Articles

This year’s Department of Plant Biology Summer Internship Program was held June 12th to August 14th. Over 30 domestic and international students participated in this program and conducted experiments in 10 labs at Carnegie DPB. We had a very diverse group of interns this year, with over half of them women, and many from different minority groups. Besides doing research, interns also went to a seminar series given by Faculty members from...
Stanford, CA—Everyone who took high school biology learned that photosynthesis is the process by which plants, algae and select bacteria transform the Sun's energy into chemical energy during the daytime. But these photosynthetic organisms activate other biochemical pathways at night, when they generate energy by breaking down the sugars, starches, and oils that they created during the day. New work that focused on this nighttime growth found a...
Stanford, CA— Once a mother plant releases its embryos to the outside world, they have to survive on their own without family protection. To ensure successful colonization by these vulnerable creatures, the mother plant provides the embryo with a backpack full of energy, called the endosperm. Since, over time, the only plants that will survive are those that reproduce and compete successfully, the mother plant’s whole life is dedicated to...
"I started to wonder if I could design a course that encouraged freshmen to recognize the beauty and wealth of trees on campus? Could I meld my curiosity about the trees and rejuvenate my rusty background in botany to help create a resource for the community?" Devaki Bhaya writes in Pacific Horticulture about her experience designing and teaching a class on the trees of the Stanford University campus. More 
Stanford, CA— Like humans, plants are surrounded by and closely associated with microbes. The majority of these microbes are beneficial, but some can cause devastating disease. Maintaining the balance between them is critical. Plants feed these microbes, and it’s thought that they do so just enough to allow the good ones to grow and to prevent the bad ones from gaining strength. This system of microbe feeding is mediated by proteins called sugar...
Washington, D.C.—The pervasive plant fiber cellulose, which makes up cell walls, represents most of the biomass on Earth and is used to create everything from textiles and building materials, to renewable biofuels. Primary cell walls determine the shape of the plant, while secondary cell walls—most of the cellulose—are laid down later to strengthen the structure and vascular system that transports water and nutrients. Now scientists, including...
Two researchers, Martin Jonikas of Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology and Zhao Zhang of the Department of Embryology, have been awarded the New Innovator and Early Independence Awards, respectively, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Traditionally, NIH has supported research projects, not individuals. However, “to identify scientists with ideas that have the potential for high impact, but that may be too novel, span too diverse a...
Carnegie’s Arthur Grossman teamed up with engineers at Stanford University (including Fritz Prinz and graduate students Zubin Huang and  Witchukorn Phuthong) to develop the use of atomic force microscopy to determine the structures of photosynthetic complexes within the spinach chlorophyll-producing compartment (called the chloroplast)  at nanometer resolution. These complexes are vital to life on Earth since they convert the sun’s light energy...
On SFGate: Carnegie's José Dinneny uses firefly proteins to light up certain plants and reveal root system behavior. More