Press Releases

Friday, August 22, 2014

Audio
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.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wendy Freedman, the Crawford H. Greenewalt Director of the Carnegie Observatories and chair of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization has accepted a position as a University Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, departing Carnegie September 1, 2014. Associate Director for Academic Affairs at the Observatories, John Mulchaey, will take over then as acting director.

Monday, August 4, 2014

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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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

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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. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today a team, led by Greg Asner,  unveiled the first high-resolution map of the carbon stocks stored on land throughout the entire country of Perú. The new and improved methodology used to make the map marks a sea change for future market-based carbon economies. The new carbon map also reveals Perú’s extremely high ecological diversity and it provides the critical input to studies of deforestation and forest degradation for conservation, land use, and enforcement purposes.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Nobel laureate and trustee emeritus Charles Townes is celebrating his 99th birthday on Monday, July 28. Townes joined the Carnegie board in 1965, one year after he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Alexander Prokhorov and Nikolai Basov for the development of the maser, acronym for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, and its better-known optical counterpart, the laser.   

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

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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. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Meet Carnegie’s new president, Matthew Scott. Discover the minerals that may have led to life. Learn how the Solar System’s edge has been redefined, and much, much more in the latest issue of CarnegieScience.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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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.