Clearing feeding tubes faster – Biotech’s future

submitted by: nsf

Feeding tubes often become clogged with medication and food, depriving patients of nutrition. NSF-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.

Archaeologists uncover the remains of two Ice Age infants

submitted by: nsf
A National Science Foundation-funded team of archaeologists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks had uncovered the remains of two Ice Age infants, buried more than 11,000 years ago. The discovery represents the youngest human remains ever found in the North American Arctic. One infant died shortly after birth, and the other was probably a late-term newborn. The excavation took place in central Alaska, with the cooperation of local and regional native groups. The two infants were...

Illustrating the environment around infant stars like HL Tau

submitted by: nsf

Artist's impression of a protoplanetary disk. Newly formed planets can be seen traveling around the central host star, sweeping their orbits clear of dust and gas. These same ring-link structures were observed recently by ALMA around the young star HL Tau.

For more information visit: go.nrao.edu/pr/planet-formation-alma

Credit: National Science Foundation, A. Khan

Paleontologists discover fossil of bizarre groundhog-like mammal on Madagascar

submitted by: nsf

NSF-funded scientists from Stony Brook University have discovered an almost complete skull of a previously unknown mammal that likely resembled a large modern-day groundhog and lived alongside dinosaurs.

For more information visit: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=133092

Steviol molecular structure

submitted by: nsf
Responsible for the sweet tasting leaves of the Stevia plant, steviol glycosides have become popularized as a no-cal alternative to sugar. With funding from NSF’s Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate, R. Graham Cooks at Purdue University has applied his mass spectrometer to studying (among other things) stevia leaves. In an experiment that rapidly detected the glycosides in stevia leaves, Cook’s group has developed a powerful method for the rapid screening of plant materials...

Lactose molecular structure

submitted by: nsf
One of milk’s two sugars, lactose is not digestible in those lacking sufficient levels of lactase, which allows the body to metabolize that sugar. Certain parts of the world are reported to have higher incidences of lactose intolerance. NSFfunded Sarah Tishkoff at the University of Pennsylvania is studying the “gut microbiome” and its impact on nutritional status; such as its contribution to obesity, malnutrition and susceptibility to infectious disease. Her anthropologic study will...

Community College Innovation Challenge

submitted by: nsf

The National Science Foundation announces its Community College Innovation Challenge. The contest challenges community college students to propose innovative STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) solutions to perplexing, real-world problems. Teams submitting top ideas receive professional coaching and cash prizes.

Sucrose molecular structure

submitted by: nsf
Sucrose is table sugar—that ubiquitous sweet white crystal that sweetens our tea, coffee and apple pies, yet is also the villain blamed for tooth decay and other health issues. Through its Biological Sciences Directorate, NSF has funded Brian Ayre from the University of North Texas who studied the way sucrose produced in plant leaves through photosynthesis moved to and affected plant tissues. Sucrose is transported to tissues that are growing or accumulating storage reserves that can...

Glucose molecular structure

submitted by: nsf
Glucose, the simplest sugar, can be found in plants and is absorbed into bloodstreams during digestion. While most of us can be blissfully ignorant of our exact blood sugar levels after scarfing a Snickers, people who have diabetes or physicians with seriously injured patients need technology that provides accurate blood glucose data. Gymama Slaughter, an NSF-funded engineer at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, has created a new wireless, implantable sensor to monitor blood...

Fructose molecular structure

submitted by: nsf
Fructose, or fruit sugar, is found in tree fruits, honey and berries, though you may know it from its corn-based origins as the common ingredient high-fructose corn syrup. NSF-funded researchers are also looking at plant sugars as a potential fuel source. While the idea of plant-based fuels as an alternative to fossil fuels has been around for a while, engineers are finding new ways of getting bigger bio-based yields more cheaply. Xianghong Qian, a chemical engineer at the University of...