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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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photo of tropical forest Expensive cup o'joe? Blame coffee farm rust fungus
To find answers, scientists study ecological complexity of Mexican, Central American coffee plantations
Released  September 29, 2014
Blue mussel larvae settled on a rope. How to grow mussels
Researchers optimize growing conditions and practices to improve mussel farming
Released  September 25, 2014
Researchers study plants in a greenhouse. Building the framework for the future of biofuels
Do plant-based fuels offer a realistic reprieve from a fossil-powered future? An ASU engineer examines the full cycle
Released  September 24, 2014
Photo of dried kenaf, a plant similar to bamboo Plant-based building materials may boost energy savings
Insulation for homes of the future may be harvested from fields of kenaf, an alternative to fiberglass
Released  September 23, 2014
People stand in a food bank storage area. Engineering a better food bank
Key nodes in a vast national food distribution system, food banks manage complex logistics that help connect families to farms
Released  September 22, 2014
Stream restoration involving reconnection of an urban waterway near Baltimore with its floodplain. A river runs through it: U.S. cities' waterways show consistent patterns of evolution
Urban waters record salt in our food, cement in our sidewalks
Released  September 10, 2014
Loihi Seamount structures built by iron-oxidizing microbes. Rust villages of the deep: In Pele's shadow, iron oxide, or rust, comes to life
Elaborate Hawaiian seamount structures built by iron-oxidizing microbes
Released  August 7, 2014
Image of Bacillus subtillis. Researchers investigate remarkable approach to desalination
Rice scientists reprogram protein pairs; attempt to modify bacterial decisions
Released  August 3, 2014
fire ants on a plant Border crossing: 10 things to know about invasive fire ants on the march
Are fire ants using habitat corridors to advance the front?
Released  August 1, 2014
French green clays in pots, bottles and soap on a counter New answer to MRSA, other 'superbug' infections: clay minerals?
Researchers discover natural clay deposits with antibacterial properties
Released  July 17, 2014
Berry Farmer John Eiskamp checks soil tension on his farm using his iPad. Strawberries with a thirst
Mathematicians help California drought-weary berry growers address water issues
Released  July 1, 2014
iluustration showing a map of links between the genes of the mustard plant Arabidopsis thaliana "Bottom-up" proteomics
NSF-funded supercomputer helps researchers interpret genomes
Released  July 1, 2014
Illustration of the T. aurantiacus LPMO (gray) with cellulose Converting biomass to fuels
Researchers use NSF-supported Stampede supercomputer to improve catalysts for conversion
Released  June 30, 2014
image of protein strcuture and text photo gallery Computing a cure for HIV
Nine ways NSF-supported supercomputers help scientists understand and treat the disease
Released  June 26, 2014
two stages in the temporal evolution of synthetic DNA nanostructures  imaged through Stampede Blueprint for the affordable genome
Stampede supercomputer powers innovations in DNA sequencing technologies
Released  June 23, 2014
blue crab with the text photo gallery Summer brings crab feasts--and concerns for Chesapeake blue crabs
Infectious diseases play a part in crab population declines
Released  June 17, 2014
Artist's reconstruction of Zanda Fauna from the Pliocene about three to five million years ago. "Out of Tibet" hypothesis: Cradle of evolution for cold-adapted mammals is in Tibet
Extinct Tibetan fox, ancestor of today's arctic fox, used Tibet as training ground for Ice Age climate
Released  June 11, 2014
owl monkeys Father's day special: And the best father in the animal kingdom is...
Award-winning primatologist and conservationist Patricia Wright discusses why owl monkeys and other species of small monkeys are extraordinarily devoted dads
Released  June 11, 2014
tractor  in a corn field at the NSF Kellogg Biological Station LTER site. How much fertilizer is too much for Earth's climate?
Helping farmers around the globe combat greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
Released  June 9, 2014
Spray glider in the water World Oceans Day: 12 things to know about El Niņo: Is it coming, and when?
How will it affect coastal species--and the fish on our dinner tables?
Released  June 5, 2014
Image of glial cells in a mouse brain The beautiful brain cells you don't know about
Hint: They're not neurons
Released  June 3, 2014
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
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Do you know where the ticks are? Lyme Disease: Ten things you always wanted to know about ticks...
...but maybe were afraid to ask...
Released  May 16, 2014
Sign on a lake with algae reads for swimmers health please don't feed the ducks Clarity for lake researchers' water quality questions
Studies of trends in Midwestern lakes benefit from help of local residents
Released  May 1, 2014
Math is helping us understand insomnia, medical condition-induced sleep disorders and even jet lag. Finding a formula for zzzzzzzs
Math and a good night's sleep
Released  April 30, 2014
photo of Antonis Rokas Reconstructing the tree of life
Research builds on understanding how life evolved on Earth and how different traits and organisms developed
Released  April 30, 2014
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
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
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

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