Friday, January 18, 2013
Researchers still have much to learn about the volcanism that shaped our planet’s early history. New evidence from a team led by Carnegie’s Frances Jenner demonstrates that some of the tectonic processes driving volcanic activity, such as those taking place today, were occurring as early as 3.8 billion years ago.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Richard A. Meserve, the president of the Carnegie Institution, has been invited to be an “international adviser” to the Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority (JNRA). As a result of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the Japanese government established the JNRA in order to provide independent oversight of the nuclear industry. During his time in Japan, President Meserve also gave a keynote address at a Fukushima Ministerial Conference.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
In 2004 a very popular study aimed to address climate change by deploying wedges of different existing energy technologies or approaches. According to the study by Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala, each wedge would avoid one billion tons of carbon (1 GtC) emissions per year after 50 years. The study showed that, at that time, seven wedges could stabilize carbon dioxide emissions relative to what would happen if things remained “business-as-usual.” A new perspective paper from a group including Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira uses the wedge approach to estimate the size of the energy challenge posed by climate change today.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
After extensive analyses researchers, including Andrew Steele, have identified a new class of Martian meteorite that is the first to likely have originated from Mars’s crust. It is also the only meteoritic sample dated to 2.1 billion years ago, the early era of the most recent geologic epoch on Mars. The meteorite contains an order of magnitude more water than any other Martian meteorite.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
An international team of scientists, including Carnegie’s Paul Butler, has discovered that Tau Ceti, one of the closest and most Sun-like stars, may have five planets. At a distance of twelve light years and visible with a naked eye in the evening sky, Tau Ceti is the closest single star with the same spectral classification as our Sun. Its five planets are estimated to have masses between two and six times the mass of the Earth--making it the lowest-mass planetary system yet detected.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
When materials are stressed, they eventually change shape. Initially these changes are elastic, and reverse when the stress is relieved. When the material’s strength is exceeded, the changes become permanent. This could result in the material breaking or shattering, but it could also re-shape the material, such as a hammer denting a piece of metal. Understanding this last group of changes is the focus of research from a team including Carnegie’s Ho-kwang "Dave" Mao.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
This image was selected as our holiday card for 2012. The snowflake is based on a new structure of “filled” ice discovered recently at the Geophysical Laboratory
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
The Carnegie Institution for Science received the highest rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency—four stars—from Charity Navigator for the twelfth consecutive year. Charity Navigator is America's largest charity evaluator. Only five organizations out of the 5,500 evaluated have received this highest rating for this long.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Researchers from the Carnegie Institution are rolling out results from the new Airborne Taxonomic Mapping System, or AToMS, for the first time at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meetings in San Francisco. The groundbreaking technology and its scientific observations are uncovering a previously invisible ecological world. To watch a video about how AToMS is helping researchers look at the world in a whole new way, click here.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Plants grow upward from a tip of undifferentiated tissue called the shoot apical meristem. As the tip extends, stem cells at the center of the meristem divide and increase in numbers. But the cells on the periphery differentiate to form plant organs, such as leaves and flowers. In between these two layers, a group of boundary cells go into a quiescent state and form a barrier that not only separates stem cells from differentiating cells, but eventually forms the borders that separate the plant’s organs. Because each plant's form and shape is determined by organ formation and organ boundary creation, elucidating the underlying mechanisms that govern these functions could help scientists design the architecture of crop plants to better capture light and ultimately produce more crop yield with less input.