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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 1-25 out of 922.

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Public Release: 22-Mar-2017
Pest Management Science
Biopesticide could defeat insecticide resistance in bedbugs
A fungal biopesticide that shows promise for the control of bed bugs is highly effective even against bed-bug populations that are insecticide resistant, according to research conducted by scientists at Penn State and North Carolina State universities.
US Department of Agriculture, NIH/National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Research Applications for Innovation Grant, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 22-Mar-2017
Nature
Stanford scientists study Pavlovian conditioning in neural networks
By looking at groups of neurons in the emotional center of the brain, researchers now understand how neural networks in the brain form associations, like those made famous by Ivan Pavlov.
Swiss National Science Foundation, National Science Foundation, Stanford University, Simons Foundation, Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, Novartis Research Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Contact: Taylor Kubota, Stanford News Service
tkubota@stanford.edu
650-724-7707
Stanford University

Public Release: 22-Mar-2017
Soft Matter
Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
Researchers have developed a technique that uses light to get flat, plastic sheets to curve into spheres, tubes or bowls.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 22-Mar-2017
Scientific Reports
Machine learning lets scientists reverse-engineer cellular control networks
Researchers from Tufts University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County used machine learning on the Stampede supercomputer to model the cellular control network that determines how tadpoles develop. Using that model, they reverse-engineered a drug intervention that created tadpoles with a form of mixed pigmentation never before seen in nature. They plan to use the method for cancer therapies and regenerative medicine.
National Science Foundation, Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, The G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation

Contact: Aaron Dubrow
aarondubrow@tacc.utexas.edu
512-471-8217
University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

Public Release: 22-Mar-2017
Science Advances
It's a fish eat tree world
An international team of scientists analyzed 147 northern lakes and found that many rely on nutrients from tree leaves, pine needles, and other land-grown plants to feed aquatic life. The study, published today in Science Advances, offers the most comprehensive analysis to-date on terrestrial subsidies to lake food webs.
National Environmental Research Council, Swedish Research Council, NSF Division of Environmental Biology

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

Public Release: 22-Mar-2017
Current Biology
Study affirms premature infants in NICUs do better with light touch
When premature infants were given more 'supportive touch' experiences, including skin-to-skin care and breastfeeding, their brains responded more strongly to light touch, according to an international research team from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, Monroe Carell's Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, and Lausanne University in Switzerland.
National Institutes of Health, Swiss National Science Foundation, Paul Mercier Foundation and Carigest SA

Contact: Craig Boerner
craig.boerner@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-4747
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Public Release: 22-Mar-2017
Neuron
Study identifies brain cells involved in Pavlovian response
A UCLA study has traced the Pavlovian response to a small cluster of brain cells -- the same neurons that go awry during Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease and Tourette's syndrome. The research could one day help neuroscientists find new approaches to diagnosing and treating these disorders.
McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience, NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH/National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Science Foundation

Contact: Elaine Schmidt
eschmidt@mednet.ucla.edu
310-267-8323
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

Public Release: 22-Mar-2017
People's romantic choices share characteristics, but for different reasons
The people one dates share many similarities -- both physically and personality-wise -- a new University of California study has found.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Karen Nikos-Rose
kmnikos@ucdavis.edu
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 22-Mar-2017
Science Advances
NSF-funded IUPUI study of non-rainfall water in Namib Desert reveals unexpected origins
In a study conducted in one of the world's oldest and most biologically diverse deserts, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis scientists explore the origins of water other than rainfall and are identifying multiple origins. The study, supported by the National Science Foundation, is the first to report that the ocean is not the sole source of life-sustaining fog and dew for numerous plants and animals living in the Namib Desert.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science

Public Release: 21-Mar-2017
American Journal of Botany
Scientists follow seeds to solve ecological puzzle
A four-year study of one rare and one common lupine growing in coastal dunes showed that a native mouse steals most of the rare lupines seeds while they are still attached to the plant. The mouse is a 'subsidized species,' given cover for nocturnal forays by European beachgrass, originally planted to stabilize the dunes.
National Science Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

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

Public Release: 21-Mar-2017
Biological Conservation
Livestock can uproot protected wildlife from prime real estate
The story of wildlife conservation is usually framed as man vs. treasured wildlife. But there's growing evidence that the narrative deserves to have leading roles for livestock such as sheep, yaks or cows. A group of researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) and China are building the case that allowing livestock to graze and forage amidst protected wildlife disrupts wildlife already struggling for survival -- and that different wildlife react to livestock invasions in different ways.
National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Sue Nichols
nichols@msu.edu
517-282-1093
Michigan State University

Public Release: 21-Mar-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Number abilities in humans, birds and fish are based in brain's subcortex
Cognitive neuroscience researcher Joonkoo Park at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who recently received a five-year, $751,000 faculty early career development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to address basic research questions about how our brains process number and magnitude and how such processes give rise to more complex mathematical thinking, has co-authored a paper that reports this week where in the brain numerical quantity evaluation is processed.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 21-Mar-2017
Nature Physics
When helium behaves like a black hole
A team of scientists has discovered that a law controlling the bizarre behavior of black holes out in space -- is also true for cold helium atoms that can be studied in laboratories. This finding may be a step toward a long-sought quantum theory of gravity and new advances in quantum computing.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Joshua Brown
joshua.e.brown@uvm.edu
802-656-3039
University of Vermont

Public Release: 20-Mar-2017
Nature Neuroscience
During learning, neurons deep in brain engage in a surprising level of activity
An international team of researchers has learned something surprising about the cerebellum, perhaps best known as the part of the brain that makes sure you cannot tickle yourself. The team found that cerebellar neurons, once thought to fire only occasionally, are actually quite active when the brain is learning a new task.
National Institutes of Health, New Jersey Council on Brain Injury Research, Searle Scholars, DARPA, National Science Foundation, Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Contact: Catherine Zandonella
czandone@princeton.edu
609-258-0541
Princeton University

Public Release: 20-Mar-2017
Studying midwest soil production, erosion and human impacts
Larsen and colleagues will study Midwest soils where remnants of the native prairie still exist, specifically in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. The overall topic is understanding rates at which natural soils are produced compared to how much is eroded by human intervention.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@admin.umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 20-Mar-2017
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Revised understanding of graft-versus-host disease origins offers new direction for potential therapy
An international research team led by the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute is changing the understanding of the key cellular and molecular events that trigger graft-versus-host disease, an often fatal complication of bone marrow transplants.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, Swiss National Science Foundation, American Society of Hematology, and others

Contact: Ian Demsky
idemsky@umich.edu
University of Michigan

Public Release: 20-Mar-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Adult subcortex processes numbers with the same skill as infants
Despite major brain differences, many species from spiders to humans can recognize and differentiate relative quantities. Adult primates, however, are the only ones with a sophisticated cortical brain system, meaning that the others rely on a subcortex or its evolutionary equivalent. Carnegie Mellon University scientists found that the adult subcortex processes numbers at the same level as infants and perhaps other lower-order species, such as guppies and spiders.
National Science Foundation, Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center, NIH Medical Scientist Training Program and NIH Predoctoral Training

Contact: Shilo Rea
shilo@cmu.edu
412-268-6094
Carnegie Mellon University

Public Release: 17-Mar-2017
Nature Communications
Research proposes new theories about nature of Earth's iron
New research challenges the prevailing theory that the unique nature of Earth's iron was the result of how its core was formed billions of years ago.
National Science Foundation, Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research, Department of Energy, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Contact: Greg Borzo
gborzo@comcast.net
773-702-8366
University of Chicago

Public Release: 17-Mar-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Flexibility is key in mechanism of biological self-assembly
A new study has modeled a crucial first step in the self-assembly of cellular structures such as drug receptors and other protein complexes, and found that the flexibility of the structures has a dramatic impact on how fast two such structures join together.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Catherine Zandonella
czandone@princeton.edu
609-258-0541
Princeton University

Public Release: 16-Mar-2017
Science
Stanford scientists reveal how grass developed a better way to breathe
Grasses are better able to withstand drought or high temperatures than many other plants in large part due to changes in their pores, called stomata. Stanford scientists have discovered how grasses produce these altered pores, which could someday lead to crops that can better survive climate change.
Swiss National Science Foundation, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Contact: Taylor Kubota, Stanford News Service
tkubota@stanford.edu
650-724-7707
Stanford University

Public Release: 16-Mar-2017
Global Change Biology
Is spring getting longer? UNH research points to a lengthening 'vernal window'
When spring arrives, temperatures begin to rise, ice is melts, and the world around us starts to blossom. Scientists sometimes refer to this transition from winter to the growing season as the 'vernal window,' and a study led by the University of New Hampshire shows this window may be opening earlier and possibly for longer.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robbin Ray
robbin.ray@unh.edu
603-862-4864
University of New Hampshire

Public Release: 16-Mar-2017
Ecology and Evolution
Mating mix-up with wrong fly lowers libido for Mr. Right
If you've ever suffered a nightmare date and were hesitant to try again, fruit flies can relate. Female flies that have been coerced into sex by invasive males of the wrong species are less likely to reproduce with their own kind later. Invasive species are known to threaten native biodiversity by bringing in diseases, preying on resident species or outcompeting them for food. But these results show invasives pose a risk through unwelcome advances, too.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
ras10@duke.edu
919-681-8057
Duke University

Public Release: 15-Mar-2017
American Psychosomatic Society annual meeting
Scientists are gauging how mood influences eating habits
This week at the annual conference of the American Psychosomatic Society, USC researchers are presenting details of how specially-programmed smartwatches monitor family member's emotions and eating behaviors for a study on obesity.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Emily Gersema
gersema@usc.edu
213-740-0252
University of Southern California

Public Release: 15-Mar-2017
Nature
UNC researchers make discovery that could increase plant yield in wake of looming phosph
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have pinpointed a key genetic switch that helps soil bacteria living on and inside a plant's roots harvest a vital nutrient with limited global supply. The nutrient, phosphate, makes it to the plant's roots, helping the plant increase its yield.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Contact: Thania Benios
thania_benios@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Public Release: 15-Mar-2017
UMass Amherst climate expert will study the Arctic's changing conditions
University of Massachusetts Amherst climate scientist Michael Rawlins has received a five-year, $370,000 grant from the National Science Foundation as part of a multi-institution effort to better understand biological processes and land-ocean interactions controlling the structure and function of coastal lagoons in northern Alaska.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Showing releases 1-25 out of 922.

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