Earth's magnetic field shields it from ionizing particles

Life as we know it could not exist without Earth’s magnetic field and its ability to deflect dangerous ionizing particles from the solar wind and more far-flung cosmic rays. It is continuously generated by the motion of liquid iron in Earth’s outer core, a phenomenon called the geodynamo. Despite its fundamental importance, many questions remain unanswered about the geodynamo’s origin and the energy sources that have sustained it over the millennia.

Stock image of the transition metals section of the periodic table

New research by Carnegie’s Olivier Gagné and collaborator Frank Hawthorne of the University of Manitoba categorizes the causes of structural asymmetry, some surprising, which underpin useful properties of crystals, including ferroelectricity, photoluminescence, and photovoltaic ability. Their findings are published this week as a lead article in the International Union of Crystallography Journal.

Xenia in Carnegie's coral facility, courtesy Carnegie Embryology

Baltimore, MD— New work from a team of Carnegie cell, genomic, and developmental biologists solves a longstanding marine sci

The Magellan telescopes at LCO by Yuri Beletsky.

The universe is full of billions of galaxies—but their distribution across space is far from uniform. Why do we see so much structure in the universe today and how did it all form and grow? A 10-year survey of tens of thousands of galaxies made using the Magellan Baade Telescope at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile provided a new approach to answering this fundamental mystery.

Carnegie mineralogist Robert Hazen was inducted last month as a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences—the nation’s highest-level scientific society, originally founded by Peter the Great. This is a rare honor for an American researcher. The ceremony, originally scheduled for the end of March, was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greenhouse in Germany where Exposito-Alonso did research.

Carnegie’s Moises Exposito-Alonso was selected for the Heidelberg Academy of Science’s Karl Freudenberg Prize in recognition of outstanding early career achievements in the natural sciences. The prize comes with a personal 10,000 Euro award.

Comparing carbon's compatibility with silicates and with iron

New work published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals how carbon behaved during Earth’s violent formative period. The findings can help scientists understand how much carbon likely exists in the planet’s core and the contributions it could make to the chemical and dynamic activity occurring there—including to the convective motion powering the magnetic field that protects Earth from cosmic radiation.

Moises Exposito-Alonso

Carnegie evolutionary geneticist Moises Exposito-Alonso was named a member of the 2020 class of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Europe list in science and healthcare. He was recognized for his lab’s pioneering use of genomic techniques to understand how plant species will evolve and keep pace with a changing climate. 

Caltech logo

The Carnegie Institution for Science is consolidating our California research departments into an expanded presence in Pasadena. With this move, we are building on our existing relationship with Caltech, with a goal of broadening our historic collaborations in astronomy and astrophysics and pursuing new opportunities in ecology and plant biology that will support the global fight against climate change.

Yixian Zheng

Carnegie’s Director of Embryology Yixian Zheng is one of 15 scientists awarded a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to support research on symbiosis in aquatic systems. For the past two years, Zheng and her colleagues have been working to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of endosymbiosis in the relationships between coral and jellyfish and the photosynthetic algal species that they host. She has been building on Carnegie’s longstanding tradition of model organism development to begin revealing the genetics underlying the uptake and sustenance of symbiotic dinoflagellates by the soft coral species Xenia.

 Illustration of DS Tuc AB by M. Weiss, CfA.

A new kind of astronomical observation helped reveal the possible evolutionary history of a baby Neptune-like exoplanet. To study a very young planet called DS Tuc Ab, a Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics-led team that included six Carnegie astronomers—Johanna Teske, Sharon Wang, Stephen Shectman, Paul Butler, Jeff Crane, and Ian Thompson—developed a new observational modeling tool. Their work will be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and represents the first time the orbital tilt of a planet younger than 45 million years—or about 1/100th the age of the Solar System—has been measured.

Illustration courtesy of Navid Marvi and Andres Aranda-Diaz.

What can our micobiome's response to antibiotics teach us about species interactions in nature? New work from Carnegie Embryology and Stanford University set out to answer this challenging question and discovered a new form of antibiotic tolerance.

John Mulchaey

John Mulchaey Director and Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair of the Carnegie Observatories was presented with a Humanitarian STAR Award by the honor’s founding body—the Rotary Club of Sierra Madre. Mulchaey was selected for the club’s Helios award in acknowledgment of his longstanding efforts at promoting outreach events and activities to share astronomy with enthusiasts of all ages throughout the Los Angeles area.

Artist’s concept by Robin Dienel, courtesy Carnegie Science

Some of the extremely low-density, “cotton candy like” exoplanets called super-puffs may actually have rings, according to new research published in The Astronomical Journal by Carnegie’s Anthony Piro and Caltech’s Shreyas Vissapragada

Downwelling field experiment at Searsville Reservoir. Courtesy Nona Chiariello.

Could pumping oxygen-rich surface water into the depths of lakes, estuaries, and coastal ocean waters help ameliorate dangerous dead zones? New work led by Carnegie’s David Koweek and Ken Caldeira and published open access by Science of the Total Environment says yes, although they caution that further research would be needed to understand any possible side effects before implementing such an approach.

Bellymount allows researchers to peer into the live tissue of the fruit fly gut.

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. But what about a real-time window into the complexity of the gastrointestinal system? A new research tool allowed biologists to watch in real time the cell renewal process that keeps gut tissue healthy, as well as the interactions between bacterial species that make up the microbiome. Their work, led by Lucy O’Brien and KC Huang of Stanford University and Carnegie’s Will Ludington, was recently published by PLOS Biology.

Join us to learn about the symbiotic relationship underpinning coral reef architecture from the Director of Carnegie's Department of

Join us to learn about how to study the mineralogy of another planet from Carnegie Research Scientist Shaunna Morrison. This is the ninth