Press Releases

Monday, March 30, 2015

The 2000-2003 drought in the American southwest triggered a widespread die-off of forests around the region. A Carnegie-led team of scientists developed a new modeling tool to explain how and where trembling aspen forests died as a result of this drought. It is based on damage to an individual trees' ability to transport water under water-stressed conditions. If the same processes and threshold govern the future, their results suggest that more widespread die-offs of aspen forests triggered by climate change are likely by the 2050s. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Timothy Doyle, Associate Dean for Finance and CFO for Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) will join the Carnegie Institution for Science as Chief Operating Officer on April 15, 2015.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Carnegie-based search of nearby galaxies for their oldest stars has uncovered two stars in the Sculptor dwarf galaxy that were born shortly after the galaxy formed, approximately 13 billion years ago. The Sculptor dwarf is a small galaxy that orbits around our own Milky Way, just as the Moon orbits around the Earth. The unusual chemical content of the stars may have originated in a single supernova explosion from the first generation of Sculptor stars.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

Inside every seed is the embryo of a plant, and in most cases also a storage of food needed to power initial growth of the young seedling. If not enough food is delivered from the leaves to the seed, the seeds won’t have the energy to grow when it’s time to germinate. New work from a Carnegie-led team identifies biochemical pathways necessary for stocking the seed’s food supplies. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Silicon dioxide, commonly called silica, is one of the most-abundant natural compounds and a major component of the Earth’s crust and mantle.  Silica’s various high-pressure forms make it an often-used study subject for scientists interested in the transition between different chemical phases under extreme conditions, such as those in the deep Earth. A Carnegie-led team was able to discover five new forms of silica under extreme pressures at room temperature.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

To combat global climate change caused by greenhouse gases, alternative energy sources and other types of environmental recourse actions are needed. There are several proposals that involve using vertical ocean pipes to move seawater to the surface from the depths in order to reap a variety of different potential climate benefits. A new study from a group of Carnegie scientists determines that these types of pipes could actually increase global warming quite drastically.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

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Nutrition and metabolism are closely linked with reproductive health. Several reproductive disorders have been linked to malnutrition, diabetes, and obesity. Furthermore, fasting in numerous species can result in decreased fertility. New work from a Carnegie team focuses on the accumulation of triglyceride and a certain kind of steroids called sterols during the development of immature egg cells. The researchers were able to identify an insect steroid hormone that is crucial to both lipid metabolism and egg production in fruit flies. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

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In the face of global climate change, increasing the use of renewable energy resources is one of the most urgent challenges facing the world. Further development of one resource, solar energy, is complicated by the need to find space for solar power-generating equipment without significantly altering the surrounding environment. New work from Carnegie found that the amount of energy that could be generated from solar equipment constructed on and around existing infrastructure in California would exceed the state’s demand by up to five times. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Andrew Carnegie understood that science is unpredictable. He created the institution to support individuals of exceptional ability and passion and gave them the independence to pursue high-risk, high-reward science.

Friday, March 13, 2015

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Two new papers from members of the MESSENGER Science Team provide global-scale maps of Mercury’s surface chemistry that reveal previously unrecognized geochemical terranes — large regions that have compositions distinct from their surroundings. The presence of these large terranes has important implications for the history of the planet.