Thursday, December 12, 2013
One classical question in developmental biology is how different tissue types arise in the correct position of the developing embryo. While one signaling pathway that controls this process has been well described, unexpected findings from a team led by Carnegie’s Steven Farber reveal the importance of polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in this process.
Monday, December 9, 2013
In researching neural pathways, it helps to establish an analogous relationship between a region of the human brain and the brains of more-easily studied animal species. New work from a team led by Carnegie’s Marnie Halpern hones in on one particular region of the zebrafish brain that could help us understand the circuitry underlying nicotine addiction.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
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 thirteenth consecutive year. Charity Navigator is America's largest charity evaluator. Only 2 organizations out of the 6,903* evaluated this year have received this highest rating for so long.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
This image was selected as our holiday card for 2013. The “Holiday Leaves” are images of lavender leaves excited by ultraviolet or white light and observed through different colored filters.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Government calculations of total U.S. methane emissions may underestimate the true values by 50 percent, a new study finds. The results cast doubt on a recent Environmental Protection Agency decision to downscale its emissions estimate.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Life originated as a result of natural processes that exploited early Earth’s raw materials. Scientific models of life’s origins almost always look to minerals for such essential tasks as the synthesis of life’s molecular building blocks or the supply of metabolic energy. But this assumes that the mineral species found on Earth today are much the same as they were during Earth’s first 550 million years—the Hadean Eon—when life emerged. A new analysis of Hadean mineralogy challenges that assumption.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Around 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, there was a mass extinction so severe that it remains the most traumatic known species die-off in Earth’s history. Some researchers have suggested that this extinction was triggered by contemporaneous volcanic eruptions in Siberia. New results from a team including Director of Carnegie's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism Linda Elkins-Tanton show that the atmospheric effects of these eruptions could have been devastating.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Reconstructing the rise of life during the period of Earth’s history when it first evolved is challenging. Earth’s oldest sedimentary rocks are not only rare, but also almost always altered by hydrothermal and tectonic activity. A new study from a team including Carnegie’s Nora Noffke, a visiting investigator, and Robert Hazen revealed the well-preserved remnants of a complex ecosystem in a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old sedimentary rock sequence in Australia.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Inside every plant cell, a cytoskeleton provides an interior scaffolding to direct construction of the cell’s walls, and thus the growth of the organism as a whole. Environmental and hormonal signals that modulate cell growth cause reorganization of this scaffolding. New research led by Carnegie’s David Ehrhardt provides surprising evidence as to how this reorganization process works, with important evidence as to how the direction of a light source influences a plant’s growth pattern.
Monday, October 28, 2013
For the first time, researchers have been able to map the true extent of gold mining in the biologically diverse region of Madre De Dios in the Peruvian Amazon. The team, led by Greg Asner, combined field surveys with airborne mapping and high-resolution satellite monitoring to show that the geographic extent of mining has increased 400% from 1999 to 2012 and that the average annual rate of forest loss has tripled since the Great Recession of 2008. Until this study, thousands of small, clandestine mines that have boomed since the economic crisis have gone unmonitored.