Understanding NSF Research: Biology
Probing the rules of life and the complex interactions with our environment
Today's biologist is far more than a biology expert these days. To answer the most challenging biological questions, she or he must bridge physics, chemistry, engineering, informatics, material science and mathematics, as well as other disciplines that help address key questions about ourselves, our environment and how the two affect one another on the smallest and largest scales.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is unlike any other federal agency or organization, helping to provide tools and resources that wouldn't exist otherwise.
Involved at the very beginning, NSF's role is to seed invaluable research that can transform agriculture, rethink assumptions that underlie complex human health issues, and allow policymakers and others to understand changes in our environment to find the most prudent approaches to addressing them or adapting.
Semiconductor Synthetic Biology
NSF-funded researchers anticipate that biological structures like DNA, integrated with semiconductor technology, could store 1,000 times more data than current capabilities and retain it for more than a century, while consuming much less energy.
Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases
Multidisciplinary teams of scientists — jointly funded by NSF and NIH — bolster the research community's knowledge of pathogens and their diseases, which can decimate crops, ravage animal populations and harm humans.
Fundamental Brain and Nervous System Research
Before scientists can find cures to Alzheimer's or succeed at building artificial intelligence, they need basic research. NSF-funded scientists use genetics and optics to explore brain cells. They study fruit flies to understand learning and memory. And they apply biological principles to build brain-machine interface technology.
Dimensions of Biodiversity
Whether researching cloud forests, exotic flowers or common tomatoes, coral reefs or freshwater algae blooms, NSF-funded scientists integrate multiple areas to link functional, genetic and phylogenetic dimensions of biodiversity, producing rapid advances to help create, maintain and understand loss of biodiversity.
MacroSystems Biology that “Connects the Dots”
Ecological projects can leverage NSF biological infrastructure to study how organisms and ecosystems respond to environmental changes from local to continental scales. Most projects address long-standing questions that couldn't be approached before NEON's standardized, publicly available ecological data.
|NSF Biology News