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  News From the National Science Foundation
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Showing releases 626-650 out of 840.

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Public Release: 10-May-2016
ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing
Big thinking in small pieces: Computer guides humans in crowdsourced research
Getting a bunch of people to collectively research and write a coherent report without any one person seeing the big picture may seem akin to a group of toddlers producing Hamlet by randomly pecking at typewriters. But Carnegie Mellon University researchers have shown it actually works pretty well -- if a computer guides the process. Their system, called the Knowledge Accelerator, uses a machine-learning program to sort and organize information uncovered by individuals focused on just a small segment of the larger project.
National Science Foundation, Google, Bosch

Contact: Byron Spice
Carnegie Mellon University

Public Release: 10-May-2016
Environmental Science & Technology Letters
Radioactive isotopes reveal age of oil and gas wastewater spills
A Duke study shows that radium isotopes in soils can be used to determine the age of oil and gas wastewater spills. Three new isotopic age-dating methods developed by the team could be useful for identifying the source of a spill where it's not certain if contamination stems from recent unconventional oil and gas drilling or from older, conventional oil and gas operations in the same watershed.
National Science Foundation, Park Foundation

Contact: Tim Lucas
Duke University

Public Release: 10-May-2016
Hijacked cell division helped fuel rise of fungi
The more than 90,000 known species of fungi may owe their abilities to spread and even cause disease to an ancient virus that hijacked their cell division machinery, researchers report. Over a billion years ago, a viral protein invaded the fungal genome, generating a family of proteins that now play key roles in fungal growth. The research could point to new antifungals that inhibit cell division in fungi but not in their plant or animal hosts.
National Institutes of Health, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Contact: Robin Smith
Duke University

Public Release: 10-May-2016
Journal of Applied Physics
Researchers integrate diamond/boron nitride crystalline layers for high-power devices
Materials researchers have developed a new technique to deposit diamond on the surface of cubic boron nitride, integrating the two materials into a single crystalline structure.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Matt Shipman
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 10-May-2016
American Economic Review
Young women in STEM fields earn up to one-third less than men
One year after they graduate, women with Ph.D.s in science and engineering fields earn 31 percent less than do men, according to a new study using previously unavailable data.
National Science Foundation, NIH/National Institute on Aging, Sloan Foundation, Kauffman Foundation

Contact: Bruce Weinberg
Ohio State University

Public Release: 10-May-2016
Circulation Research: Journal of the American Heart Association
Common antacid linked to accelerated vascular aging
Chronic use of some drugs for heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) speeds up the aging of blood vessels. This accelerated aging in humans could lead to increased cardiovascular disease, vascular dementia and renal failure.
National Institutes of Health, Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: Gale Smith
Houston Methodist

Public Release: 10-May-2016
Circulation Research
Heartburn drug damages blood vessel cells in lab finding
A commonly used heartburn medication caused blood vessel cells to age faster in laboratory testing. These findings could help explain recent reports linking long-term use of heartburn medication to several serious illnesses, including heart disease, kidney disease and dementia. Clinical studies still are necessary to determine if the drugs damage blood vessel cells within the body.
National Institutes of Health, Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact: Akeem Ranmal
American Heart Association

Public Release: 10-May-2016
American Institute of Mathematics Workshop on Higher Rank L-Functions
Exploring the mathematical universe
A team of more than 80 mathematicians from 12 countries has begun charting the terrain of rich, new mathematical worlds, and sharing their discoveries on the Web. The mathematical universe is filled with both familiar and exotic items, many of which are being made available for the first time. The project provides a new tool for several branches of mathematics, physics, and computer science.
American Institute of Mathematics, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, European Commission, Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, National Science Foundation

Contact: David Farmer
American Institute of Mathematics

Public Release: 9-May-2016
New Oligocene primates from China highlight key evolutionary period
In a study published May 6 in Science, Dr. Ni Xijun, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and his team reported the discovery of a diverse primate fauna from the early Oligocene of southern China. Asian and Afro-Arabian primate faunas responded differently to EOT climatic deterioration, indicating that the EOT functioned as a critical evolutionary filter constraining the subsequent course of primate evolution across the Old World.
Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Basic Research Program of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Science Foundation.

Contact: Ni Xijun
Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

Public Release: 9-May-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
UGA study finds Saharan dust affects marine bacteria, potential pathogen Vibrio
Iron can be hard to hard to come by in open marine waters -- except each summer, when atmospherically transported dust from north Africa's Sahara Desert provides pulses of biologically important nutrients, including iron, to the tropical marine waters of the Caribbean and southeastern US. University of Georgia researchers found Vibrio bacteria respond rapidly to this influx of iron-rich Saharan dust, leading to large blooms of the potentially harmful bacteria.
NOAA, National Science Foundation

Contact: Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

Public Release: 9-May-2016
Geophysical Research Letters
UCI sleuths search the seas for soot
UCI scientists have taken water samples from the north Pacific, north and south Atlantic, and Arctic oceans in search of repositories of black carbon, soot from burning biomass and diesel engines, among other sources. There is considerably less of the material than expected, and it exists in at least two varieties, a younger pool near the ocean's surface that cycles on a centennial scale and an ancient reserve that remains stable for millennia.
National Science Foundation, NSF/Chemical Oceanography Program and Arctic Research Opportunities

Contact: Brian Bell
University of California - Irvine

Public Release: 9-May-2016
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
This 5-fingered robot hand learns to get a grip on its own
A University of Washington team of computer science and engineering researchers has built a robot hand that can not only perform dexterous manipulation -- one of the most difficult problems in robotics to solve -- but also learn from its own experience.
National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

Contact: Jennifer Langston
University of Washington

Public Release: 9-May-2016
Ecology Letters
Shellfish response to ocean acidification depends on other stressors
A study of California mussels, a key species in the rocky intertidal ecosystems of the West Coast, indicates that the effects of ocean acidification will vary from place to place along the coast depending on a range of interacting factors. Researchers found that the ability of mussels to cope with more acidic conditions depends largely on how much food is available to them, and both factors vary from place to place.
National Science Foundation, University of California, Packard Foundation

Contact: Tim Stephens
University of California - Santa Cruz

Public Release: 9-May-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
First single-enzyme method to produce quantum dots revealed
Three Lehigh University engineers have successfully demonstrated the first precisely controlled, biological way to manufacture quantum dots using a single-enzyme, paving the way for a significantly quicker, cheaper and greener production method. Their work was recently featured in an article in The New York Times called 'A curious tale of quantum dots.'
National Science Foundation under Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation-Photosynthetic Bioreactor Program

Contact: Lori Friedman
Lehigh University

Public Release: 9-May-2016
New techniques make RFID tags 25 percent smaller
Engineering researchers have developed a suite of techniques that allow them to create passive radio-frequency identification tags that are 25 percent smaller -- and therefore less expensive.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Matt Shipman
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 9-May-2016
Nature Microbiology
Genetic potential of oil-eating bacteria from the BP oil spill decoded
Microbiologists have cracked the genetic code of how bacteria broke down oil to help clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, revealing that some bacteria have far greater potential for consuming oil than was previously known. The findings have applications for responding to future oil spills.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Christine Sinatra
University of Texas at Austin

Public Release: 9-May-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Pitt research yields insight into the mystery of smell
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have uncovered the mechanism underlying a phenomenon in how we smell that has puzzled researchers for several decades. In an article appearing online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team reports that, surprisingly, the mechanism follows a simple physics principle called cooperativity.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Gloria Kreps
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Public Release: 6-May-2016
Science Advances
Study offers clues to better rainfall predictions
Seawater salinity depends largely on how much moisture is evaporated as winds sweep over the ocean. But pinpointing where the moisture rains back down is a complicated question scientists have long contended with. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have found a potential path to better seasonal rainfall predictions. Their study shows a clear link between higher sea surface salinity levels in the North Atlantic and increased rainfall on land in the African Sahel.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, NASA, National Science Foundation

Contact: WHOI Media Relations
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Public Release: 6-May-2016
Science Advances
Scientists track Greenland's ice melt with seismic waves
Researchers from MIT, Princeton University, and elsewhere have developed a new technique to monitor the seasonal changes in Greenland's ice sheet, using seismic vibrations generated by crashing ocean waves. The results, which will be published in the journal Science Advances, may help scientists pinpoint regions of the ice sheet that are most vulnerable to melting. The technique may also set better constraints on how the world's ice sheets contribute to global sea-level changes.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Abby Abazorius
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 6-May-2016
Science Advances
Smartphones uncover how the world sleeps
A pioneering study of worldwide sleep patterns combines math modeling, mobile apps and big data to parse the roles society and biology each play in setting sleep schedules.
Army Research Laboratory, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, National Science Foundation

Contact: Nicole Casal Moore
University of Michigan

Public Release: 5-May-2016
Science Bulletin
The cause of high Tc superconductivity at the interface between FeSe and SrTiO3
In 2012 a superconductor with potentially very high critical temperature was discovered at the interface between an atomically thin iron selenide (FeSe) film grown on strontium titanate (SrTiO3) substrate. Now a research team made up of Beijing and Berkeley scientists have carried out the first approximation-free theoretical study to identify the cause of high critical temperature in such system.
National Science Foundation of China, US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division

Contact: Dung-Hai Lee
Science China Press

Public Release: 5-May-2016
Free-standing 2-legged robot conquers terrain
An unsupported bipedal robot at the University of Michigan can now walk down steep slopes, through a thin layer of snow, and over uneven and unstable ground.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Katherine McAlpine
University of Michigan

Public Release: 5-May-2016
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
IU-led study reveals new insights into light color sensing and transfer of genetic traits
An international team led by Indiana University researchers has uncovered the regulation of a system that allows a globally abundant bacterium to efficiently capture sunlight and perform photosynthesis. The study, conducted in collaboration with researchers in the United States and France, is reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kevin Fryling
Indiana University

Public Release: 5-May-2016
Biological Conservation
Why vultures matter -- and what we lose if they're gone
The primary threat to vultures is the presence of toxins in the carrion they consume. Losses of vultures can allow other scavengers to flourish. And proliferation of such scavengers could bring bacteria and viruses from carcasses into human cities.
National Science Foundation, University of Utah/Office of Sustainability

Contact: Paul Gabrielsen
University of Utah

Public Release: 5-May-2016
Physical Review X
Getting a better measure of spin with diamond
Diamonds are one of the most coveted gemstones. But while some may want the perfect diamond for its sparkle, physicists covet the right diamonds to perfect their experiments. The gem is a key component in a novel system that enables precision measurements that could lead to the discovery of new physics in the sub-atomic realm -- the domain of the particles and forces that build the nucleus of the atom.
US Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Contact: Kandice Carter
DOE/Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Showing releases 626-650 out of 840.

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