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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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cancer cells and copper Starving the beast
New NSF-funded research finds way to withhold cancer cells' favorite food
Released  November 24, 2015
person with EEG cap looking at art At the intersection of neuroscience and art
Blending cognition and engineering to reveal the neural basis of creativity
Released  November 17, 2015
researcher setting a rat trap Where do rats move in after disasters? This team finds out
Post-Hurricane Katrina research aims to provide communities better data on rodent populations, dangers
Released  November 5, 2015
Salt marshes in Hatches Harbor, Mass. Grass-planting change boosts coastal wetland restoration success
Marsh grasses should be spaced close together, not far apart
Released  November 3, 2015
fluid dynamics lab with two people An oral history of an NSF Ideas Lab
The story behind 'Cracking the Olfactory Code'
Released  November 3, 2015
hoatzin bird in a tree How much did indigenous peoples alter the Amazon forest?
Effects were likely only along major waterways
Released  October 28, 2015
person sitting next to a lake formed in a flooded sinkhole Ancient fossils show effect of humans on Caribbean wildlife
Fossils found in flooded cave tell new story about nature-human interactions
Released  October 20, 2015
dead trees in a forest Morticulture: Forests of the living dead
Scientists unearth importance of dead wood to forest ecosystems
Released  October 19, 2015
A siphonophore glides through the sea. Clues to future of undersea exploration may reside inside a jellyfish-like creature
Siphonophore holds secrets of oceanic "jet propulsion"
Released  October 7, 2015
burnt trees in a forest Future wildfires may burn large parts of landscapes
Scientists look back at fire history to see into the future
Released  October 6, 2015
man and child look at a rain gauge in a driveway Be a (citizen) scientist!
A celebration of open science and innovation
Released  September 30, 2015
Neurons of a mouse brain Video series: New strategies address one of science's greatest mysteries
36 NSF-funded research teams work to help reveal how neurons team up to produce thoughts and actions
Released  September 23, 2015
Brian Nosek and reporter Video: The basics of reproducibility
The president of the Center for Open Science discusses his work
Released  September 1, 2015
Fog over the estuary of the Klamath River along the Pacific Coast. Mercury-laden fog swirls over coastal California, scientists find
Ultimately makes its way into ecosystems along shore
Released  August 26, 2015
Students adjust the target wheel and detectors near a beam outlet Nuclear physics technique helps companies detect dangerous compound
Scientist develops new approach to rapidly identify toxic compounds in everyday materials such as clothing
Released  August 17, 2015
animation showing Motyxia bistipita emitting a blue green light. Shedding light on millipede evolution
A Virginia Tech entomologist discusses millipedes that light up, and some really bright ideas inspired by bioluminescence
Released  July 31, 2015
Warthogs walking next to people in a village Wildlife species provide clues to spread of antibiotic resistance in Africa
Scientists uncover ways exposure increases, and resistance moves among humans, other animals, ecosystems
Released  July 29, 2015
a basket of blackberries It's blackberry season! Summer fruits depend on pollinators. But where have all the bees gone?
Scientist offers insights into national, global pollinator declines
Released  July 27, 2015
a shark in the water The truth about sharks
With shark attacks, or bites, in the news, what's the story behind the story?
Released  July 27, 2015
A female anopheles mosquito Breaking the cycle of malaria transmission
Discovery of protein could lead to treatment that creates 'dead end' for malaria parasite
Released  July 23, 2015
Student holding a sample for rsearch in the lab Finding the origins of life in a drying puddle
Researchers find wet and dry cycles result in important chemical processes
Released  July 20, 2015
pygmy slow loris clinging to a branch Saving the slow loris
Fighting wildlife trafficking with interdisciplinary research and a legacy of international collaboration
Released  July 13, 2015
Scientist in lake collecting sediment samples in Maine Methane-eating microorganisms help regulate emissions from wetlands
Without this process, methane emissions from freshwater wetlands could be 30 to 50 percent higher
Released  June 30, 2015
Kid on a stationary bike in the Hank Virtual Environments Lab Beyond looking both ways
SBE-funded researchers ask a fundamental safety question: What are kids thinking when crossing the street?
Released  June 26, 2015
a clock, laser beems and frequency combs Combing frequencies
NSF-funded center provides spectrum of new research, technology
Released  June 23, 2015
Cross section view of a whispering gallery mode Like cotton candy? You'll love electrospinning
Forget that old glucose test. In the future, suits of light and virus-filled fibers could detect trace amounts of biological molecules
Released  June 22, 2015
team of scientists collecting hives Protecting the honey-bearers
Ancestors of American honey bees shed light on pollinator health
Released  June 19, 2015
mouse brain imaged using photoacoustic microscopy. Seeing more deeply with laser light
Photoacoustic approach shows potential to expand bioimaging's scope
Released  June 19, 2015
Wasp Tiny brains, but shared smarts
Unlike humans and other vertebrates, the brains of wasps shrink when they're socialized--but they might 'share' brainpower
Released  June 17, 2015
forest As Massachusetts ecosystems shrink, hard-working "hotspots" emerge
Researchers call hotspots valuable, but say their growing numbers might be cause for concern
Released  May 14, 2015

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