Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 11:00pm
Silver Tells a Volatile Story of Earth’s Origin
Tiny variations in the isotopic composition of silver in meteorites and Earth rocks are helping scientists put together a timetable of how our planet was assembled beginning 4.568 billion years ago. The new study, published in the journal Science, indicates that water and other key volatiles may have been present in at least some of Earth’s original building blocks, rather than acquired later from comets, as some scientists have suggested.
Monday, March 28, 2005 - 12:00am
100 Greatest Discoveries
Carnegie molecular biologist Joseph Gall discusses the work of groundbreaking microscopists, biologists, zoologists, and geneticists with Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," as The Science Channel counts down the greatest science discoveries of our time...
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 3:37am
Roller Coaster Superconductivity Discovered
Superconductors are more efficient at carrying electricity than copper wires. But these materials have to be cooled below an extremely low, so-called transition temperature for electrical resistance to disappear. Researchers at the Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory, have unexpectedly found that the transition temperature can be induced under two different intense pressures in a three-layered bismuth oxide crystal. They believe this unusual two-step phenomena comes from competition of electronic behavior in different layers.
Monday, April 21, 2008 - 9:56am
Plate Tectonics Meets the Ice Ages in North American Landscapes
Tanya Atwater of the University of California, Santa Barbara, gave the final Capital Science Lecture for the 2007-2008 season on April 17th. Her engaging talk included computer animations, maps, and more to explore the interaction of some of North America’s large-scale topographic features and its many striking landforms. The tectonic features were created over long periods via plate tectonics, while the landforms developed during the recent ice ages. Atwater showed how they have interacted to produce some of the most stunning scenery in this part of the world.
Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 2:16pm
Building better structural materials
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.
Monday, June 15, 2009 - 7:18am
Advance in understanding cellulose synthesis
Cellulose makes up plant cell walls, gives plants shape and form and is a target of renewable, plant-based biofuels research. But how it forms, and thus how it can be modified to design energy-rich crops, is not well understood. Now a study led by researchers at Plant Biology has discovered that the underlying protein network that provides the scaffolding for cell-wall structure is also the traffic cop for delivering critical growth-promoting molecules where needed.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 8:54am
Scientists Tackle the Carbon Conundrum
Scientists, including Carnegie's Anna Michalak, have developed a new, integrated, ten-year science plan to better understand the details of Earth’s carbon cycle. It identifies new research areas such as the role of humans as agents and managers of carbon cycling and climate change, the direct impact of greenhouse gases on ecosystems including changes to plant and animal diversity and ocean acidification, the need to address social concerns, and how best to communicate results to the public and decision makers.
Monday, April 5, 2010 - 12:27pm
For Stem Cells, Practice Makes Perfect
Multipotent stem cells have the capacity to develop into different types of cells by reprogramming their DNA. In a new study, researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science have found that reprogramming is imperfect in the early stages of differentiation, with some genes turned on and off at random. As cell divisions continue, the stability of the differentiation process increases by a factor of 100.
Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 8:55am
Asteroid Found in Gravitational “Dead Zone”
There are places in space where the gravitational tug between a planet and the Sun balance out, allowing other smaller bodies to remain stable called Lagrangian points. So-called Trojan asteroids have been found in some of these stable spots near Jupiter and Neptune. Now Scott Sheppard at the Carnegie’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and Chad Trujillo have discovered the first Trojan asteroid in a difficult-to-detect stability region at Neptune—the Lagrangian L5 point.
Monday, January 9, 2012 - 2:11pm
Mirror Casting Event for the Giant Magellan Telescope
On January 14, 2012, the second 8.4-meter (27.6 ft) diameter mirror for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will be cast inside a rotating furnace at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory Mirror Lab (SOML) underneath the campus football stadium. The Mirror Lab will host a special event to highlight the milestone. Members of the media are invited to visit the Mirror Lab on Saturday morning, January 14, 2012, between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. MST.
Monday, March 17, 2008 - 8:44am
Controlling a sea of information
Curators at one of the world’s most widely used biological databases, The Arabidopsis Information Resource, or TAIR, have joined forces with the journal Plant Physiology, to solve the “flood of information” dilemma.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - 2:00pm
Spectacular Heating of Planet Observed
Here on Earth we worry about our planet's atmosphere warming by a few degrees on average over the next century, and even weather fronts bring temporary changes in temperature of no more than tens of degrees. Now astronomers writing in the January 29 Nature
report on an extra-solar planetary system where global warming is taken to a spectacular extreme: a 700 degree rise in a few hours.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - 9:06am
Revolution in Rain Forest Monitoring with MacArthur Grant
Tropical rain forests are treasure houses of biodiversity, but there has been no effective way to inventory and monitor their plant species over large areas. As a result, we have limited understanding of how climate change, clearing, invasive plants, and other threats are affecting these delicate ecosystems. A major advance in improving this situation is in the works, however. Gregory Asner of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology was just awarded a $1.8 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to create a database of plant chemical and remote sensing signatures for tropical forest species.
Monday, January 30, 2006 - 11:01am
Hot-Spring Bacteria Flip a Metabolic Switch
Scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Plant Biology have found that photosynthetic bacteria living in scalding Yellowstone hot springs have two radically different metabolic identities...
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 7:25am
Forest Carbon Monitoring Breakthrough in Colombia
Using new techniques, Carnegie and Colombian scientists have developed ultra-high resolution maps of the carbon stocks locked in tropical vegetation for 40% of the Colombian Amazon, an area about four times the size of Switzerland. Until now, the inability to accurately quantify carbon stocks at high spatial resolution over large areas has hindered the United Nations’ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program aimed at creating a financial value for storing carbon in tropical forests.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 12:57pm
Under pressure: germanium
Although its name may make many people think of flowers, the element germanium is part of a frequently studied group of elements, called IVa, which could have applications for next-generation computer architecture as well as implications for fundamental condensed matter physics. New research reveals details of the element’s transitions under pressure. Their results show extraordinary agreement with the predictions of modern condensed matter theory.