Baltimore, MD— Reproduction is highly dependent on diet and the ability to use nutrients to grow and generate energy. This is clearly seen in women, who must provide all the nutritional building blocks required to support a growing embryo. As a result, metabolic diseases like diabetes and obesity...
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Stanford, CA—Carnegie’s Alexander Jones will receive the Tansley Medal for Excellence in Plant Science. The honor includes publishing a short review, an editorial written about his work in the journal New Phytologist, and a small bursary.

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Washington, D.C.—Earth's magnetic field is generated by the motion of liquid iron in the planet's core. This “geodynamo” occasionally reverses its polarity—the magnetic north and south poles swap places. The switch occurs over a few thousand years, and the time between reversals can vary from some tens of thousands to tens of millions of years.

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Metallic glasses are at the frontier of materials science research. They have been made by rapidly cooling alloys of various metals including, zirconium, palladium, iron, titanium, and copper, and used for a variety of applications from making golf clubs to aerospace construction. But much about them remains poorly understood. A team of scientists from Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory is trying to unravel the mysteries of metallic glass.

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Matthew Sieber, a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Embryology, has been honored for his extraordinary accomplishments, through a new program that recognizes exceptional Carnegie postdoctoral scholars who have demonstrated both scientific accomplishments and creative endeavors beyond what is expected.Nominations for the Postdoctoral Innovation and Excellence (PIE) Awards are made through the department directors, and the award recipient is chosen by the Office of the President.

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The Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO), developed by GregAsner, is a fixed-wing aircraft that sweeps laser light across the vegetation canopy to image it in brilliant 3-D. The data can determine the location and size of each tree at a resolution of 3.5 feet (1.1 meter), a level of detail that is...
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Today, humanity is increasingly aware of the impact it has on the environment and the difficulties caused when the environment impacts our communities. Environmental change can be particularly harsh when the plants we use for food, fuel, feed and fiber are affected by this change. High salinity is...
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The Anglo-Australian Planet Search (AAPS) is a long-term program being carried out on the 3.9-meter Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) to search for giant planets around more than 240 nearby Sun-like stars. The team, including Carnegie scientists,  uses the "Doppler wobble" technique to search for...
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Capital Science Evening Lectures
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 -
6:45pm to 8:00pm

Standing strong and silent, plants are all around us, both shaping our world and responding to it.  Plants can live for hundreds, if not thousands of years, continuously renewing themselves...

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Capital Science Evening Lectures
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 -
6:45pm to 8:00pm

The MESSENGER spacecraft, the first to orbit...

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Special Events
Monday, May 9, 2016 -
6:30pm to 8:00pm

The genome editing system called CRISPR earned Science magazine’s “2015 Breakthrough of the Year.” The advent of facile genome engineering using the bacterial RNA-guided CRISPR-Cas9...

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Joe Berry has been a Carnegie investigator since 1972. He has developed powerful tools to measure local and regional exchanges of carbon over spaces of up to thousands of square miles. He uses information at the plant scale to extrapolate the carbon balance at regional and continental scales....
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The Donald Brown laboratory uses  amphibian metamorphosis to study complex developmental programs such as the development of vertebrate organs. The thyroid gland secretes thyroxine (TH), a hormone essential for the growth and development of all vertebrates including humans. To understand TH,...
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Alycia Weinberger wants to understand how planets form, so she observes young stars in our galaxy and their disks, from which planets are born. She also looks for and studies planetary systems. Studying disks surrounding nearby stars help us determine the necessary conditions for planet formation....
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February 8, 2016

Washington, DC—If you freeze any liquid fast enough, even liquid metal, it becomes a glass. Vitrified metals, or metallic glasses, are at the frontier of materials science research. They have been made by rapidly cooling alloys of various metals including, zirconium, palladium, iron, titanium, copper, and magnesium, and used for a variety of applications from making golf clubs to aerospace construction. But much about them remains poorly understood.

A team including Carnegie’s Qiaoshi “Charles” Zeng and Ho-kwang “Dave” Mao, among others, is trying to figure out the rules that govern metallic glass’s creation. They are doing this by looking at metallic glasses under extreme

February 3, 2016

Washington, D.C.—Earth's magnetic field is generated by the motion of liquid iron in the planet's core. This “geodynamo” occasionally reverses its polarity—the magnetic north and south poles swap places. The switch occurs over a few thousand years, and the time between reversals can vary from some tens of thousands to tens of millions of years.

When magnetic polarity remains stable in one orientation for more than 10 million years the interval is dubbed a “superchron.” Within the last 540 million years—the time when animals have roamed the Earth’s land and seas—there are three known superchron periods, occurring about once every 200 million years. 

The question of how

January 28, 2016

Washington, D.C.—Matthew Sieber, a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Embryology, has been honored for his extraordinary accomplishments, through a new program that recognizes exceptional Carnegie postdoctoral scholars who have demonstrated both scientific accomplishments and creative endeavors beyond what is expected.

Nominations for the Postdoctoral Innovation and Excellence (PIE) Awards are made through the department directors, and the award recipient is chosen by the Office of the President. Under the program, one postdoc is honored every quarter for their extraordinary accomplishments. The award recipient is given a prize of $1000, and is the guest of honor at a

January 28, 2016

Baltimore, MD— Reproduction is highly dependent on diet and the ability to use nutrients to grow and generate energy. This is clearly seen in women, who must provide all the nutritional building blocks required to support a growing embryo. As a result, metabolic diseases like diabetes and obesity are closely linked with several female reproductive disorders such as: Infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, and ovarian cancer. However, the precise links between reproductive processes and metabolism remains poorly understood.

In a recent study, published in Cell, Carnegie’s Matthew Sieber, Michael Thomsen, and Allan Spradling use the fruit fly as a system to dissect the links between

March 2, 2016

Standing strong and silent, plants are all around us, both shaping our world and responding to it.  Plants can live for hundreds, if not thousands of years, continuously renewing themselves through active stem cells, yet also avoiding cancer. What lessons might we learn about our own biological potential from a closer look at their life strategies?

  Dr. Dominique Bergmann, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Department of Biology, Stanford University Adjunct staff member, Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science
April 13, 2016

The MESSENGER spacecraft, the first to orbit the planet Mercury, overcame many technical challenges to survive the harsh environment of the inner solar system. Along the way, the mission's discoveries about one of our nearest planetary neighbors have changed our understanding of how the inner planets – including Earth – formed and evolved.

  Dr. Sean C. Solomon, Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Associate Director for Earth Systems Science, Earth Institute William B. Ransford Professor of Earth and Planetary Science, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University
May 9, 2016

The genome editing system called CRISPR earned Science magazine’s “2015 Breakthrough of the Year.” The advent of facile genome engineering using the bacterial RNA-guided CRISPR-Cas9 system in animals and plants is transforming biology. In this talk, CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna presents a brief history of CRISPR biology from its initial discovery through the elucidation of the CRISPR-Cas9 enzyme mechanism, providing the foundation for remarkable developments using this technology to modify, regulate, or visualize genomic loci in a wide variety of cells and organisms. These results highlight a new era in which genomic manipulation is no longer a bottleneck to experiments, paving the way

May 25, 2016

What do fish fossils tell us about the human body? How can scientists predict where to find transitional fossils. Dr. Shubin will take us from the anatomy laboratory to the Arctic of Canada in search of answers.

Dr. Neil Shubin, Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, The University of Chicago

Along with Alycia Weinberger and Ian Thompson, Alan Boss has been running the Carnegie Astrometric Planet Search (CAPS) program, which searches for extrasolar planets by the astrometric method, where the planet's presence is detected indirectly through the wobble of the host star around the center of mass of the system. With over eight years of CAPSCam data, they are beginning to see likely true astrometric wobbles beginning to appear. The CAPSCam planet search effort is on the verge of yielding a harvest of astrometrically discovered planets, as well as accurate parallactic distances to many young stars and M dwarfs. For more see  http://instrumentation.obs.carnegiescience.edu/ccd/caps.

In mammals, most lipids, such as fatty acids and cholesterol, are absorbed into the body via the small intestine. The complexity of the cells and fluids that inhabit this organ make it very difficult to study in a laboratory setting. The goal of the Farber lab is to better understand the cell and molecular biology of lipids within digestive organs by exploiting the many unique attributes of the clear zebrafish larva  to visualize lipid uptake and processing in real time.  Given their utmost necessity for proper cellular function, it is not surprising that defects in lipid metabolism underlie a number of human diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.

The Farber

The Gall laboratory studies all aspects of the cell nucleus, particularly the structure of chromosomes, the transcription and processing of RNA, and the role of bodies inside the cell nucleus, especially the Cajal body (CB) and the histone locus body (HLB).

Much of the work makes use of the giant oocyte of amphibians and the equally giant nucleus or germinal vesicle (GV) found in it. He is particularly  interested in how the structure of the nucleus is related to the synthesis and processing of RNA—specifically, what changes occur in the chromosomes and other nuclear components when RNA is synthesized, processed, and transported to the cytoplasm.

Carbon plays an unparalleled role in our lives: as the element of life, as the basis of most of society’s energy, as the backbone of most new materials, and as the central focus in efforts to understand Earth’s variable and uncertain climate. Yet in spite of carbon’s importance, scientists remain largely ignorant of the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of many of Earth’s carbon-bearing systems. The Deep Carbon Observatory is a global research program to transform our understanding of carbon in Earth. At its heart, DCO is a community of scientists, from biologists to physicists, geoscientists to chemists, and many others whose work crosses these disciplinary lines, forging a

Understanding how plants grow can lead to improving crops.  Plant scientist Kathryn Barton, who joined Carnegie in 2001, investigates just that: what controls the plant’s body plan, from  the time it’s an embryo to its adult leaves. These processes include how plant parts form different orientations, from top to bottom, and different poles. She looks at regulation by small RNA’s, the function of small so-called Zipper proteins, and how hormone biosynthesis and response controls the plant’s growth.

Despite an enormous variety in leaf shape and arrangement, the basic body plan of plants is about the same: stems and leaves alternate in repeating units. The structure responsible for

The entire universe—galaxies, stars, and planets—originally condensed from a vast network of tenuous, gaseous filaments, known as the intergalactic medium, or the gaseous cosmic web. Most of the matter in this giant reservoir has never been incorporated into galaxies; it keeps floating about in intergalactic space, largely in the form of ionized hydrogen gas.

 Michael Rauch is interested in all aspects of the intergalactic medium. He uses large telescopes, like the Magellans, to take spectra—light that reveals the chemical makeup of distant objects— of background quasars, which are highly energetic and extremely remote. He is looking for evidence of gas clouds located between the

Alan Boss is a theorist and an observational astronomer. His theoretical work focuses on the formation of binary and multiple stars, triggered collapse of the presolar cloud that eventually made  the Solar System, mixing and transport processes in protoplanetary disks, and the formation of gas giant and ice giant protoplanets. His observational works centers on the Carnegie Astrometric Planet Search project, which has been underway for the last decade at Carnegie's Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

While fragmentation is universally recognized as the dominant formation mechanism for binary and multiple stars, there are still major questions. The most important of these is the

Galacticus is not a super hero; it’s a super model used to determine the formation and evolution of the galaxies. Developed by Andrew Benson, the George Ellery Hale Distinguished Scholar in Theoretical Astrophysics, it is one of the most advanced models of galaxy formation available.

Rather than building his model around observational data, Benson’s Galacticus relies on known laws of physics and the so-called N-body problem, which predicts the motions of celestial bodies that interact gravitationally in groups. Galacticus’ now an open- source model produces results as stunning 3-D videos.

Some 80% of the matter in the universe cannot be seen. This unseen matter is believed