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  News From the National Science Foundation
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Showing releases 1-25 out of 1105.

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Public Release: 23-Oct-2017
Nature Nanotechnology
Taming 'wild' electrons in graphene
Graphene -- a one-atom-thick layer of the stuff in pencils -- is a better conductor than copper and is very promising for electronic devices, but with one catch: Electrons that move through it can't be stopped. Until now, that is. Scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick have learned how to tame the unruly electrons in graphene, paving the way for the ultra-fast transport of electrons with low loss of energy in novel systems. Their study was published online in Nature Nanotechnology.
Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: Todd B. Bates
Rutgers University

Public Release: 23-Oct-2017
Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association
Irregular heartbeat linked to higher thyroid hormone levels
Individuals with higher levels of thyroid hormone (free thyroxine or FT4) circulating in the blood were more likely than individuals with lower levels to develop irregular heartbeat, even when the levels were within normal range. Blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which regulates the production of thyroid hormones and is primarily measured in clinical practice to assess thyroid function, however, were not associated with an increased risk of irregular heartbeat.
Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Heart Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Carrie Thacker
American Heart Association

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
'Y' a protein unicorn might matter in glaucoma
A protein shaped like a 'Y' makes scientists do a double-take and may change the way they think about a protein sometimes implicated in glaucoma. The Y is a centerpiece in myocilin, binding four other components nicknamed propellers together like balloons on strings.
National Institutes of Health, NIH/National Eye Institute, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Science Foundation, DOE/Office of Basic Energy Sciences

Contact: Ben Brumfield
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
Advanced Healthcare Materials
Two-dimensional materials gets a new theory for control of properties
Desirable properties including increased electrical conductivity, improved mechanical properties, or magnetism for memory storage or information processing may be possible because of a theoretical method to control grain boundaries in two-dimensional materials, according to Penn State materials scientists.
US Army Research Office, National Science Foundation

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Penn State

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
Using optical chaos to control the momentum of light
Controlling and moving light poses serious challenges. One major hurdle is that light travels at different speeds and in different phases in different components of an integrated circuit. For light to couple between optical components, it needs to be moving at the same momentum. Now, a team of researchers has demonstrated a new way to control the momentum of broadband light in a widely-used optical component known as a whispering gallery microcavity (WGM).
Center for Integrated Quantum Materials, National Science Foundation

Contact: Leah Burrows
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
Nature Communications
Creating a better RNA switch
Northwestern University researchers have developed a new RNA switch that activates genes thousands of times better than nature and has applications in diagnostics and metabolic engineering.
National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Contact: Emily Ayshford
Northwestern University

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Researchers find shifting relationship between flexibility, modularity in the brain
A Rice University study has found negative correlation between flexibility and modularity in the brain. Understanding how they interact is essential to the advance of neuroscience, the researchers said. Flexibility allows for better performance on complex tasks, and modularity allows proficiency on simple tasks.
T.L.L. Temple Foundation, National Science Foundation

Contact: David Ruth
Rice University

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
ACS Photonics
Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano
Brown University researchers have improved the resolution of terahertz emission spectroscopy -- a technique used to study a wide variety of materials -- by 1,000-fold, making the technique useful at the nanoscale.
National Science Foundation, Danish Council for Independent Research, Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies.

Contact: Kevin Stacey
Brown University

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
A surprise new butterflyfish is described from the Philippine 'twilight zone' and exhibit
A new species of striped Philippine butterflyfish -- the charismatic Roa rumsfeldi -- made a fantastic, 7,000-mile journey before surprising scientists with its unknown status. Live specimens collected from a depth of 360 feet escaped special notice until a single black fin spine tipped off aquarium biologists back in San Francisco. Deep-diving researchers from the California Academy of Sciences' Hope for Reefs team -- with genetic sequencing help from a parent-son team -- share their discovery of a fifth species of Roa this week.
National Science Foundation, Key Philippine partners inc

Contact: Haley Bowling
California Academy of Sciences

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
Analytical Chemistry
Integrated lab-on-a-chip uses smartphone to quickly detect multiple pathogens
A multidisciplinary group that includes the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Washington at Tacoma has developed a novel platform to diagnose infectious disease at the point-of-care, using a smartphone as the detection instrument in conjunction with a test kit in the format of a credit card.
National Science Foundation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Contact: Janet L McGreevy
University of Illinois College of Engineering

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
Binghamton Conference
WSU researcher links salmon sex to geological change
It turns out that sex can move mountains. A Washington State University researcher has found that the mating habits of salmon can alter the profile of stream beds, affecting the evolution of an entire watershed. His studyis one of the first to quantitatively show that salmon can influence the shape of the land.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Alex Fremier
Washington State University

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
Renewable resource: To produce vital lipoic acid, sulfur is used, then replenished
New research shows how a protein is consumed, then reconstituted, during the production of a compound required for converting energy from food into a form that can be used by our cells. The results could help scientists to understand why humans with a fatal condition -- defects in an iron-sulfur carrier gene -- have deficiencies in this lipoic acid compound.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Penn State

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
Discovery lights path for Alzheimer's research
A metallic probe invented at Rice University that lights up when it binds to a misfolded amyloid beta peptide has identified a binding site that could facilitate better drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease. When the probe is illuminated, it catalyzes oxidation of the protein in a way that might keep it from aggregating in the brains of patients.
Welch Foundation, National Science Foundation

Contact: David Ruth
Rice University

Public Release: 19-Oct-2017
SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Mathematically modeling HIV drug pharmacodynamics
Complete elimination of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) presents a challenge due to latent viral reservoirs within the body that can help re-establish infection. In a paper publishing this week in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, researchers propose a mathematical model that investigates the effects of drug parameters and dosing schedules on HIV latent reservoirs and viral load dynamics.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Karthika Cohen
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
New study reveals breast cancer cells recycle their own ammonia waste as fuel
Breast cancer cells recycle ammonia, a waste byproduct of cell metabolism, and use it as a source of nitrogen to fuel tumor growth, report scientists from Harvard Medical School. The insights shed light on the biological role of ammonia in cancer and may inform the design of new therapeutic strategies to slow tumor growth.
Ludwig Center at Harvard, Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Jiang
Harvard Medical School

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
WPI researchers developing autonomous snake-like robots to support search-and-rescue teams
A team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has received a three-year, $400,000 award from the National Science Foundation to create autonomous snake-like robots that can navigate more naturally and easily through the rubble, confined spaces, and rough terrain left in the aftermath of a disaster and send images and information to search-and-rescue teams. The goal is to give the robots with the autonomy to navigate through the environment without close supervision.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Andy Baron
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
UCI scientists see order in complex patterns of river deltas
River deltas, with their intricate networks of waterways, coastal barrier islands, wetlands and estuaries, often appear to have been formed by random processes, but scientists at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions see order in the apparent chaos.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brian Bell
University of California - Irvine

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
Researchers from Caltech and the University of Southern California (USC) report the first application of quantum computing to a physics problem.
US Department of Energy, Research Technology, Computational HEP, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, National Science Foundation, and others

Contact: Whitney Clavin
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
Journal of Experimental Biology
A mosquito's secret weapon: a light touch and strong wings
How do mosquitoes land and take off without our noticing? Using high-speed video cameras, a team from UC Berkeley and Wageningen University have found part of the answer: mosquitoes' long legs allow them to slowly and gently push off, but their wings provide the majority of the lift, even when fully laden with a blood meal. For comparison, mosquitoes push off with forces much less than those of an escaping fruit fly.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
ACM's Machinery's Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society
For $1,000, anyone can purchase online ads to track your location and app use
New University of Washington research finds that for a budget of roughly $1,000, it is possible for someone to track your location and app use by purchasing and targeting mobile ads. The team hopes to raise industry awareness about the potential privacy threat.
National Science Foundation, Tech Policy Lab, Short-Dooley Professorship

Contact: Jennifer Langston
University of Washington

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Nice ice, maybe: Study finds water-repelling surfaces ease ice removal
A new study has discovered that ice grows differently on water-absorbent vs. water-repellent surfaces. The research suggests that applying water-repellent coatings to windshields before winter storms -- or engineering surfaces that inherently repel water -- could enable a strong breeze to handle the burden of ice removal.
National Science Foundation, National Science Foundation of China

Contact: Xiao Cheng Zeng
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
Science Advances
Research demonstrates method to alter coherence of light
In a finding that could have broad applications in optical devices, Brown University researchers have shown that they can transform incoherent light to almost fully coherent and vice versa.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Stacey
Brown University

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
Science Advances
New analysis suggests that preserving rare species is vital to tropical forests
The world's tropical forests are in 'a critical state' in which the extinction of rare tree species could be a tipping point, according to an international team of scientists who have developed an analytical method to map their biodiversity.
National Science Foundation, Conservation International, Missouri Botanical Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society

Contact: Jim Barlow
University of Oregon

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
Nature or nurture? Innate social behaviors in the mouse brain
The brain circuitry that controls innate, or instinctive, behaviors such as mating and fighting was thought to be genetically hardwired. Not so, neuroscientists now say.
National Institutes of Health, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Ellison Medical Foundation, Simons Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, National Science Foundation, L'Oréal USA For Women in Science

Contact: Lori Dajose
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 18-Oct-2017
Journal of Experimental Biology
How well-fed mosquitoes outwit victims at take-off
Well fed mosquitoes need to make a stealthy get away to avoid attracting the attention of the victim upon which they have just gorged, and now an international team of scientists have shown that mosquitoes take advantage of their long legs and a wing assisted launch to evade detection.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek), National Science Foundation, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences

Contact: Kathryn Knight
The Company of Biologists

Showing releases 1-25 out of 1105.

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