Rutgers Scientists Help Create World’s Largest Coral Gene Database

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

coralkomodo300
Rutgers scientists are helping to create the world’s largest gene database- for coral! Coral reefs have survived five major extinction events, and now scientists are studying how the evolution of coral has allowed it to adapt to its environment.

“There are a few key genes in corals that allow them to build this house that laid down the foundation for many, many thousands of years of corals,” said Debashish Bhattacharya, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources in theSchool of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers. “It couldn’t be any more fundamental to ocean ecosystems.”

Read more here.

A Smartphone to Help Keep the Elderly Safe

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

elderly20fall20risk20lo20res20c
A new app for smartphones was designed by Rutgers University students to help reduce the number of falls of elderly people. The technology used in the application helps assess balance while the individual is doing any number of activities- sitting, walking, standing. The next step of the research will identify when and where risky movements occur.

“This will help us better understand the mechanisms involved when people lose their balance and allow us to intervene to avoid people putting themselves in those situations,” Gray-Miceli says.

Read more here.

Billions at Stake in University Patent Fights

From Bloomberg: “A powerful and inexpensive technique for rewriting snippets of DNA — known as CRISPR-Cas9 — has two research institutions locked in a bitter patent battle. On one side is UC Berkeley, where faculty first reported using the gene-editing technology in 2012, on the other, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where faculty won a special expedited patent for the technique…” Read more here.

Legos: A New Frontier for Libraries

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

lottsmegan3anick20romanenko20lo
Did you know that the Rutgers University Art Library has a Lego building station? Megan Lotts, Rutgers University Librarian, is working on redefining what libraries can do for their communities. She believes that libraries should be places that people think of as a way to connect with others, and build a community. “Legos are a three-dimensional, common language that helps people unlock their imagination, communicate and build critical thinking skills,” Lotts says. “I have seen artists sit down with scientists at the station, talking and realizing how much they have in common.”

Read more here.

Probing How a Gene and Some Proteins Might Point a Brain toward Autism

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

tracy_tran-resized

Rutgers researchers in Newark are looking at the factors that cause a brain to become autistic.Tracy Tran, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N), is leading a team to look at how the circuitry in the brain works, and if it can potentially be “rewired.”Tracy describes what the team is looking at as “How does any one particular neuron know to connect with neuron B and not neuron C or D or E?  It must precisely connect with its proper target,” she explains, “because if it doesn’t that’s what results in many of the neurological diseases that we see such as autism.” Tran’s team has received an $80,000 award for their research using lab mice to study autism.

Read more here.

Genetically Engineered Crops, Foods Called Safe in New Report

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

soybeanshighres300There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of genetically engineered crops, and if they were as safe as their naturally occurring counterparts. The National Academy of Sciences released a 407 page report addressing this topic, and the conclusion is that there is no hard evidence that genetically engineered foods are less safe. The National Academy of Sciences also found no conclusive evidence that links genetically engineered crops to environmental problems.

One of the committee’s members is Michael A. Gallo, emeritus professor of environmental and occupational medicine at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is also an adjunct professor at Rutgers’ School of Public Health and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. Gallo states that, “Food labeling is becoming a big issue at the state level. But there’s no evidence supporting the idea that genetically engineered foods are ‘Frankenfoods.’”

Read more here.

Fighting the Zika Virus with Supercomputing

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

logo-openzika-black2028329copy20lo20res
Rutgers is taking a role in combating the Zika Virus by joining the IBM-sponsored World Community Grid, which is using supercomputing to identify potential drug candidates to cure the virus. The project is known as “Open Zika,” and uses scientists from all over the world to do virtual experiments in search for cures for the Zika Virus.

“Instead of having to wait a number of years, even decades potentially, to test all these compounds in order to find a few that could form the basis of antiviral drugs to cure Zika, we will perform these initial tests in a matter of months, just by using idle computing power that would otherwise go to waste,” says Alex Perryman, a research teaching specialist at Rutgers’ New Jersey Medical School, in Professor Joel Freundlich’s lab.

Read the whole story here.

Pursuing the Destruction of HIV-infected Cells

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HIVletters_shutterstock_inline
Researchers from Rutgers University and Dartmouth College’s combined efforts have result in an oral medication that seems to selectively kill the AIDS-causing, HIV-infected cells. This is a large leap in research, as previous treatment for AIDS and HIV-infected cells that would prevent the growth of the virus but were unable to kill it or cure it.

“The discovery raises the hope that HIV may not be able to develop resistance against this novel class of drugs,” said study co-author Paul Palumbo of Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. “It gives credence to the concept that like cancer cells, HIV-infected cells can be targeted and eliminated by a drug.”

Read the full story here.

Computer Scientist or Photographer? Both.

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

shirleymainRutgers student, Shirley Yu, has an impressive and inspirational story. She knew that upon entering college, computer science was a good major that would lead to a good career.Yet, throughout her time at college, she also devoted herself to something else- photography.

“The unique thing about my brain is half of it is very creative, but I’m also a very analytical and technical person,” said Yu. “I always have two sides telling me what my plan should be, and how I should go about things.”

Yu has shot for Time, and had several prestigious photography internships. She plans to continue in both words, computer science and photography, upon graduation.

Read the full story here.

Rutgers Professor Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

sashazamolodchikovhighres300

Alexander Zamolodchikov, a Physics professor at Rutgers University and a member of the high energy theory group, is to be initiated into the National Academy of Sciences next year. When interviewed, Zamolodchikov says he is honored and excited to be part of the prestigious institution. Zamolodchikov has also received many prestigious awards and honors, including: the Lenin Komsomol Prize; American Physical Society Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics; Alexander von Humboldt Research Award; Chair Blaise Pascal; American Physical Society Lars Onsager Prize; ICTP Dirac Medal; and Pomeranchuk Prize

The National Academy of Sciences was founded in 1863, during the Civil War. The goal of the organization is to provide “independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.” Read more about The National Academy of Science here.

Read the full story here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,420 other followers