A 10-year effort by China to improve air quality and reduce pollution-related health risks has caused warming in areas across the northern hemisphere, according to new work published in Environmental Research Letters.

In 2017 the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE) was selected to manage the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) site in Washington, D.C., called ABE-DC. The Amgen Foundation has now awarded CASE an additional three years of funding. 

 "Blue Snowball" planetary nebula, courtesy of Eric Hsiao.

An unusual stellar explosion is shining new light on the origins of a specific subgroup of Type Ia supernovae. Called LSQ14fmg, the exploding star exhibits certain characteristics that are unlike any other supernova. For example, its brightness increases at an extremely slow rate compared to other Type Ia supernovae. Despite this, it is also one of the brightest explosions in its class.

GW Orionis Credit: ESO/Exeter/Kraus et al., ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

The discovery that our galaxy is teeming with exoplanets has also revealed the vast diversity of planetary systems out there and raised questions about the processes that shaped them. New work published in Science by an international team including Carnegie’s Jaehan Bae could explain the architecture of multi-star systems in which planets are separated by wide gaps and do not orbit on the same plane as their host star’s equatorial center.

Earth's layers courtesy of Shutterstock

The composition of Earth’s mantle was more shaped by interactions with the oceanic crust than previously thought, according to work from Carnegie’s Jonathan Tucker and Peter van Keken along with colleagues from Oxford that was recently published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. “The chemical composition of the mantle is influenced by continent formation and geoscientists can read chemical markers left behind by this process,” Tucker explained.

Quartz crystals courtesy of Shutterstock.

When a meteorite hurtles through the atmosphere and crashes to Earth, how does its violent impact alter the minerals found at the landing site? What can the short-lived chemical phases created by these extreme impacts teach scientists about the minerals existing at the high-temperature and pressure conditions found deep inside the planet? New work led by Carnegie’s Sally June Tracy examined the crystal structure of the silica mineral quartz under shock compression and is challenging longstanding assumptions about how this ubiquitous material behaves under such intense conditions. The results are published in Science Advances.

Coral and legume roots. New staff scientists study symbiosis in these systems.

Carnegie’s Department of Embryology welcomes two new Staff Scientists, both of whom specialize in researching the symbiotic relationships between species. Brittany Belin joined Carnegie this month from Caltech and Phillip Cleves will arrive in September from Stanford University. Although their work approaches the issue using different organisms, their investigations are important to understanding survival mechanisms in the increasingly stressful conditions caused by climate change.

Johanna Teske

In September, astronomer Johanna Teske will join Carnegie’s Earth and Planets Laboratory as a Staff Scientist. Teske has been with Carnegie since 2014, first as the inaugural Carnegie Origins Postdoctoral Fellow and currently as a NASA Hubble Fellow. 

Anna Michalak

Anna Michalak has been named the Director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology. As a world-renowned researcher, her leadership will be invaluable as Carnegie works to rebuild the department and to establish its new home in Pasadena.

Experimental zebrafish larvae, courtesy Navid Marvi.

New work led by Carnegie’s Meredith Wilson and Steve Farber identifies a potential therapeutic target for clogged arteries and other health risks that stem from an excess of harmful fats in the bloodstream. The study opens the door for the design of more specific MTP inhibitors that could reduce circulating triglyceride levels without the risk of unpleasant and serious side effects in the intestine and liver.

Pennycress

Carnegie’s Sue Rhee and Moises Exposito-Alonso are leading members of an initiative to identify genes related to stress tolerance in the mustard plant field pennycress. Theirs was one of seven biofuel research projects awarded a total of $68 million over five years by the Department of Energy. 

Widmanstatten pattern characteristic of iron meteorites, courtesy of Peng Ni.

Work led by Carnegie’s Peng Ni and Anat Shahar uncovers new details about our Solar System’s oldest planetary objects, which broke apart in long-ago collisions to form iron-rich meteorites.  Their findings reveal that the distinct chemical signatures of these meteorites can be explained by the process of core crystallization in their parent bodies, deepening our understanding of the geochemistry occurring in the Solar System’s youth. They are published by Nature Geoscience.

Phoenix Stellar Stream illustration courtesy of Geraint F. Lewis.

A team of astronomers including Carnegie’s Ting Li and Alexander Ji discovered a stellar stream composed of the remnants of an ancient globular cluster that was torn apart by the Milky Way’s gravity 2 billion years ago, when Earth’s most-complex lifeforms were single-celled organisms. This surprising finding, published in Nature, upends conventional wisdom about how these celestial objects form.

The du Pont telescope, courtesy Matias del Campo

Filling in the most-significant gaps in our understanding of the universe’s history, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) released Sunday a comprehensive analysis of the largest three-dimensional map of the cosmos ever created. “SDSS has transformed the way we do astronomy, with each phase pushing the boundary of what is considered possible,” said Carnegie astronomer and SDSS-V Director Kollmeier. “The eBOSS cosmology results are no exception, filling in an important gap in our measurements of cosmic evolution and demonstrating the collaborative power of the SDSS consortium.”

 

Former Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and former Chair of the Carnegie Board of Trustees, Thomas Urban, died of mesothelioma at the age of 86 on July 10, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Steve Farber with zebrafish tanks

American Society for Cell Biology recognized Carnegie’s Steven Farber and the University of Pennsylvania’s Jamie Shuda with its Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education, which honors “innovative and sustained contributions” to the field. In informing Farber and Shuda of the honor, the ASCB selection committee said they were “particularly impressed by your longstanding partnership and the influence that two individuals working together can have”. They also praised the pair for pursuing international partnerships and for publishing about the students' experiences, actions that the committee called “indicators of sustained and excellent contributions to science education." 

Nearly 100 years ago, Carnegie astronomer Edwin Hubble made two truly revolutionary discoveries: First that our Milky Way was only one of many gala

Join us to learn about cellular machinery from Carnegie Staff Associate Kamena Kostova. This is the first virtual program in our fall&nbs

One of the most exciting developments in astronomy is the discovery of thousands of planets around stars other than our Sun.