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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 26-50 out of 1151.

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Public Release: 13-Jan-2021
Science Robotics
Taking the lab into the ocean: A fleet of robots tracks and monitors microbial communities
A new paper describes how researchers at MBARI, the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, enabled a trio of self-driving robots to locate, follow, and sample a layer of oceanic microbes as they drifted in an open-ocean eddy north of the Hawaiian islands.
National Science Foundation, Simons Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Schmidt Ocean Institute, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, State of Hawai'i

Contact: Susan von Thun
svonthun@mbari.org
831-325-6257
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Public Release: 13-Jan-2021
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Asian butterfly populations show different mimicry patterns thanks to genetic 'switch'
A new study by researchers at the University of Chicago and the City College of New York (CCNY) has identified a unique, genetic "mimicry switch" that determines whether or not male and female Elymnias hypermnestra palmflies mimic the same or different species of butterflies.
National Science Foundation, the National Institutes for Health

Contact: Alison Caldwell, PhD
alison.caldwell@uchospitals.edu
312-513-9642
University of Chicago Medical Center

Public Release: 13-Jan-2021
Nature
Ancient DNA reveals secrets of Game of Thrones wolves
Extinct dire wolves split off from other wolves nearly six million years ago and were only a distant relative of today's wolves, according to new research published in Nature.
Marie Curie COFUND, National Science Foundation, QCbio Collaboratory Fellowship (UCLA), European Research Council, Natural Environmental Research Council, Wellcome Trust and the Australian Research Council

Contact: Dionne Hamil
dionne.hamil@durham.ac.uk
Durham University

Public Release: 13-Jan-2021
Joule
The compound that makes chili peppers spicy also boosts perovskite solar cell performance
Research publishing January 13 in the journal Joule, determined that sprinkling capsaicin, the compound that makes peppers spicy, into the precursor of methylammonium lead triiodide (MAPbI3) perovskite during the manufacturing process led to a greater abundance of electrons (instead of empty placeholders) to conduct current at the semiconductor's surface. The addition resulted in polycrystalline MAPbI3 solar cells with the most efficient charge transport to date.
National Science Foundation of China

Contact: Carly Britton
press@cell.com
617-417-7053
Cell Press

Public Release: 12-Jan-2021
Journal of Glaciology
Researchers speed up analysis of Arctic ice and snow data through AI
Professors at University of Maryland, Baltimore County have developed an artificial intelligence technique to quickly analyze newly collected data based on Arctic ice and snow thickness. Researchers previously analyzed these data manually; this AI will assist them by automating how they detect and analyze patterns in the thickness of the ice. Climate change necessitates a rapid understanding of new developments in the Arctic ice, and this tool provides a faster solution.
National Science Foundation, IBM, Amazon

Contact: Sarah Hansen
hansen.sarah@umbc.edu
University of Maryland Baltimore County

Public Release: 12-Jan-2021
Nature Communications
Researchers find wildfire smoke is more cooling on climate than computer models assume
Many of the most advanced climate models simulate smoke that is darker, or more light absorbing, than what researchers see in observations.
US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: Shane Murphy
shane.murphy@uwyo.edu
307-766-6408
University of Wyoming

Public Release: 12-Jan-2021
AAS 237
Astrophyiscal Journal Letters
The earliest supermassive black hole and quasar in the universe
The most distant quasar known has been discovered. Observed just 670 million years after the Big Bang, it is 1000 times more luminous than the Milky Way. It is powered by the earliest known supermassive black hole, which weighs in at more than 1.6 billion times the mass of the Sun. Seen more than 13 billion years ago, this fully formed distant quasar is also the earliest yet discovered, providing astronomers with insight into the formation of massive galaxies in the early Universe.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Amanda Kocz
amanda.kocz@noirlab.edu
626-524-5884
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)

Public Release: 12-Jan-2021
Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences
Unsure how to help reverse insect declines? Scientists suggest simple ways
Entomologist Akito Kawahara's message is straightforward: We can't live without insects. They're in trouble. And there's something all of us can do to help.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Natalie van Hoose
nvanhoose@flmnh.ufl.edu
352-273-1922
Florida Museum of Natural History

Public Release: 12-Jan-2021
mBio
Museum scientists: Prepare for next pandemic now by preserving animal specimens in natural history
It's been more than a year since the first cases were identified in China, yet the exact origins of the COVID-19 pandemic remain a mystery. Though strong evidence suggests that the responsible coronavirus originated in bats, how and when it crossed from wildlife into humans is unknown.
Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities, Distributed System of Scientific Collections, US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, US National Science Foundation

Contact: Jim Erickson
ericksn@umich.edu
University of Michigan

Public Release: 12-Jan-2021
American Astronomical Society meeting, 11-15 January 2021
Quasar discovery sets new distance record
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), along with other telescopes, have discovered the most distant quasar yet found. The bright quasar, powered by a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy, is seen as it was only 670 million years after the Big Bang, and is providing valuable clues about how such huge black holes and their host galaxies formed in the early Universe.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Dave Finley
dfinley@nrao.edu
505-241-9210
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Public Release: 12-Jan-2021
237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Most distant quasar discovered sheds light on how black holes grow
A team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona has observed the most distant quasar to date. Fully formed just 670 million years after the Big Bang, the quasar is 1000 times more luminous than the Milky Way. It is powered by the earliest known supermassive black hole, which weighs in at more than 1.6 billion times the mass of the sun. The discovery provides insight into the formation of massive galaxies in the early universe.
NASA, National Science Foundation, European Research Council, National Science Foundation of China

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

Public Release: 12-Jan-2021
Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Tweaking AI software to function like a human brain improves computer's learning ability
Computer-based artificial intelligence can function more like human intelligence when programmed to use a much faster technique for learning new objects, say two neuroscientists who designed such a model that was designed to mirror human visual learning.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Science Foundation

Contact: Karen Teber
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Nature
Discovery of quantum behavior in insulators suggests possible new particle
A team led by Princeton physicists discovered a surprising quantum phenomenon in an atomically thin insulator made of tungsten ditelluride. The results suggest the formation of completely new types of quantum phases previously hidden in insulators.
National Science Foundation, Army Research Office, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

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

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Advanced Optical Materials
University at Buffalo researchers report quantum-limit-approaching chemical sensing chip
University at Buffalo researchers are reporting an advancement of a chemical sensing chip that could lead to handheld devices that detect trace chemicals -- everything from illicit drugs to pollution -- as quickly as a breathalyzer identifies alcohol.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Cory Nealon
cmnealon@buffalo.edu
716-645-4614
University at Buffalo

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Carbon monoxide reduced to valuable liquid fuels
Rice engineers develop a reactor to produce liquid acetic acid directly from carbon monoxide.
National Science Foundation, CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars Program

Contact: Jeff Falk
jfalk@rice.edu
713-348-6775
Rice University

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Nature Materials
Analytical measurements can predict organic solar cell stability
researchers have developed an analytical measurement "framework" which could allow organic solar cell researchers and manufacturers to determine which materials will produce the most stable solar cells prior to manufacture.
Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation

Contact: Tracey Peake
tracey_peake@ncsu.edu
919-515-6142
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Nano Letters
Researchers develop new one-step process for creating self-assembled metamaterials
A team led by University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers has discovered a groundbreaking one-step process for creating materials with unique properties, called metamaterials.
The research was primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) with additional support from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, Norwegian Centennial Chair Program,

Contact: University of Minnesota Public Relations
unews@umn.edu
University of Minnesota

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Cell
Big data analysis finds cancer's key vulnerabilities
A new analysis of almost 10,000 patients found that tumors could be stratified into 112 subtypes regardless of the cancer's origin.
National Institutes of Health, Instituto de Salud Carlos III/Ministerio de Asuntos Economicos y Transformacion Digital (Spain), Fundacion BBVA-Young Investigator Award

Contact: Helen Garey
hbg3@cumc.columbia.edu
Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Nature Metabolism
How the circadian clock regulates liver genes in time and space
EPFL scientists have carried out the first comprehensive study of how genes in the liver perform their metabolic functions in both space and time of day. Monitoring almost 5000 genes at the level of the individual cell across a 24-hour period, the researchers have modelled how the circadian clock and liver functions crosstalk throughout the day in sync with the feeding-fasting cycle.
Rothschild Caesarea Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, EPFL, Henry Chanoch Krenter Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Genomics, The Leir Charitable Foundations, Richard Jakubskind Laboratory of Systems BiologyCymerman-Jakubskind Prize, Lor

Contact: Nik Papageorgiou
n.papageorgiou@epfl.ch
41-216-932-105
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Nature Catalysis
New process more efficiently recycles excess CO2 into fuel, study finds
For years, researchers have worked to repurpose excess atmospheric carbon dioxide into new chemicals, fuels and other products traditionally made from hydrocarbons harvested from fossil fuels. The recent push to mitigate the climactic effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has chemists on their toes to find the most efficient means possible. A new study introduces an electrochemical reaction, enhanced by polymers, to improve CO2-to-ethylene conversion efficiency over previous attempts.
The International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research, Shell's New Energy Research and Technology, National Science Foundation.

Contact: Lois Yoksoulian
leyok@illinois.edu
217-244-2788
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Nature Communications
New nanostructured alloy for anode is a big step toward revolutionizing energy storage
Researchers have developed a battery anode based on a new nanostructured alloy that could revolutionize the way energy storage devices are designed and manufactured.
National Science Foundation, University of Central Florida

Contact: Zhenxing Feng
zhenxing.feng@oregonstate.edu
541-737-0508
Oregon State University

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Nature Scientific Reports
Robot displays a glimmer of empathy to a partner robot
Like a longtime couple who can predict each other's every move, a Columbia Engineering robot has learned to predict its partner robot's future actions and goals based on just a few initial video frames. The study, conducted at Columbia Engineering's Creative Machines Lab led by Mechanical Engineering Professor Hod Lipson, is part of a broader effort to endow robots with the ability to understand and anticipate the goals of other robots, purely from visual observations.
National Science Foundation, DARPA MTO grant L2M Program

Contact: Holly Evarts
he2181@columbia.edu
347-453-7408
Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Public Release: 11-Jan-2021
Molecular Ecology
Big differences in how coral reef fish larvae are dispersed
How the larvae of colorful clownfish that live among coral reefs in the Philippines are dispersed varies widely, depending on the year and seasons - a Rutgers-led finding that could help scientists improve conservation of species. Right after most coral reef fish hatch, they join a swirling sea of plankton as tiny, transparent larvae. Then currents, winds and waves disperse them, frequently to different reefs.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Oak Ridge Associated Universities; National Science Foundation.

Contact: Todd Bates
todd.bates@rutgers.edu
848-932-0550
Rutgers University

Public Release: 8-Jan-2021
Coral Reefs
UCF engineering and biology researchers collaborate to aid coral reef restoration
Florida's threatened coral reefs have a more than $4 billion annual economic impact on the state's economy, and University of Central Florida researchers are zeroing in on one factor that could be limiting their survival - coral skeleton strength. In a new study published in the journal Coral Reefs, UCF engineering researchers tested how well staghorn coral skeletons withstand the forces of nature and humans, such as impacts from hurricanes and divers.
National Science Foundation; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Contact: Robert Wells
robert.wells@ucf.edu
University of Central Florida

Public Release: 8-Jan-2021
Nature Communications
Tiny wireless device sheds light on combating obesity
In a new study, researchers at Texas A&M University have described a medical device that might help with weight loss and requires a simpler operative procedure for implantation.
National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center for Precise Advanced Technologies and Health Systems,National Institutes of Health

Contact: Amy Halbert
ahalbert@tamu.edu
Texas A&M University

Showing releases 26-50 out of 1151.

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