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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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Photo of small patches of tropical dry forest  on hills Natural regeneration of tropical forests helps global climate mitigation and forest restoration
New study looks at 43 regions in Latin America
Released  May 13, 2016
One Zika-carrying mosquito, Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, ranges farther north. National Science Foundation awards $1.7 million in rapid response grants to study Zika virus
Funding to address ecological transmission dynamics of the virus
Released  May 11, 2016
inaugural national science board members wearing party hats It's our birthday!
A celebration of NSF-funded research
Released  May 10, 2016
Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone Researchers find that Earth may be home to 1 trillion species
Largest analysis of microbial data reveals that 99.999 percent of all species remain undiscovered
Released  May 2, 2016
crabs and fish on the bottom seafloor Evidence points to widespread loss of ocean oxygen by 2030s
Deoxygenation due to climate change threatens marine life
Released  April 27, 2016
Fish swimming by a healthy coral reef in the Line Islands in the central Pacific Ocean. Too much algae -- and too many microbes -- threaten coral reefs
'Microbialization' destroys reef habitats
Released  April 26, 2016
A baby Rapetosaurus stands alongside a dog, elephant, rhino and hippo Newly discovered baby Titanosaur sheds light on dinosaurs' early lives
Long-necked sauropod dinosaurs include the largest animals ever to walk on land
Released  April 21, 2016
animation showing a salamander strolling Earth's weird and wonderful animal models
Simple creatures reveal fundamental biological insights
Released  April 21, 2016
A four-month-old infant baboon rides on its mother's back in Amboseli, Kenya. Rough childhoods can have ripple effects for wild baboons
Baboons who experience drought, loss of mothers, live shorter lives
Released  April 19, 2016
Ponderosa pine on Grand Canyon rim falling over Earth Week: In a drought, which trees risk death?
Study identifies tree traits that contribute to drought vulnerability
Released  April 18, 2016
collage of images showing corals, divers Earth Day: New insights into coral health hidden in reefs' microbiomes
Inner microbial ecosystems keep reef-building corals and other animals 'in the pink'
Released  April 18, 2016
earth day infographic Infographic: Earth Day at NSF
NSF investments help us understand and protect the environment
Released  April 18, 2016
Automated chambers in use a young stand of wheat. New land-use strategies can reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Improved land-use practices needed as strategies for lowering greenhouse gases
Released  April 7, 2016
California's Eel River On World Water Day, scientists peer into rivers to answer water availability questions
NSF Critical Zone Observatory researchers study California's Eel River for insights into water losses
Released  March 21, 2016
map of united states showing inscreasing risk of Zika-carrying mosquitoes. Potential Zika virus risk estimated for 50 U.S. cities
Weather, travel and poverty may facilitate summertime outbreaks
Released  March 16, 2016
micro-biosensor on the side of a coin Fundamental science will play a key role in finding cancer cure
NSF-supported research to help U.S. achieve cancer 'moonshot'
Released  March 15, 2016
Generic Discovery Image Pioneering women in STEM -- how many do you know?
This Women's History Month, test your knowledge of some of the most incredible scientists and engineers that have paved the way for modern scientific exploration
Released  March 11, 2016
France Cordova and Gabriela Gonzalez at LIGO Celebrating women in science and engineering
NSF Director shares her thoughts on Women's History Month
Released  March 3, 2016
Kendall Grassland in southeastern Arizona In grasslands, longer spring growing season offsets higher summer temperatures
North American grasslands face mixed bag of climate change effects
Released  February 29, 2016
dried trees in a forest of pinons in the U.S. Southwest. Increasing drought threatens almost all U.S. forests
Forests nationwide feeling the heat
Released  February 22, 2016
Scientists working with samples in a lab Seeking Zika: Where and when will Zika-carrying mosquitoes strike next?
NSF-funded scientists look for answers in coastal Ecuador
Released  February 18, 2016
 sandhill cranes flying Scientists track nighttime bird migration using weather radar
Weather radar offers new view of nocturnal bird flight
Released  February 16, 2016
An Aedes aegypti mosquito National Science Foundation issues call for Zika virus proposals
Funding to address ecological transmission dynamics of the virus
Released  February 10, 2016
Tova N. Williams in her lab Celebrating Black History Month with our research fellows
Students in NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship Program tell their stories
Released  February 9, 2016
woman looking out of the window The profound power of loneliness
Depression, dementia and even some useful effects: Research examines how loneliness affects the social human brain
Released  February 3, 2016
White ibises flock Feeding birds in your local park? If they're white ibises in Florida, think twice
White ibises may transmit diseases like salmonellosis
Released  February 3, 2016
A bat-eared fox tries to open a puzzle box during an experiment to test intelligence. Do bigger brains make smarter carnivores?
Scientists confirm that species with larger brain size are more intelligent
Released  January 28, 2016
screenshot of website showing a snowflake and text let it snow the science of winter New NSF special report: Let It Snow! The Science of Winter
Report reveals inner worlds of snow and winter, and their importance to humans and ecosystems
Released  January 13, 2016
Researchers with equipment on mountain at NSF's Niwot Ridge LTER site. Colorado high peaks losing glaciers as climate warms
Ice disappears faster in drought years
Released  January 12, 2016
hands holding a pot with natural clay Scientists discover how blue and green clays kill bacteria
May be new answer to MRSA, other 'superbug' infections
Released  January 8, 2016

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