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Biology Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Page: Previous |Next (Showing: 121-150 of 254)

Photo of Markita Landry standing with a Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscope. A Trip Abroad to Learn How DNA and Protein Pair Up
Graduate student Markita Landry describes her research, learning experiences and cultural adjustment in Japan as part of NSF's EAPSI program
Released  December 15, 2010
Photo of a banded garden spider waiting for prey to become entangled in its web. Scientists Untangle Spider Web Stickiness
Studying spider silk, NSF-supported researchers learn about the properties of this sticky material, and their findings could lead to new bio-adhesives and glues that work under water
Released  December 3, 2010
Illustration of sulfur dioxide molecules forming weak bonds with water molecules. The Water Dance
A myriad of methods for watching water molecules in motion advances critical understanding of biology, chemistry and climate science
Released  November 28, 2010
Digital organisms self-replicate with different fitness levels and fill empty spaces. Digital Organisms Shed Light on Mystery of Altruism
NSF-supported researchers use digital evolution techniques to examine theories about the evolution of altruism
Released  November 15, 2010
Photo showing a raging torrent of water overflowing its banks in Puerto Rico. Scientists Endure Deluge to Study Tropical Streams
Aspiring ecologist Ashley Golphin, an undergraduate at Kent State, describes the challenges and rewards of conducting research on tropical stream ecosystems in Puerto Rico during the summer rainy season
Released  October 21, 2010
Photo of Andrea Jani collecting arthropods from sleepy grass in Lincoln National Forest, N.M. How Toxic Grass Puts Animals to Sleep
University of North Carolina, Greensboro researchers are studying native grasses to develop a better understanding of the workings of fungal endophytes
Released  October 15, 2010
Photo of a rabbit femur bone showing cracks due to compression at a slow rate. Bone-crushing Experiments Could Yield Better Protective Gear
With NSF support, Nikhil Gupta and Paulo Coelho have pioneered research that reveals surprising insights about the effect of compression on bones, and about the limitations of the foams used for protection in helmets and armor
Released  October 4, 2010
Photo of Basiru Leigh examining worms under a microscope. Worms May Hold Clues to Neurological Disorders
Basiru Leigh is conducting research on motor neuron disease in the Columbia University lab of Oliver Hobert, thanks to an NSF-supported Harlem Children Society science and engineering mentoring program
Released  September 22, 2010
Photo of fourth-graders using Evolution Readiness software. Students Explore Evolution Through Evolution Readiness Project
An interactive computer model helps teach students about evolution.
Released  September 2, 2010
Photo of Kerry Ressler at Yerkes National Research Center. Scientists Investigate Possible 'Fear Drug'
Kerry Ressler's research on the molecular biology of fear could lead to better methods for treating individuals suffering from anxiety disorders
Released  August 5, 2010
Illustration of a double-stranded DNA in a synthetic nanopore revealed by molecular simulation. New Gene Sequencing Method Could Reduce Cost, Increase Speed
Researchers are developing a new kind of DNA sequencer that will make the dream of "reading" a person's genetic code for less than $1,000 a reality
Released  July 16, 2010
Photo showing a petri dish swabbed with a culture of bioluminiscent marine bacteria. Scientists Eavesdrop on Bacteria Conversation
The discovery of how bacteria communicate may lead to new types of antibiotics and ways of improving actions of good bacteria
Released  June 30, 2010
Photo of the natural fluorescence of Acropora millepora under a dissecting microscope. As Corals Die Off, Scientists Watch for Signs of Evolution
Biologist Mikhail Matz uses next-generation sequencers and a massive, NSF-supported supercomputer to study corals at the genomic level and look for evolutionary changes
Released  June 24, 2010
Photo of two people excavating a sampling tunnel into Taylor Glacier. Researchers Hunt Down Antarctic Microbes
Scientists from Louisiana State University look for signs of microbial life in Antarctica's glaciers
Released  June 3, 2010
Photo of researchers collecting a sediment core from Silver Lake, Ohio. Mass Animal Extinctions, Not Climate Change, Caused Major Shifts in Plant Communities
NSF-supported researchers investigate a connection between the disappearance of certain plant communities and the late-Pleistocene extinction of large mammal species in North America
Released  May 26, 2010
A nine-spotted ladybug 'Lost' Ladybugs Found Again in South Dakota
Research entomologist Louis Hesler takes readers along as he and others search for types of ladybugs that were once common but have become extremely rare in eastern North America
Released  May 21, 2010
Photo of a bonobo named Mimi, the alpha female, having a little down time. Humans Have a Lot to Learn From Bonobos, Scientists Say
Duke University Assistant Professor Brian Hare and colleagues study the behavior of bonobos, apes that are genetically close to humans
Released  May 12, 2010
Computer prediction of a novel inhibitor binding to the JNK substrate docking site on a protein. Computers Could Make Better Drugs
Using the NSF-funded Ranger supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, Pengyu Ren is working to develop faster, cheaper ways to search for new drugs
Released  May 11, 2010
Photo of Ben Levinson watching Rama Balasubramanian adjust the levels of gases in a fermenter. Good Bacteria Eat Bad Greenhouse Gas
With NSF support, Amy Rosenzweig's group seeks to understand the cellular machinery that enable certain bacteria to leach copper out of the environment and metabolize methane
Released  May 7, 2010
Photo of Amy Barnes making phosphorus-rich phosphate glass to use with her doctoral research work. On Earth Day and Everyday, Ecologist Fights for Phosphorus
NSF-supported ecologist James Elser is internationally recognized as an expert on phosphorus in biology and ecology, and his research could help to change society’s views on phosphorus use and conservation
Released  May 6, 2010
Photo of Eriophyllum lanosum, a desert winter annual. Even in the Desert, Plants Feel the Heat of Global Warming
NSF-supported researchers study the germination of plants in the Sonoran Desert to determine the impact of the later arrival of winter rains
Released  April 23, 2010
Photo showing zebra stripes of dust and snow on the snow surface in Colorado mountains. Dust-on-Snow: On Spring Winds, Something Wicked This Way Comes
Earlier snowmelt, altered water supplies, result
Released  April 2, 2010
Photo of naked mole-rats in the hands of biologist Thomas Park. Naked Mole-Rats' Secrets Revealed
What University of Illinois at Chicago biologist Thomas Park and colleagues are learning from studying how these very strange animals adapt to the challenges of their environment
Released  March 30, 2010
Aerial photo of new forests above the shrinking Mendenhall Glacier. When Glaciers Melt, What's in the Water?
Measuring the movement of nutrients in Alaska's glacial streams is a "hot topic" for an NSF-supported research team
Released  March 17, 2010
Photo of worker termites protected by a soldier. Termite Battles May Explain Evolution of Social Insects
Research on why early termite offspring remained home with their parents, instead of leaving to create their own colonies, could provide a missing link to the evolution of sterility among social insects
Released  February 17, 2010
Image of Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito. Why Human Blood Drives Mosquitoes Wild
UC Davis chemical ecologist Walter Leal identifies the chemical source of an annoying attraction
Released  February 8, 2010
Image of lunge and wing-threat behavior between a pair of male fruit flies. Angry Flies May Help Explain Human Aggression
Caltech biologist David Anderson and his colleagues identify a brain chemical involved in promoting aggression in flies
Released  January 29, 2010
Photo of a Joshua tree dusted with snow following a spring snowstorm in Tikaboo Valley, Nevada. Some Trees and Insects Are Made for Each Other
Christopher Irwin Smith describes research on Joshua trees, yucca moths and the question of whether coevolution between plants and their insect pollinators produced the spectacular diversity of plants and insects
Released  November 24, 2009
Photo of a litter sifting crew preparing for work at a Project LLAMA study site in Chiapas, Mexico. Following the Adventurous Ant Trail
Student field crews study the ecological power of ants in Central America under the guidance of biologist John Longino
Released  November 16, 2009
Photo showing cockroaches. With Help from a Bacterium, Cockroaches Develop Way to Store Excess Uric Acid
Finding could lead to new understanding of substance harmful in kidney disease and other human diseases
Released  November 5, 2009

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