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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

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Showing releases 451-475 out of 1151.

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Public Release: 26-Oct-2020
Environmental Science & Technology
Mythbusting: 5 common misperceptions surrounding the environmental impacts of single-use plastics
Stand in the soda pop aisle at the supermarket, surrounded by rows of brightly colored plastic bottles and metal cans, and it's easy to conclude that the main environmental problem here is an overabundance of single-use containers: If we simply recycled more of them, we'd go a long way toward minimizing impacts.
National Science Foundation's Environmental Sustainability program

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

Public Release: 26-Oct-2020
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Greenhouse effect of clouds instrumental in origin of tropical storms
With the tropical storm season in the Atlantic Ocean underway and already well into the Greek alphabet for naming, better storm track prediction has allowed timely evacuations and preparations. However, the formation and intensification of these storms remains challenging to predict, according to an international team of researchers who are studying the origin of tropical cyclones.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, National Key R&D Program of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, NASA

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-5689
Penn State

Public Release: 26-Oct-2020
Ecology Letters
Hidden losses deep in the Amazon rainforest
New research shows that animal patterns are changing in the absence of landscape change, which signals a sobering warning that simply preserving forests will not maintain rainforest biodiversity.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Alison Satake
asatake@lsu.edu
510-816-8161
Louisiana State University

Public Release: 26-Oct-2020
PNAS
Accessible healthcare could be key to solving climate crisis
Making high-quality care accessible to local and Indigenous communities was correlated with a 70 percent reduction of deforestation in an Indonesian national park. By offsetting healthcare costs, the community-designed program reduced incentives for illegal logging. Watch the video: https://bit.ly/35a7IPy
National Science Foundation, Stanford's Center for Innovation and Global Health, the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship, the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the National Center

Contact: Rob Jordan
rjordan@stanford.edu
415-760-8058
Stanford University

Public Release: 23-Oct-2020
Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences
Super-resolution microscopy and machine learning shed new light on fossil pollen grains
Plant biology researchers at the University of Illinois and computer scientists at the University of California Irvine have developed a new method of fossil pollen identification through the combination of super-resolution microscopy and machine learning. The team developed and trained three convolutional neural network models to identify fossil pollen specimens from an unknown group of legumes.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Rosemary Keane
rkeane3@illinois.edu
217-530-5204
University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Public Release: 23-Oct-2020
Journal of American Chemical Society
Chemists develop framework to enable efficient synthesis of 'information-dense' molecules
A team led by scientists at Scripps Research has developed a theoretical approach that could ease the process of making highly complex, compact molecules. Such molecules are often found in plants and other organisms, and many are considered desirable starting points for developing potential new drugs. But they also tend to be highly challenging for chemists to construct and modify in the lab--a process called synthesis.
National Institutes of Health, Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute, Uehara Memorial Foundation, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kelly Quigley
kquigley@scripps.edu
Scripps Research Institute

Public Release: 23-Oct-2020
Science Advances
Coastal permafrost more susceptible to climate change than previously thought
Research led by Micaela Pedrazas, who earned her masters at The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences working with Professor Bayani Cardenas, has found permafrost to be mostly absent throughout the shallow seafloor along a coastal field site in northeastern Alaska. That means carbon can be released from coastline sources much more easily than previously thought.
Geology Foundation at The University of Texas at Austin, National Science Foundation, Beaufort Lagoon Ecosystems LTER, Geological Society of America, Ivanhoe Foundation, Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Contact: Monica Kortsha
mkortsha@jsg.utexas.edu
832-768-0915
University of Texas at Austin

Public Release: 23-Oct-2020
Science Advances
SPOTlight supercharges cell studies
Researchers develop a new method to isolate specific cells, and in the process find a more robust fluorescent protein.
Baylor College of Medicine, McNair Medical Foundation, Welch Foundation, Klingenstein-Simons Foundation, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

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

Public Release: 23-Oct-2020
Gut
Easy home cancer test means patients can avoid hospital for colonoscopies
Findings from the largest international research study found that using FIT is almost 100% accurate at ruling out bowel cancer in patients with suspicious symptoms. During COVID, cancer diagnostics services were suspended and continue to be disrupted. Clinicians in London, along with NHS England, London region, agreed to rapidly implement the use of the same easy home test used in the bowel cancer screening programme, the FIT (faecal immunochemical test), to rule out cancer in people with suspected symptoms.
NHSE Cancer Transformation Fund, RM Partners, NIHR, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Contact: Ricki Ostrov
ricki.ostrov@nhs.net
07-837-027-277
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Public Release: 23-Oct-2020
Science Advances
Where will the seabirds go?
A new study of a 14,000-year record, published in Science Advances, shows that seabird poop transformed an entire ecosystem in the Falkland Islands, raising questions about the birds' survival and the potential impact of climate change on sensitive terrestrial-marine ecosystems
NSF IGERT

Contact: Lori Friedman
lof214@lehigh.edu
323-377-4312
Lehigh University

Public Release: 23-Oct-2020
Science Advances
Seabird response to abrupt climate change 5,000 years ago transformed Falklands ecosystems
A 14,000-year paleoecological reconstruction of the sub-Antarctic islands led by University of Maine researchers has found that seabird establishment occurred during a period of regional cooling 5,000 years ago. Their populations, in turn, shifted the Falkland Islands ecosystems through the deposit of high concentrations of guano that helped nourish tussac, produce peat and increase the incidence of fire.
National Science Foundation, Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change IGERT program grant

Contact: Jacquelyn Gill
jacquelyn.gill@maine.edu
207-581-2305
University of Maine

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
Behavioral Ecology
DNA in fringe-lipped bat poop reveals unexpected eating habits
By examining the poop of the fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus), a team at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) encountered surprising results about its eating habits and foraging abilities.
The Smithsonian Institution, the National Science Foundation DDIG #1210655, P.E.O. Scholar Award

Contact: Leila Nilipour
nilipourl@si.edu
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
MNRAS
Galactic archaeology
Computational astrophysics study modeled for the first time faint supernovae of metal-free first stars, yielding carbon-enhanced abundance patterns for star formation. Study investigated formation of first stars and the origin of elements heavier than hydrogen, helium, lithium. XSEDE allocations on systems Stampede2 of TACC and Comet of SDSC; Georgia Tech PACE Hive cluster aided researchers explorations of carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars.
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, National Science Foundation, NASA, XSEDE, Georgia Tech PACE

Contact: Jorge Salazar
jorge@tacc.utexas.edu
512-471-3980
University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
Scientific Reports -- Nature
Ancient Maya built sophisticated water filters
Ancient Maya in the once-bustling city of Tikal built sophisticated water filters using natural materials they imported from miles away, according to the University of Cincinnati. A multidisciplinary team of UC anthropologists, geographers and biologists identified quartz and zeolite, a crystalline compound consisting of silicon and aluminum, that created a natural molecular sieve. Both minerals are used in modern water filtration.
Court Family Foundation, Charles Phelps Taft Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
RIT scientist receives NSF funding to explore cellular compartmentalization in bacteria
A Rochester Institute of Technology scientist received funding from the National Science Foundation to better understand the fundamental rules that allow bacteria to compartmentalize the functions within their cells. The $559,000 NSF grant will allow Moumita Das, an associate professor in RIT's School of Physics and Astronomy, to explore the role phase separation plays in this process.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Luke Auburn
luke.auburn@rit.edu
Rochester Institute of Technology

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes: Tannic acid encapsulation protects transplanted islets from rejection
One therapy for Type 1 diabetes is promising -- transplanting pancreatic islets from cadavers -- but a need for immunosuppression and a reactivated autoimmunity lead to low graft viability and function after five years. Now researchers show that a protective coating of alternating layers of two biopolymers delays allograft and autoimmune-mediated rejection in mouse models of T1D.
National Institutes of Health, JDRF, National Science Foundation

Contact: Jeff Hansen
jeffhans@uab.edu
205-209-2355
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
ACS Nano Letters
Cicada-inspired waterproof surfaces closer to reality, researchers report
A multidisciplinary group that studies the physical and chemical properties of insect wings has demonstrated the ability to reproduce the nanostructures that help cicada wings repel water and prevent bacteria from establishing on the surface. The new technique - which uses commercial nail polish - is economical and straightforward, and the researchers said it will help fabricate future high-tech waterproof materials.
US Army Corps of Engineers' Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, National Science Foundation, Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology

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

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
Nature Communications
Finally, a way to see molecules 'wobble'
Researchers at the University of Rochester and the Fresnel Institute in France have found a way to visualize those molecules in even greater detail, showing their position and orientation in 3D, and even how they wobble and oscillate. This could shed invaluable insights into the biological processes involved, for example, when a cell and the proteins that regulate its functions react to a COVID-19 virus.
National Science Foundation, Excellence Initiative of Aix-Marseille University, European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, CONACYT Doctoral Fellowship program

Contact: Bob Marcotte
bmarcotte@ur.rochester.edu
University of Rochester

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
Researchers examine impact of digital information on COVID-19 decisions and behavior
Misra and Wernstedt have received a Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant from the NSF to conduct a survey among 400 respondents in five metropolitan areas in the United States -- Washington, DC; New York; Chicago; Houston; and Atlanta -- that will track differences in risk perceptions, preferences, and self-reported behaviors within each area and compare them across locations. The study commenced in April, and data will be collected at multiple time points during the remainder of 2020 and through the middle of 2021.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Emily Roediger
eroedig@vt.edu
540-231-2108
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
Researchers eye a system that uses marine microplastics to get rid of marine microplastics
Tiny particles of plastic, called microplastics, pose a host of environmental problems in marine ecosystems and beyond. Recent research has found that these microplastics are found in more places, and in larger amounts, than anyone anticipated. Now researchers are working to develop a self-sustaining system that uses microplastics to capture more microplastics.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
GeoHealth
Simple actions can help people survive landslides
Simple actions can dramatically improve a person's chances of surviving a landslide, according to records from 38 landslides in the US and around the world. People who survived landslides tended to show key behaviors such as being aware of the risk, moving to higher ground, and making noise if buried.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
Nature Communications
Grafting with epigenetically-modified rootstock yields surprise
Novel grafted plants -- consisting of rootstock epigenetically modified to "believe" it has been under stress -- joined to an unmodified scion, or above-ground shoot, give rise to progeny that are more vigorous, productive and resilient than the parental plants.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Contact: Sara LaJeunesse
sdl13@psu.edu
814-777-3833
Penn State

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
Nature Biomedical Engineering
A wearable sensor to help ALS patients communicate
MIT researchers have designed a skin-like device that can be attached to the face and measure small movements such as a twitch or a smile. With this approach, patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) could communicate a variety of sentiments with small movements that are measured and interpreted by the device.
MIT Media Lab Consortium, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Contact: Sarah McDonnell
s_mcd@mit.edu
617-460-9583
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 22-Oct-2020
Science
How'd we get so picky about friendship late in life? Ask the chimps
When humans age, they tend to favor small circles of meaningful, already established friendships rather than seek new ones. People are also more likely to lean toward positive relationships rather than ones that bring tension or conflict. These behaviors were thought to be unique to humans but it turns out chimpanzees, one of our closest living relatives, have these traits, too. The study shows what's believed to be the first evidence of nonhuman animals actively selecting who they socialize with during aging.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Sloan Foundation, Leakey Foundation

Contact: Juan Siliezar
juan_siliezar@harvard.edu
401-280-3061
Harvard University

Public Release: 21-Oct-2020
PLOS ONE
Covid-19 interventions can cut virus infections, severe outcomes, and healthcare needs
Non-pharmaceutical interventions such as voluntary shelter-in-place, quarantines, and other steps taken to control the SARS-CoV-2 virus can reduce the peak number of infections, daily infection rates, cumulative infections, and overall deaths, a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE has found.
National Science Foundation Research Fellowship

Contact: John Toon
jtoon@gatech.edu
404-894-6986
Georgia Institute of Technology

Showing releases 451-475 out of 1151.

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