News From the Field
Substance in photosynthesis was at work in ancient, methane-producing microbes
February 7, 2014
An international team of researchers, led by scientists at Virginia Tech and the University of California, Berkeley, has discovered that a process that turns on photosynthesis in plants likely developed on Earth in ancient microbes 2.5 billion years ago, long before oxygen became available. The research offers new perspective on evolutionary biology, microbiology and the production of natural gas, and may shed light on climate change, agriculture and human health.
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) 2014, its budget is $7.2 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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