Press Releases

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Audio
Transport proteins are responsible for moving materials such as nutrients and metabolic products through a cell’s outer membrane, which seals and protects all living cells, to the cell’s interior. These transported molecules include sugars, which can be used to fuel growth or to respond to chemical signals of activity or stress outside of the cell. Measuring the activity of transporter proteins in a living organism has been a challenge for scientists, because the methods are difficult, often require the use of radioactive tracers, and are hard to use in intact tissues and organs. A team led by Wolf Frommer, director of Carnegie’s Plant Biology Department, has now developed a groundbreaking new way to overcome this technology gap.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Superconductivity is a rare physical state in which matter is able to conduct electricity—maintain a flow of electrons—without any resistance. This phenomenon can only be found in certain materials under specific low-temperature and high-pressure conditions. Research to create superconductors at higher temperatures has been ongoing for two decades with the promise of significant impact on electrical transmission. New research found unexpected superconductivity that could help scientists better understand the structural changes that create this rare phenomenon.

Friday, June 28, 2013

To prevent coral reefs around the world from dying off, deep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions are required, says a new study from Carnegie’s Katharine Ricke and Ken Caldeira. They find that all existing coral reefs will be engulfed in inhospitable ocean chemistry conditions by the end of the century if civilization continues along its current emissions trajectory.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A team of astronomers, including Carnegie’s Paul Butler, has combined new observations with existing data to reveal a solar system packed full of planets. The star Gliese 667C is orbited by between five and seven planets, the maximum number that could fit in stable, close orbits. A record-breaking three of these planets are super-Earths found in the so-called habitable zone around the star—the zone where liquid water could exist. This makes them good candidates for the search for life.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cereals are grasses that produce grains, the bulk of our food supply. Carnegie’s Plant Biology Department released genome-wide metabolic complements of several cereals including rice, barley, sorghum, and millet. Along with corn, whose metabolic complement was released previously, these species are responsible for producing over 1.5 billion tons of grains annually world-wide. Understanding how these important species harness sunlight to grow and produce seeds will help researchers improve crop yields, combat world hunger, and produce biofuel that could lower fuel costs and perhaps fight climate change.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A team of researchers has discovered evidence that an extrasolar planet may be forming quite far from its star—about twice the distance Pluto is from our Sun. The planet lies inside a dusty, gaseous disk around a small red dwarf TW Hydrae, which is only about 55% of the mass of the Sun. The discovery adds to the ever-increasing variety of planetary systems in the Milky Way.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Using revolutionary new techniques, a team led by Carnegie’s Malcolm Guthrie has made a striking discovery about how ice behaves under pressure, changing ideas that date back almost 50 years. Their findings could alter our understanding of how the water molecule responds to conditions found deep within planets and could have implications for energy science.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) names celestial bodies and formations on planets. The IAU naming theme for cliffs, called “rupes,” on Mercury is "ships of discovery." On June 3 the IAU approved ten new names for rupes on the innermost planet. One in Mercury's northern hemisphere was named for the research vessel Carnegie that mapped the Earth’s magnetic field across the oceans in the early part of the last century.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE) was awarded a grant to run two special career exploration programs for students who attend public schools in the District of Columbia. The program is called SciLife™-DC.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. The way it responds under extreme pressures and temperatures is crucial to our understanding of matter and the nature of hydrogen-rich planets. New work from Carnegie scientists using intense infrared radiation shines new light on this fundamental material at extreme pressures and reveals the details of a surprising new form of solid hydrogen.