Friday, October 26, 2012 - 2:55pm
Solving Stem Cell Mysteries
The ability of embryonic stem cells to differentiate into different types of cells with different functions is regulated and maintained by a complex series of chemical interactions, which are not well understood. Learning more about this process could prove useful for stem cell-based therapies down the road. New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Yixian Zheng zeroes in on the process by which stem cells maintain their proper undifferentiated state.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 10:26am
Very Distant Galaxy Cluster Confirmed
The structures and star populations of massive galaxies appear to change as they age, but much about how these galaxies formed and evolved remains mysterious. Many of the oldest and most massive galaxies reside in clusters, enormous structures where numerous galaxies are found concentrated together. Galaxy clusters in the early universe are thought to be key to understanding the lifecycles of old galaxies, but to date astronomers have located only a handful of these rare, distant structures. New research has confirmed the presence of an unusually distant galaxy cluster, JKCS 041.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 12:18pm
New component of a plant steroid-activated pathway discovered
Plant biologists have been working for years to nail down the series of chemical signals that one class of plant hormones, called brassinosteroids, send from a protein on the surface of a plant cell to the cell’s nucleus. New research has isolated another link in this chain. Fully understanding the brassinosteroid pathway could help scientists better understand plant growth and help improve food and energy crop production.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 11:06am
Smallest-possible Diamonds Form Ultra-thin Nanothread
A team has, for the first time, discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymer fibers. Such exceedingly strong, stiff, and light materials have an array of potential applications, everything from more-fuel efficient vehicles or even the science fictional-sounding proposal for a “space elevator.”
Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 7:27am
Mysterious Space Blob Discovered at Cosmic Dawn
A team of astronomers, led by Carnegie’s Masami Ouchi, has discovered a mysterious, giant object that existed when the universe was only 800 million years old. Dubbed an extended “Lyman-Alpha blob,” it is a huge body of gas. It is named Himiko for a legendary Japanese queen and stretches for 55 thousand light years, a record for that early point in time. Its length is comparable to the radius of the Milky Way’s disk.
Friday, July 12, 2013 - 5:23pm
Stem cell clues uncovered
Proper tissue function and regeneration is supported by stem cells, which reside in so-called niches. New work from Carnegie’s Yixian Zheng and Haiyang Chen identifies an important component for regulating stem cell niches, with impacts on tissue building and function. The results could have implications for disease research.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 7:35pm
Fatty Acids Crucial to Embryonic Development
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.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 5:16pm
Astronomers detect earliest galaxies
Astronomers, including Carnegie's Ivo Labbe, used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to break the distance limit for galaxies by uncovering a primordial population of compact and ultra-blue galaxies that have never been seen before. They are from 13 billion years ago, just 600 to 800 million years after the Big Bang.
Monday, January 5, 2009 - 9:56am
Zeroing in on Hubble’s Constant
The rate at which the universe is expanding, a value known as the Hubble constant, has been hotly debated for the last 80 years. Now the director of the Carnegie Observatories, Wendy Freedman, will lead a team who will slash the uncertainty of this value to just 3% via the new Carnegie Hubble Program using NASA’s space-based Spitzer telescope.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 3:56pm
What makes cell division accurate?
Losing or gaining chromosomes during the process of cell division can lead to cancer and other diseases, so understanding mitosis is important for developing therapeutic strategies.
New research from a team led by Carnegie's Yixian Zheng focused on one important part of this process. Her results improve our understanding of how cell division gives rise to two daughter cells with an equal complement of chromosomes.
Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 11:28am
New super-Earth detected within the habitable zone of a nearby cool star
An international team of scientists led by Carnegie’s Guillem Anglada-Escudé and Paul Butler has discovered a potentially habitable super-Earth orbiting a nearby star. The star is a member of a triple star system and has a different makeup than our Sun, being relatively lacking in metallic elements. This discovery demonstrates that habitable planets could form in a greater variety of environments than previously believed.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 3:30pm
A “Jumping Gene’s” preferred targets may influence genome evolution
Our genetic blueprint contains numerous entities known as transposons, which have the ability to move from place to place on the chromosomes within a cell. An astounding 50% of human DNA comprises both active transposon elements and the decaying remains of former transposons. Every time a plant or animal cell prepares to divide, the chromosome regions richest in transposon-derived sequences are among the last to duplicate. New research provides potential insight into both these enigmas.
Monday, December 3, 2012 - 5:16pm
Plant organ development breakthrough
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.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 11:32am
Earth’s Water is Older than the Sun
Water was crucial to the rise of life on Earth and is also important to evaluating the possibility of life on other planets. Identifying the original source of Earth’s water is key to understanding how life-fostering environments come into being and how likely they are to be found elsewhere. New work found that much of our Solar System’s water likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space.
Monday, December 13, 2010 - 4:02pm
Unlocking the secrets of a plant’s light sensitivity
Plants are very sensitive to light conditions, in part due to a signal that activates some special photoreceptors that regulate growth, metabolism, and physiological development. Scientists believe that these light signals control plant growth and development by activating or inhibiting plant hormones. New research from Carnegie plant biologists has altered the prevailing theory on how light signals and hormones interact. Their findings could have implications for food crop production.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 12:16pm
Highest-ever Resolution Photos of the Night Sky
A team of astronomers from three institutions has developed a new type of telescope camera that makes higher resolution images than ever before, the culmination of 20 years of effort. The team has been developing this technology at telescope observatories in Arizona and now has deployed the latest version of these cameras in the high desert of Chile at the Magellan 6.5m (21 foot) telescope. Carnegie’s Alan Uomoto and Tyson Hare, joined by a team of researchers from the University of Arizona and Arcetri Observatory in Italy, will publish three papers containing the highest-resolution images ever taken, as well as observations that answer questions about planetary formation.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 10:55am
First Evidence for Water Ice Clouds Found outside Solar System
A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System. Water ice clouds exist on our own gas giant planets--Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune--but have not been seen outside of the planets orbiting our Sun until now. Their findings are published by The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Video produced and directed by Brian Patrick Abbott.
Thursday, January 3, 2008 - 4:51pm
Plate Tectonics May Take a Break
Plate tectonics, the geologic process responsible for creating the Earth’s continents, mountain ranges, and ocean basins, may be an on-again, off-again affair. Scientists have assumed that the shifting of crustal plates has been slow but continuous over most of the Earth’s history, but a new study from researchers at the Carnegie Institution suggests that plate tectonics may have ground to a halt at least once in our planet’s history—and may do so again.
Thursday, May 7, 2009 - 2:03pm
Bioelectricity Promises More ‘Miles Per Acre’ Than Ethanol
Biofuels such as ethanol offer an alternative to petroleum for powering our cars, but growing energy crops to produce them can compete with food crops for farmland, and clearing forests to expand farmland will aggravate the climate change problem. How can we maximize our “miles per acre” from biomass? Researchers writing in the online edition of the May 7 Science magazine say the best bet is to convert the biomass to electricity, rather than ethanol. They calculate that, compared to ethanol used for internal combustion engines, bioelectricity used for battery-powered vehicles would deliver an average of 80% more miles of transportation per acre of crops, while also providing double the greenhouse gas offsets to mitigate climate change.
Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 10:24am
War, Plague No Match for Deforestation in Driving CO2 Buildup
Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes had an impact on the global carbon cycle as big as today’s annual demand for gasoline. The Black Death, on the other hand, came and went too quickly for it to cause much of a blip in the global carbon budget. Dwarfing both of these events, however, has been the historical trend towards increasing deforestation as crop and pasture lands expanded to feed growing human populations.