Melina Hale explains how her research of zebrafish is helping to advance brain research

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Melina Hale of the University of Chicago is studying neuronal circuits in zebrafish that generate startle responses. Because little is known about how circuits operate in any organism and because startle responses are controlled by relatively simple circuits, an improved understanding of the circuitry of the zebrafish's startle responses is expected to help lay the groundwork for research on more complicated circuits.

Clifton Ragsdale reveals why octopuses are such successful predators

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Clifton Ragsdale of the University of Chicago is researching the nervous system of the octopus, which is a successful predator partly because it has excellent eyesight--the best of any invertebrate. The octopus's excellent eyesight enables it to visually zero in and focus on prey.

Partha Mitra explains his mouse brain research

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Partha Mitra of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is currently focused on the Mouse Brain Architecture Project (MAP), which is aimed at creating 3-D maps of the mouse brain at various scales.

West Virginia chemical spill studied by environmental engineers

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A chemical spill near Charleston, West Virginia prompted officials to advise about 15 percent of the state's residents to not use the water. In the aftermath, a West Virginia University environmental engineer and her team rushed to the site to collect samples by the Elk River for further analysis. For more information visit: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=130304&org=NSF&from=news

Science of the Winter Olympic Games: Olympic Movement and Robotic Design

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Professor Raffaello D'Andrea at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, describes how control systems engineering is laying the groundwork for the design of more "athletic" robots.

Provided by the National Science Foundation & NBC Learn

Science of the Winter Olympic Winter Games: Figure Skating Physics

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Figure skating has become one of the most popular events at the Winter Olympics. Head of the Physics Department at the University of Michigan Brad Orr explains that good balance, or stability, is basic to everything a skater does--and that begins with understanding the center of mass.

Provided by the National Science Foundation & NBC Learn

Science of the Winter Olympic Games: Alpine Skiing and Vibration Damping

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Kam Leang, a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Tom Watson, of Watson Performance in Hood River, Ore., describe how advanced materials and engineering help reduce unwanted vibration, optimizing the performance of athletes.

Provided by the National Science Foundation & NBC Learn

Science of the Winter Olympic Games: Science of Snow

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Snow is an essential part of the 2014 Olympics. How it's formed and how it reacts has been studied by scientists for centuries and continues to this day. Sarah Konrad, a former Winter Olympian who is also a glaciologist at the University of Wyoming, along with Cort Anastasio, a chemistry professor at the University of California, Davis, discuss how humidity and temperature help form snow.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Science of the Winter Olympic Games: Engineering Faster and Safer Bobsleds

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Michael Scully, of BMW DesignWorks USA, and mechanical engineer Mont Hubbard, professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, explain the engineering challenges associated with making sleds faster and tracks safer.

Provided by the National Science Foundation & NBC Learn

Science of the Winter Olympic Games: Science of Ice

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The science that makes ice slippery also makes the Olympic Winter Games possible. But exactly what makes ice slippery? Ken Golden, a mathematician at the University of Utah, explains how the unique surface of ice makes the slide and glide of winter sports possible.

Provided by the National Science Foundation & NBC Learn