Meeting Preview: Hot Topics at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE

Reporters and bloggers are invited to join top nutrition researchers and practitioners for a dynamic virtual program at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE. The flagship meeting of the American Society for Nutrition runs June 7–10, 2021 and features research announcements, expert discussions and more.

Orangutan Finding Highlights Need to Protect Habitat

Wild orangutans are known for their ability to survive food shortages, but scientists have made a surprising finding that highlights the need to protect the habitat of these critically endangered primates, which face rapid habitat destruction and threats linked to climate change. Scientists found that the muscle mass of orangutans on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia was significantly lower when less fruit was available. That’s remarkable because orangutans are thought to be especially good at storing and using fat for energy, according a Rutgers-led study in the journal Scientific Reports.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Coronavirus Risks a Year After Lockdowns Began

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 11, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on the likelihood of becoming infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus via shopping, groceries, surfaces and airborne/aerosol transmission after a year of lockdowns due to the global pandemic.…

Why Food Sticks to Nonstick Frying Pans

Foods will sometimes get stuck to a heated surface, even if oil or a nonstick frying pan is used. Scientists have investigated the fluid properties of oil on a flat surface and their work, reported in Physics of Fluids, shows convection may be to blame. When the pan is heated from below, a temperature gradient is established in the oil film, as well as a surface tension gradient. This gradient sets up a type of convection known as thermocapillary convection.

Nuclear War Could Trigger Big El Niño and Decrease Seafood

A nuclear war could trigger an unprecedented El Niño-like warming episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, slashing algal populations by 40 percent and likely lowering the fish catch, according to a Rutgers-led study. The research, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, shows that turning to the oceans for food if land-based farming fails after a nuclear war is unlikely to be a successful strategy – at least in the equatorial Pacific.

Climate Change is Hurting Children’s Diets, Global Study Finds

A first-of-its-kind, international study of 107,000 children finds that higher temperatures are an equal or even greater contributor to child malnutrition than the traditional culprits of poverty, inadequate sanitation, and poor education.

The 19-nation study is the largest investigation to date of the relationship between our changing climate and children’s diet diversity.

Of the six regions examined–in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America–five had significant reductions in diet diversity associated with higher temperatures.

How to Identify Heat-Stressed Corals

Researchers have found a novel way to identify heat-stressed corals, which could help scientists pinpoint the coral species that need protection from warming ocean waters linked to climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study.

COVID-19 Pandemic had Big Impact on Commercial Fishing in Northeast

With restaurants and supply chains disrupted due to the global coronavirus pandemic, two-fifths of commercial fishermen surveyed from Maine through North Carolina did not go fishing earlier this year, according to a Rutgers study that also documented their resilience and adaptation. Of those who kept fishing, nearly all reported a decline in income compared with previous years, according to the survey of 258 fishers in the Northeast published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Research finds new link between cell damage in astronauts and geriatric-type health problems observed during space missions

Damage caused to human cells during spaceflight appears to be the underlying cause of many health issues observed in astronauts, it has been discovered by researchers from the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) and School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast.

Working in partnership with an international team, their findings have been published today (25 November) in Cell.

U.S. Seafood Industry Flounders Due to COVID-19

The pandemic is putting a hurt on the seafood industry, finds the largest study of COVID on U.S. fisheries, which suggests that American fishmongers may flounder – or go belly up – without more government aid.

-Monthly fresh seafood exports declined up to 43%
-Monthly imports fell up to 37%
-Catches dropped 40% some months.

Over the first six months of 2020:
-Total U.S. seafood exports are down 20%
-Imports are down 6%
-Further losses are likely as restrictions increase to address COVID-19.

Marine Fisheries Will Not Offset Farm Losses after Nuclear War

After a nuclear war, wild-catch marine fisheries will not offset the loss of food grown on land, especially if widespread overfishing continues, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. But effective pre-war fisheries management would greatly boost the oceans’ potential contribution of protein and nutrients during a global food emergency, according to the study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study for the first time explored the effects of nuclear war on wild-catch marine fisheries.

Media Advisory: Today’s Dietitian Webinar

Join moderator Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, and an expert panel of speakers representing a variety of segments of health care foodservice providers as they provide an update about the latest information on this increasingly important topic of Putting Plant-Based Menus into Practice in Healthcare Settings.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Risk Perception in COVID-19 Era

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 26, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor William Hallman is available for interviews on the science of risk perception and its practical implications in the COVID-19 era – a time of fear and anxiety among millions of…

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Coronavirus Risk from Surfaces, Groceries, Food, Airborne Exposures

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 26, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on the likelihood of getting infected by the SARS-CoV-2  coronavirus via surfaces, groceries, eating food and airborne/aerosol transmission. “Current evidence still indicates that risk from surfaces remains…

Rutgers Experts Can Discuss Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Spread in N.J.

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 1, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor George C. Hamilton and Associate Professor Anne L. Nielsen can discuss the spread of and threat posed by the invasive spotted lanternfly, a destructive pest, in New Jersey. “Their…

New Device Can Measure Toxic Lead Within Minutes

Rutgers researchers have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes – far faster than currently available laboratory-based tests, which take days. The affordable lab-on-a-chip device could also allow municipalities, water companies, universities, K-12 schools, daycares and homeowners to easily and swiftly test their water supplies. The research is published in the IEEE Sensors Journal.

Americans are consuming less sugar but more nonnutritive sweeteners

A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published by Elsevier, found that between 2002 and 2018 purchases by US households of foods and beverages containing caloric sweetener (CS, i.e., sugar) declined while purchases of products containing both caloric sugars and nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS, i.e., sugar substitutes) increased. Beverages accounted for most of the products purchased containing NNS only or combined with CS.

Decline of Bees, Other Pollinators Threatens U.S. Crop Yields

Crop yields for apples, cherries and blueberries across the United States are being reduced by a lack of pollinators, according to Rutgers-led research, the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. Most of the world’s crops depend on honeybees and wild bees for pollination, so declines in both managed and wild bee populations raise concerns about food security, notes the study in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Seafood Products Made From Cells Should be Labeled Cell-Based

Companies seeking to commercialize seafood products made from the cells of fish or shellfish should use the term “cell-based” on product labels, according to a Rutgers study – the first of its kind – in the Journal of Food Science. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture require food products to have a “common or usual name” on their labels so consumers can make informed choices about what they’re purchasing.

‘Blinking” Crystals May Convert CO2 into Fuels

Imagine tiny crystals that “blink” like fireflies and can convert carbon dioxide, a key cause of climate change, into fuels. A Rutgers-led team has created ultra-small titanium dioxide crystals that exhibit unusual “blinking” behavior and may help to produce methane and other fuels, according to a study in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The crystals, also known as nanoparticles, stay charged for a long time and could benefit efforts to develop quantum computers.