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Intense Competition: According to the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, its Young Investigator Research Program drew 210 proposals in major areas of interest to the service, providing an "intense" competition that AFOSR narrowed to just 39 scientists at universities around the country. Among the projected research areas these scientists will develop over the next three years are control and communication strategies for teams of unmanned vehicles; semiconductor nanowire and nanoribbon thermoelectrics; laser diagnostics of plasma-assisted combustion for scramjet applications; and avian nanostructured tissues as models for new defensive coatings and phototonic crystal fibers. AFOSR will award some $12.1 million in grants to the 39 scientists. (AFOSR release)