Orange peyssonnelid algal crusts courtesy of Peter Edmunds.

Human activity endangers coral health around the world. A new algal threat is taking advantage of coral’s already precarious situation in the Caribbean and making it even harder for reef ecosystems to grow. Just-published research in Scientific Reports details how an aggressive, golden-brown, crust-like alga is rapidly overgrowing shallow reefs, taking the place of coral that was damaged by extreme storms and exacerbating the damage caused by ocean acidification, disease, pollution, and bleaching.

Senna tora photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Palo Alto, CA— Anthraquinones are a class of naturally occurring compounds prized for their medicinal properties, as well as

Richard Carlson, Director Carnegie Earth and Planets Laboratory

Richard Carlson, Director of Carnegie’s Earth and Planets Laboratory, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was selected for his “outstanding research, leadership, innovation, and service to the community in geochemistry and geology.” The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874 and election for this honor is bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. This year 489 members have been selected due to their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.” 

The Blue Ring Nebula courtesy of Mark Seibert

The mysterious Blue Ring Nebula has puzzled astronomers since it was discovered in 2004. New work published in Nature by a Caltech-led team including Carnegie astrophysicists Mark Seibert and Andrew McWilliam revealed that the phenomenon is the extremely difficult-to-spot result of a stellar collision in which two stars merged into one.

Carnegie theoretical astrophysicist Anthony Piro engages with the VizLab wall.

In a refurbished Southern California garage, Carnegie astrophysicists are creating the virtual reality-enabled scientific workspace of the future where they will unlock the mysteries of the cosmos. “Science is collaborative and multi-disciplinary,” said Juna Kollmeier, Director of the Carnegie Theoretical Astrophysics Center. “But our workspaces are often solitary and siloed.  I envisioned a space where teams could work together as they synthesize an unprecedented amount of data.  21st century data require 21st century laboratories.”

Don Brooks

With more than a half-century of employment under his belt, Building Maintenance Specialist Don Brooks’ career traced the path of Carnegie’s modern administrative history. He died of complications related to coronavirus on October 24, just months shy of retirement. He was 75. Brooks worked for Carnegie for 52 years, advancing through several positions over the course of seven presidential administrations at the institution, often interacting closely with leadership.

unWISE / NASA/JPL-Caltech / D.Lang (Perimeter Institute).

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s fifth generation collected its very first observations of the cosmos at 1:47 a.m. on October 24, 2020. This groundbreaking all-sky survey will bolster our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies—including our own Milky Way—and the supermassive black holes that lurk at their centers.

Saturn image is courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

New work led by Carnegie’s Matt Clement reveals the likely original locations of Saturn and Jupiter. These findings refine our understanding of the forces that determined our Solar System’s unusual architecture, including the ejection of an additional planet between Saturn and Uranus, ensuring that only small, rocky planets, like Earth, formed inward of Jupiter.

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.