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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 871.

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Public Release: 27-Feb-2017
Nature Communications
Study reveals ways powerful 'master gene' regulates physical differences between sexes
A study by scientists at Indiana University has found that the master gene that regulates differences between males and females plays a complex role in matching the right physical trait to the right sex. The research, published Feb. 27 in the journal Nature Communications, reveals new details about the behavior of the gene called 'doublesex,' or dsx.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin D. Fryling
kfryling@iu.edu
812-856-2988
Indiana University

Public Release: 24-Feb-2017
Physical Review Letters
New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds
Origami-inspired materials use folds in materials to embed powerful functionality. However, all that folding can be pretty labor intensive. Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are drawing material inspiration from another ancient Japanese paper craft -- kirigami.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Leah Burrows
lburrows@seas.harvard.edu
617-496-1351
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Public Release: 24-Feb-2017
Nature Neuroscience
Princeton-Intel collaboration breaks new ground in studies of the brain
Princeton University and Intel researchers have collaborated to develop software that allows for 'decoding digital brain data' to reveal how neural activity gives rise to learning, memory and other cognitive functions. The software can be used in real time during an fMRI brain scan.
Intel Corporation, John Templeton Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: John Cramer
johncramer@princeton.edu
609-933-2880
Princeton University

Public Release: 24-Feb-2017
Human Communication Research
Interactive health apps may inspire healthy behaviors, but watch the tone
Just like real doctors and nurses, online health tools with good -- but controlled -- communication skills can promote healthier lifestyles, according to researchers. However, if their tone is conversational, these tools may lull users into a false sense of comfort, they add. In a study, people who experienced a back-and-forth interaction with an online health risk assessment website were more likely to follow the health behaviors suggested by the tool.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Matt Swayne
mls29@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State

Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
Colorado School of Mines and Virginia Tech to create minerals industry consortium
Colorado School of Mines is teaming with Virginia Tech to develop an integrated approach to locating, characterizing and visualizing mineral resources. The goal is to advance mining operations and boost exploration success rates while minimizing financial risk and environmental impact. The proposed Center for Advanced Subsurface Earth Resource Models would provide exploration and mining companies worldwide with new 3-D subsurface geological models, informing decision-making and risk management at all stages of the mining life cycle.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Agata Bogucka
abogucka@mines.edu
303-384-2657
Colorado School of Mines

Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
Science
New polymer additive could revolutionize plastics recycling
Only 2 percent of the 78 million tons of manufactured plastics are currently recycled into similar products because polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which account for two-thirds of the world's plastics, have different chemical structures and cannot be efficiently repurposed together. That could all change with a discovery by a Cornell University research team.
Center for Sustainable Polymers, NSF/Center for Chemical Innovation

Contact: Melissa Osgood
mmo59@cornell.edu
607-255-2059
Cornell University

Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
PLOS ONE
Bored by physical therapy? Focus on citizen science instead
Researchers have devised a method by which patients improved their repetitive rehabilitative exercises by contributing to scientific projects in which massive data collection and analysis is needed. The citizen science activity entailed the environmental mapping of a polluted body of water with a miniature instrumented boat, which was remotely controlled through physical gestures tracked by the Microsoft Kinect, a low-cost motion capture system.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kathleen Hamilton
kathleen.hamilton@nyu.edu
646-997-3792
NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
Biology Letters
Melting sea ice may be speeding nature's clock in the Arctic
Spring is coming sooner to some plant species in the low Arctic of Greenland, while other species are delaying their emergence amid warming winters. The changes are associated with diminishing sea ice cover, according to a study published in the journal Biology Letters and led by the University of California, Davis.
National Science Foundation, National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration

Contact: Kat Kerlin
kekerlin@ucdavis.edu
530-750-9195
University of California - Davis

Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
Astrophysical Journal
Vast luminous nebula poses a cosmic mystery
Astronomers have found an enormous, glowing blob of gas in the distant universe, with no obvious source of power for the light it is emitting. Called an 'enormous Lyman-alpha nebula' (ELAN), it is the brightest and among the largest of these rare objects, only a handful of which have been observed.
National Science Foundation, NASA

Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-4352
University of California - Santa Cruz

Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
UC researchers teach drones to land themselves on moving targets
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati's College of Engineering and Applied Science are using artificial intelligence called fuzzy logic to get drones to navigate and land themselves on moving platforms. This holds promise for commercial uses such as delivering packages from moving vehicles.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Michael Miller
michael.miller3@uc.edu
513-556-6757
University of Cincinnati

Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
Nature Communications
Computing with biochemical circuits made easy
A software tool and a systematic wet-lab procedure proven in practice are an advance in the design and construction of circuits made of DNA.
National Science Foundation, Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Contact: Lori Dajose
ldajose@caltech.edu
626-658-0109
California Institute of Technology

Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
Journal of Experimental Biology
Tiny cavefish may help humans evolve to require very little sleep
We all do it; we all need it -- humans and animals alike. Neuroscientists have been studying Mexican cavefish to provide insight into the evolutionary mechanisms regulating sleep loss and the relationship between sensory processing and sleep. They are investigating how sleep evolves and using this species as a model to understand how human brains could evolve to require very little sleep, just like the cavefish.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Gisele Galoustian
ggaloust@fau.edu
561-297-2676
Florida Atlantic University

Public Release: 23-Feb-2017
Nature Communications
Light-driven reaction converts carbon dioxide into fuel
Duke University researchers have developed tiny nanoparticles that help convert carbon dioxide into methane using only ultraviolet light as an energy source. Having found a catalyst that can do this important chemistry using ultraviolet light, the team now hopes to develop a version that would run on natural sunlight, a potential boon to alternative energy.
National Science Foundation, Army Research Office, Duke University's Katherine Goodman Stern Fellowship, National Defense Science & Engineering

Contact: Kara Manke
kara.manke@duke.edu
919-681-8064
Duke University

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
The Cryosphere
Low snowpacks of 2014, 2015 may become increasingly common with warmer conditions
Oregon experienced very low snowpack levels in 2014 and historically low snowpack levels in 2015; now a new study suggests that these occurrences may not be anomalous in the future and could become much more common if average temperatures warm just two degrees (Celsius).
NASA, National Science Foundation

Contact: Eric Sproles
eric.sproles@gmail.com
541-729-1377
Oregon State University

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
Acta Biomateriala
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
Scientists at Vanderbilt University have created a three-dimensional organ-on-a-chip that can mimic the heart's amazing biomechanical properties in order to study cardiac disease, determine the effects that different drugs have on the heart and screen for new drugs to treat heart ailments.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, American Heart Association, Department of Veterans Affairs

Contact: David F Salisbury
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-6803
Vanderbilt University

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
Science
The value of nutrition and exercise, according to a moth
How can animals that feed mostly on sugar embark on migrations spanning continents? What looked like flawed scientific data led to an unexpected discovery, thanks to the tenacity of a group of biologists in the UA's Department of Entomology.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Daniel Stolte
stolte@email.arizona.edu
520-626-4402
University of Arizona

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Sum of their parts: Researchers use math to foster environmental restoration
Resource management boundaries seldom align with environmental systems, which can lead to scale mismatch or spatial misalignments. Researchers Jesse Sayles of McGill University and Jacopo Baggio of Utah State University employ analytic modeling to counter this challenge and foster collaboration and efficient coordination of stakeholders' joint restoration efforts.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jacopo Baggio
jacopo.baggio@usu.edu
435-797-5747
Utah State University

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
Science Advances
Serendipity uncovers borophene's potential
Northwestern University engineers discover that an organic material self-assembles directly next to borophene, forming an ideal interface for electronic applications.
Office for Naval Research, National Science Foundation

Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
Physical Review Letters
Researchers gain insight into a physical phenomenon that leads to earthquakes
Researchers at UPenn provide insight into a phenomenon called ageing that leads to more powerful earthquakes.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Ali Sundermier
alisun@upenn.edu
215-898-8562
University of Pennsylvania

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
Science Advances
Study: Changing the environment within bone marrow alters blood cell development
Researchers at the University of Illinois report they can alter blood cell development through the use of biomaterials designed to mimic characteristics of the bone marrow.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and American Cancer Society of Illinois

Contact: Sarah Banducci
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
Bioscience
Widely accepted vision for agriculture may be inaccurate, misleading
'Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population.' This truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for the future of agriculture.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture

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

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Birds of a feather mob together
Dive bombing a much larger bird isn't just a courageous act by often smaller bird species to keep predators at bay. It also gives male birds the chance to show off their physical qualities in order to impress females. This is according to a study, led by Filipe Cunha, in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology on predator mobbing behavior of birds where potential prey approach and harass would-be predators such as owls.
Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto and Science Without Boarders/Capes, Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer

Public Release: 22-Feb-2017
Nature Physics
First trace of differences between matter and 'ordinary' antimatter
The world around us is mainly constructed of baryons, particles composed of three quarks. Why are there no antibaryons, since just after the Big Bang, matter and antimatter came into being in exactly the same amounts? A lot points to the fact that after many decades of research, physicists are closer to the answer to this question. In the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment the first trace of the differences between baryons and antibaryons has just been encountered.
CERN, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, National Science Foundation, and others

Contact: Marcin Kucharczyk
marcin.kucharczyk@ifj.edu.pl
48-126-628-050
The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

Public Release: 21-Feb-2017
Earth's Future
Over time, nuisance flooding can cost more than extreme, infrequent events
Global climate change is being felt in many coastal communities of the United States, not always in the form of big weather disasters but as a steady drip, drip, drip of nuisance flooding.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brian Bell
bpbell@uci.edu
949-824-8249
University of California - Irvine

Public Release: 21-Feb-2017
Nature Materials
Artificial synapse for neural networks
A new organic artificial synapse made by Stanford researchers could support computers that better recreate the way the human brain processes information. It could also lead to improvements in brain-machine technologies.
National Science Foundation, Keck Faculty Scholar Funds, Neurofab at Stanford, Stanford Graduate Fellowship, Sandia's Laboratory-Directed Research and Development Program, US Department of Energy, and others

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

Showing releases 1-25 out of 871.

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