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Federal research funding up in FY 2015

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 14:00

Federal funding for research and development (R&D) and R&D plant (facilities and fixed equipment) totaled $131.4 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, a 1 percent decrease from the previous year, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

NCSES reported that within the R&D total, research obligations -- a category of transactions including orders placed, ...
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Engineering highly adaptable robots requires new tools for new rules

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 00:00

NSF-funded research aiming to making it easier for humans to work directly with a robotic partner in applications such as physical therapy
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Statement from NSF director on Event Horizon Telescope

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 11:46

(Clarification:) This week, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) begins a 10-day attempt to capture the image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The EHT derives its extreme magnifying power by connecting widely spaced radio dishes across the globe into an Earth-sized, virtual telescope. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been a longtime supporter of the EHT program, which is receiving a considerable boost in sensitivity and resolution through ...
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156 early career engineering researchers to journey to frontiers of their fields, chart new paths

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 12:00

Today, 156 early career engineering faculty begin a five-year journey that will take them to the frontiers of fundamental engineering research.

Supported by grants from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Engineering Directorate, each researcher will set out with at least a $500,000 award and a plan to make advances in engineering. Their work will cover fields ranging from smart materials and advanced robotics to secure communications.

"Resilient infrastructure, abundant ...
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Federally funded R&D center funding rebounded in FY 2015

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 08:50

The nation's 42 federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) reported spending $18.5 billion on research and development (R&D) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, their first rebound after several years of declining or flat expenditures, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

The FFRDCs are privately operated R&D organizations that are exclusively or ...
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Researchers uncover clue about how tiny microbes self-mutate

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 14:41

Related stories on NSF's Dimensions of Biodiversity program are available online.

Researchers have discovered that previously unidentified microorganisms have a genetic element that enables them to self-mutate. What's more, these organisms are so plentiful they dramatically expand the diversity of the tree of life.

"This discovery reveals how rapid evolution happens in some of ...
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Smithsonian honors aircrews that flew 2016 medical-evacuation flight to NSF's South Pole station

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 12:32

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will award the 2017 Trophy for Current Achievement to aircrews that flew a mission last summer to evacuate patients from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica.

The mission was unprecedented, taking place at a time of year when the sun had set for the six-month winter. The combination of darkness and extreme cold made flying more hazardous than previous Antarctic rescues.

Two ...
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NSF and Popular Science announce winners of 15th annual 'Vizzies'

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 10:17

Today, Popular Science magazine and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announce the winners of the 15th Annual Vizzies Challenge, celebrating the use of visual media to artfully and clearly communicate scientific data and research.

The competition recognizes the best photographs, videos, illustrations, interactive apps, and posters and graphics produced by academic researchers, artists or hobbyists.

"Congratulations to all of this year's winners, and for everyone ...
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Dust contributes valuable nutrients to Sierra Nevada forest ecosystems

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 12:28

More information on the National Science Foundation's Critical Zone Observatories is available online.

Collecting dust isn't usually considered a good thing.

But dust from as close as California's Central Valley and as far away as Asia's Gobi Desert provides nutrients, especially phosphorus, to vegetation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a team of scientists has found. Their ...
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World Water Day: Fog and dew keep Africa's Namib Desert ecosystem going

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 14:00

The ocean is not the sole source of the fog that sustains life for numerous plants and animals living in Africa's coastal Namib Desert. The fog also comes from groundwater and other sources, report ecohydrologists supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

The scientists conducted the research in one of the world's oldest and most biologically diverse deserts. Their results are published today in ...
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NSF awards 2017 Graduate Research Fellowships

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 11:57

The National Science Foundation (NSF) today named 2,000 individuals as this year's recipients of awards from its Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). GRFP offers fellowships to applicants selected through a national competition.

"This unique program has nurtured economic innovation and leadership in the U.S. continuously since 1952 -- by recruiting and supporting outstanding students with high potential in science, technology, engineering and mathematics very early in their ...
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Westernmost, low-lying region of Louisiana coast on track to drown under sea level rise

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 10:16

Without major efforts to rebuild Louisiana's wetlands, which serve as bulwarks against waves and rising seas, the state's coast has little chance of withstanding the accelerating rate of sea level rise, a new study concludes.

Results of the research, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and conducted by scientists at Tulane University, are published in the journal Nature Communications. They show the rate of sea level rise in the region over the past six to 10 ...
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NSF awards $6.1 million to accelerate advanced wireless research, push beyond 5G

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 11:00

Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a $6.1 million, five-year award to accelerate fundamental research on wireless communication and networking technologies through the foundation's Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program.

Through the PAWR Project Office (PPO), award recipients US Ignite, Inc. and Northeastern University will collaborate with NSF and industry partners to establish ...
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After the lecture: Physicist Anthony Leggett

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 01:00

University of Illinois physicist Anthony Leggett is known for his contributions to understanding helium-3, including why at low temperatures it becomes a superfluid, or a liquid that flows without apparent friction and conducts electricity without resistance.

The Nobel laureate's work on helium-3 -- a non-radioactive isotope found on Earth ...
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