Content about Light to Life

June 9, 2011

Martin Jonikas, a plant biologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California, won one of four grants for research to increase the efficiency of photosynthesis, awarded jointly on 28 March by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the UK Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC).

Virginia Gewin from Nature interviewed Martin on the occasion of the receipt of his new grant. Read the full interview here.

How did you become interested in biology?

During my undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, I took a required course in molecular biology. Biological machines can make complex proteins that humans can't, and I thought that biology was going to become a major frontier for engineering. I wanted to be part of it.

October 29, 2010

Flowering plants release copious amounts of sperm-carrying pollen to be delivered by wind, insect, or other carriers to waiting females. In some situations, the females are choosy about which pollen grains they allow to fertilize their eggs.  How do these females discriminate between pollen types?

Flowering plants release copious amounts of sperm-carrying pollen to be delivered by wind, insect, or other carriers to waiting females. In some situations, the females are choosy about which pollen grains they allow to fertilize their eggs.  How do these females discriminate between pollen types? 

September 16, 2009
Director Emeritus of Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology, Winslow Briggs, will be awarded the prestigious International Prize for Biology from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at a ceremony in Tokyo November 30, held in the presence of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. Briggs is being honored for his work on light sensing by plants.

Palo Alto, CA— Director Emeritus of Carnegie’s Department of Plant Biology, Winslow Briggs, will be awarded the prestigious International Prize for Biology from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at a ceremony in Tokyo November 30, held in the presence of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. Briggs is being honored for his work on light sensing by plants. 

March 11, 2008

A startling discovery by scientists at the Carnegie Institution puts a new twist on photosynthesis, arguably the most important biological process on Earth. Two studies suggest that certain widespread marine microorganisms have evolved a way to break the rules of normal photosynthesis—they can harvest solar energy without a net release of oxygen or uptake of carbon dioxide.