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Biology 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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Warthogs walking next to people in a village Wildlife species provide clues to spread of antibiotic resistance in Africa
Scientists uncover ways exposure increases, and resistance moves among humans, other animals, ecosystems
Released  July 29, 2015
a basket of blackberries It's blackberry season! Summer fruits depend on pollinators. But where have all the bees gone?
Scientist offers insights into national, global pollinator declines
Released  July 27, 2015
a shark in the water The truth about sharks
With shark attacks, or bites, in the news, what's the story behind the story?
Released  July 27, 2015
A female anopheles mosquito Breaking the cycle of malaria transmission
Discovery of protein could lead to treatment that creates 'dead end' for malaria parasite
Released  July 23, 2015
Student holding a sample for rsearch in the lab Finding the origins of life in a drying puddle
Researchers find wet and dry cycles result in important chemical processes
Released  July 20, 2015
pygmy slow loris clinging to a branch Saving the slow loris
Fighting wildlife trafficking with interdisciplinary research and a legacy of international collaboration
Released  July 13, 2015
Scientist in lake collecting sediment samples in Maine Methane-eating microorganisms help regulate emissions from wetlands
Without this process, methane emissions from freshwater wetlands could be 30 to 50 percent higher
Released  June 30, 2015
Kid on a stationary bike in the Hank Virtual Environments Lab Beyond looking both ways
SBE-funded researchers ask a fundamental safety question: What are kids thinking when crossing the street?
Released  June 26, 2015
a clock, laser beems and frequency combs Combing frequencies
NSF-funded center provides spectrum of new research, technology
Released  June 23, 2015
Cross section view of a whispering gallery mode Like cotton candy? You'll love electrospinning
Forget that old glucose test. In the future, suits of light and virus-filled fibers could detect trace amounts of biological molecules
Released  June 22, 2015
team of scientists collecting hives Protecting the honey-bearers
Ancestors of American honey bees shed light on pollinator health
Released  June 19, 2015
mouse brain imaged using photoacoustic microscopy. Seeing more deeply with laser light
Photoacoustic approach shows potential to expand bioimaging's scope
Released  June 19, 2015
Wasp Tiny brains, but shared smarts
Unlike humans and other vertebrates, the brains of wasps shrink when they're socialized--but they might 'share' brainpower
Released  June 17, 2015
forest As Massachusetts ecosystems shrink, hard-working "hotspots" emerge
Researchers call hotspots valuable, but say their growing numbers might be cause for concern
Released  May 14, 2015
dried trees in a forest Trees turned to snags: 'Sudden Oak Death' fells California oaks in their prime
Citizen scientists assist with research on infectious plant disease
Released  May 1, 2015
a school of bigeye travellies fish Scientists map sustainability challenges in Baja California Sur fisheries
Conduct review of ecological and social data for 12 regions around Baja
Released  April 28, 2015
Collage of images showing algae in alakes and researcher Earth Day is on the horizon. But is 'greener' always better?
Not when it's the bright green waters of algae-fouled lakes and rivers
Released  April 15, 2015
Nurses next to a robotic patient in a hospital bed How robots can help build better doctors
Research seeks to make better 'human patient simulators'
Released  April 7, 2015
Image showing a neuron with a ray of light and the text photo gallery Exploring the unknown frontier of the brain
James L. Olds, head of NSF's Directorate for Biological Sciences and the Shelley Krasnow University Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at George Mason University describes why and how NSF-funded researchers are working to understand the healthy brain
Released  April 2, 2015
Baboon group in Amboseli, Kenya Born during a drought: Bad news for baboons
Findings have implications for human health
Released  April 1, 2015
Penny Beuning Researcher studies how to prevent antibiotic resistance
Solution could be in bacterial protein called UmuD
Released  March 26, 2015
group of greater mouse-eared bats hanging upside down Hibernation season over, will disease-ridden bats emerge from caves and mines this spring?
White Nose Syndrome now infects bats in several northeastern U.S. states
Released  March 25, 2015
 forest Shrinking habitats have adverse effects on world ecosystems--and ultimately people
Extensive study of global habitat fragmentation points to major trouble ahead
Released  March 23, 2015
Geologist Jeff Johnson working in the inner crater of Villarrica, an active volcano in Chile. Listen to the pulse of an erupting volcano: Chile's Villarrica
Scientists use infrasound instruments to record volcano's "circulation"
Released  March 13, 2015
Nadkarni explains tree biology to medium security inmates at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center. Canopy researcher goes out on a (tree) limb to promote public understanding of science
"Treetop Barbie" is among the bold, inventive tools developed by researcher to reach varied audiences
Released  March 12, 2015
Jennifer Doudna Rewriting genetic information to prevent disease
Breakthrough Prize winner harnesses CRISPR to improve immune system
Released  February 25, 2015
coral reef and fish near Philippines Good news and bad news for coral reefs
There's good news related to marine protected areas, but bad news related to loss of coral cover
Released  February 9, 2015
houses in the Los Rios region of south-central Chile. Field fever, harvest fever, rat catcher's yellows: Leptospirosis by any name is a serious disease
Infection is more prevalent in lower-income tropical areas
Released  February 3, 2015
Microscopic image of senile plaques seen in the cerebral cortex of a person with Alzheimer's Uncovering Alzheimer's complex genetic networks
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic use NSF-supported Blue Waters supercomputer to understand gene expression in the brain
Released  February 3, 2015
cover of Frontiers in ecology journal Drylands: Desolate, scorched, uninhabitable? Scientists say otherwise
Complex ecosystem is patchwork of grasses, shrubs, agricultural fields, urban-dwelling species, including humans
Released  February 2, 2015

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