Monday, June 9, 2014 - 4:31pm
Water found to provide blueprints for root architecture
Soil is a microscopic maze of nooks and crannies that hosts a wide array of life. Plants explore this environment by developing a complex branched network of roots that tap into scarce resources such as water and nutrients. How roots sense which regions of soil contain water and what effect this moisture has on the architecture of the root system has been unclear until now. New research focuses on how physical properties of a root’s local environment control root branching and through which developmental pathways these signals act.
Monday, November 19, 2012 - 6:13pm
Martian history: Finding a common denominator with Earth’s
A team of scientists, including Carnegie's Conel Alexander and Jianhua Wang, studied the hydrogen in water from the Martian interior and found that Mars formed from similar building blocks to that of Earth, but that there were differences in the later evolution of the two planets. This implies that terrestrial planets, including Earth, have similar water sources--chondritic meteorites. However, unlike on Earth, Martian rocks that contain atmospheric volatiles such as water, do not get recycled into the planet’s deep interior.
Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 12:23pm
Fingering the Culprit that Polluted the Solar System
For decades it has been thought that a shock wave from a supernova explosion triggered the formation of our Solar System. According to this theory, the shock wave also injected material from the exploding star into a cloud of dust and gas, and the newly polluted cloud collapsed to form the Sun and its surrounding planets. New work provides the first fully three-dimensional (3-D) models for how this process could have happened.
Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 2:07pm
Searching for the “perfect glass”
Glasses differ from crystals. Crystals are organized in repeating patterns that extend in every direction. Glasses lack this strict organization, but do sometimes demonstrate order among neighboring atoms. New research from Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory reveals the possibility of creating a metallic glass that is organized on a larger scale.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 - 1:37pm
MESSENGER Reveals More “Hidden”Territory on Mercury
“The region of Mercury’s surface that we viewed at close range for the first time this month is bigger than the land area of South America ,” says Sean Solomon, MESSENGER principal investigator and the director of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution. “The first two Mercury flybys have returned a rich dividend of new observations.”
Monday, August 4, 2008 - 12:00am
Researchers explain odd oxygen bonding under pressure
Oxygen, the third most abundant element in the cosmos and essential to life on Earth, changes its forms dramatically under pressure. The underlying mechanism for these phenomena has been fascinating to scientists for decades; especially the origin of the recently discovered molecular cluster (O2)4. Researchers from the Geophysical Laboratory (GL), with colleagues used a newly developed technique and found that the interaction of molecules through their outermost electron clouds, or “orbitals,” increases with increasing pressure.
Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 12:34am
Meteorite holds clues to organic chemistry of the early Earth
Carbonaceous chondrites are a type of organic-rich meteorite that contain samples of the materials that took part in the creation of our planets nearly 4.6 billion years ago, including materials that were likely formed before our Solar System was created and may have been crucial to the formation of life on Earth. The complex suite of organic materials found in carbonaceous chondrites can vary substantially from meteorite to meteorite. New research from Carnegie's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and Geophysical Laboratory shows that most of these variations are the result of hydrothermal activity that took place within a few million years of the formation of the Solar System, when the meteorites were still part of larger parent bodies, likely asteroids.
Monday, August 11, 2008 - 12:32pm
Maelstrom quashes jumping genes
Scientists have known for decades that genes called transposons can jump around the genome, but it can be dangerous, especially in cells that produce eggs and sperm. To ensure the integrity of these cells, nature developed a mechanism to quash this genetic scrambling, but how it works has remained a mystery. Now a team of scientists, including researchers at the Department of Embryology, has identified a key protein that suppresses jumping genes in mice and found that the protein is vital to sperm formation.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 1:15pm
Wandering Poles Left Scars on Europa
Curved features on Jupiter’s moon Europa may indicate that its poles have wandered by almost 90°, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution, Lunar and Planetary Institute, and University of California, Santa Cruz in the 15 May issue of Nature. Such an extreme shift suggests the existence of an internal liquid ocean beneath the icy crust, which could help build the case for Europa as possible habitat for extraterrestrial life.
Friday, September 26, 2008 - 10:27am
Oldest Known Rocks Discovered
Canadian bedrock more than four billion years old may be the oldest known section of the Earth’s early crust. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution used geochemical methods to obtain an age of 4.28 billion years for samples of the rock, making it 250 million years more ancient than any previously discovered rocks.
Monday, June 3, 2013 - 5:33pm
Dense Hydrogen in a New Light
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.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 5:21pm
New technique will accelerate genetic characterization of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis provides fixed carbon and energy for nearly all life on Earth, yet many aspects of this fascinating process remain mysterious. We do not know the full list of the parts of the molecular machines that perform photosynthesis in any organism. A team of researchers has developed a highly sophisticated tool that will transform the work of plant geneticists by addressing this problem and making large-scale genetic characterization of a photosynthetic algae possible for the first time.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 9:48am
Mercury’s Surprising Core and Landscape Curiosities
As reported in one of two papers published today on Science Express, scientists have found that Mercury’s core, already suspected to occupy a greater fraction of the planet's interior than do the cores of Earth, Venus, or Mars, is even larger than anticipated. The companion paper shows that the elevation ranges on Mercury are much smaller than on Mars or the Moon and indicates that there have been large-scale changes to Mercury’s topography since early in the planet’s geological history.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 4:08pm
Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound
Molybdenum disulfide is a compound often used in dry lubricants and in petroleum refining. Its semiconducting ability and similarity to the carbon-based graphene makes molybdenum disulfide of interest to scientists as a possible candidate for use in the manufacture of electronics, particularly photoelectronics. New work reveals that molybdenum disulfide becomes metallic under intense pressure.
Monday, April 30, 2012 - 9:10am
Old Star, New Trick
For the first time, astronomers have detected the presence of arsenic and selenium, neighboring elements near the middle of the periodic table, in an ancient star in the faint stellar halo that surrounds the Milky Way. Arsenic and selenium are elements at the transition from light to heavy element production, and have not been found in old stars until now.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 10:45am
Solar radiation management is a class of theoretical concepts for manipulating the climate in order to reduce the risks of global warming caused by greenhouse gasses. But its potential effectiveness and risks are uncertain, and it is unclear whether tests could help narrow these uncertainties. A team composed of Caltech's Doug MacMynowski, Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira and Ho-Jeong Shin, and Harvard's David Keith used modeling to determine the type of testing that might be effective in the future.
Monday, July 1, 2013 - 4:22pm
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.