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Biological Sciences (BIO) 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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The bright blue and green colors in this satellite image show the North Atlantic Bloom. Spring plankton bloom hitches ride to sea's depths on ocean eddies
Eddies--whirlpools within currents--transport plankton downward from the ocean surface
Released  March 26, 2015
Penny Beuning Researcher studies how to prevent antibiotic resistance
Solution could be in bacterial protein called UmuD
Released  March 26, 2015
group of greater mouse-eared bats hanging upside down Hibernation season over, will disease-ridden bats emerge from caves and mines this spring?
White Nose Syndrome now infects bats in several northeastern U.S. states
Released  March 25, 2015
Graphic of viruses attempting to dock on a microbial mat, using the tips of their tails. The 'intraterrestrials': New viruses discovered in ocean depths
Viruses infect methane-eating archaea beneath the seafloor
Released  March 23, 2015
 forest Shrinking habitats have adverse effects on world ecosystems--and ultimately people
Extensive study of global habitat fragmentation points to major trouble ahead
Released  March 23, 2015
Photo of Albert Einstein Albert Einstein, in his own words
Think you know the man behind the famous equation? Find out how Einstein dealt with the doubters of relativity--and tried to get his kids to write him more letters.
Released  March 20, 2015
Chein-shiung Wu Pioneering women in STEM
Names you should know, in celebration of Women's History Month
Released  March 17, 2015
Scientists have found that rocks beneath the seafloor are teeming with microbial life. No limit to life in deep sediment of ocean's "deadest" region
Marine scientists find microbes from seafloor to igneous basement below
Released  March 16, 2015
Nadkarni explains tree biology to medium security inmates at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center. Canopy researcher goes out on a (tree) limb to promote public understanding of science
"Treetop Barbie" is among the bold, inventive tools developed by researcher to reach varied audiences
Released  March 12, 2015
Leaves and wood in a stream Nutrient pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus reduces streams' ability to support aquatic life
Residence time of leaves and twigs, important to stream-dwelling species, can be halved
Released  March 5, 2015
Jennifer Doudna Rewriting genetic information to prevent disease
Breakthrough Prize winner harnesses CRISPR to improve immune system
Released  February 25, 2015
coral reef and fish near Philippines Good news and bad news for coral reefs
There's good news related to marine protected areas, but bad news related to loss of coral cover
Released  February 9, 2015
tropical grasslands and savanna Dirt mounds made by termites in Africa, South America, Asia could prevent spread of deserts
Termites create oases of moisture, plant life
Released  February 5, 2015
houses in the Los Rios region of south-central Chile. Field fever, harvest fever, rat catcher's yellows: Leptospirosis by any name is a serious disease
Infection is more prevalent in lower-income tropical areas
Released  February 3, 2015
cover of Frontiers in ecology journal Drylands: Desolate, scorched, uninhabitable? Scientists say otherwise
Complex ecosystem is patchwork of grasses, shrubs, agricultural fields, urban-dwelling species, including humans
Released  February 2, 2015
African buffalo at a watering hole in South Africa. Treatment for parasitic worms helps animals survive infectious diseases--and spread them
Scientists discover unanticipated consequences of some disease remedies
Released  January 8, 2015
health worker with biohazard gear on Ebola, Dengue fever, Lyme disease: The growing economic cost of infectious diseases
Five new such diseases expected each year; strategies to reduce climate change adaptable to infectious diseases
Released  December 16, 2014
Man holding Mediterranean mussels at the Penn Cove Shellfish Farm Ocean acidification a culprit in commercial shellfish hatcheries' failures
New study finds low level of 'saturation state' harmful to bivalve larvae
Released  December 15, 2014
James L. Olds Meet James L. Olds, the new head of NSF's Directorate for Biological Sciences
A conversation with James L. Olds
Released  December 4, 2014
Starfish with sea star wasting disease Virus fingered as top suspect in West Coast sea star wasting disease
Deadly culprit identified as type of parvovirus
Released  November 17, 2014
cherry-sized fruits of a tree species in Thailand Fruits of the forest gone: Overhunting of large animals has catastrophic effects on trees
As the animals go, so go tropical forests
Released  November 12, 2014
The endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog sitting on a rock "Microbiome" of Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs shifts during infectious disease outbreaks
Interaction between microbiome and infectious pathogens may drive disease
Released  November 12, 2014
Elizabeth Stacy in a stand of stunted Metrosideros Tracing the evolution of forest trees
Evergreen tree in Hawaii offers clues into survival of tropical ecosystems
Released  November 7, 2014
Artist's reconstruction of the huge groundhog-like animal that once lived on Madagascar. Scientists discover fossil of bizarre groundhog-like mammal on Madagascar
Newly discovered fossil alters thinking on evolution of early mammals
Released  November 5, 2014
health workers in biohazard gear Halting the spread of Ebola: Nigeria a model for quick action, scientists find
Rapid control measures critical to stopping the virus in its tracks
Released  October 16, 2014
sunflowers in a  farm field next to houses Ten things to know about the flowers of fall: Sunflowers
Scientists unfurl common flowers' genetic secrets
Released  October 14, 2014
dunes and desert vegetation Sleeping sands of the Kalahari awaken after more than 10,000 years
Overgrazing leaves desert's red dunes blowing in the African wind
Released  October 8, 2014
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
educators shooting video for virtual field trip to Grand Canyon Accomplished research scientists are also outstanding teachers of undergraduates
Of the 15 recently announced Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors--who will receive $1 million over five years to pursue innovative ideas in the undergraduate science classroom--13 have received support from the National Science Foundation
Released  September 18, 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

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