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Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) 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 Kerry Ressler at Yerkes National Research Center. Scientists Investigate Possible 'Fear Drug'
Kerry Ressler's research on the molecular biology of fear could lead to better methods for treating individuals suffering from anxiety disorders
Released  August 5, 2010
Photo of naked mole-rats in the hands of biologist Thomas Park. Naked Mole-Rats' Secrets Revealed
What University of Illinois at Chicago biologist Thomas Park and colleagues are learning from studying how these very strange animals adapt to the challenges of their environment
Released  March 30, 2010
Photo of worker termites protected by a soldier. Termite Battles May Explain Evolution of Social Insects
Research on why early termite offspring remained home with their parents, instead of leaving to create their own colonies, could provide a missing link to the evolution of sterility among social insects
Released  February 17, 2010
Video showing gecko feet. Following in the Footsteps of Nature
Researchers move one step closer to nature with the development of polymers and directional adhesion that follow the workings of a gecko's foot
Released  February 9, 2010
Image of Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito. Why Human Blood Drives Mosquitoes Wild
UC Davis chemical ecologist Walter Leal identifies the chemical source of an annoying attraction
Released  February 8, 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 juvenile northern elephant seals on the beach at Ano Nuevo. How Penguins & Seals Survive Deep Dives
Jessica Meir goes to extreme environments to learn how birds and mammals thrive in conditions that humans cannot tolerate, and she tells readers all about it
Released  July 31, 2009
Picture of the lizard Enyalius leechi over the Amazon rainforest. Putting the Heat on Tropical Lizards
Climate change has a significant impact on tropical lizards and their ecosystems
Released  July 13, 2009
A real scan of a human brain. Unlocking the Secrets and Powers of the Brain
Leading minds in neuroscience discuss what we know about how our brains work and where the field is headed
Released  June 15, 2009
Photo of L. Curtis Hannah, plant molecular biology researcher at the University of Florida. Heat-tolerant Crops Could Prevent Future Starvation and Help Preserve Biofuels
With NSF support, plant molecular biologist L. Curtis Hannah is developing variants of key crops that will produce increased yields under heat stress
Released  April 27, 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
Thermal infrared image of Brazilian free-tailed bats in Texas. 'Gone Bats' Over Aeroecology
New scientific discipline studies bats, birds and other animals in atmosphere closest to Earth's surface
Released  October 28, 2008
Photo of dung beetle males examined in the study. Size Trade-off: Horns vs. Copulatory Organs
Indiana University biologist Armin Moczek explains his findings about the inverse relationship between horn and copulatory organ size in male beetles and how it affects species divergence
Released  September 30, 2008
American pronghorn male defending his harem. Beauty Is in the Genes of the Beholder
New research on American pronghorns explains why not everything is about looks
Released  July 3, 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
2006 in Review 2006: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported activities highlighted last year
Released  January 9, 2007
Scientists recently discovered that the hormone leptin regulates limb growth in tadpoles. Fat Regulating Hormone Found in Amphibian
In tadpoles, leptin may signal when it is time to sprout limbs
Released  August 8, 2006
snake attacking frog eggs Snake Attack on Frog Eggs Provokes Premature Hatching
Developing tadpoles dive to stay alive
Released  June 3, 2005
Wood frog Frozen Frogs Don't Croak
"Freeze-tolerant" amphibians hold promise for organ transplant technology
Released  April 26, 2005
Star-nosed mole News of This Speedy Mole Travels Fast
Researchers need high-speed camera to catch the star-nosed mole devouring its food.
Released  March 8, 2005
turtle in a cloth harness Geomagnetic Landmarks Give Turtles Sense of Where They Are, Where to Go
How sea turtles navigate across vast expanses of featureless ocean to reach feeding and breeding sites has long been a mystery. Now, clues are surfacing to indicate turtles rely partly upon invisible landmarks created by the Earth’s magnetic field.
Released  July 30, 2004
Ken Dial with an adult chukar partridge Young Birds' Flapping May Explain How Dinosaurs Learned to Fly
Two-legged dinosaurs may have used their forelimbs as wing-like structures to propel themselves up steep inclines long before they could fly. This theory may link two current and opposing explanations for how reptiles evolved into flying birds.
Released  July 30, 2004
several views of pterosaur skulls Pterosaur Heads Were Uniquely Adapted for Flight
Taking a high-tech look at fossil skulls, scientists examined the brains of ancient pterosaurs. They found key structures to be specialized and enlarged, a discovery that could revise views of how vision, flight and the brain itself evolved.
Released  July 30, 2004
the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and background representing DNA sequence A Small Plant's Genome Has Huge Impact
Completing the first-ever plant genome means knowing plants well, really well.
Released  July 23, 2004
photo of adult and two juvenile baboons Baboon Fathers Really Do Care About Their Kids
In a finding that surprised researchers, a recent three-year study of five baboon groups at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya reveals that baboon fathers overwhelmingly side with their offspring when intervening in disputes.
Released  July 20, 2004

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