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Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) 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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Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding from a cultured cell. Catching HIV budding from cells: it all comes down to ALIX
Study shows last-minute role of specific protein named ALIX
Released  May 16, 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
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
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
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
Graphic illustration showing a human head, light and waves Prying Open the Black Box of the Brain
NSF-funded workshop addresses brain structure and function
Released  June 12, 2013
Graphic illustration showing the earth with an EKG-like signal New NEON Resources Available
Videos, brochure and webcast on the NEON available online
Released  June 11, 2013
Researcher Carla Finkielstein examines mutations of circadian proteins. Studying Molecules That Regulate the Body’s Circadian Rhythms
Researcher examines behavior of genes to understand breast cancer risks and other health issues
Released  April 29, 2013
Photo of Raphael Perea delivering a presentation. Native Americans Trained to Address Environmental Problems on Their Lands
NSF-funded program at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute teaches Native Americans about geospatial data
Released  March 20, 2013
collage image showing penguins, swans, sea horses Animal Attraction: The Many Forms of Monogamy in the Animal Kingdom
A Valentine's Day special on the science of monogamy
Released  February 13, 2013
Fish and corals. Life in the Fast Lane: Racing to Identify Species As Biodiversity Shrinks
A conversation about conserving and naming species
Released  January 4, 2013
Photo of multiple bats in a cave in Trinidad. The Night Life: Why We Need Bats All the Time--Not Just on Halloween
Researchers are identifying the important ecological and economic contributions of bats, gleaning lessons from incredible bat abilities that may advance technology, and helping to battle a new fatal bat epidemic
Released  October 31, 2012
Photo of a teacher with two students carrying out a science experiment. "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology" Initiative Charts New Path for College-level Biology
Meeting the needs of the 21st Century
Released  January 24, 2012
Photo of a C. elegans worm tail belonging to a male, showing sensory rays. Worms Can Evolve to Survive Intersex Populations
Experimental evolution reveals a possible intermediate stage in the evolution of sex determination
Released  December 5, 2011
Illustration of a viral life cycle. Fighting the Flu
Researchers study flu proteins in-depth to identify virus vulnerabilities
Released  February 11, 2011
Illustration of sulfur dioxide molecules forming weak bonds with water molecules. The Water Dance
A myriad of methods for watching water molecules in motion advances critical understanding of biology, chemistry and climate science
Released  November 28, 2010
Photo showing a petri dish swabbed with a culture of bioluminiscent marine bacteria. Scientists Eavesdrop on Bacteria Conversation
The discovery of how bacteria communicate may lead to new types of antibiotics and ways of improving actions of good bacteria
Released  June 30, 2010
Photo of Ben Levinson watching Rama Balasubramanian adjust the levels of gases in a fermenter. Good Bacteria Eat Bad Greenhouse Gas
With NSF support, Amy Rosenzweig's group seeks to understand the cellular machinery that enable certain bacteria to leach copper out of the environment and metabolize methane
Released  May 7, 2010
Image of lunge and wing-threat behavior between a pair of male fruit flies. Angry Flies May Help Explain Human Aggression
Caltech biologist David Anderson and his colleagues identify a brain chemical involved in promoting aggression in flies
Released  January 29, 2010
Photo showing cockroaches. With Help from a Bacterium, Cockroaches Develop Way to Store Excess Uric Acid
Finding could lead to new understanding of substance harmful in kidney disease and other human diseases
Released  November 5, 2009
Photo of the submersible Alvin that was used to collect sediment from methane seeps. Exploring the Mysteries of the Ocean Floor
Scientists travel to the seafloor to learn how deep sea organisms use the sun-less chemical environment to thrive
Released  October 14, 2009
Photo of a cicada feeding on a plant in Tucson, Ariz. Tiny Bacteria Are Secret to Cicada's Success
Some common life forms, like cicadas, depend on complex symbiotic relationships with specialized microbes to produce essential nutrients
Released  August 14, 2009
Diatoms through the microscope. Journal Spotlights Research on Marine Microbes Funded by National Science Foundation
The authors of all five articles included in Nature's recent special section on microbial oceanography have received NSF funding
Released  May 29, 2009
Photo of Katrina Edwards sub-sampling volcanic basalt for microbiology as Brian Midson looks on. Hunting for Life in Rocks Beneath the Seas
University of Southern California geobiologist Katrina Edwards describes research to find and characterize microbes in the crust beneath the deep sea
Released  May 8, 2009
Eight thumbnail images and 2008 in Review 2008: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities that made news last year
Released  March 13, 2009
AFM images showing two yellow molecules on a blue mica surface. Researcher Says Life Evolved Between the Mica Sheets
Biophysicist Helen Greenwood Hansma of the University of California, Santa Barbara, on the origin of her new hypothesis for the origins of life
Released  July 14, 2008
Photo of a  researcher collecting a sample at a mine for microbial analysis. Microbes to People: Without Us, You're Nothing!
How tiny microbes run the world
Released  April 21, 2008
Photo of a microbial community known as a thrombolite. The World's Smallest Whistle-Blowers: Microbes
Microbes warn of ecological damage
Released  April 21, 2008
2007 In Review 2007: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities reported last year
Released  January 30, 2008

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