By unanimous vote of the Carnegie Board of Trustees, Dr. Matthew P. Scott has been appointed the 10th president of the Carnegie Institution for Science. Dr. Scott is Professor of Developmental Biology, Genetics, Bioengineering, and Biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and will succeed the current President, Dr. Richard A. Meserve, on September 1, 2014.

“This is an extraordinary time for the Carnegie Institution for Science”, said Co-Chairs Suzanne Nora Johnson and Stephen Fodor. “The scientific departments are flourishing with strong support from Trustees and a well performing endowment. The Trustees and Departmental Directors all believe Dr. Scott captures the independent spirit of Carnegie Science’s long tradition of leading science at the frontiers. We are enthusiastic about his leadership.”

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An international team of 12 leading plant biologists, including Carnegie’s Wolf Frommer, say their discoveries could have profound implications for increasing the supply of food and energy for our rapidly growing global population. All of their work focuses on the mechanisms that plants use for transporting small molecules across their membranes and thus for controlling water loss, resisting toxic metals and pests, increasing salt tolerance, and storing sugar.
 

Everyone’s heard of the birds and the bees. But that old expression leaves out the flowers that are being fertilized. The fertilization process for flowering plants is particularly complex and requires extensive communication between the male and female reproductive cells. New research from an international team reports discoveries in the chemical signaling process that guides flowering plant fertilization.

Astronomers have discovered an extremely cool object that could have a particularly diverse history—although it is now as cool as a planet, it may have spent much of its youth as hot as a star. The current temperature of the object is intermediate between that of the Earth and of Venus. However, the object shows evidence implying that a potentially large change in temperature has taken place. In the past this object would have been as hot as a star for many millions of years.

Molybdenum disulfide is a compound often used in dry lubricants and in petroleum refining. Its semiconducting ability and similarity to the carbon-based graphene makes molybdenum disulfide of interest to scientists as a possible candidate for use in the manufacture of electronics, particularly photoelectronics. New work reveals that molybdenum disulfide becomes metallic under intense pressure. 

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