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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 651-675 out of 1121.

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Public Release: 17-Jul-2017
Nature Communications
A new ligand extends the half-life of peptide drugs from minutes to days
EPFL scientists have developed a ligand molecule that connects peptide drugs to blood-serum albumin and keeps them from being cleared out by the kidneys too soon. The ligand is easy to synthesize and can extend the half-life of therapeutic peptides from minutes to several days.
Swiss National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 17-Jul-2017
Nature Physics
First experimental observation of new type of entanglement in a 2-D quantum material
Scientists from EPFL and PSI have shown experimentally, for the first time, a quantum phase transition in strontium copper borate, the only material to date that realizes a famous quantum many-body model.
Swiss National Science Foundation, Royal Society, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Science Without Borders Program of CNPq/MCTI-Brazil, National Research Foundation of Singapore

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

Public Release: 17-Jul-2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Invasive plant species can enhance coastal ecosystems
Invasive plant species like seaweed can provide vital ecosystem functions in coastal areas where native habitats such as salt marshes and oyster reefs have severely declined. A Duke study finds that invasive species could be used to offset the loss of native habitats that provide storm protection, food production and other benefits to billions of people.
National Science Foundation, Duke University, Stolarz Foundation, UNC-Wilmington, Royal Society of New Zealand

Contact: Tim Lucas
tdlucas@duke.edu
919-613-8084
Duke University

Public Release: 14-Jul-2017
Scientific Reports
FSU researcher makes deep-sea coral reefs discovery in depths of the North-Pacific
FSU researcher discovers improbable coral reefs in the hostile waters of the North Pacific.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kathleen Haughney
khaughney@fsu.edu
850-644-1489
Florida State University

Public Release: 14-Jul-2017
Nature Ecology & Evolution
Ecological underpinnings of rural poverty
A first-of-its-kind effort to examine the ecological drivers of rural poverty combines economic, ecological and epidemiological models. The lessons learned could inform interventions to lift people out of poverty.
National Institutes of Health, James S. McDonnell Foundation, National Science Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies

Contact: Rob Jordan
rjordan@stanford.edu
650-721-1881
Stanford University

Public Release: 14-Jul-2017
Science Advances
Fluorine grants white graphene new powers
Fluorination of hexagonal boron nitride, a common insulator, turns it into a magnetic semiconductor. That may make the heat-resistant material suitable for electronics and sensors in extreme environments.
US Department of Defense, Air Force Office of Scientific Research MURI, National Science Foundation, Indian Department of Science and Technology Nano Mission

Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University

Public Release: 13-Jul-2017
Environmental Science & Technology
Mountaintop coal mining causes Appalachian rivers to run 'consistently saltier'
Over time, alkaline salts and other contaminants from the coal residue and crushed rocks in valley fills leach into nearby streams and rivers, degrading water quality and causing dramatic increases in salinity that are harmful to downstream ecosystems.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Fabian Nippgen
fabian.nippgen@uwyo.edu
307-766-2263
University of Wyoming

Public Release: 13-Jul-2017
Precambrian Research
Ancient plankton-like microfossils span 2 continents
Large, robust, lens-shaped microfossils from the approximately 3.4 billion-year-old Kromberg Formation of the Kaapvaal Craton in eastern South Africa are not only among the oldest elaborate microorganisms known, but are also related to other intricate microfossils of the same age found in the Pilbara Craton of Australia, according to an international team of scientists.
NASA Astrobiology Program, Planetary Space Institute, Louisiana State University Council for Research, Louisiana Space Consortium, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 13-Jul-2017
Robotics: Science and Systems 2017
Research makes robots better at following spoken instructions
A new software system helps robots to more effectively act on instructions from people, who by nature give commands that range from simple and straightforward to those that are more complex and imply a myriad of subtasks.
National Science Foundation, DARPA, NASA

Contact: Kevin Stacey
kevin_stacey@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University

Public Release: 13-Jul-2017
Climatic Change
Climate change could mean more weight restrictions and higher costs for airlines
As air temperatures rise at constant pressure, the density of air declines and this makes it harder for an airplane to take off. Increased air temperatures due to climate change could therefore present a new challenge for the aviation industry. This is according to Ethan Coffel of Columbia University in the US, lead author of a study in Climatic Change Letters which is a section in Springer's journal Climatic Change.
National Science Foundation, US DOI

Contact: Elizabeth Hawkins
elizabeth.hawkins@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer

Public Release: 13-Jul-2017
Current Biology
How social rank can trigger vulnerability to stress
EPFL scientists have identified rank in social hierarchies as a major determining factor for vulnerability to chronic stress. They also show that energy metabolism in the brain is a predictive biomarker for social status as well as stress vulnerability and resilience.
Swiss National Science Foundation, NCCR Synapsy, EPFL, EPFL Fellows/Marie Curie Fellowships

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

Public Release: 13-Jul-2017
Nature Communications
Researchers develop dynamic templates critical to printable electronics technology
When it comes to efficiency, sometimes it helps to look to Mother Nature for advice -- even in technology as advanced as printable, flexible electronics. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed bio-inspired dynamic templates used to manufacture organic semiconductor materials that produce printable electronics. It uses a process similar to biomineralization -- the way that bones and teeth form. This technique is eco-friendly, which gives the researchers the chance to return the favor to nature.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program

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

Public Release: 13-Jul-2017
NYU Tandon & NSF launch experiment to attract women & minorities to STEM entrepreneurship
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $500,000 to New York University's Tandon School of Engineering's Convergence of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Institute to attract, instruct, and mentor student entrepreneurs -- particularly women -- in ways to use STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Among the CIE's goals is to support diversity in STEM entrepreneurship, and to that end, teams with a desire to connect meaningful social change to innovation were encouraged to apply.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
ACS Nano Letters
Clemson researchers illuminate the field of microscopy with nanoparticle 'buckyswitch'
Clemson University scientists develop a nanoparticle "switch" that fluoresces to sharpen the resolution of microscopic images that depict small cellular structures.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Hannah Halusker
hhalusk@clemson.edu
864-656-3627
Clemson University

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant
Nature
Study finds toxic mercury is accumulating in the Arctic tundra
Vast amounts of toxic mercury are accumulating in the Arctic tundra, threatening the health and well-being of people, wildlife and waterways, according to a UMass Lowell scientist investigating the source of the pollution.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, European Research Council, French National Centre for Scientific Research

Contact: Nancy Cicco
Nancy_Cicco@uml.edu
978-934-4944
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
Geophysical Research Letters
Slow earthquakes occur continuously in the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone
Seismologists at the University of California, Riverside studying earthquakes in the seismically and volcanically active Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone have found that 'slow earthquakes' are occurring continuously, and could encourage damaging earthquakes. Slow earthquakes are quiet, can be as large as magnitude 7, and last days to years. Taking place mainly at the boundary between tectonic plates, they happen so slowly that people don't feel them.
National Science Foundation-Division of Earth Sciences, EarthScope, United States Geological Survey, the Alaska Volcano Observatory

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Rice scientists simplify the incorporation of nitrogen into molecules
Rice University scientists generalize the synthesis of aminating agents to simplify the design and manufacture of drugs and other fine chemicals in which nitrogen atoms play key roles. Each of these agents contains an active electrophilic nitrogen atom to help chemists forge carbon-nitrogen bonds more easily than ever.
National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Robert A. Welch Foundation, Amgen, Biotage

Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
Scientific Reports
OU team details foreshock activities leading up to Pawnee earthquake
A University of Oklahoma geophysics professor, Xiaowei Chen, details the foreshock activities leading up to the Pawnee earthquake, and highlights the complicated relationship between seismicity and wastewater injection rates in a research study published this week in Scientific Reports. The study details the precursory earthquake (foreshock) sequences that culminated in the September 3, 2016, 5.8 magnitude earthquake near Pawnee, Okla., which ruptured along the previously unmapped Sooner Lake Fault.
Oklahoma Governor's Emergency Fund, National Science Foundation

Contact: Jana Smith
jana.smith@ou.edu
405-325-1322
University of Oklahoma

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
ACS Central Science
Metal-free MRI contrast agent could be safer for some patients
Researchers from MIT and the University of Nebraska have developed a metal-free MRI contrast agent that could be safer for certain patients. The compound contains organic molecules called nitroxides instead of metal and may be used to generate more informative MRI scans of tumors.
NIH/National of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIH/National Cancer Institute, National Science Foundation, Wellcome-Trust MIT Postdoctoral Fellowship, Koch Institute Support Grant

Contact: Sarah McDonnell
s_mcd@mit.edu
617-253-8923
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
Graduate research fellow investigates how fungi and fire enable pine savanna ecosystem to thrive
With a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Hopkins will investigate the relationship between fire and the way fungi and plants in pine savannas support each other, dubbed 'mutualisms.'
National Science Foundation

Contact: Brendan M Lynch
brendan@ku.edu
785-864-8855
University of Kansas

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
How migrating birds 'run a marathon,' burning muscles and organs in long flights
Migrating birds complete long non-stop flights of many hours for songbirds and days for some shorebirds to reach breeding or wintering grounds. During such flights a bird's metabolic rate is very high, fueled by stored fat, but also by burning the protein in muscles and organs in a process that is not well understood, says eco-physiologist Alexander Gerson at UMass Amherst. He has a new grant to study the processes involved.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@umass.edu
413-545-0444
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
Social Psychological and Personality Science
To attract more students to STEM, highlight communal aspects of STEM careers
New research highlights the importance of showing students the communal aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers in order to attract more students to STEM classes and careers. The research is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
National Science Foundation/Research on Gender in Science and Engineering

Contact: Annie Drinkard
adrinkard@spsp.org
Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
PLOS ONE
Study reveals the hidden ways math helps us in everyday life
A psychological intervention implemented to help students cope and learn more in a tough statistics course did more than just help them in the class, a new study found. It also helped them demonstrate better financial literacy and make better health-related decisions during the semester they took the course.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Ellen Peters
Peters.498@osu.edu
Ohio State University

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
PLOS ONE
Using the stairs just got easier with energy-recycling steps
Researchers have created energy-recycling stairs that store a user's energy during descent and return energy to the user during ascent, making walking up and down stairs easier. When going up, the stairs give people a boost by releasing the stored energy, making it 37 percent easier on the knee than using conventional stairs.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jason
maderer@gatech.edu
404-660-2926
Georgia Institute of Technology

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017
Advanced Materials Technologies
Soft and stretchy fabric-based sensors for wearable robots
Wearable technologies are exploding in popularity, but most of the electronic sensors that detect and transmit data from wearables are made of hard, inflexible materials that can restrict both the wearer's natural movements and the accuracy of the data collected. Now, a team of researchers at the Wyss Institute and SEAS at Harvard University has created a highly sensitive soft sensor that leverages textiles in its construction, setting the stage for integration with fabric to make 'smart' robotic apparel.
National Science Foundation, Tubitak, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Warrior Web Program

Contact: Lindsay Brownell
lindsay.brownell@wyss.harvard.edu
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

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