People & Society

Out of fascination and need, people have always studied other people. When scientific methods are applied to those observations, the studies help characterize and analyze our behavior, social and political institutions, family and community structures and our economies. Scientific studies of people and society help answer age-old human contemplations.

The role of the hippocampus in discerning memory

Without an intact hippocampus, forming new memories is impossible. Researchers from Arizona State University and Stanford University have found an equally important role for the hippocampus: feeding information to brain areas responsible for learning

What you see is what you know

National Science Foundation-funded cognitive neuroscientists at George Washington University have found that a person's knowledge about the size of everyday objects impacts how our brains process and interact with the visual environment

The sound of science

James Madison University hosts a summer program that pairs deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals with hearing individuals in a research setting

Chapter III: Soledad Fuica at ALMA Observatory

This video is based on a gathering between students and scientists organized last year by AUI/NRAO, SOCHIAS and Inspiring Girls, with the enthusiastic participation of scientists from the ALMA and ESO Observatories and three universities in Chile

NSF Science Now: Episode 64

In this week's episode, we examine barnacles and the wealth of information they hold; explore our brains and perception; and, finally, we test pseudo-LiDAR for self-driving cars. Check it out!

Peoples Choice: Primarily Math

Primarily Math is a professional development program for primary-grade teachers (K-3) in Nebraska, designed to educate and strengthen teachers in their teaching and development of mathematics

A Best-Kept Secret: STEM Research at Tribal Colleges and Universities

The National Science Foundation's Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) presents a documentary showcasing examples of original research being conducted by students and faculty at tribal colleges and universities, as well as insights into the students' academic success and aspirations, and what STEM research means to them

Women's History Makers: Carmiña Londoño

Women are making history today and every day at the National Science Foundation. NSF proudly recognizes its very own women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, advancing science and providing a beacon of light for youth and adults alike.

Women's History Makers: Talitha Washington

Women are making history today and every day at the National Science Foundation. NSF proudly recognizes its very own women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, advancing science and providing a beacon of light for youth and adults alike.

Tanana, Alaska: Connecting food, energy and water

The Tanana community is one of four selected for participation in the National Science Foundation project, "Coupling infrastructure improvements to food-energy-water system dynamics in small cold region communities: MicroFEWs"

Cordova, Alaska: Connecting food, energy and water

The Cordova community is one of four selected for participation in the National Science Foundation project, "Coupling infrastructure improvements to food-energy-water system dynamics in small cold region communities: MicroFEWs"

The Changing Arctic 

Researchers funded by the National Science Foundation are helping understand changes in the Arctic, from incorporating the unique perspectives of indigenous communities in the Arctic and subarctic to developing new technologies that collect more data to assist with better modeling

Maine tends growing STEM collaborative

The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education, or RiSE Center, at the University of Maine connects with educators statewide, at all levels, to advance innovative and engaging hands-on teaching and learning

What is neuroethics?

What is neuroethics? Tim Brown, doctoral candidate and research assistant at University of Washington's Center for Neurotechnology, answers the question on this edition of "Ask a Scientist."

3D printed objects that can track and store information

Vikram Iyer, doctoral student in the University of Washington's Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, demonstrates 3D printed devices that can track and store information about their use without using batteries or electronics

Trick neurons with the Stroop Test

Researchers in the Adolphs laboratory at Caltech have discovered that certain types of neurons called error neurons are more active when we make a mistake. Take the Stroop test and see how you fare

Why does group categorization matter?

Why does group categorization matter? Kristina Olson, associate professor of psychology at University of Washington and 2018 Alan T. Waterman Award recipient, answers the question on this edition of "Ask a Scientist."

Factory of the future shaped by augmented reality

Professor Karthik Ramani of Purdue University is joining forces with manufacturers to build virtual factories using augmented reality, so that they can test new labor-saving technologies in the virtual world before installing them in the real world

Why can it be so hard to decide on lunch?

A new study conducted at reveals new insights into choice overload, including the parts of the brain responsible for it and how many options the brain actually prefers when it is making a choice

Scientists determine 4 personality types based on new data

A new study led sifted through data from more than 1.5 million questionnaire respondents and found four distinct clusters of personality types exist -- average, reserved, self-centered and role model -- challenging existing paradigms in psychology

Nighttime heat stresses wheat

Kansas State University agronomists Krishna Jagadish and Allan Fritz talk about a research project they're conducting, which is testing the impact of high nighttime temperatures on a wheat stand's ability to produce good yields and quality grain

'Non-smoking' doesn't mean smoke-free

Despite decades of indoor smoking bans and restrictions, new research from Drexel University suggests the toxins we've been trying to keep out are still finding their way into the air inside

Robots that can go anywhere in the world

The Robomechanics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University is working to take robots out of the lab and factory and into challenging real world environments, such as rocky hills and cluttered houses

How babies retain information

It's no secret that reading to children is essential for their optimal brain development, but a National Science Foundation-funded research team, led by Lisa Scott at the University of Florida, has discovered that reading books that name and label people and objects are even better

Battling wildfires with data-driven knowledge

San Diego Supercomputer Center's chief data science officer Ilkay Altintas describes a National Science Foundation-funded project that uses data-driven knowledge and predictive tools to battle wildfires, such as those that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in 2017

ScienCast: Learning to trust robots

Yue Wang at Clemson University is building robots that people can trust by teaching them how to learn and interpret human behaviors and react accordingly

NSF Science Now: Episode 55

In this week's episode, we learn how infants retain information; how loud noise can affect birds; the underpinnings of snake locomotion and, finally, the existence of a hitherto unknown ancient Native American population

Lights out!

Our cities are very congested, much of which stems from traffic lights. If we can reduce that congestion and harmonize traffic with lights, we can contribute to more efficient, cleaner cities.

Fighting brain drain with a game

One of the two brain-training methods most scientists use in research is significantly better in improving memory and attention, Johns Hopkins University researchers found

NSF Science Now: Episode 53

In this week's episode, we discover a new species of titanosaurian dinosaur and how airline boarding procedures might be making you sick; we explore a compact mass spectrometer for use in the field; and finally, we learn how vertebrate tails actually provide greater speed

The robots are coming

In this interview, director of Georgia Tech's Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) Magnus Egerstedt outlines IRIM's strengths, the global future of robotics and his new project: the robotarium.

Walk this way!

National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Carnegie Mellon University developed a technique that can dramatically improve mobility for millions of people who currently use prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons to walk

Relief from Parkinson's

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered two groups of neurons that can be turned on and off like a light switch to alleviate the movement-related symptoms of Parkinson's disease for longer periods of time

Cognitive and neural benefits of teaching spatial thinking

This behavioral and neuroimaging study investigates the effects of spatial education embedded in a science class on the core spatial abilities and science, technology, engineering and mathematics-relevant spatial thinking of high school students

What is convergence?

Through its Growing Convergent Research at NSF, one of the foundation's "10 Big Idea for Future NSF investments," the foundation seeks to highlight the value of convergence, the deep integration of multiple disciplines in order to advance scientific discovery and innovation

Mobile city science: counter-mapping the neighborhood

This project is studying how two groups of urban youth collect data about and map their communities using mobile and location-aware technologies, and how these data support educators to better understand the places in which students live

The glass is greener

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, Bourns College of Engineering have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries

Sonic cyberattacks on MEMS accelerometers

New research at the University of Michigan calls into question the longstanding computer science tenet that software can automatically trust hardware sensors, which feed autonomous systems with fundamental data they need to make decisions

Creating safer, smarter homes

The University of Washington School of Nursing is harnessing the power of everyday items to turn houses into smart homes--and allowing older adults to live independently, thanks to modern technology

Why is Texas shaking?

The new TexNet Seismic Monitoring Network is helping to locate and determine the origins of earthquakes in Texas

Palau coral reefs have a global impact

Humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Through a process called ocean acidification, about a quarter to a third of this carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, causing a decrease in the pH of ocean water

Confessions of a marine biologist

Mike Gil, a postdoctoral scholar at University of California-Davis, will be one of 20 international fellows who will give talks at TEDGlobal in Arusha, Tanzania, in August

Every last drop

Each year 12 competitively selected undergraduates fly to Australia to work alongside PIRE researchers as they conduct field work to look at engineering, ecological, and social science aspects of Melbourne's green storm water infrastructure

Humanexus

This multiple award-winning semi-documentary animation visualizes human communication from the Stone Age to today and beyond

Semiconductors for an energy efficient future

Lisa Porter, professor of materials science and engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University, discusses her research on semiconductor materials and devices, especially those that enable new technologies for a more energy-efficient future.

Farming the sea

Maine's Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET) helps support University of Maine research and educational outreach related to the farming of aquatic organisms

Tiny solutions to big water problems

How do you take dirty water and make it clean? With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), this team is hard at work designing nanometer-scale water filters that could soon make clean drinking water available and affordable for even the poorest of the poor around the world

Polyploidy

A team of three scientists from Kansas State University, Michigan State University and the Desert Botanical Garden are investigating polyploidy (the condition of having more than one set of chromosomes) and diversity in the plant genus Phlox (Polemoniaceae).

Dive Deeper: Donna Blackman looks at the future of Alvin

Marine geophysicist Donna Blackman from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography remembers Alvin's discovery of the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in 2000 and looks ahead to the people and tools that will take Alvin to even greater depths of discovery

SupraSensor: A super tool for precision agriculture

The SupraSensor device is designed to give farmers a highly accurate, virtually constant stream of data on nitrate levels. The device is an excellent example of highly applied science with roots in basic research -- in this case supramolecular chemistry at the University of Oregon.

Researchers assemble 5 new synthetic yeast chromosomes

A global research team has built five new synthetic yeast chromosomes, meaning that 30 percent of a key organism's genetic material has now been swapped out for engineered replacements. Jef Boeke discusses the importance of yeast as a research model and how new research may lead to synthetic genomes to address unmet needs in medicine and industry.

Math + water = strawberry growth

In the strawberry capital of California, the water source is a confined underground aquifer that is slowly being depleted. How can American growers meet the demand and maximize profits while using the least amount of water? Sounds like an agricultural math problem.

NSF Science Now: Episode 50

In this week's episode, we learn how AI uncovers insights into cancer, how loops give toughness to spider silk, a newly released database of stars and finally, we investigate a novel water testing technique. Check it out!

A grassland bird’s changing world

Prairies are characterized by highly variable climate, yet we lack the theoretical knowledge to predict whether adaption to such conditions offers organisms greater resilience to additional change, or whether they already experience conditions near the limits of their physiological capabilities. This video describes a study that capitalizes on a 28-year dataset of avian abundances and the infrastructure and experimental manipulations made possible by the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program at the Konza Prairie in NE Kansas.

Women’s History Month: Engineer Erin Bell is designing ‘living’ bridges

Engineers at the University of New Hampshire are raising the bar on what 21st century infrastructure systems can do. With support from the National Science Foundation, they're outfitting the Memorial Bridge, which links Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Kittery, Maine, with sensors to monitor everything from structural stability to traffic to environmental health. It will even be powered by tidal energy, a renewable energy source. They call it a 'living bridge,' and it exemplifies the future of smart, sustainable, user-centered transportation infrastructure.

Women engineers discuss ‘Hidden Figures’ and lingering challenges

The nonfiction book and its film counterpart "Hidden Figures" revealed the genius behind the American space race in the 1960s: a cohort of black women who, despite segregation and discrimination, applied their genius in math and engineering to help send our rockets and astronauts into space and bring them back safely.

Vehicle electrification

Jeremy Michalek, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses several aspects of vehicle electrification: technology, life cycle, consumer behavior and public policy.

Water, food & energy

Scientists and engineers, including Greg Characklis at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are studying the connections between water, food and energy in the human water cycle to develop new, sustainable ways of meeting our water needs.

NSF Science Now: Episode 49

In this week's episode we learn about a new app for bird watchers, girls and stereotypes, beluga whale migration and, finally, the discovery of a 250-million-year-old shark-like fish. Check it out!

Breaking summer records

In episode 60, Charlie and Jordan return from summer break to investigate the future of summers. According to NSF-funded research at NCAR, in 50 years, summers across most of the globe could be hotter than any other experienced by people, ever.

NSF Science Now: Episode 43

In this week's episode, we follow a construction site drone, examine tunable window technology, learn how words are represented in the brain and, finally, we examine 240 million-year-old fossils.

Fish-enomics

In episode 48, Jordan and Charlie discuss the economic benefits of regulating mercury pollution. Researchers at MIT were able to translate the estimated health impacts of mercury pollution for US populations into economic benefits.

'Go Baby Go!' Mobility for kids with disabilities

The exploration experiences that children have at an early age play an important role in cognitive development. A research team from the University of Delaware, led by physical therapy professor Cole Galloway, is working on ways to help infants with walking and crawling issues have those kinds of experiences.

2015 editor's pick: enormous underwater fossil graveyard found

In January 2015, anthropologists and paleontologists uncovered what could be the largest single collection of lemur remains ever found. The remains were hidden in a series of underwater caves in a remote desert region of Madagascar. Described as a "lemur graveyard," the discovery of hundreds of potentially 1,000-year-old skeletons make it one of the most unique animal gravesites in the world. This discovery could be important for understanding animal and human ancestry, and result in a new era for underwater paleontology.

Automony in robots

Researchers are investigating autonomy in robotics that includes action recognition. At the heart of this technique lies a novel active tracking and segmentation method that monitors the changes in appearance and topological structure of manipulated objects.

Beyond the classroom and into the future

This video visually explains the Stark State College project's approach to broadening science, technology, engineering and math participation. Through addressing the root causes of the problem, a perpetual solution has been created that will impact the entire community.

Self-control

In (Thanksgiving-inspired) episode 34, Charlie and Jordan explore how your ability to exercise self-control may depend on how quickly your brain factors healthfullness into food choices.

The complexities of social behavior

What goes into fruit fly courtship? It might seem like an odd question, but understanding its neural underpinnings--and studying the male-female interactions at the milliscale level--could help us better understand the complexities of social behavior.

Science360 Rewind: Home grown

Did you know that the dust in your house could predict your geographic region and the gender of its occupants? In this Super Science Rewind, Charlie and Jordan talk about life at home...microscopic life, that is.

College highschool aquaponic mentoring partnership

In this video, Tulsa Community College students discuss researching, designing, building and maintaining aquaponic systems where fish and plants are grown symbiotically, and then establishing mentoring partnerships at the high school and junior high level.

Lessons from Teotihuacan: Clues from compound 18

At his lab in Teotihuacan, Boston University assistant professor of archaeology David Carballo shows us bones and artifacts that he and his research assistants analyze to see what life was like for those living in Teotihuacan's outlying neighborhoods.

Lessons from Teotihuacan: Apartment life in Teo

Boston University assistant professor of archaeology David Carballo takes us on a tour of a recreated apartment complex in Tetitla, and shows us how residents there may have organized their living units.

STEM-demic outbreak

Stark State College Chemistry Club students mentor Hoover High School Chemistry Club Students during Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach events at Canton City after-school care program for kids in K-5.

Lessons from Teotihuacan: Beyond the pyramids

Boston University assistant professor of archaeology David Carballo introduces us to his work at Teotihuacan, and talks about the differences between the archaeology of households and monuments.

Kiss of death

In episode 26, Charlie and Jordan delve into the discovery of water on Mars, chat about a new Ebola field test and explore the immune system's "kiss of death."

Bacterial litmus test measures micronutrients

A bacterium engineered to produce different pigments in response to varying levels of a micronutrient in blood samples could give health officials an inexpensive way to detect nutritional deficiencies in resource-limited areas of the world.

Assessing water health

Freshwater is a precious resource to all. Yet despite the importance of clean water to everyday life, nearly three quarters of Virginia rivers and streams fail to meet simple state standards.

Home grown

In episode 29, Charlie and Jordan talk about life at home... microscopic life, that is. This research highlights the impressive amount of microbial diversity in the average household and the degree to which these organisms can tell a story about the homes they inhabit.

Your home's microbiom moves with you

The Home Microbiome Project is an initiative aimed at uncovering the dynamic co-associations between people's bacteria and the bacteria found in their homes. The hope is that the data and project will show that routine monitoring of the microbial diversity of your body and of the environment in which you live is possible.

NSF Science Now: Episode 36

In this week's episode, we discover a protein that could someday eliminate malaria, learn about microbes battling it out in Antarctica, explore super Wi-Fi that uses UHF channels and virtually unwrap a 1500-year-old scroll.

Clearing feeding tubes faster: biotech's future

Feeding tubes often become clogged with medication and food, depriving patients of nutrition. National Science Foundation-funded small business Actuated Medical has invented an FDA-approved device that clears clogs quickly and cleanly. Roger Bagwell demonstrated how the device works at the 2014 BIO International Convention.

ApneApp

ApneaApp is a solution for detecting sleep apnea events on a smartphone.

An in-mouth wafer to treat oral cancer

To treat oral cancer, NSF-funded small business Privo Technologies has created a platform that delivers treatments directly to the affected area. Privo develops new classes of targeted treatments, such as chemotherapy drugs, designed to be delivered through the mouth's mucous membranes.

NSF Science Now: Episode 35

Hosted by NSF's Dena Headlee, Science Now is a weekly newscast covering some of the latest in NSF-funded innovation and advances across all areas and disciplines, from astronomy to zoology. This fast paced, news round-up reports many of the week's top stories.

Revolutionizing prosthesis prescription

Steve Collins of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University discusses his lab's work in creating robots that are worn on the leg to help people get around.

Do social insects share brain power?

The society you live in can shape the complexity of your brain. For vertebrate animals like humans, and even birds and fish, there is a lot of support for the idea that our complex brains developed along with complex societies.

Internet insecurity

Sharon Goldberg, a Boston University College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of computer science, breaks down Border Gateway Protocol, which she describes as "the glue that holds the Internet together."

World Oceans Day

In a special World Oceans Day episode, Jordan and Charlie chat about ocean temperatures, new marine species and metacognition in chimpanzees.

SMART Shoes

It may look like an insole, but this Smart Shoe system developed at the Mechanical Systems Control Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, could help physical therapists get their patients walking better, faster.

Assembling water-free DNA

In episode14, Charlie and Jordan search underground caves for clues to prehistoric climate changes, explore the difference between mental maps and compasses, and look at water-free DNA assembly.

Walking assist clutch

Assistant professor for mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University: Steve Collins, discusses his research published in Nature in which he and his colleague have developed an unpowered, untethered exoskeleton (the walking assist clutch) to help people walk with 7 percent less effort. This can be of tremendous help to people who walk for hours a day or who have disabilities.

A human climate

This video looks at the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP), a project aiming to provide a detailed, continuous and high resolution environmental context for human evolution in the areas where our early ancestors are known to have lived.

Forensics: Follow the science

Forensic science is an integral part of the American judicial process--essential to both prosecutions and defenses. However, the field has also come under scrutiny. A briefing on May 12 at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Psychological Association, highlighted how the use of the scientific method can inform the field of forensics and ways to improve judicial system outcomes through evidence-based inquiry.

NSF Science Now: Episode 34

Hosted by NSF's Dena Headlee, Science Now is a weekly newscast covering some of the latest in NSF-funded innovation and advances across all areas and disciplines, from astronomy to zoology. This fast paced, news round-up reports many of the week's top stories.

Research data center

In social or economic research, aggregate data provides a valuable broad view. University partners now have an easier way to access the information.

DNA Scientist is honored by President for mentoring science students

DNA scientist Bruce Jackson Bruce Jackson heads the Biotechnology Programs at Massachusetts Bay Community College. His work focuses on how DNA - in conjunction with other tools - can help solve mysteries of ancestry, forensics and evolution. Through his African-American Roots Project, he helps reunite African-Americans with their ancestral roots in Africa.

The sweet science of chocolate

Everybody loves chocolate, but did you know that small daily doses of dark chocolate improve vascular function, reduce pregnancy complications, and lighten gloomy moods? But while it's easy to appreciate, creating this confection is an elaborate feat. Local chocolate-makers explain the precision engineering and chemistry behind the beloved treat.

NSF Science Now: Episode 30

Hosted by NSF's Dena Headlee, Science Now is a weekly newscast covering some of the latest in NSF-funded innovation and advances across all areas and disciplines, from astronomy to zoology. This fast paced, news round-up reports many of the week's top stories.

Catching up on sleep science

Be honest: Do you ever brag about how little sleep you get? If so, you're not alone. Humans are the only species that seems to deliberately deprive themselves of sleep. But if you've ever uttered a phrase like, "I'll sleep when I'm dead," scientists say it's time for a wake-up call.

Catching up on sleep science

It's time to wake up to the importance of sleep. Groundbreaking 2013 research shows that our brain cells shrink while we sleep, allowing a cleansing fluid to rinse away toxic proteins that lead to Alzheimer's. Sleep also "backs up" important memories into the brain's cortex for long-term storage. Learn about how sleep changes as we age, and why getting enough sleep is so critical for health.

Enormous underwater fossil graveyard found

Anthropologists and paleontologists uncovered what could be the largest single collection of lemur remains ever found. The remains were hidden in a series of underwater caves in a remote desert region of Madagascar. Described as a "lemur graveyard," the discovery of hundreds of potentially 1,000-year-old skeletons make it one of the most unique animal gravesites in the world. This discovery could be important for understanding animal and human ancestry, and result in a new era for underwater paleontology.

Bolstering our food banks

The number of people going hungry in North Carolina has soared to more than one in six. Among children, the number is one in four. It often falls to the state's nonprofit food banks to provide relief from that food insecurity.

NSF Science Now: Episode 29

In this week's episode we discover a new genetic toolkit for achieving increased plant production, explore what our brain is doing when we read, discover ways of making a more reliable prosthesis, and, finally, we learn how researchers are working to better forecast the size of future earthquakes and tsunamis. Check it out!

Engineering a smart Band-Aid

What does it take to engineer a smart Band-Aid? Biomedical engineer Ali Khademhosseini walks us through the future of Band-Aids, and how he and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are testing them.

Robots in a human world

From disaster recovery to caring for the elderly in the home, NSF-funded scientists and engineers are developing robots that can handle critical tasks in close proximity to humans, safely and with greater resilience than previous generations of intelligent machines.

Why Science? Extension and education

Martha Monroe, a professor and extension specialist at the University of Florida, talks about her career in environmental education and learning about and providing tools for educators to successfully engage and teach students.

Heroes made the difference: Peter Agre, M.D.

Peter Agre is a 2003 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. He is also the Director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

NSF Science Now: Episode 22

In this week's episode we discover hidden dangers in crib mattresses. We learn about a new stretchable antenna for wearable health monitoring devices. We study the dynamics of deep Earth and finally we explore Antarctic ice sheets from above.

Ana Sirovic in 99 seconds

Marine acoustician Ana Sirovic describes her career and a potential danger to marine life that is only beginning to be understood

A forest after fire

Year after year massive fires continue to rip through the wildland-urban interface in Colorado, but in the face of climate change and a warming climate, our beloved forests might not return after these catastrophic events.

NSF Science Now: Episode 18

In this week's episode we dig up the "King of Gore," the oldest discovered Tyrannosaurid dinosaur yet. We also learn how ordinary foam can help protect athletes from concussions and how a tongue-controlled wheelchair could give people with paralysis more independence. Check it out!

NSF Science Now Episode 17

This week's episode explores silicon chip technology that could possibly extend cell phone battery life, babies and higher math ability, a drone helping farmers better manage their crops, and finally how more than 83,000 volunteer citizen scientists helped an international research team catalog over 300,000 nearby galaxies.

Tyrian purple

Nina Ruelle tells the story of Tyrian Purple, a dye created from the marine snail known as Bolinus brandaris

Sustainability: Water - Los Angeles & water imports

The nearly 10 million people in the city and county of Los Angeles, California require a lot of water - most of which is imported snow melt from the Eastern Sierra Nevadas and Rocky Mountains, hundreds of miles away. UCLA researchers Stephanie Pincetl and Mark Gold are studying how Los Angeles can reduce its water imports and better capture, store and reuse water for a more sustainable water supply.

NSF Science Now: Episode 15

This week's episode of Science Now highlights the University of Minnesota's mind controlling robot that could potentially help people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases, PolarTREC's FishSpy camera capturing life beneath the frigid waters surrounding Antarctica, a shake table test on the world's largest shake table and finally the discovery of the earliest European fort found in the foothills of North Carolina.

Vicki Grassian: Making sense of atmospheric dust

Vicki Grassian helps scientists better understand the complex and wide ranging behavior of dust particles. Vicki's work paints a clearer picture of atmospheric chemistry and the role particulate matter plays in the environment.

Peter Stang: Building molecules

Peter Stang is the winner of the 2013 American Chemical Society Priestley Medal, the highest honor given by ACS, for his work building new molecules via "self-assembly," an approach inspired by nature.

The Synergy Project: Weaving water

Physical oceanographer, Larry Pratt and artist, Anastasia Azure, collaborated to capture the essential motion of eddies through time-lapse photography of moving lights.

Why Science? Experimental Physics

Arthur Hebard, a University of Florida professor and experimental physicist, explains how his love for building and disassembling things influenced his interest in physics.

Why Science? Studying The Diversity Of Life

Keith Willmott, an assistant curator of Lepidoptera at the Florida Museum of Natural History, describes why he decided to become a scientist, and how his fascination with the world around him makes his job the best.

Why Science? Mapping Disease

Andy Tatem, an assistant professor at the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute, explains why he selected a career in scientific research, which was a path from childhood to the university level and beyond.

Eliminating Malaria In Zanzibar

Andy Tatem, an assistant professor at the University of Florida's Emerging Pathogens Institute, explains his role in attempting to convince Zanzibar of the need to prevent malaria.

Nevada Climate Change Project - Transects

The Nevada Climate Change project creates a statewide interdisciplinary program that stimulates transformative research, education, and outreach on the effects of regional climate change on ecosystem services.

Bangladesh PIRE

Low-lying Bangladesh is prone to monsoon flooding and devastating earthquakes. Yet these powerful natural forces are little understood in the region. So American and Bangladeshi scientists have formed a major collaboration to study the great rivers that flood Bangladesh and the earthquake faults that lie buried beneath the world's largest delta.

Why Science? Anthropology

Anthropology professor Connie Mulligan explains her love of research and science and the excitement she feels working to discover why things happened. Her research focuses on the evolutionary history of humans across the globe.

Synergy Project: Shaping Sound

Jonathan Fincke works in the field of Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering. He studies, zooplankton which are incredibly small marine animals that drift with the currents. They are central to the marine food chain. Because zooplankton are small and cameras cannot see large distances in the ocean, Jonathan and his colleagues use sound to study them instead.

Using Genetics To Map Human Migrations

Anthropology professor Connie Mulligan explains her research into the evolutionary history of humans across the globe. Using genetics, she reconstructs population migrations and origins. She also describes how applying this research method to people living in Yemen created a generational timeline that helped reconstruct an evolutionary history of the area.

Fragility, Robustness And Antifragility

Everything in life has nonlinear responses, from medical treatments to project management, for both benefits and harm (medical and economic iatrogenics). In this talk, Dr. Nasim Nicholas Taleb introduces the concept of fragility and antifragility, and maps them to nonlinearities in life and decision making.

Synergy Project: Cumulative Hope

Sophie Chu is a chemical oceanographer who studies ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is changing the conditions in the ocean. Carbon dioxide from pollution combines with seawater to form an acid. Sophie Chu's research looks at ways to quantify and measure the chemical changes in the ocean caused by ocean acidification.

Origami Chemistry: NYU Professor Folds Molecules

21st Century Chemist Kent Kirshenbaum of New York University engineers and folds synthetic peptoids in hopes of creating "hunter-killer" molecules that can target and destroy deadly bacteria like staph (MRSA).

In The Grass, On The Reef: Apalachicola Oyster Reef Survey

A study headed by Dr. David Kimbro is tackling the Apalachicola Oyster Fishery crisis. In the first phase of this research initiative, small sample areas across the bay were sampled to determine the relative health of reefs in different areas within it.

The Synergy Project: Immensity In Minuteness

Along the edges of tectonic plates on the seafloor, molten rock wells up to form fresh rock. Cold seawater seeps through cracks in the rock and is heated, driving chemical reactions that transform seawater into hot, mineral-rich fluids that billow like smoke from chimney-like mineral formations called hydrothermal vents. Although out of range of the sun's rays, these areas are teeming with organisms that derive their energy from chemicals in the vented fluid. Jill McDermott and her colleagues investigate these chemical reactions, which may hold clues to the origin of life on our planet.

Science Behind the News: Predictive Policing

"The Los Angeles Police Department is using a new tactic in their fight against crime called "predictive policing." It's a computer program that was originally developed by a team at UCLA, including mathematician Andrea Bertozzi and anthropologist Jeff Brantingham.

Baby Brainpower

A variety of UC Berkeley research on babies and young children is revealing how well and how early in life humans are able to perform complicated thinking tasks, sometimes better than computers. In fact, scientists are even trying to develop computer programs that can mimic what's going on in babies' brains.

Understanding The Role Of Public Trust In Managing Natural Resources

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln teaches fellows about real-world policy applications in the natural resources arena and enable the transfer of knowledge in a way that is useful to policymakers in responding to the challenges created by demands for diminishing resources, and the need to maintain and build resilience in stressed watersheds.

Science Of Innovation: What Is Innovation?

Whether it happens among students in a classroom, or engineers in a laboratory, innovation is a process, a series of steps that begins with imagination, and results in the creation of something of value for society.

NSF Science Now 5

In this week's episode of NSF Science Now we explore negative thoughts, robotic fish, sensitive alligators and finally the discovery of a camp used by explorers a century ago during the "Heroic Age" of Antarctic exploration.

Mapping The Infant Universe

Dr. Charles Bennnett and his 26-member team were awarded the Gruber Foundation's 2012 Cosmology Prize for their transformative study of an ancient light dating back to the infant universe.

Geospatial Revolution: Episode 1

This first episode covers what is involved in the geospatial revolution, the origins of mapping and geospatial technology, and a look at the use of crisis mapping in Haitian earthquake relief efforts.

Geospatial Revolution: Episode 2

This episode looks at how local governments and business use geospatial technology to deliver services and run efficiently, keeping a continuing eye on future developments and applications.

Geospatial Revolution: Episode 3

The third episode explores geospatial technology in the world of security: how new technologies help to broker peace, wage war, and fight crime but can also compromise personal privacy.

Geospatial Revolution: Episode 4

The fourth and final episode explores geospatial technology around the world: monitoring global climate change, preventing famine, tracking disease and mapping communities never before seen on a map.

My Life As A Malacologist

A malacologist is a person who studies clams and snails. But what motivates a person to become an expert in this field? Dr. Rüdiger Bieler gives us a quick look at his journey to becoming a malacologist.

Enhancing Emergency Response

The period immediately following a disaster can be critical to preserving human life and property, and recent events have highlighted the need for system-wide improvements. The IPLER mission is to create a technology, policy and business development incubator to facilitate interaction and innovation among university researchers, private sector service and product providers, and public sector emergency response decision makers.

New Drugs – From A Cup Of Tea

Chemist works towards the creation of new drugs using peptides that will treat the health problems of millions of people across the globe

A Born Chemist: Isiah Warner

Isiah Warner is a Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University. In 2003, he received the Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences from the American Chemical Society.

Digitizing The Past

Collaborating with the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), an archaeologist and his team work to develop high-tech, digital solutions to preserve ancient sites.

Science Behind The News: Crowdsourcing

When humans and computers work together, they can find solutions to many different types of problems. Luis von Ahn, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, explains the science behind crowdsourcing and how the concept is helping solve such diverse problems as digitizing books online and translating the web to foreign languages.

Gilded Lady, The Mummy

Check out what happens when you put together a team of Anthropologists from The Field Museum, Egyptian mummies and a portable CT scanner.

When Girls Didn't "Do" Science: Mamie Moy

Mamie Wong Moy discusses a time during her education when girls didn't "do" science. She also tells of a science teacher who encouraged her to be curious about the sciences and, ultimately, inspired Mamie to pursue a career in chemistry.

A Bird Of Paradise

The bird that never lands? Field Museum curator, John Bates, tells the story of this beautiful bird

Science Behind The News: Opinion Polls & Random Sampling

During political elections, news organizations often use public opinion polls to help gauge which candidate is the front runner, and why. University of Michigan's Dr. Vincent Hutchings explains the science of random sampling that makes it possible to query a few hundred or thousand people and use that data to accurately determine how the general public might vote.

Cabinet Of Wonders

A cabinet filled with lost specimens from Alfred Russel Wallace's personal collection is rediscovered

The Science Of Generosity

The Science of Generosity initiative aims to bring together diverse approaches in order to create a field for the study of generosity in all its forms.

Dear Benjamin Walsh

Charles Darwin was a prolific writer and Benjamin D. Walsh, Illinois' first entomologist, was one of his American correspondents.

Volcano From Space

Michelle Coombs from Alaska Volcano Observatory tells a story about first astronaut report of a erupting volcano from the International Space Station.

The Triple Bottom Line

In "The Triple Bottom Line," the title refers to the business concept that economic activity should not only benefit the traditional bottom line of profit, but also to meet the needs of the people and the planet.

Desperate Alewives

This episode features members of a collaborative SSI research team focused on the ecological and economic recovery of the Androscoggin and Kennebec Rivers and the impact that alewife restoration may play in that recovery.

Walking Water Home

Student's in CSU's Chapter of Engineers Without Borders travel to El Salvador to make clean water easily accessible.

Full Circle

Herders in northern Cameroon coordinate their cattle and avoid grazing conflicts

Orangutan Copy Cats

Monkey see monkey do is something we humans do well. Turns out our primate cousins the orangutan are good copy cats too - but only at certain times.

Virtual Self

What does the avatar you create as your online identity say about you? And how can that virtual personnae change who you are?

Energy's Future

Explore the world of alternative energy research through the lives of three promising young scientists and one high school student.

Sizzle Of Science

What is the sizzle of science? The National Science Foundation invites you to record a video about what you think is cool about science and post it on our Facebook fan page.

Tell Zeidan

Gil Stein, lead researcher and director of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute discusses finds discovered at the mound of Tell Zeidan, one of the world's first cities.

The Music Instinct

Research into the musical body and brain helps scientists explore the complexities of human brain function.