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National Science Foundation
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.47 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Effects could extend from base of food chain to native hunters
11 June, 2006
Physical changes, including rising air and seawater temperatures and decreasing seasonal ice cover, appear to be the cause of a series of biological changes in the northern Bering Sea ecosystem that could have long-range and irreversible effects on the animals that live there and on the people who depend on them for their livelihoods.
New Crystal Sponge triples hydrogen storage
11 June, 2006
In a step toward making cars that can run on hydrogen rather than gasoline a reality, chemists at UCLA and the University of Michigan have announced a new 'crystal sponge' material that can store in its pores nearly three times more hydrogen than any substance known previously.
New study raises questions about sustainability of metal resources
11 June, 2006
Researchers studying supplies of copper, zinc and other metals have determined that these finite resources, even if recycled, may not meet the needs of the global population forever. According to the study, if all nations were to use the same services enjoyed in developed nations, even the full extraction of metals from the Earth's crust and extensive recycling programs may not meet future demand.
New process builds Electronics Into Optical Fiber
10 June, 2006
Scientists from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom have demonstrated a new way to combine microelectronics and optical fibers, a development that opens up potential applications in fields as diverse as medicine, computing and remote sensing.
New NSF aircraft to probe hazardous atmospheric whirlwinds
10 June, 2006
Today, the nation's most-advanced research aircraft will take flight on its first science mission. Scientists aboard will study a severe type of atmospheric turbulence that forms near mountains and endangers planes flying in the vicinity.
New devices will enable a deeper and broader understanding of Earth's environment
10 June, 2006
Humidity sensors monitor fire danger in remote areas. Nitrate sensors detect agricultural runoff in rivers and streams. Seismic monitors provide early warnings of earthquakes.
New ultra-fast and ultra-versatile scanner takes chemical analysis to the field
09 June, 2006
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new, ultra-fast chemical-analysis system, with potential applications that range from sniffing luggage for explosive residues to detecting molecular disease markers in urine samples.
Researchers discover molecular details for maintenance of genetic fitness
09 June, 2006
New data suggest that molecular communication between the plant sexes is more complicated than originally thought. Plants, like animals, avoid inbreeding to maximize genetic diversity and the associated chances for survival. For decades, scientists have sought to fully understand the plant's molecular system for recognizing and rejecting 'self' so that inbreeding does not occur.
Discovery of small, rocky, extrasolar world suggests such planets may be common
09 June, 2006
Using a relatively new planet-hunting technique that can spot worlds one-tenth the mass of our own, researchers have discovered a potentially rocky, icy body that may be the smallest planet yet found orbiting a star outside our solar system. The discovery suggests the technique, gravitational microlensing, may be an exceptional technology for finding distant planets with traits that could support life.
Novel application of MRI leads to new tools for online dissection of preserved fishes
08 June, 2006
The same medical technology used to image brain tumors and torn knee ligaments is now taking the field of marine biology to a new dimension: anyone with Internet access will be able to look at fish as never before.
New analytical tools are giving researchers better insight into plant aromatics
08 June, 2006
A trip to the neighborhood florist is proof positive that flowers have an array of scents to pique our senses, but researchers are also investigating the myriad other functions of these aromas--known to scientists as 'plant volatiles.' Typically liquid substances that evaporate easily at average temperatures, plant volatiles play important ecological roles from attracting pollinators to repulsing herbivores and from destroying microorganisms to dispersing seed.
Researchers sequenced the genomes of ocean microbes living in the Pacific ocean
08 June, 2006
Scientists have sequenced and compared the genomes of planktonic microbes living throughout the water column in the Pacific Ocean. The pioneering study yielded insight into the specialization of microbial communities at each depth, ranging from 40 to more than 13,000 feet.
Computers say the last melting of Greenland's Ice sheet occured under conditions like today's
07 June, 2006
Ice sheets covering both the Arctic and Antarctic could melt more quickly than expected this century, according to two studies that blend computer modeling with paleoclimate records. Led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Arizona, the studies show that by 2100, Arctic summers may be as warm as they were nearly 130,000 years ago when sea levels rose to 20 feet (6 meters) higher than they are today.
New instruments on Alaska's Augustine Volcano provide new insights into Volcanic processes
07 June, 2006
As Alaska's Augustine Volcano erupts and sends a plume of ash more than 40,000 feet into the air, instruments on the ground are recording rumblings at the volcano's surface. The data collected will provide new insights into the inner workings of volcanoes along the Pacific rim.
Worldwide study reveals nature encourages diversity in tropical forests
07 June, 2006
An analysis of seven tropical forests around the world has found that nature encourages species diversity by selecting for less common trees as the trees mature. The landmark study, which was conducted by 33 ecologists from 12 countries and published in this week's issue of the journal Science, conclusively demonstrates that diversity matters and has ecological importance to tropical forests.
Finding leads to new conclusions about marine environment
06 June, 2006
New evidence from open-sea experiments shows there's a constant shuffling of genetic material going on among the ocean's tiny plankton. It happens via ocean-dwelling viruses, scientists report this week in the journal Science.
Scientists discover oldest-known and most-primitive Tyrannosaur
06 June, 2006
Scientists have discovered a new genus and species of dinosaur, which is also the oldest-known and most-primitive tyrannosaur. Guanlong wucaii, the newly discovered dinosaur, was much smaller, however, than its gigantic and legendary relative, the 15-foot tall, 40-foot long Tyrannosaurus rex.
New polymer use may yield cheaper way to separate hydrogen from impurities
06 June, 2006
Whether it's used in chemical laboratories or the fuel tanks of advanced automobiles, hydrogen is mostly produced from natural gas and other fossil fuels. However, to isolate the tiny hydrogen molecules, engineers must first remove impurities, and the currently available methods can require substantial equipment or toxic chemicals.
Virtual virus takes 100 days on supercomputer, 35 years on a desktop
05 June, 2006
For the first time, researchers have visualized the changing atomic structure of a virus by calculating how each of the virus' one million atoms interacted with each other every femtosecond, or one-millionth-of-a-billionth of a second. A better understanding of viral structures and mechanisms may one day allow researchers to design improved strategies to combat viral infections in plants, animals and even humans.
New nstruments on a tower at NSF's Niwot Ridge LTER site in Colo. measure carbon dioxide
05 June, 2006
A decrease in Rocky Mountain snowfall has slowed the release of heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas from forest soils into the atmosphere during the dead of winter, according to results of a new study.
New model explains sound before sight
05 June, 2006
In most explosions, there's the flash and then the 'bang.' But in the exploding stars known as supernovae, it may be just the opposite. In fact, according to new computer simulations carried out by University of Arizona astronomer Adam Burrows and his colleagues, the bang actually makes the flash.
Using lasers to clear silicon surfaces could make for cheaper, better computer chips and solar cells
04 June, 2006
Researchers have demonstrated a new laser-based technique for stripping hydrogen atoms from the surface of silicon, an advance that could significantly reduce the cost and improve the quality of computer chips, solar cells and a wide variety of other semiconductor devices.
New waterproof superglue may be strongest in nature
04 June, 2006
The glue one species of water-loving bacteria uses to grip its surroundings may be the strongest natural adhesive known to science. If engineers can find a way to mass-produce the material, it could have uses in medicine, marine technology and a range of other applications.
Discovery could have fundamental implications for chemistry
04 June, 2006
By using ultra-short laser pulses to spin a cyanide molecule like a propeller, chemists at the University of Southern California and Brown University have achieved the first known demonstration of near-frictionless motion in water. Although the discovery has no immediate practical use, says USC chemist Stephen Bradforth, 'it impacts how we think about the vast majority of chemical reactions', 90 percent of which take place in liquid solutions.
A gold nanoparticle coated with antisense DNA can disrupt protein production quite effectively
03 June, 2006
By attaching strands of 'antisense' DNA to nanometer-scale particles made of gold, scientists at Northwestern University have significantly enhanced the strands' ability to suppress the production of dangerous proteins, such as those that cause cancer.
U.S.-Taiwan Constellation of Satellites Launched
03 June, 2006
A globe-spanning constellation of six satellites expected to improve weather forecasts, monitor climate change, and enhance space weather research will head into orbit on Fri. April 14, 2006. Barring delays, a Minotaur rocket is scheduled to launch the array at 5:10 p.m. Pacific time from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central Calif. coast.
New key fits old lock
03 June, 2006
Looking back in time some 450 million years, researchers at the University of Oregon have reconstructed the evolution of two hormone molecules and their 'receptors': the precisely shaped protein molecules that allow the body's cells to respond to the hormones.
Ancient plant provides clues to evolutionary mystery
02 June, 2006
The plant species, Amborella trichopoda, which first appeared on Earth 130 million years ago, has a unique reproductive structure, evidence this so-called 'living fossil' may represent a crucial link between modern flowering plants and their predecessors.
Stunted plants may not soak up excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
02 June, 2006
Earth's plant life will not be able to 'store' excess carbon from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as well as scientists once thought because plants likely cannot get enough nutrients, such as nitrogen, when there are higher levels of carbon dioxide, according to scientists publishing in this week's issue of the journal Nature.
New fossils fill the evolutionary gap between fish and land animals
02 June, 2006
Working in rocks more than 375 million years old far above the Arctic Circle, paleontologists have discovered a remarkable new fossil species that represents the most compelling evidence yet of an intermediate stage between fish and early limbed animals.
The new algorithm analysizes gene chips to detect certain cancer genes
01 June, 2006
Researchers at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences have developed a new algorithm that makes it much easier to detect certain cancer genes, and as a test, have applied it to map a set of tumor-suppressor genes involved in lung cancer.
New fossils link Ape-men to more primitive ancestors
01 June, 2006
A team of scientists working in an eastern Ethiopian desert has discovered fossil bones and teeth from individuals they believe link the genus Australopithecus precursors of humans to a decidedly more ape-like animal of the genus Ardipithicus. Because the fossils were found in areas known to contain evidence of both older and younger specimens, the scientists say evidence of when the three hominid types existed will provide valuable information about human evolution.
New research aims to plug holes in Voice over Internet Protocol before they happen
01 June, 2006
The National Science Foundation has issued four awards totaling $600,000 to the University of North Texas to lead a multi-university collaboration to develop a geographically distributed, secure test bed to analyze vulnerabilities in Voice over Internet Protocol, an increasingly popular technology that turns audio signals into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet
Breakthrough study shows genetics underlie altruistic behavior in some lizards
31 May, 2006
Scientists have reported the first direct evidence that cooperative behavior in side-blotched male lizards arises from their genes. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by University of California, Santa Cruz's Barry Sinervo and colleagues, represent some 20 years of research into the altruistic or 'self-sacrificing' behavior.
Devices convert simple motion into electricity
31 May, 2006
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have crafted tiny nanowires that generate electricity when they vibrate. Just like the quartz crystal in a watch, the zinc-oxide nanowires are piezoelectric, which means bending causes them to produce an electrical charge.
Single-molecule diode may change Moore's law of microchip memory
31 May, 2006
Using the power of modern computing combined with innovative theoretical tools, an international team of researchers has determined how a one-way electrical valve, or diode, made of only a single molecule does its job.
Expedition achieves milestone in analyzing atmospheric chemistry
30 May, 2006
A research consortium funded by the National Science Foundation and led by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, has successfully sent a fleet of aerial drones through the pollution-filled skies over the Indian Ocean, thereby achieving an important milestone in the tracking of pollutants responsible for dimming Earth's atmosphere.
First result from new experiment confirms neutrino sscillation
30 May, 2006
By sending a high-intensity beam of subatomic particles known as neutrinos from a laboratory in Batavia, Ill., to a particle detector located deep in a mine in Soudan, Minn., scientists have confirmed the neutrinos really do 'oscillate,' changing from one kind to another as they fly along.
CARMA will produce millimeter-wave images almost as sharp as Hubble's optical images
29 May, 2006
The Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-Wave Astronomy, a joint venture of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Maryland and the University of Illinois, was created by moving the six 10-meter telescopes at Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory, along with nine 6-meter telescopes at the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association array, to a new location at Cedar Flat in the Inyo Mountains near Bishop, Calif.
International collaboration brings up first samples of hard rock called gabbro in intact ocean crust
29 May, 2006
Scientists aboard the research drilling ship JOIDES Resolution have, for the first time, drilled into a fossil magma chamber under intact ocean crust. There, 1.4 kilometers beneath the sea floor, they have recovered samples of gabbro: a hard, black rock that forms when molten magma is trapped beneath Earth's surface and cools slowly.
New species can form within a few generations
29 May, 2006
A common and widespread species of freshwater plankton, called a copepod, forms new species at an uncommonly high rate, scientists have discovered. Indeed, a new study has revealed that what was once believed to be a single copepod species is really a collection of many species.
Aircraft, ground instruments to track carbon dioxide uptake along Colorado's drought-plagued front range
30 April, 2006
As spring turns into summer, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and other institutions will fly a C-130 research aircraft over Colorado's Front Range this May and again in July to measure how much carbon dioxide mountain forests remove from the air. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation. The researchers are developing new methods for assessing carbon uptake over complex terrain on regional scales. Accurate assessments could help show to what extent carbon dioxide storage in Western mountain forests, a potentially important 'sink' for the greenhouse gas, may be slowing down as the ongoing drought affects tree growth.
Cyberinfrastructure poised to revolutionize environmental sciences
13 February, 2006
The convergence of information and communication technologies into a national 'cyberinfrastructure' is poised to revolutionize the environmental sciences and many other disciplines in the coming years, according to researchers presenting at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle. The two Feb. 13 sessions on cyberinfrastructure were organized by the heads of two National Science Foundation directorates.
A new family of self-assembling nanolattices
16 January, 2006
Inspired by the way most solids form in nature, with free-floating molecules spontaneously assembling themselves into a rigid, highly uniform array, researchers from Columbia University and IBM have learned how to create a whole new family of intricate structures out of artificial nanoscale crystals.
The most resilient nanosprings in nature
15 January, 2006
In a discovery that could lead to potent new 'shock absorbers' and 'gate-opening springs' for molecular-scale nanomachines, as well as a new understanding of mechanical processes within living cells, researchers from Duke University have shown that a component of many natural proteins can act as one of the most powerful and resilient molecular springs in nature.
Scientists use deep ocean historical records to find an abrupt ocean circulation reversal
04 January, 2006
Newly published research results provide evidence that global climate change may have quickly disrupted ocean processes and lead to drastic shifts in environments around the world.
New report tells which doctorate holders work the most
03 January, 2006
Computer scientists and engineers work more than mathematicians or psychologists do, and biologists and agricultural scientists work more than everyone, says an NSF survey of the average work weeks of doctoral scientists and engineers.
Modified microscope proves critical to uncovering cell-growth secret
27 December, 2005
Researchers using a customized atomic force microscope have discovered new evidence for how the fibrous scaffolding within our cells, which is made of the protein actin, responds to obstacles in its environment.
New techique provides first clear picture of the center of the Milky Way
23 December, 2005
Using a new laser 'virtual star' at the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii, astronomers have taken the first clear picture of the center of our Milky Way galaxy, including the environs of a supermassive black hole at its very center.
Scientists sink their teeth into lamprey immune system to probe alternate pathogen protection mechanism
23 December, 2005
Researchers recently discovered that the sea lamprey, a modern representative of ancient jawless vertebrates, fights invading pathogens by generating up to 100 trillion unique receptors. These receptors, referred to as VLRs, are proteins and function like antibodies and T-cell receptors, sentinels of the immune system in all jawed vertebrates, including humans.
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