Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 12:27pm
Researchers Explain Nitrogen Paradox in Forests
Nitrogen is essential to all life on Earth, and the processes by which it cycles through the environment may determine how ecosystems respond to global warming. But certain aspects of the nitrogen cycle in temperate and tropical forests have puzzled scientists, defying, in a sense, the laws of supply and demand. Now scientists from the Carnegie Institution have explained the paradox by recognizing the role of two other factors: temperature and the abundance of another key element, phosphorous.
Monday, May 19, 2014 - 7:15am
Robert Tjian, President Howard Hughes Medical Institute
“Matt Scott will continue a tradition of strong leadership at the helm of the Carnegie—he is a highly accomplished developmental biologist who also has broad and deep interests in many other areas of discovery research including the environment, molecular evolution, and multiple disciplines within the physical sciences. He will be a great fit for the inter-disciplinary portfolio of the Carnegie.”
Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 1:10pm
New understanding of Earth’s mantle beneath the Pacific Ocean
Scientists have long speculated about why there is a large change in the strength of rocks that lie at the boundary between two layers immediately under Earth’s crust: the lithosphere and underlying asthenosphere. Understanding this boundary is central to our knowledge of plate tectonics and thus the formation and evolution of our planet as we know it today. A new technique for observing this transition, particularly in the portion of Earth’s mantle that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean basin, has led Carnegie and NASA Goddard scientist Nick Schmerr to new insight on the origins of the lithosphere and asthenosphere.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 2:23pm
Ultra-distant galaxy spied amidst cosmic “Dark Ages”
With the combined power of NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes, as well as a cosmic magnification effect, a team of astronomers, including Carnegie’s Daniel Kelson, have spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen. Light from the young galaxy captured by the orbiting observatories was emitted when our 13.7-billion-year-old universe was just 500 million years old.
Monday, May 16, 2011 - 6:18pm
Young graphite, old rocks: looking for evidence of earliest life
Scientists have long debated about the origin of carbon in Earth’s oldest sedimentary rocks and how it might signal the remnants of the earliest forms of life on the planet. New research by a team including five scientists from Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory and Department of Terrestrial Magnetism discovered that carbon samples taken from ancient Canadian rock formations are younger than the sedimentary rocks surrounding them, which were formed at least 3.8 billion years ago. Their results indicate that the carbon contained in such ancient rocks should not be assumed to be as old as the rocks, unless it can be shown to have had the same metamorphic history as the host rock.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 1:42pm
Delving into manganite conductivity
Chemical compounds called manganites have been studied for many years since the discovery of colossal magnetoresistance, a property that promises important applications in the fields of magnetic sensors, magnetic random access memories and spintronic devices. However, understanding—and ultimately controlling—this effect remains a challenge, because much about manganite physics is still not known. This new research is an important breakthrough in our understanding of the mysterious ways manganites respond when subjected to intense pressure.
Thursday, September 4, 2008 - 7:09am
Future of biology rests in harnessing data avalanche
Like most sciences, biology is inundated with data. However, researchers, including Sue Rhee at Plant Biology, warn in a Nature feature that the avalanche of biological information is at the point where the discipline may be unable to reach its full potential without improvements for curating data into on-line databases. The piece outlines specific remedies to harness the information overload.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009 - 11:20am
Carnegie Wins Grant to Probe Earth’s Deep Carbon
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded the Carnegie Institution a $4 million grant over three years to initiate the Deep Carbon Observatory -- an international, decade-long project to investigate the nature of carbon in Earth's deep interior.
Monday, January 23, 2012 - 3:17pm
Geoengineering and global food supply
Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas have been increasing over the past decades, causing the Earth to get hotter and hotter. There are concerns that a continuation of these trends could have catastrophic effects, including crop failures in the heat-stressed tropics. This has led some to explore drastic ideas for combating global warming, including the idea of trying to counteract it by reflecting sunlight away from the Earth. However, it has been suggested that reflecting sunlight away from the Earth might itself threaten the food supply of billions of people. New research led by Carnegie’s Julia Pongratz examines the potential effects that geoengineering the climate could have on global food production and concludes that sunshade geoengineering would be more likely to improve rather than threaten food security.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 12:58pm
Carnegie Institution and UMASS Medical School Granted Broad U.S. Patent Related to RNA Interference
The Carnegie Institution for Science and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have been granted United States Patent 8,283,329, entitled, “Genetic inhibition of double-stranded RNA.” The patent, issued on October 9, 2012, is broadly directed to the use of RNA interference (RNAi) to inhibit expression of a target gene in animal cells, including mammalian cells.
Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 2:00pm
Corralling the carbon cycle
Scientists, including Global Ecology’s Joe Berry, may have overcome a major hurdle to calculating how much carbon dioxide is absorbed and released by plants, vital information for determining the amount of carbon that can be safely emitted by human activities. The problem is that ecosystems simultaneously take up and release CO2. The key finding is that the compound carbonyl sulfide, which plants consume in tandem with CO2, can be used to quantify gas flow into the plants during photosynthesis.
Friday, June 1, 2012 - 3:39pm
Plant research funding crucial for the future
The scientific community needs to make a 10-year, $100 billion investment in food and energy security, says Carnegie’s Wolf Frommer and Tom Brutnell of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in an opinion piece published in the June issue of The Scientist. They say the importance of addressing these concerns in light of a rapidly growing global population is on par with President John Kennedy’s promise to put man on the moon—a project that took a decade and cost $24 billion.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 12:14pm
Man in the Moon Looking Younger
Earth’s Moon could be younger than previously thought, according to new research. The prevailing theory of our Moon’s origin is that it was created by a giant impact between a large planet-like object and the proto-Earth. The energy of this impact was sufficiently high that the Moon formed from melted material that was ejected into space. As the Moon cooled, this magma solidified into different mineral components. Analysis of lunar rock samples thought to have been derived from the original magma has given scientists a new estimate of the Moon’s age.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 10:08am
Carnegie’s Richard Carlson Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Geochemist Richard Carlson of Carnegie’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism has been elected a member tof the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He is among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates of one the most prestigious honorary societies in the country.
Monday, January 25, 2010 - 1:12pm
Washington, D.C.—Physicists have long wondered whether hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, could be transformed into a metal and possibly even a superconductor—the elusive state in which electrons can flow without resistance. They have speculated that under certain pressure and temperature conditions hydrogen could be squeezed into a metal and possibly even a superconductor, but proving it experimentally has been difficult. High-pressure researchers, including Carnegie’s Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao, have now modeled three hydrogen-dense metal alloys and found there are pressure and temperature trends associated with the superconducting state—a huge boost in the understanding of how this abundant material could be harnessed. The study is published in the January 25, 2010, early, on-line edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.