News From the Field
September 2, 2010
Sugar, salt, alcohol and a little serendipity led Northwestern University researchers to discover a new class of nanostructures that could be used for gas storage and food and medical technologies. And the compounds are edible. The porous crystals are the first known all-natural, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that are simple to make. Most other MOFs are made from petroleum-based ingredients, but the Northwestern MOFs can be popped into your mouth and eaten, which the researchers did.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2012, its budget was $7.0 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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