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Biological Sciences (BIO) 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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Willow catkin with dew in Yellowstone. Earth Week: Whither Yellowstone's willows and the streams they shade?
Yellowstone's water table dropping below riverbank willow trees
Released  April 22, 2014
Gray trees killed by bark beetles between green trees in Rocky Mountain National Park. Earth Week: Bark beetles change Rocky Mountain stream flows, affect water quality
What happens when millions of dead trees, killed by beetles, no longer need water?
Released  April 21, 2014
title slide showing images of fish, water and trees Earth Day in the future: What will it be like?
Scientists peer into the next decades of environmental change on Planet Earth
Released  April 15, 2014
granite domes and conifer trees in the mountains Granite bedrock and sequoia forests 'communicate' in the Sierra Nevada
Research reveals the coevolution of life and landscapes
Released  April 3, 2014
Photo of a white rooftop Is white--or green--the new black in cities?
How effective are white roofs, green roofs, and other urban heat-reducing technologies?
Released  March 11, 2014
Spring wildflowers with Nutrient Network fences in the mountains of southeastern Australia. Herbivores + light = more plant biodiversity in fertilized grasslands
Research on six continents shows that it all comes down to the light
Released  March 10, 2014
The tent-making bat Uroderma bilobatum By dark of night, how do bats smell their way to fruit?
Scientists find distinctive patterns of olfactory receptors in fruit-eating bats
Released  March 3, 2014
Illustration of simulations of a free energy perturbation study of phosphate hydrolysis in water Computational science takes the Nobel stage
2013 Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry continue to develop important high performance computing methods
Released  February 11, 2014
Illustration showing surfaces of the mouse and human brains From dino brains to thought control--10 fascinating brain findings
Summaries of 10 findings about the brain that involve NSF-funded researchers
Released  February 11, 2014
Partha Mitra is contributing to the construction of the first 3-D map of the mouse brain. NSF-funded researchers describe their cutting-edge brain research
Why and how are researchers studying the brains of mice, octopuses, zebra fish, frogs, lizards and cichlid fish?
Released  February 6, 2014
Echinacea angustifolia flowers The truth about Echinacea: Plant commonly used for colds and flu suffers from disappearing habitat
Purple coneflowers, often found in vanishing prairies, provide food for bees and other species
Released  February 3, 2014
a green glowing fish Fish aglow: Hidden colors in the sea
"There's a whole light show going on down there, and people never see it."
Released  January 9, 2014
Mycococcus xanthus "Social" bacteria that work together to hunt for food and survive under harsh conditions
Research into multi-cell bacterium could lead to new antibiotics or to development of new pest-resistant seeds
Released  December 20, 2013
a tomato and the text  photogallery Staple of recipe favorites--the tomato--reveals processes that maintain biodiversity
No hothouse plants: Study examines supermarket tomatoes' wild relatives, which live in Earth's most extreme environments
Released  December 5, 2013
fruit fly's Abl gene Researcher seeks to identify the pathway that leads to cells forming into an individual body
By studying how genes influence cells to migrate and mutate, scientist hopes findings will lead to improved cancer treatments
Released  December 3, 2013
Scientist Andrew Storfer checking a Tasmanian devil for tumor facial disease. Tasmanian devils: Will rare infectious cancer lead to their extinction?
Cartoon character's real-life counterpart may offer clues to human and other animal diseases
Released  November 13, 2013
Student with a haorned toad on her shoulder Making room for science at Oklahoma's tribal colleges
Partnership with the state's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research opens doors for tribal college students
Released  November 1, 2013
A neuron activated by light Critical tool for brain research derived from "pond scum"
Basic research serendipitously advances brain science
Released  September 30, 2013
Photo of marine organisms under water "Talking" to the animals
Chemical ecologists translate the language of the sea
Released  September 25, 2013
Robert Drewell Understanding how our genes help us develop
Humans and fruit flies have similar Hox genes, which are master regulators of embryonic development
Released  September 12, 2013
electric ghost knifefish from South America Electric fish may hold answers to better understanding of sensory abilities and movement
Research could lead to robots that can move and "sense" in highly cluttered and dark underwater environments
Released  September 3, 2013
Photo of tree trunks in a coastal redwood forest California's iconic redwoods in danger from fire and infectious disease
Pathogen that causes sudden oak death leaves redwoods vulnerable to fire
Released  August 21, 2013
Photo of wildfire next to a house and forest in Arizona As large Western wildfires increase, scientists look for answers
What are the causes and impacts of the upsurge in U.S. Western wildfires?
Released  August 8, 2013
Matthew Hahn Genomic and computational tools provide window to distant past
Researcher studies gene differences in humans and other species to better understand timeline of genetic changes
Released  August 8, 2013
collage of various pictures showing researchers, seafans and corals Sick Sea Fans: Undersea "Doctors" to the Rescue
Scientists discover genes involved in immunity of sea fans to coral diseases
Released  July 24, 2013
Song holding grasshopper nymphs Controlling Destructive Locusts by Manipulating Their Genetics
Researcher seeks novel method that won’t harm other species or their environment
Released  July 11, 2013
Mountain with dried trees in a forest overlooking Grand Lake, Colorado Ghosts of Forests Past: Bark Beetles Kill Lodgepole Pines, Affecting Entire Watersheds
Bark beetle epidemic changing water quality as well as forest health
Released  June 27, 2013
Christopher J. Marx, Harvard University Redefining Adaptation, the Study of How Populations Grow and Survive
Researcher also engages educators and students in an open forum
Released  June 27, 2013
Karen Oberhauser with children observing a flowering plant White House Honors Four Leaders of NSF-Funded Citizen Science Groups Studying Ecology
"Champions of Change" recognized for engaging non-scientists in research
Released  June 25, 2013
Photo of sun radiating over highway filled with cars in traffic in Phoenix Summertime: Hot Time in the City
Parks are islands of coolness in cities' urban heat
Released  June 21, 2013

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