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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

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Showing releases 1-25 out of 1171.

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Public Release: 20-Nov-2018
Nature Communications
When storing memories, brain prioritizes those experiences that are most rewarding
A Columbia University study finds that overnight the brain automatically preserves memories for important events and filters out the rest, revealing new insights into the processes that guide decision making and behavior.
National Institute of Health, McKnight Foundation, National Science Foundation

Contact: Carla Cantor
carla.cantor@columbia.edu
212-854-5276
Columbia University

Public Release: 20-Nov-2018
Nature Climate Change
Is Antarctica becoming more like Greenland?
Antarctica is high and dry and mostly bitterly cold, and it's easy to think of its ice and snow as locked away in a freezer, protected from melt except around its low-lying coasts and floating ice shelves. But that view may be wrong.
Leverhulme/Newton Trust Early Career Fellowship National Science Foundation

Contact: Alison Banwell
alison.banwell@colorado.edu
720-569-7217
University of Colorado at Boulder

Public Release: 20-Nov-2018
Energy & Environmental Science
How to convert climate-changing carbon dioxide into plastics and other products
Rutgers scientists have developed catalysts that can convert carbon dioxide -- the main cause of global warming -- into plastics, fabrics, resins and other products.
Rutgers TechAdvance, BASF Catalysis Division, Rutgers University, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, Pray Family Fund

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

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Ground and stream water clues reveal shale drilling impacts
Chemical clues in waters near Marcellus Shale gas wells in rural Pennsylvania can identify new drilling-related sources of methane contamination, according to scientists.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Conference
Illinois professor recognized for passenger screening research after 9-11 attacks
As Professor Sheldon Jacobson watched the September 2001 terrorist attacks unfold, he was among the many Americans who realized that life was about to change. What he did not know was that a National Science Foundation-funded research project he began just days before would be part of that change, creating the groundwork for The Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck system. Precheck uses risk profiles to try to focus air security resources on higher-risk passengers.
National Science Foundation

Contact: David Mercer
dmercer@illinois.edu
217-300-5311
University of Illinois College of Engineering

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Physical Review X
'Magnetic topological insulator' makes its own magnetic field
A team of U.S. and Korean physicists has found the first evidence of a two-dimensional material that can become a magnetic topological insulator even when it is not placed in a magnetic field.
National Science Foundation, Robert A. Welch Foundation, National Research Foundation of Korea, Department of Energy

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

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Geophysical Research Letters
'True polar wander' may have caused ice age
Earth's latest ice age may have been caused by changes deep inside the planet. Based on evidence from the Pacific Ocean, including the position of the Hawaiian Islands.
National Science Foundation

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

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
As climate and land-use change accelerate, so must efforts to preserve California's plants
A UC Berkeley team developed a computer model that identifies the high-priority areas in California for preservation in order to save the state's native plants in the face of rapid climate change and habitat destruction. The model is based on three measures of biodiversity: genetic uniqueness (divergence), historic speciation rate (diversification) and independent evolutionary history (survival), but also includes assessments of how badly the area is degraded and thus whether it is worth the effort.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robert Sanders
rlsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Kindergarten difficulties may predict academic achievement across primary grades
Identifying factors that predict academic difficulties during elementary school should help inform efforts to help children who may be at risk. New Penn State research suggests that children's executive functions may be a particularly important risk factor for such difficulties.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kristie Auman Bauer
kma147@psu.edu
814-865-7011
Penn State

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Physical Review Letters
Current climate models underestimate warming by black carbon aerosol
Researchers in the School of Engineering & Applied Science have discovered a new, natural law that sheds light on the fundamental relationship between coated black carbon and light absorption.
National Science Foundation, NASA Radiation Sciences Program, Department of Energy

Contact: Brandie Michelle Jefferson
brandie.jefferson@wustl.edu
314-935-5272
Washington University in St. Louis

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Researchers discover a new gear in life's clock: Vitamin D
Researchers at Portland State University discover that vitamin D plays a key role in embryonic development in vertebrates and by blocking vitamin D in embryos of zebrafish, researchers were able to induce dormancy in a species that doesn't enter dormancy. The discovery could have major implications in human health research.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Jason Podrabsky
podrabsj@pdx.edu
503-725-2213
Portland State University

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Jumping genes shed light on how advanced life may have emerged
A previously unappreciated interaction in the genome turns out to have possibly been one of the driving forces in the emergence of advanced life. This discovery began with a curiosity for retrotransposons, known as "jumping genes," which are DNA sequences that copy and paste themselves within the genome, multiplying rapidly. Researchers inserted a retrotransposon into bacteria, and the results could give depth to the history of how advanced life may have emerged billions of years ago.
National Science Foundation Center for the Physics of Living Cells, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, NASA Astrobiology Institute through the Science Mission Directorate

Contact: Nicholas Vasi
nvasi@illinois.edu
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Nature Communications
Princeton geneticist solves long-standing finch beak mystery
Princeton biologist Bridgett vonHoldt is best known for her work with canines, but when she compared the genes of large-beaked Cameroonian finches to those of their smaller-beaked counterparts, she found the answer to a 20-year old mystery: 300,000 base pairs, apparently inherited as a unit, always varied between them, and right in the middle of that genetic sequence was the well-known growth factor, IGF-1.
Republic of Cameroon, National Geographic Society, National Environmental Research Council, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Searle Scholars Fellowship

Contact: Liz Fuller-Wright
lizfw@princeton.edu
609-258-5729
Princeton University

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Nature
Study reveals importance of 'cryptic connections' in disease transmission
A new study of disease transmission in bats has broad implications for understanding the hidden connections that can spread diseases between species and lead to large-scale outbreaks.
National Science Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bat Conservation International

Contact: Tim Stephens
shj@ucsc.edu
831-459-4347
University of California - Santa Cruz

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Nature
Researchers discover how 'cryptic' connections in disease transmission influence epidemics
A new study by researchers of disease transmission in bats has broad implications for understanding hidden connections that can spread diseases between species and lead to large-scale outbreaks.
National Science Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bat Conservation International

Contact: Kristin Rose
krisrose@vt.edu
540-231-6614
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Nature
Antarctic melting slows atmospheric warming and speeds sea level rise
Current climate models do not include the effects on the global climate of melting ice from Antarctica. The new research is the first to project how the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet will affect future climate. The researchers found that the entire Earth will continue warming, but the atmosphere will warm more slowly because more of the heat will be trapped in the ocean.
National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA

Contact: Mari N. Jensen
mnjensen@email.arizona.edu
520-626-9635
University of Arizona

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Nature
The 'Swiss Army knife of prehistoric tools' found in Asia, suggests homegrown technology
A study by an international team of researchers, including from the University of Washington, determines that carved stone tools, also known as Levallois cores, were used in Asia 80,000 to 170,000 years ago. With the find -- and absent human fossils linking the tools to migrating populations -- researchers believe people in Asia developed the technology independently, evidence of similar sets of skills evolving throughout different parts of the ancient world.
Australian Research Council, National Science Foundation of China, University of Wollongong, China Scholarship Council, Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology

Contact: Kim Eckart
keckart@uw.edu
University of Washington

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Nature Communications
Rare and diverse giant viruses unexpectedly found in a forest soil ecosystem
Until recently, scientists thought of viruses as mostly small infectious agents, tiny compared to typical bacteria and human cells. So imagine the surprise when biologist Jeff Blanchard and Ph.D. student Lauren Alteio at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with others at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), discovered giant viruses -- relatively speaking the size of Macy's parade day balloons -- in soil at Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, DOE/Office of Science Graduate Student Research

Contact: Janet Lathrop
jlathrop@umass.edu
413-545-2989
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Major natural carbon sink may soon become carbon source
Peatlands in some parts of the world, including Canada, Siberia and Southeast Asia, have already turned into significant carbon sources. The same fate may be coming soon for the Peruvian peatlands.
National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy

Contact: Kayla Zacharias
kzachar@purdue.edu
765-494-9318
Purdue University

Public Release: 19-Nov-2018
Journal of Experimental Biology
Swifts ride air currents to catch a free lunch
Soaring swifts barely come down to earth and now it turns out that these perpetual aviators are the ultimate gliders, essentially riding air currents and thermals for free while snapping up lunch.
National Science Foundation, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Universite de Rennes

Contact: Kathryn Knight
kathryn.knight@biologists.com
44-012-236-32871
The Company of Biologists

Public Release: 16-Nov-2018
NSF funds research predicting gene mutations via computational algorithms
Virginia Tech and Colorado State University researchers have been awarded a $1.52 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop new algorithms and mathematical models with the goal of predicting the effects of novel combinations of gene mutations in living cells. They will apply this computational framework to models of cell growth and division in budding yeast.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Kristin Rose
krisrose@vt.edu
540-231-6614
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 16-Nov-2018
Scientific Reports
Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria
Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution.
DOE's Office of Science, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Contact: Stephanie Kossman
skossman@bnl.gov
631-344-8671
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

Public Release: 16-Nov-2018
Environment International
Long-term exposure to road traffic noise may increase the risk of obesity
Long term exposure to road traffic noise is associated with increased risk of obesity. This was the conclusion of a study involving the participation of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). The study has been published in Environment International.
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), Swiss Federal Office for the Environment

Contact: Pau Rubio
pau.rubio@isglobal.org
003-769-691-2841
Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)

Public Release: 16-Nov-2018
National Science Review
Smart data enhances atomic force microscopy
In this work, researchers use scanning probe microscopy (SPM) as an example to demonstrate deep data methodology for nanosciences, transitioning from brute-force analytics such as data mining, correlation analysis and unsupervised classification to informed and/or targeted causative data analytics built on sound physical understanding.
National Key Research and Development Program of China, US National Science Foundation, National Natural Science Foundation of China

Contact: Jiangyu Li
jjli@u.washington.edu
Science China Press

Public Release: 15-Nov-2018
Geophysical Research Letters
Half of the world's annual precipitation falls in just 12 days, new study finds
Currently, half of the world's measured precipitation that falls in a year falls in just 12 days, according to a new analysis of data collected at weather stations across the globe. By century's end, climate models project that this lopsided distribution of rain and snow is likely to become even more skewed, with half of annual precipitation falling in 11 days.
Department of Energy, National Science Foundation

Contact: David Hosansky
hosansky@ucar.edu
303-497-8611
National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Showing releases 1-25 out of 1171.

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