Program, Vilcek Foundation

Contact: Greg Williams
NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Current Biology
Fish's use of electricity might shed light on human illnesses
African weakly electric fish, commonly called baby whales, use incredibly brief electrical pulses to sense the world around them and communicate with other members of their species. Part of that electrical mechanism exists in humans -- and by studying these fish, scientists may unlock clues about conditions like epilepsy.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Esther Robards-Forbes
University of Texas at Austin

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle
An international team of researchers, with a new study published in Science with DTU Space as lead author, finds that the bedrock below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much more rapidly than expected, revealing a very different Earth structure than previously believed. This discovery has important implications in understanding the present and future climate changes in Antarctica.
European Space Agency, GOCE+ Antarctica project, National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, US Antarctic Program

Contact: Valentina Barletta, DTU Space
Technical University of Denmark

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
Bedrock in West Antarctica rising at surprisingly rapid rate
The earth is rising in one part of Antarctica at one of the fastest rates ever recorded, as ice rapidly disappears and weight is lifted off the bedrock, a new international study has found. The findings have surprising and positive implications for the survival of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), which scientists had previously thought could be doomed because of the effects of climate change.
European Space Agency project GOCE + Antarctica, National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs Antarctic Earth Sciences Program, US Antarctic Program

Contact: Terry Wilson
Ohio State University

Public Release: 21-Jun-2018
MIT scientists discover fundamental rule of brain plasticity
A series of complex experiments in the visual cortex of mice has yielded a simple rule about plasticity: When a synapse strengthens, others immediately nearby weaken.
Picower Institute Innovation Fund, Simons Center for the Social Brain, Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship, Human Frontier Science Program Long-Term Fellowship, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, KAKENHI

Contact: David Orenstein
Picower Institute at MIT

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
The world's tiniest first responders
Amid the rise of CRISPR and genome editing, scientists are still learning more about DNA repair and its significance in aging and diseases such as cancer.
USC Gold Family and Research Enhancement Fellowships, National Institutes of Health, Mallinckrodt Foundation Award, National Science Foundation Career Grant

Contact: Emily F Gersema
University of Southern California

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
International Journal of Energy Research
How physics explains the evolution of social organization
A scientist at Duke University says the natural evolution of social organizations into larger and more complex communities exhibiting distinct hierarchies can be predicted from the same law of physics that gives rise to tree branches and river deltas -- a concept called the constructal law.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Ken Kingery
Duke University

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
Boring barnacles prefer the shallow life on coral reefs
Scientists at Rice University, the University of the Virgin Islands and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration combine efforts to quantify how barnacles infest stony coral over a variety of conditions and reduce calcium carbonate on reefs. Coral reefs harbor diverse marine life and help prevent coastal erosion.
National Science Foundation, Virgin Islands Established Program To Stimulate Competitive Research, NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program, Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research

Contact: David Ruth
Rice University

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
Nano Letters
Chameleon-inspired nanolaser changes colors
Chameleons change color by controlling the spacing among nanocrystals on their skin. Northwestern University's nanolaser changes color similarly -- by controlling the spacing among metal nanoparticles.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense

Contact: Amanda Morris
Northwestern University

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
Journal of Human Evolution
Fossils show ancient primates had grooming claws as well as nails
Humans and other primates are outliers among mammals for having nails instead of claws. But how, when and why we transitioned from claws to nails has been an evolutionary head-scratcher.
National Science Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services

Contact: Jonathan Bloch
University of Florida

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
Nature Communications
Interaction of paired and lined-up electrons can be manipulated in semiconductors
The way that electrons paired as composite particles or arranged in lines interact with each other within a semiconductor provides new design opportunities for electronics, according to recent findings in Nature Communications.
Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kayla Wiles
Purdue University

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
National Science Review
The deformation and mechanics of one-atom thin layer materials
High strength and ultra-low bending rigidity brings in uniqueness of graphene in contrast to other carbon allotropes. The out-of-plane deformation is of soft nature, which gives rise to rich morphology and is crucial for morphology control. Constructing the structure - mechanical property relationship of graphene is of compelling need for the reliability and durability of graphene-based applications. We summarize in this paper the current advances on describing the mechanics of graphene.
National Natural Science Foundation of China, US National Science Foundation

Contact: YAN Bei
Science China Press

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
Report provides 24-hour view of cyberattacks in Florida, US
Researchers have scrutinized more than 5 terabytes of Internet-scale data to produce a report that provides a unique 24-hour glimpse of cyberattacks and threats in Florida and the US FloridaSOAR, a first-of-its-kind, large-scale analysis of the magnitude of compromised Internet of Things devices, pinpoints malicious attacks and infections in near real-time by targeted sectors and providers. It can detect exploitations as soon as they are encountered, and store and share that threat information with IoT operators worldwide.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Gisele Galoustian
Florida Atlantic University

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
The cells that control the formation of fat
A study led by researchers in Switzerland has revealed a new cell type that resides in the body's fat depots where it can actively suppress fat cell formation. This discovery was made using single-cell transcriptomics and opens entirely new avenues to combat obesity and related diseases such as diabetes.
Human Frontier Science Program, Swiss National Science Foundation, Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation for Metabolic Research, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, ETH Zurich, Swiss Stem Cell Foundation

Contact: Nik Papageorgiou
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
Nature Communications
Birds have time-honored traditions, too
By faithfully copying the most popular songs, swamp sparrows create time-honored song traditions that can be just as long-lasting as human traditions, finds a new study. The results show that creating traditions that pass the test of time doesn't necessarily require exceptional smarts.
Duke University Provost Office, National Science Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
Duke University

Public Release: 20-Jun-2018
Science Advances
The sounds of climate change
In a new study in Science Advances, researchers describe a way to quickly sift through thousands of hours of field recordings to estimate when songbirds arrive at their Arctic breeding grounds. Their research could be applied to any dataset of animal vocalizations to understand how migratory animals are responding to climate change.
National Science Foundation, Columbia's Data Science Institute, NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment

Contact: Kim Martineau
Columbia University

Showing releases 1-25 out of 1077.

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