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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 949.

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Public Release: 24-May-2017
How do blind cavefish find their way? The answer could be in their bones.
Blind cavefish typically have skulls that bend slightly to the left. A study by UC suggests this orientation might help them find food as they navigate in a perpetual counter-clockwise direction around a cave.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Michael Miller
University of Cincinnati

Public Release: 24-May-2017
Advanced Functional Materials
New brain mapping tool produces higher resolution data during brain surgery
Researchers have developed a new device to map the brain during surgery and distinguish between healthy and diseased tissues. The device provides higher resolution neural readings than existing tools used in the clinic and could enable doctors to perform safer, more precise brain surgeries.
Center for Brain Activity Mapping, University of California San Diego, National Science Foundation, University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives, Office of Naval Research

Contact: Liezel Labios
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 24-May-2017
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Two types of empathy elicit different health effects, Penn psychologist shows
Research led by a University of Pennsylvania psychologist finds that our bodies respond differently depending on the perspective we take when helping someone who is suffering. Stepping into the perspective of the suffering person leads to a health-threatening physiological response, while reflecting on how the suffering person might feel leads to a health-promoting response.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Katherine Unger Baillie
University of Pennsylvania

Public Release: 24-May-2017
Advanced Energy Materials
Printed, flexible and rechargeable battery can power wearable sensors
Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first printed battery that is flexible, stretchable and rechargeable. The zinc batteries could be used to power everything from wearable sensors to solar cells and other kinds of electronics. The work appears in the April 19, 2017 issue of Advanced Energy Materials.
Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: Ioana Patringenaru
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 24-May-2017
Animal Genetics
Scientists develop new device to overcome pig genome flaw
Scientists at the University of Kent, working with colleagues from the genetics research industry, have developed a new genetic screening device and protocol that helps pig breeding. Through her work, Dr. Rebecca O'Connor in the School of Biosciences, found previously undiscovered, fundamental flaws in the pig genome, the results of which have contributed to improved mapping of the pig genome.
Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Contact: S.Fleming
University of Kent

Public Release: 24-May-2017
Water Resources Research
L.A. lawns lose lots of water: 70 billion gallons a year
In summer 2010, Los Angeles was losing about 100 gallons of water per person per day to the atmosphere through the evaporation and plant uptake of lawns and trees. Lawns accounted for 70 percent of the water loss, while trees accounted for 30 percent, according to a University of Utah study published in Water Resources Research.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Paul Gabrielsen
University of Utah

Public Release: 23-May-2017
Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
Lizards may be overwhelmed by fire ants and social stress combined
Lizards living in fire-ant-invaded areas are stressed. However, a team of biologists found that the lizards did not exhibit this stress as expected after extended fire ant exposure in socially stressful environments, leading to questions about stress overload.
National Science Foundation

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Penn State

Public Release: 23-May-2017
Genetic mutation trade-offs lead to parallel evolution
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have shown how evolutionary dynamics proceed when selection acts on two traits governed by a trade-off. The results move the life sciences a step closer to understanding the full complexity of evolution at the cellular level.
National Science Foundation, Center for the Physics of Living Cells

Contact: Siv Schwink
University of Illinois College of Engineering

Public Release: 23-May-2017
Astrophysical Journal
VLA reveals new object near supermassive black hole in famous galaxy
When astronomers took a new look at a famous galaxy with the upgraded Very Large Array, they were surprised by the appearance of a new, bright object that had not appeared in previous images.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Dave Finley
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Public Release: 23-May-2017
Biology Letters
Friends help female vampire bats cope with loss
When a female vampire bat loses a close relative, she may starve, because she depends on her mother and daughters to share blood by regurgitation. Vampires who have more non-kin social bonds (friends), do better when this happens.
National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, American Society of Mammalogists, Animal Behavior Society

Contact: Beth King
202-633-4700 x28216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Public Release: 23-May-2017
Nature Communications
Weather patterns' influence on frost timing
The frost-free season in North America is approximately 10 days longer now than it was a century ago. In a new study, published today in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Utah and the US Geological Survey parse the factors contributing to the timing of frost in the United States. Atmospheric circulation patterns, they found, were the dominant influence on frost timing, although the trend of globally warming temperatures played a part as well.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Paul Gabrielsen
University of Utah

Public Release: 23-May-2017
Biophysical Journal
Researchers reveal bioelectric patterns guiding worms' regenerative body plan after injury
Researchers have succeeded in permanently rewriting flatworms' regenerative body shape by resetting their internal bioelectric pattern memory, causing even normal-appearing flatworms to harbor the 'code' to regenerate as two-headed worms.
Allen Discovery Center through The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, National Science Foundation

Contact: Patrick Collins
Tufts University

Public Release: 22-May-2017
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior
University of Illinois geologist Lijun Liu and his team have created a computer model of tectonic activity so effective that they believe it has potential to predict where earthquakes and volcanoes will occur. Liu, along with doctoral student Jiashun Hu, and Manuele Faccenda from the University of Padua in Italy, published a research paper in the journal of Earth and Planetary Science Letters focusing on the deep mantle and its relationship to plate tectonics.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Lijun Liu
University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Public Release: 22-May-2017
RIT team creates high-speed internet lane for emergency situations
Rochester Institute of Technology are developing a faster and more reliable way to send and receive large amounts of data through the internet. By a creating a new network protocol, called Multi Node Label Routing protocol, researchers are essentially developing a new high-speed lane of online traffic, specifically for emergency information.
National Science Foundation, US Ignite

Contact: Scott Bureau
Rochester Institute of Technology

Public Release: 22-May-2017
Nature Geoscience
UNLV study: Warming news from Russia
UNLV research in Russia challenges widely held understanding of past climate history; study appears in latest issue of top journal Nature Geoscience.
National Science Foundation, Ralph Stone Fellowship, National Speleological Society

Contact: Francis McCabe
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Public Release: 22-May-2017
38th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
Researchers find computer code that Volkswagen used to cheat emissions tests
An international team of researchers has uncovered the mechanism that allowed Volkswagen to circumvent US and European emission tests over at least six years before the Environmental Protection Agency put the company on notice in 2015 for violating the Clean Air Act. During a year-long investigation, researchers found code that allowed a car's onboard computer to determine that the vehicle was undergoing an emissions test.
European Research Council, National Science Foundation

Contact: Ioana Patringenaru
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 22-May-2017
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
Laser-induced graphene made from an inexpensive polymer is an effective anti-fouling material and, when charged, an excellent antibacterial surface.
United States Israel Binational Science Foundation, Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Quebec Region, Israel Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, AFOSR Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative

Contact: David Ruth
Rice University

Public Release: 22-May-2017
Developmental Cell
An elegans solution: Worm genetic screen maps cell-to-cell communication in human cancer
In the May 22, 2017, issue of Developmental Cell, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center developed a cross-species genetic screen in worms to follow cell-to-cell communication in human cancer. The genome-wide screen is being used to chart a roadmap between mesodermal cells and epithelial cells in the tumor microenvironment.
National Institutes of Health, OSUCCC Pelotonia Award, National Science Foundation, and others

Contact: Heather Woolwine
Medical University of South Carolina

Public Release: 22-May-2017
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Intestinal fungi worsen alcoholic liver disease
Liver cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of mortality worldwide and approximately half of those deaths are due to alcohol abuse. Yet apart from alcohol abstinence, there are no specific treatments to reduce the severity of alcohol-associated liver disease. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) have linked intestinal fungi to increased risk of death for patients with alcohol-related liver disease.
National Institutes of Health, Biomedical Laboratory Research & Development Service of the VA Office of Research and Development, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Swiss National Science Foundation, Wellcome Trust

Contact: Heather Buschman
University of California - San Diego

Public Release: 22-May-2017
Nature Communications
TWEAKing inflammation
Superficially, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis may appear similar but their commonalities are only skin deep. Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is primarily driven by an allergic reaction, while psoriasis is considered an autoimmune disease. Nevertheless, researchers at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology were able to pinpoint a common driver of skin inflammation in both diseases.
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, Biogen, Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: Jessica Roi
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology

Public Release: 22-May-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Female peer mentors help retain college women in engineering
A new study by social psychologist Nilanjana Dasgupta and her Ph.D. student Tara C. Dennehy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that early in college, young women in engineering majors felt more confident about their ability, a greater sense of belonging in engineering, more motivated and less anxious if they had a female, but not male, peer mentor.
US National Science Foundation

Contact: Janet Lathrop
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 22-May-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
3.3-million-year-old fossil reveals origins of the human spine
Analysis of a 3.3 million-year-old fossil skeleton reveals the most complete spinal column of any early human relative, including vertebrae, neck and rib cage. The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that portions of the human spinal structure that enable efficient walking motions were established millions of years earlier than previously thought.
Margaret and Will Hearst, National Science Foundation, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

Contact: Matt Wood
University of Chicago Medical Center

Public Release: 21-May-2017
38th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
Combination of features produces new Android vulnerability
A new vulnerability affecting Android mobile devices results not from a traditional bug, but from the malicious combination of two legitimate permissions that power desirable and commonly used features in popular apps.
National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Contact: John Toon
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 21-May-2017
38th IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium
Network traffic provides early indication of malware infection
By analyzing network traffic going to suspicious domains, security administrators could detect malware infections weeks or even months before they're able to capture a sample of the invading malware, a new study suggests. The findings point toward the need for new malware-independent detection strategies that will give network defenders the ability to identify network security breaches in a more timely manner.
US Department of Commerce, National Science Foundation, Air Force Research Laboratory, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Contact: John Toon
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 19-May-2017
Scientists identify two new proteins connected to plant development
The discovery of two new proteins could lead to better ways to regulate plant structure and the ability to resist crop stresses such as drought, thus improving agriculture productivity.
National Science Foundation CAREER

Contact: Kathleen Phillips
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

Showing releases 1-25 out of 949.

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