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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
liquid asphalt rubber binder poured in a dish Old tires become material for new and improved roads
"Crumb" rubber can lower road noise and reduce need for road maintenance
Released  April 21, 2014
Mark D. Hill Shaving nanoseconds from racing processors
University of Wisconsin researcher finds hidden efficiencies in computer architecture
Released  April 17, 2014
image of a new Earth-sized planet Earth-sized exoplanet discovery
Gemini confirms Earth-sized planet
Released  April 17, 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
montage of images shows the evolution of a white dwarf star Cosmic slurp
Georgia Tech researchers use supercomputers to understand and predict signs of black holes swallowing stars
Released  April 14, 2014
researcher in a lab testing a mattress for chemicals Crib mattress dangers
NSF-funded researchers discover harmful chemicals in crib mattresses
Released  April 9, 2014
crystalline motif First principles approach to creating new materials
Solid-state chemistry and theoretical physics combined to help discover new materials with useful properties
Released  April 4, 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
aerial view of burning lava NSF-funded researchers use new models to explore Earth's interior
New findings from Arizona State University can help explain the geochemistry of lava
Released  March 31, 2014
students at computers using Social Explorer Mapping tool used by Census Bureau has roots in NSF-funded project
Census Explorer, a new online tool that displays demographic information on maps of states, counties, and neighborhoods, is powered by Social Explorer, a data visualization tool developed by NSF-funded sociologist Andrew Beveridge
Released  March 27, 2014
panda eating bamboo Belly up to the bamboo buffet: Pandas vs. horses
Livestock, particularly horses, have been identified as a significant threat to panda survival
Released  March 25, 2014
Ilya Bindeman Will the Yellowstone supervolcano erupt in our lifetime?
Researcher studies the past to predict the future
Released  March 25, 2014
Children at a table in school examine seeds Hooked on STEMGenetics
Genetics curriculum blends teacher-led discussion, online learning and hands-on activities
Released  March 19, 2014
Closeup of fossil bone structure Snakes Alive! NSF-funded researchers find oldest fossil evidence of modern African venomous snakes
Seasonal habitats may have given rise to active hunters earlier than previously reported
Released  March 19, 2014
Oguzhan Alagoz Tailoring disease screening programs to individuals
Researcher developed a customized computer algorithm that provides a better decision support tool
Released  March 18, 2014
 the Large Hadron Collider. Catching the Fever
Particle Fever discovers the human element to physics
Released  March 14, 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
Daniel Sheehy Researcher studies unsolved problem of interacting objects
Insights could enable more widespread use of superconducting materials
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
image of Chulsung Bae Material technology that can increase performance of fuel cells
Researcher hopes to create fuel cells that are more durable, efficient and less costly
Released  February 25, 2014
Animation from supercomputer data showing the inner zone of the accretion disk of a black hole Let there be light
Simulations on NSF-supported supercomputer re-create X-rays emerging from the neighborhood of black holes
Released  February 18, 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
Lara Estroff Learning from biology to create new materials
Researcher studies crystal growth that may lead to biomaterials for bone and tooth repair
Released  February 10, 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
 image showing cells responding to stress from various blood flows Mechanical engineer studies flow of blood vessels related to diabetes and resulting heart disease
Research could lead to development of new drugs and tissue engineering applications
Released  February 6, 2014
Illustration of brain cancer Radically modified cells may stunt brain tumor growth
Cell-based treatment could lead to a new standard of care for brain cancer patients
Released  February 3, 2014

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