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News From the Field - Archive

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date. Please check Media Contacts or the NSF Staff Directory for current contact information.

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a penny December 27, 2006
New Research Could Lead to "Invisible" Electronics

Researchers have demonstrated that, by combining organic and inorganic materials, they have produced transparent, high-performance transistors that can be assembled inexpensively on both glass and plastics. The results of this breakthrough bring futuristic high-quality displays such as a car windshield that displays a map to your destination, military goggles with targets and instructions displayed right before a soldier's eyes, or a billboard that doubles as a window, closer to reality. Full story

Source: Northwestern University

earth graphic December 26, 2006
NSF Grant Bolsters Earth System Science Education

NSF has awarded $3 million to support earth system science education. Full story

Source: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

earth graphic December 22, 2006
Global Strategy for Investigating Earth's Geodynamics Emerges from International Meeting

Earth scientists representing 51 countries have forged a global strategy for advancing understanding of the movements of continents. Full story

Source: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

earth graphic December 22, 2006
The Heartbeat of the Oligocene Climate System

Earth's orbital variations had a prolonged influence on climate in the distant past. Full story

Source: Joint Oceanographic Institutions

Tyrosine ammonia-lyase December 22, 2006
New "Chemical Factory" Will Help Scientists Understand Red Wine's Beneficial Effects

Laboratory animals may soon be able to produce beneficial compound found in red wine. Full story

Source: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

American red squirrel December 22, 2006
Squirrels Winning at Outwitting Trees' Survival Strategy

Squirrels are winning over trees in the game of evolutionary biology. Full story

Source: Michigan State University

Free-swimming trematode parasite December 19, 2006
Genetic Analysis of Marine Animal Sheds Light on Spread of Disease

A new study traces the spread of disease through the accidental introduction of invasive snails containing parasitic worms. Full story

Source: University of California, Santa Barbara

Shoucheng Zhang December 11, 2006
Stanford Researchers Predict a New State of Matter in Semiconductors

Physicists have now theorized a new state of matter that may pave the way for electronic devices that dissipate less energy and generate less heat. The researchers proposed the existence of the so-called "quantum spin Hall state," which has extraordinary properties. Full story

Source: Stanford University

Asian Americans December 11, 2006
Research Shows Asian Americans Less Likely to Seek Social Support

During times of stress, Asian Americans are far less likely than other people to seek emotional support, advice or help from their social networks. Full story

Source: University of California, Santa Barbara

image of the Brain December 11, 2006
Researchers Discover Brain Areas Associated with the Recognition of Gender, Ethnicity and the Identity of Faces

Researchers have found evidence of neurons in an area of the brain not previously thought to be associated with face processing. Full story

Source: University of Southern California

people and society graphic December 7, 2006
Immigrants of a Feather Don’t Necessarily Flock Together

The traditional idea that immigrants cluster together in neighborhoods with their countrymen after coming to the United States and move away after achieving economic success is far from universal. New research indicates that who immigrants marry or partner with has a strong influence on where they live. Full story

Source: University of Washington

nanoscience December 5, 2006
Consumers Neutral on Risks, Benefits of Nano

The largest and most comprehensive survey of public perceptions of nanotechnology products finds that U.S. consumers are willing to use specific nano-containing products -- even if there are health and safety risks -- when the potential benefits are high. Full story

Source: Rice University

Onthophagus beetles December 4, 2006
Vanishing Beetle Horns Have Surprise Function

Biologists have discovered the function of a beetle's horns. Full story

Source: Indiana University

GBT & 140-ft Telescope December 1, 2006
Negative Vibes From Space

Astronomers have discovered the first negatively charged molecule in space, identifying it from radio signals that were a mystery until now. While about 130 neutral and 14 positively charged molecules are known to exist in interstellar space, this is the first negative molecule, or anion, to be found. Full story

Source: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Halophila ovalis December 1, 2006
Seagrass Ecosystems at a 'Global Crisis'

An international team of scientists is calling for a targeted global conservation effort to preserve seagrasses and their ecological services for the world's coastal ecosystems, according to an article published in the December issue of Bioscience. Full story

Source: U. of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

biology graphic November 24, 2006
Plants Give New Meaning to Phrase "Older than Dirt"

Carbon from the first plants to regrow after the last Ice Age has been accumulating for 11,000 years in the forests of British Columbia, Canada. Full story

Source: University of Washington

image of elephants November 24, 2006
Serengeti Patrols Cut Poaching of Buffalo, Elephants, Rhinos

A technique used to estimate fish abundance has been applied to studying enforcement patrols in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Full story

Source: University of Washington

extinction November 23, 2006
Shift from Simple to Complex Marine Systems Occurred 250 Million Years Ago

The mass extinction of 250 million years ago fundamentally changed the basic ecology of the world's oceans. Full story

Source: Field Museum of Chicago

earth's mantle November 23, 2006
Seismologists Measure Heat Flow In Earth's Mantle

For the first time, scientists have measured heat transfer within our planet's mantle. Full story

Source: University of Califonia, Santa Cruz

Paul Bressloff November 21, 2006
Proteins Anchor Memories in Our Brains

A new study shows that memories are held in our brains by certain "anchor" proteins. Full story

Source: University of Utah

dragonfly November 20, 2006
Dragonfly's Metabolic Disease Provides Clues about Human Obesity

Dragonflies suffer the same metabolic disorders that have led to an epidemic of obesity and type-2 diabetes in humans. Full story

Source: Penn State

earth graphic November 17, 2006
Geologists Find New Origins of Appalachian Mountains

Geologists have developed a new theory to explain how and when the Appalachian Mountain range was created. Their research redraws the map of the planet from 420 million years ago. Full story

Source: Ohio University

earth graphic November 16, 2006
$3.2 Million Grant Will Fund Polar Expedition To Siberian Lake, Led by UMass Amherst Scientist

Scientists will look for clues to past climate in a remote Siberian lake. Full story

Source: University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Anolis sagrei November 16, 2006
Pressured by Predators, Lizards Evolve Faster

Lizard evolution is a work-in-progress hastened by predators. Full story

Source: Harvard University

wasp in a hive November 16, 2006
Brain, Behavior May Have Changed as Social Insect Colonies Evolved

A new study suggests that brain and behavior relationships may have changed in a profound way as larger, more complex insect societies evolved from smaller, simpler ones. Full story

Source: University of Washington

MRI apparatus November 15, 2006
Princeton Physicists Test the Physics of Star Formation in the Laboratory

Currently, scientists do not understand the required conditions and the accretion, or matter collection process, involved in star and planet formation. New research suggests that it is virtually impossible for one suggested mechanism, hydrodynamic turbulence, to generate effective accretion to form stars and planets. Full story

Source: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

asteroid KW4 November 15, 2006
Observations of Double Asteroid Stress Arecibo Radar's Vital Role in Identifying Threats in Earth's Vicinity

Researchers using the Arecibo Observatory's powerful radar have made the most detailed observations ever of a binary near-Earth asteroid (NEA) -- two clusters of rubble circling each other -- offering new clues about how such systems formed, the properties they share and the dynamics of their motion. Full story

Source: Cornell University

representation of a G protein November 14, 2006
Sticky Proteins Provide New Insight Into Drug Action

How certain drugs work depends on proteins. Full story

Source: Medical College of Georgia

schematic illustration of single-molecule diffractive imaging November 12, 2006
Scientists Capture Nanoscale Images with Short, Intense x-ray Laser

Scientists for the first time have validated the idea of using extremely short and intense x-ray pulses to capture images of objects such as proteins before the X-rays destroy the sample. Full story

Source: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

engineering graphic November 10, 2006
Proteins Glue Semiconductor Nanowires Together

New implantable biomedical devices that can act as artificial nerve cells, control severe pain, or allow otherwise paralyzed muscles to be moved, might one day be possible thanks to developments in materials science. Full story

Source: University of Michigan/nanotechweb.org

an artist's representation of paranthropus November 9, 2006
Varied Diet of Early African Hominid Casts Doubt on Extinction Theory

Direct ancestors of modern humans had a far more diverse diet than once believed, clouding the notion that they were driven to extinction by their picky eating habits as the African continent dried. Full story

Source: University of Colorado at Boulder

earth graphic November 9, 2006
Scientists Find New Way to Search for Origin of Life

Mineral surfaces may have played a critical role in activiting molecules essential to life. Full story

Source: Carnegie Institution of Washington

earth graphic November 6, 2006
Himalayan Mega-Earthquakes Occur Every Thousand or So Years

Geologists have found that Himalayan mega-earthquakes occur every 1,000 or so years. Full story

Source: University of Colorado at Boulder

carbon nanotubes November 6, 2006
New Techniques Pave Way for Carbon Nanotubes in Electronic Devices

Many of the vaunted applications of carbon nanotubes require the ability to attach these super-tiny cylinders to electrically conductive surfaces, but to date, researchers have only been successful in creating high-resistance interfaces between nanotubes and substrates. Now a team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reports two new techniques, each following a different approach, for placing carbon nanotube patterns on metal surfaces of just about any shape and size. Full story

Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

drawing of rhino skull November 6, 2006
Scientists Crack Rhino Horn Riddle

Researchers have explained how the rhinoceros develops its horn. Full story

Source: Ohio University

biology graphic November 3, 2006
University of Pennsylvania Researcher Shows that DNA Gets Kinky Easily at the Nanoscale

Scientists have answered a long-standing molecular stumper regarding DNA: How can parts of such a rigid molecule bend and coil without requiring large amounts of force? According to a team of researchers from the United States and the Netherlands, led by a physicist from the University of Pennsylvania, DNA is much more flexible than previously believed when examined over extremely small lengths. Full story

Source: University of Pennsylvania

gel graph November 2, 2006
Pulsating Gels Could Power Tiny Robots

When certain gels are put into a solution, they will not only expand, but also repeatedly contract again. Researchers have now formulated the first general model to study large-scale shape changes in such responsive gels. Full story

Source: University of Pittsburgh

galaxy cluster November 2, 2006
VLA Discovers Giant Rings Around Galaxy Cluster

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope have discovered giant, ring-like structures around a cluster of galaxies. The discovery provides tantalizing new information about how such galaxy clusters are assembled, about magnetic fields in the vast spaces between galaxy clusters, and possibly about the origin of cosmic rays. Full story

Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

phytoplankton bloom November 2, 2006
Ocean Creatures Linked to Cloud Cover Increases

Plant plankton in the oceans may influence cloud formation in the atmosphere. Full story

Source: Georgia Tech

computing graphic November 2, 2006
Researchers Teach Computers How to Name Images by 'Thinking'

Penn State researchers have "taught" computers how to interpret images using vocabulary of up to 330 English words, so that a computer can describe a photograph of two polo players, for instance, as "sport," "people," "horse" or "polo." Full story

Source: Penn State

biology graphic October 30, 2006
Biologists Study Plant and Animal Response to Chernobyl Nuclear Explosion

Biologists study plants and animals near Chernobyl nuclear explosion. Full story

Source: Texas Tech University

cover of The Anatomical Record October 30, 2006
Researchers Discover Evolutionary Oddity in Flamingoes

Researchers have discovered an anatomical oddity that helps flamingoes eat. Full story

Source: Ohio University

explosive ramifications of a typical galaxy merger October 27, 2006
NCSA Visualizations Featured in Upcoming NOVA Special

High-resolution scientific visualizations created at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) will artfully illustrate the latest black hole research in the PBS NOVA special "Monster of the Milky Way," which debuts Oct. 31. Full story

Source: National Center for Supercomputing Applications

honeybees covering a beehive October 25, 2006
Hive Mentality: Buzz Over Bee Genetics

Evolution may have taught old genes new tricks in the development of social behavior in honeybees. Full story

Source: Arizona State University

ladybug beetle October 25, 2006
Biodiversity Controls Ecological 'Services,' Report Scientists in Comprehensive Analysis

Preservation of biodiversity -- both the number and type of species -- is needed to maintain ecological balance. Full story

Source: University of California, Santa Barbara

electron-microscope image October 24, 2006
Ultraviolet Light Reveals Secrets of Nanoscale Electronic Materials

An international team of scientists has used a novel technique to measure, for the first time, the precise conditions at which certain ultrathin materials spontaneously become electrically polarized. Full story

Source: Penn State

Sheldon H. Jacobson October 24, 2006
Weight Gain of U.S. Drivers Has Increased Nation's Fuel Consumption

As American waistlines have expanded since 1960, so has their consumption of gasoline, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Virginia Commonwealth University say. Full story

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Virginia Commonwealth University

volcano demonstration October 24, 2006
New Hands-On Science Demos Teach Young Students How Volcanoes 'Blow Their Tops,' Spew Lava

A popular volcano demonstration in grade school science class rivets students' attention as it spews bubbly liquid over a tabletop, but it comes up short in explaining all the ways that volcanoes form and evolve. Full story

Source: Rutgers State University

tiny trapeziid crab October 23, 2006
Tiny 'Housekeeper' Crabs Help Prevent Coral Death in South Pacific

Tiny crabs that live in South Pacific coral help prevent the coral from dying by providing regular cleaning "services" that may be critical. Full story

Source: University of California, Santa Barbara

earth graphic October 20, 2006
Two Miles Underground, Bacteria Thrive

Bacteria are thriving two miles underground in a South African gold mine, researchers have found. Full story

Source: Princeton University

microbes in the extreme October 19, 2006
Mars May Be Cozy Place for Hardy Microbes

A class of especially hardy microbes that live in some of the harshest Earthly environments could flourish on cold Mars and other chilly planets, according to a research team of astronomers and microbiologists. Full story

Source: Space Telescope Science Institute

earth graphic October 19, 2006
Expect a Warmer, Wetter World this Century

The world will face an increased risk of heat waves and other weather extremes in the decades ahead. Full story

Source: National Center for Atmospheric Research

two women talking October 18, 2006
"Embryo Project" Studies Social Impacts on Science

Scientists are taking a look at how society, culture and technology have affected the course of science. Full story

Source: Arizona State University

engineering graphic October 18, 2006
EERI Seeks to Identify Lessons from the Kona, Hawaii, Earthquake

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), an Oakland-based professional association dedicated to reducing earthquake risk, is carrying out a field reconnaissance investigation to gather preliminary lessons from Sunday’s M 6.7 earthquake offshore of the island of Hawaii. Full story

Source: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute

image of cosmic bubble October 16, 2006
Cosmic Bubble Image Wins NRAO Contest

A striking image of an enormous bubble blown into the dusty gas disk of our own Milky Way galaxy has won first place in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's second annual Radio Astronomy Image Contest. Full story

Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

engineering graphic October 12, 2006
How Can we Make Nanoscale Capacitors Even Smaller?

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have discovered what limits our ability to reduce the size of capacitors, often the largest components in integrated circuits, down to the nanoscale. Full story

Source: University of California, Santa Barbara

the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan October 12, 2006
Antique Whale Oil Provides Insights into Origin of Preindustrial Chemicals

One of the last remaining New England whaling ships has provided unexpected insights into the origin of halogenated organic compounds. Full story

Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Siberia peatlands October 12, 2006
Rapid Growth of Huge Northern Bog Complex May Have Helped Kick-Start Past Global Warming

Methane gas released by peat bogs in the northern-most third of the globe probably helped fuel the last major round of global warming between 11,000 and 12,000 years ago. Full story

Source: University of California, Los Angeles

earth graphic October 12, 2006
Possible Evidence of Cell Division, Differentiation Found in Oldest Known Embryo Fossils

A group of 15 scientists from five countries has discovered evidence of cell differentiation in fossil embryos that are more than 550 million years old. Full story

Source: Virginia Tech

Coelophysis slab October 10, 2006
Paleontologists Overturn Claim that "Cannibal" Dinosaurs Ate Their Own Kind

Paleontologists have overturned a 1950s claim that a dinosaur ate juveniles of its own kind. Full story

Source: American Museum of Natural History

prototype fiber optic seismometer October 10, 2006
Prototype Fiber Optic Seismometer

Modern seismometers throughout the world rely on electronic displacement transducers to sense motions whenever the earth's surface moves. New advances in optical fiber technology are providing an alternative to this type of modern observatory grade seismometer. Full story

Source: High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network

OFIS October 9, 2006
New Optical Fiber Infrasound Sensor Deployment at Camp Elliot

Optical fiber infrasound sensors (OFIS) are long, compliant tubes wrapped with two optical fibers that interferometrically measure atmospheric pressure along the length of the tube. The University of California, San Diego OFIS team is building a multi-arm OFIS array at the Camp Elliot field station. Full story

Source: High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network

October 5, 2006
Fossils Pinpoint Tropics as Earth's Most Fruitful Biodiversity Spawning Ground

Scientists have completed a study that explains why the tropics are so much richer in biodiversity than high latitudes. Full story

Source: University of Chicago

air bubble rising from a cylindrical glass October 5, 2006
Tabletop Experiment Yields Bubbly Surprise: Physicists Study Equations Governing Texture of Everyday Life

University of Chicago physicists have discovered a new class of behavior in air bubbles rising from an underwater nozzle. In this surprising behavior, the bubbles tear apart in sharp jerks instead of pinching off. Full story

Source: University of Chicago

earth graphic October 5, 2006
Alaska Study Offers Strategies to Mitigate Climate Warming

Using Interior Alaska's boreal forests as a case study, a team of scientists led by University of Alaska-Fairbanks ecologist F. Stuart (Terry) Chapin III, recently offered four policy strategies for sustaining people and the environment as both face a dramatically warming climate. Full story

Source: University of Alaska-Fairbanks

Chou Thostenson October 4, 2006
UD Scientists Use Carbon Nanotubes to Detect Defects in Composites

Two University of Delaware researchers have discovered a means to detect and identify damage within advanced composite materials by using a network of tiny carbon nanotubes, which act in much the same manner as human nerves. Full story

Source: University of Delaware

forest tower October 4, 2006
NSF Awards Harvard Forest $4.9 Million to Study Landscape Change

NSF has awarded Harvard Forest a grant to study landscape change in New England. Full story

Source: Harvard University

Brian D. Fields and Leslie W. Looney October 4, 2006
Supernova Radioisoptopes Show Sun was Born in Star Cluster, Scientists Say

The death of a massive, nearby star billions of years ago offers evidence the sun was born in a star cluster, say astronomers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rather than being an only child, the sun could have hundreds or thousands of celestial siblings, now dispersed across the heavens. Full story

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Markarian's Chain of Galaxies October 3, 2006
New Window of Universe Opens at Griffith; Unprecedented Image from Palomar

Caltech scientists have produced the largest astronomical image ever in order to inspire the public with the wonders of space exploration. The image has been reproduced as a giant mural in the new exhibit hall of the landmark Griffith Observatory, which will reopen November 3, after several years of renovation. Full story

Source: California Institute of Technology

galaxy map October 3, 2006
Largest 3D Map of Galaxies

A team of American, Australian and British astronomers has released maps from the largest full-sky, three-dimensional survey of galaxies ever conducted. Full story

Source: Royal Astronomical Society

earth graphic October 3, 2006
OSU Leading Major Research Effort to Track Carbon, Identify Dead Zone Processes

Oceanographers conduct research on dead zone off Oregon. Full story

Source: Oregon State University

Antarctic larval midges October 3, 2006
Unique Gene Regulation Gives Chilly Bugs Survival Advantage at Bottom of the World

The larvae of Antarctic midges never stop producing special proteins that minimize environmental stress, allowing them to withstand a range of intense environmental conditions in one of the world’s harshest environments. Full story

Source: Ohio State University

Sunset over the Black Sea September 29, 2006
Manganese Keeps Toxic Hydrogen Sulfide Zones in Check

Manganese is important in waterways, where it can keep toxic hydrogen sulfide in check. Full story

Source: University of Delaware

2006 REU student from the University of Arizona September 27, 2006
What, Spend Your Summer Vacation Doing Physics at CHESS?

Sixteen college students had very non-traditional summer vacations, opting to fill the halls of Cornell's Newman and Wilson laboratories with their smiling faces and ten weeks of intense physics. Full story

Source: Cornell University

lipids with similar traits clumped together September 27, 2006
With Record Resolution and Sensitivity, Tool Images How the Chemistry of Life Organizes in a Cell Membrane

What's the difference between a lifeless sack of chemicals and a living cell? It's all in the way they're organized, according to Stanford biophysical chemist Steven Boxer. He and colleagues have developed a way to image cell membranes with unprecedented resolution. Full story

Source: Stanford University

LON-CAPA September 26, 2006
Michigan State University Open Source Project Fuels Bottom-up Teaching Innovation

The LearningOnline Network with Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach, or LON-CAPA, is an innovative Michigan State University Web-based service allowing educators to easily create and share course material across a range of subjects. Full story

Source: Michigan State University

researchers inspect an ancient shale September 25, 2006
Dinosaurs' Climate Shifted Earlier Than Thought

Ancient rocks from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean suggest dramatic climate change during the dinosaur-dominated Mesozoic Era, a time once thought to be monotonously hot and humid.. Full story

Source: Indiana University

a hydrogel shaped to spell Cornell September 25, 2006
Using Synthetic DNA, Cornell Researchers Fashion Low-cost, Biodegradable Hydrogels for Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering

Using synthetic DNA formed into crosses, Y's and T's, Cornell researchers have created biocompatible, biodegradable, inexpensive hydrogels that can be easily formed into any desired shape for biomedical applications. Full story

Source: Cornell University

ACCEL program leaders September 25, 2006
Cornell Launches $3.3 Million NSF Program to Build 'Critical Mass' of Women Faculty in Engineering and Sciences

To increase the number of women faculty in engineering and the sciences, Cornell will use a $3.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to work on recruiting, retaining and promoting more women in leadership positions. The grant also will create a new center called ACCEL (Advancing Cornell's Commitment to Excellence and Leadership). Full story

Source: Cornell University

earth graphic September 20, 2006
New Instruments Connect Mount St.Helens to National Monitoring Network

A network of 17 new instruments will be installed at Mount St. Helens to monitor ongoing activity at the volcano. Full story

Source: Gifford Pinchot National Forest

human ubiquitin hydrolase September 20, 2006
Knotty Problem Puzzles Protein Researchers

A team at MIT has discovered the most complicated knot ever seen in a protein, and they believe it may be linked to the protein's function as a rescue agent for proteins marked for destruction. Full story

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Linda Griffith September 19, 2006
MIT Bioengineer Wins MacArthur 'Genius' Award

Professor Linda Griffith, a noted biotechnologist, has won a 2006 MacArthur Fellowship, more commonly known as a "genius" grant. Griffith was honored for "shaping the frontiers of tissue engineering and synthetic regenerative technologies," according to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Full story

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

core machine September 19, 2006
Climate Secrets – Past, Present and Future Revealed with New Tool

At the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, a new high-tech tool will find answers to historic climate changes from earth and marine sediment core samples. Full story

Source: University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Claire Tomlin September 18, 2006
'Out of the Blue,' A MacArthur Award for Aeronautics Scholar Claire Tomlin

Claire Tomlin, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics and, by courtesy, of electrical engineering, studies control theory and practice. A phone call on Sept. 12 told her she'd won a MacArthur Fellowship, a "no strings attached" award of $500,000 that supports people, not projects. Full story

Source: Stanford University

TrES-2 September 18, 2006
Jupiter-Sized Transiting Planet Found by Astronomers Using Novel Telescope Network

An international team of astronomers has detected a planet slightly larger than Jupiter that orbits a star 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Draco. The humble telescopes used in the discovery consist of mostly amateur-astronomy components and off-the-shelf 4-inch camera lenses. Full story

Source: High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network

molecules attached to carbon nanotubes September 18, 2006
MIT Tames Tricky Carbon Nanotubes

Based on a new theory, MIT scientists may be able to manipulate carbon nanotubes -- one of the strongest known materials and one of the trickiest to work with -- without destroying their extraordinary electrical properties. Full story

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

professor Zaida Luthey-Schulten with two graduate students September 18, 2006
Evolutionary Software to be Released Free of Charge

New software developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, allows scientists to more effectively analyze and compare both sequence and structure data from a growing library of proteins and nucleic acids. Full story

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

a mated pair of house finches September 18, 2006
Bird Moms Manipulate Birth Order to Protect Sons

Protecting her kids is the job of every good mother, even house finches. Full story

Source: University of Arizona

earth graphic September 14, 2006
Stratospheric Injections Could Help Cool Earth

Stabilizing climate with cuts in greenhouse gas emissions as well as injections of climate-cooling sulfates could prove more effective than either approach used separately. Full story

Source: National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Tayhas Palmore September 13, 2006
Brown Engineers Build a Better Battery – With Plastic

Brown University engineers have created a new battery that uses plastic, not metal, to conduct electrical current. The hybrid device marries the power of a capacitor with the storage capacity of a battery. Full story

Source: Brown University

solar activity September 13, 2006
Changes in Solar Brightness Too Weak to Explain Global Warming

Changes in the Sun's brightness over the past millennium have had only a small effect on Earth's climate. Full story

Source: National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

MIT's new nanoscale molecular sieve September 11, 2006
MIT's Molecular Sieve Advances Protein Research

New MIT technology promises to speed up the accurate sorting of proteins, work that may ultimately aid in the detection and treatment of disease. Full story

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

traffic on highway September 11, 2006
Study to Forecast Side-Effects of Pollution Policy

The University of Michigan will lead a four-university team in a large-scale project to develop software to help analysts craft greenhouse gas reduction policies in the transportation industry. Full story

Source: University of Michigan

organic semiconductor junction September 7, 2006
Organic Semiconductors Make Cheap, Flexible Photovoltaics and LEDs

Imagine T-shirts that light up, or a beach umbrella that collects solar energy to run a portable TV. All this and more could come from cutting-edge research at Cornell that demonstrates a new type of organic semiconductor device which shows electroluminescence and acts as a photovoltaic cell. Full story

Source: Cornell University

computing graphic September 7, 2006
UMass Amherst-Led Research Will Protect Consumers by Ramping Up Security for 'Smart' Tags

Strengthened security for "smart tags"--the wireless devices that allow drivers to zip through automatic tollbooths or pass a security desk with the flash of a card--is the aim of a new initiative that has received $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation. Led by Kevin Fu of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the researchers are developing much-needed cryptographic protocols, hardware and applications for the increasingly common devices. Full story

Source: University of Massachusetts, Amherst

engineering graphic September 7, 2006
Harvard University Engineers Demonstrate Laser Nanoantenna

Engineers and applied scientists from Harvard University have demonstrated a new photonic device with a wide range of potential commercial applications, including higher density DVD's, more powerful microscopes and novel tools for biology and engineering. Full story

Source: Harvard University

fruit fly graphic August 31, 2006
Evolution of Old World Fruit Flies Mirrors Climate Change

Fast-warming climate appears to be triggering genetic changes in a species of fruit fly native to Europe and introduced into North and South America. Full story

Source: University of Washington

woodframe house August 31, 2006
Huge Luxury Home to Get Seismic Dampers Tested by UB, RPI

Just weeks after the University at Buffalo and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute successfully conducted the first tests of seismic dampers for residential applications, the firm that manufactures the dampers has made its first sale of the protective devices for a residence. Full story

Source: The State University of New York at Buffalo

artist's conception of a Quantum Interference Effect Transistor (QuIET). August 31, 2006
UA Physicists Invent 'QuIET'--Single Molecule Transistors

University of Arizona physicists have discovered how to turn single molecules into working transistors. It’s a breakthrough needed to make the next-generation of remarkably tiny, powerful computers that nanotechnologists dream of. Full story

Source: University of Washington

Electrically conductive image of Albert Einstein August 30, 2006
Nanotube Ink: Desktop Printing of Carbon Nanotube Patterns

Using an off-the-shelf inkjet printer, a team of scientists has developed a simple technique for printing patterns of carbon nanotubes on paper and plastic surfaces. The method could lead to a new process for manufacturing a wide range of nanotube-based devices, from flexible electronics and conducting fabrics to sensors for detecting chemical agents. Full story

Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

part of the Very Large Array August 30, 2006
Cosmic Blasts Much More Common, Astronomers Discover

A cosmic explosion seen last February may have been the "tip of an iceberg," showing that powerful, distant gamma ray bursts are outnumbered ten-to-one by less-energetic cousins, according to an international team of astronomers. Full story

Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

chemistry graphic August 30, 2006
New Polymer-Coating Process Under Development at Rutgers-Camden

Rutgers-Camden researchers employed an innovative laser technique to advance a polymer-coating process. Full story

Source: Cornell University

earth graphic August 29, 2006
OSU to Study Influence of Columbia River, Climate Change and Humans on Ocean

Oregon State University has been awarded an NSF Science and Technology Center for Coastal Margin Observation. Full story

Source: Oregon State University

graphic showing possible tilting of the Earth  August 29, 2006
Planet Earth May Have "Tilted" to Keep its Balance

Scientists have found evidence that the Earth may have "spun on its side" in the distant past. Full story

Source: Princeton University

photon fluorescence intensity image of cells before sunscreen penetration August 29, 2006
Sunscreen Can Damage Skin, Researchers Find

Are sunscreens always beneficial, or can they be detrimental to users? A research team led by University of California Riverside chemists reports that unless people out in the sun apply sunscreen often, the sunscreen itself can become harmful to the skin. Full story

Source: University of California, Riverside

carbon fiber rods supporting tiny mirror August 28, 2006
Cornell Researchers Test Carbon Fiber to Make Tiny, Cheap Video Displays

Engineers who develop microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) like to make their tiny machines out of silicon because it is cheap, plentiful and can be worked on with tools already developed for making microelectronic circuits. There is just one problem: Silicon breaks too easily. Full story

Source: Cornell University

earth graphic August 28, 2006
Sulfur Signature Changes Thoughts on Atmospheric Oxygen

Ancient sediments that once resided on a lake bed and the ocean floor show sulfur isotope ratios unlike those found in other samples from the same time. Full story

Source: Penn State University

electron microscope image showing polyurethane nanofibers creating a honeycomb formation August 28, 2006
Texas Tech Researchers Make Chemical Warfare-Protective Nanofibers

While cotton may be the fabric of our lives, Texas Tech University researchers may have discovered a polyurethane nanofiber technique that can save lives. Researchers recently discovered a honeycomb polyurethane nanofabric by using electrospinning. The nanofabric, created by exposing polyurethane to high voltage, can not only trap toxic chemicals, but also be used in a hazardous material suit. Full story

Source: Texas Tech University

biology graphic August 28, 2006
Synthetic Molecule Causes Cancer Cells to Self-Destruct

Scientists have found a way to trick cancer cells into committing suicide. The novel technique potentially offers an effective method of providing personalized anti-cancer therapy. Full story

Source: Univerity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Winter Laguna August 25, 2006
HPWREN Collaborates with NOAA's National Weather Service in Obtaining Valuable Real-time Data

The National Science Foundation-supported HPWREN real-time camera network and meteorological stations are helping the National Weather Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stay on top of current weather conditions. Full story

Source: High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Venomous Pterois Lionfish August 25, 2006
Venomous Fish Species Found to be Most Widespread Venomous Vertebrates

More species of venomous fish exist than all other venomous vertebrates combined. Full story

Source: American Museum of Natural History

Paleocene sycamore leaf with insect mine August 25, 2006
Insect Predation Sheds Light on Food Web Recovery After Dinosaur Extinction

The recovery of biodiversity after the end of the Cretaceous mass extinction was more chaotic than previously thought, new fossil evidence shows. Full story

Source: Penn State University

earth graphic August 24, 2006
Study Rules Out Ancient Bursts of Methane from Seafloor Deposits

A dramatic increase about 12,000 years ago in levels of atmospheric methane was most likely caused by higher emissions from tropical wetlands or from plant production, rather than a release of methane from seafloor deposits. Full story

Source: Oregon State University

Artist's conception of magnetar with radio beams August 23, 2006
Supermagnetic Neutron Star Surprises Scientists, Forces Revision of Theories

Astronomers using radio telescopes from around the world have discovered a spinning neutron star with a superpowerful magnetic field -- called a magnetar -- doing things no magnetar has been seen to do before. The strange behavior has forced them to scrap previous theories about radio pulsars and promises to give new insight on the physics behind these extreme objects. Full story

Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

math graphic August 23, 2006
Okounkov Wins Prestigious Fields Medal for Mathematics Work

Princeton's Andrei Okounkov has received one of this year's Fields Medals, widely considered to be the math world's equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Full story

Source: Princeton University

people and society graphic August 22, 2006
Snap Judgments Decide a Face's Character

We may be taught to judge a book by its cover, but when we see a new face, our brains decide whether a person is attractive and trustworthy within a tenth of a second, according to recent Princeton research. Full story

Source: Princeton University

Gecko fiber August 22, 2006
Engineers Create Gecko-Inspired High-Friction Micro-Fibers

Inspired by the remarkable hairs that allow geckos to hang single-toed from sheer walls and scamper along ceilings, a team of researchers led by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, has created an array of synthetic micro-fibers that uses very high friction to support loads on smooth surfaces. Full story

Source: University of California, Berkeley

earth graphic August 15, 2006
Climate Change a Major Factor in Erosion of Alps 6 Million Years Ago

The Alps might have reached their zenith millions of years ago, but now are a mere shadow of their former selves. New research offers an explanation. Full story

Source: University of Washington

electrospray leaving the tip of a needle August 15, 2006
Order and Chaos in Electrosprays: The Electrified Dripping Faucet

New research shows how a variety of electrospray regimes share some similarities with a dripping faucet. The findings demonstrate how applying high voltage to such a faucet changes the dripping behavior from order to chaos and back again, an important factor for making the electrosprays more predictable and easier to use. Full story

Source: George Washington University

earth graphic August 14, 2006
Oregon's Ocean Upwelling Fueled by Jet Stream, Sub-Arctic and River Flow

Oceanographers discover new cycle of activity in the jet stream with major influence on upwelling and ocean productivity. Full story

Source: Oregon State University

image of planets August 11, 2006
UCSD's Supercomputer Center Helps Palomar Share Its Cosmic Discoveries

Combining computer and communications skills, experts at the University of California, San Diego, are helping colleagues at the California Institute of Technology share the massive amounts of data produced by astronomers' investigations of the cosmos. Full story

Source: University of California, San Diego

Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System August 10, 2006
HPWREN Connects New San Clemente Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) Surface Current Mapping System

In June 2006, the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) added a new station on San Clemente Island, augmenting earlier stations. This was facilitated by an upgraded link and a wireless extension on the island to the new station. Full story

Source: High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network

Palomar Observatory August 10, 2006
NSF-Funded Wireless Network Leads Palomar Observatory Astronomers to Major Discoveries

For the past three years, astronomers at the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory have been using the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network as the data transfer cyberinfrastructure to further our understanding of the universe. Recent applications include the study of some of the most cataclysmic explosions in the universe, the hunt for extrasolar planets, and the discovery of our solar system's tenth planet. Full story

Source: California Institute of Technology

ballbot with Ralph Hollis August 9, 2006
Carnegie Mellon Researchers Develop New Type of Mobile Robot That Balances and Moves on a Ball Instead of Legs or Wheels

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a new type of mobile robot that balances on a ball instead of legs or wheels. "Ballbot" is a self-contained, battery-operated, omnidirectional robot that balances dynamically on a single urethane-coated metal sphere. Full story

Source: Carnegie Mellon University

astronomy August 7, 2006
Green Bank Radio Telescope Spies Chemical Precursors to Life

An international research team using NSF's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia has discovered eight new complex, biologically significant molecules in interstellar space. These findings should help scientists understand how the molecular precursors to life can form in the giant clouds of gas and dust in which stars and planets are born. Full story

Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

biology graphic August 2, 2006
Biologist Discovers First Acid-Loving Microbes at Bottom of Sea

Oceanographers have discovered the first acid-loving microbes living at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Full story

Source: Portland State University

part of logo August 1, 2006
New Hawaii Center Explores Fantastic World of Ocean Microbes

The University of Hawaii will study ocean microbes at a new NSF Science and Technology Center focused on these microscopic inhabitants of the seas. Full story

Source: University of Hawaii

biology graphic July 31, 2006
NSF Aids Biotechnology Education Effort at Arizona State University

Arizona State University has been awarded a $900,000 grant from NSF to jump-start a highly trained biotechnology workforce development program. Full story

Source: Arizona State University

rusty crayfish July 31, 2006
Study Shows Hope for Ridding Lakes of Clawed Invader

The rusty crayfish, a voracious exotic species that has wreaked havoc on Wisconsin lakes, may have met its match. Full story

Source: University of Wisconsin at Madison

spintronics at atomic level illustration July 27, 2006
Scientists Build "Magnetic Semiconductors" One Atom at a Time

In a stride that could hasten the development of computer chips that both calculate and store data, a team of Princeton scientists has turned semiconductors into magnets by the precise placement of metal atoms within a material from which chips are made. Full story

Source: Princeton University

people and society graphic July 25, 2006
Multi-Tasking Adversely Affects the Brain's Learning Systems

UCLA psychologists report that multi-tasking affects the brain's learning systems, and as a result, we do not learn as well when we are distracted. Full story

Source: University of California, Los Angeles


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