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.
 

The planet’s soil releases about 60 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, which is far more than that released by burning fossil fuels. This happens through a process called soil respiration. Short-term warming studies have documented that rising temperatures increase the rate of soil respiration. As a result, scientists have worried that global warming would accelerate the decomposition of carbon in the soil, and decrease the amount of carbon stored there. If true, this would release even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where it would accelerate global warming.

Eating meat contributes to climate change, due to greenhouse gasses emitted by livestock. New research finds that livestock emissions are on the rise and that beef cattle are responsible for far more greenhouse gas emissions than other types of animals. 

Something is amiss in the Universe. There appears to be an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light in the cosmic budget. The vast reaches of empty space between galaxies are bridged by tendrils of hydrogen and helium, which can be used as a precise “light meter.” In a recent study a team of scientists finds that the light from known populations of galaxies and quasars is not nearly enough to explain observations of intergalactic hydrogen. The difference is a stunning 400 percent.
 

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