Four new Carnegie Venture Grants have been awarded, following the second call for proposals of 2017. Projects funded by Carnegie Science Venture Grants ignore conventional boundaries by bringing together researchers from different backgrounds with fresh eyes to explore new questions. Each grant provides $100,000 for projects that are likely to grow in unexpected ways. Proposals are chosen by the President’s office. They are generously supported, in part, by trustee Michael Wilson and his wife Jane and by the Monell Foundation. Proposals for the next round (2018-A) are due on Friday, May 4, at 11:59 PM, PDT.

Detecting Signs of Life
One Venture Grant was given to astronomer Andrew McWilliam of the Observatories with Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow Johanna Teske of Terrestrial Magnetism to detect molecules important to the emergence of life on Earth-sized exoplanets.

Measuring Photosynthesis at Large Scales
A second award was made for a collaboration among instrument designer Nick Konidaris of the Observatories and global ecologists Greg Asner, Joe Berry and Ari Kornfeld to allow measurements of photosynthesis to be coupled with structural characteristics of plants to cale up leaf-level understanding to canopy- and regional- processes.

A "Gene Gun" for Genetic Manipulation
A third grant was awarded to a project between plant biologists Zhiyong Wang and global ecologists Joe Berry and Jennifer Johnson, with Karlheinz Merkle of Stanford University to develop a new “gene gun” that can deliver biomolecules deep into plant cells that then participate in reproduction for the purpose of genetic manipulation.

Materials Science Applied to Biological Protein Folding 
A fourth grant has materials physicists at the Geophysical Laboratory Tim Strobel, Ron Cohen and Li Zhu, collaborating with Plant Biology’s Proteomics Facility Director Shouling Xu to apply recently developed materials physics methods to the biological problem of understanding protein folding. The mechanisms of protein folding are vital to life and to understanding diseases.  MORE

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