PolyP courtesy of Arthur Grossman and Emanuel Sanz-Luque

In a changing climate, understanding how organisms respond to stress conditions is increasingly important. New work led by Carnegie’s Arthur Grossman and Emanuel Sanz-Luque could enable scientists to engineer the metabolism of organisms to be more resilient and productive in a range of environments.Their research focuses on polyphosphate, an energy-rich polymer of tens to hundreds phosphate groups which is conserved in all kingdoms of life and is integral to many cellular activities, including an organism’s ability to respond to changing environmental conditions.

Recently published work from Carnegie’s Allan Spradling and Wanbao Niu revealed in unprecedented detail the genetic instructions immature egg cells go through step by step as they mature into functionality. Their findings improve our understanding of how ovaries maintain a female’s fertility.

Recent work led by Carnegie’s Kamena Kostova revealed a new quality control system in the protein production assembly line with possible implications for understanding neurogenerative disease.

Moises Exposito-Alonso

Carnegie’s Moises Exposito-Alonso has been selected for a National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award, which recognizes “outstanding junior scientists” for their “intellect, scientific creativity, drive, and maturity.”

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.

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