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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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Radar imagery showing areas with storm and hail in Texas Predicting severe hail storms
NSF-supported research at the University of Oklahoma uses supercomputers and simulations to improve storm forecasts
Released  March 22, 2016
animation showing hydrocarbons clump together and rise through water during purification Acoustic technique presents fresh take on water treatment
Technology could solve longstanding problem of separating suspended contaminants from water
Released  March 22, 2016
The drillship JOIDES Resolution at sea Human-driven carbon release rate unprecedented in past 66 million years
Humans responsible for carbon release 10 times faster than any event since age of dinosaurs
Released  March 21, 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
people with computers at a conference Envisioning supercomputers of the future
Project to test operating systems for future exascale computers
Released  March 17, 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
Lynden Archer with students in the lab After the Lecture
NSF-funded materials scientist Lynden Archer on batteries, diversity and the state of materials science
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
cosmic dust All we are is dust in the interstellar wind
NSF-funded researcher creates a map of dust in the Milky Way galaxy
Released  March 9, 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
images of animals and birds Conversing with computers
USC researchers develop algorithms that let machines understand speech with human-like speed, accuracy
Released  March 2, 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
Man jolds a commercial prototype of Wanda device Security with the wave of a wand
Dartmouth project designs cybersecurity measures for home-based health care
Released  February 29, 2016
Harriet Tubman Rescued history
Massive data analysis helps uncover black women's experiences
Released  February 25, 2016
Amazon forest from tree line New insights into the seasonality of Amazon's evergreen forests
Research could improve climate and ecosystem models
Released  February 25, 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
nsf logo President Obama honors early career scientists with top White House award
Twenty-one researchers nominated by the National Science Foundation receive awards for innovation, outreach in scientific community
Released  February 18, 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
graphic showing a city skyline Multinational companies perform majority of U.S. business R&D
Interagency data linking project reveals new insights
Released  February 5, 2016
hills, plants and dry land in the southwestern U.S. Southwest sliding into a new normal: drier conditions
Weather patterns that bring rain becoming less frequent
Released  February 4, 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
aerial view of NSF's Mo'orea Coral Reef Long-Term Ecological Research site NSF awards rapid response grants to study current El Niņo, one of the strongest on record
Awards address effects on coral reefs; connections between rainfall and landslides; and signatures of past El Niños in ice caps
Released  February 2, 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
robotic arm in a factory U.S. R&D increased in 2013, well ahead of the pace of gross domestic product
Business R&D performance mainly drove the increase
Released  January 21, 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

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