Tag «Carnegie Institution for Science»

Volcanoes Get Quiet Before They Erupt!     

Washington, D.C.— When dormant volcanoes are about to erupt, they show some predictive characteristics—seismic activity beneath the volcano starts to increase, gas escapes through the vent, or the surrounding ground starts to deform. However, until now, there has not been a way to forecast eruptions of more restless volcanoes because of the constant seismic activity …

Consistency of Earth’s magnetic field history surprises scientists

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. …

Firefly protein enables visualization of roots in soil

Stanford, CA— Plants form a vast network of below-ground roots that search soil for needed resources. The structure and function of this root network can be highly adapted to particular environments, such as desert soils where plants like Mesquite develop tap roots capable of digging 50 meters deep to capture precious water resources.  Excavation of …

MAD: Scientists shed light on braking mechanisms in cellular signaling

Stanford, CA— A team of researchers studying a flowering plant has zeroed in on the way cells manage external signals about prevailing conditions, a capability that is essential for cells to survive in a fluctuating environment. Researchers at UC Berkeley, the Plant Gene Expression Center, UC San Francisco, and the Carnegie Institution for Science identified …

Diamond Defect Boosts Quantum Technology

Washington, D.C.—New research shows that a remarkable defect in synthetic diamond produced by chemical vapor deposition allows researchers to measure, witness, and potentially manipulate electrons in a manner that could lead to new “quantum technology” for information processing. The study is published in the January 31, 2014, issue of Physical Review Letters. Normal computers process …

Ancient Minerals: Which Gave Rise to Life?

Washington, D.C.— Life originated as a result of natural processes that exploited early Earth’s raw materials. Scientific models of life’s origins almost always look to minerals for such essential tasks as the synthesis of life’s molecular building blocks or the supply of metabolic energy. But this assumes that the mineral species found on Earth today …

Why Are Some Cells More Cancer Prone?

Washington, D.C.—Cells in the body wear down over time and die. In many organs, like the small intestine, adult stem cells play a vital role in maintaining function by replacing old cells with new ones.  Learning about the nature of tissue stem cells can help scientists understand exactly how our organs are built, and why …