Three dozen dwarf galaxies far from each other had a simultaneous “baby boom” of new stars, an unexpected discovery that challenges current theories on how galaxies grow and may enhance our understanding of the universe. Galaxies more than 1 million light-years apart should have completely independent lives in terms of when they give birth to new stars. But galaxies separated by up to 13 million light-years slowed down and then simultaneously accelerated their birth rate of stars, according to a Rutgers-led study published in the Astrophysical Journal.
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.
Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise from Antarctic Melting is Possible with Severe Global Warming
The Antarctic ice sheet is much less likely to become unstable and cause dramatic sea-level rise in upcoming centuries if the world follows policies that keep global warming below a key 2015 Paris climate agreement target, according to a Rutgers coauthored study. But if global warming exceeds the target – 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) – the risk of ice shelves around the ice sheet’s perimeter melting would increase significantly, and their collapse would trigger rapid Antarctic melting. That would result in at least 0.07 inches of global average sea-level rise a year in 2060 and beyond, according to the study in the journal Nature.
Rutgers Champion of Student Health and Wellness is Retiring
When Melodee Lasky joined Rutgers University 19 years ago, behavioral and mental health services were scattered across the individual colleges with little coordination. Psychiatry and the Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program were part of student health, but counseling services were separated and college-affiliated. Lasky, a physician who recognized the connection between physical and emotional wellness, recommended that mental and behavioral health be integrated within the framework of student health. That led to the creation of CAPS – Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services – a program that helps about 4,500 students each year.
Rutgers Engineers Developing Rapid Breathalyzer Test for COVID-19
New Brunswick, N.J. (April 30, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick engineering professors Edward P. DeMauro, German Drazer, Hao Lin and Mehdi Javanmard are available for interviews on their work to develop a new type of fast-acting COVID-19 sensor that detects the presence…
Rutgers Professor Joan Bennett Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Joan W. Bennett, a Distinguished Professor of plant biology and pathology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She joins neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center atmospheric scientist Ann Thompson and media entrepreneur and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey.
Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Supernova Discovery
New Brunswick, N.J. (April 21, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick astrophysicist John P. (Jack) Hughes is available for interviews on a supernova (exploding star) discovery published today in the journal Nature. The discovery, made with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, features…
Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Spring Allergy Season in N.J.
New Brunswick, N.J. (April 20, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick allergy specialist Leonard Bielory is available for interviews on the spring allergy season in New Jersey. “One can expect a brisk allergy season this year since we had a lot…
Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss How Exercise Behaviors Changed During COVID-19 Pandemic
New Brunswick, N.J. (April 14, 2021) – Rutgers expert Brandon L. Alderman, who focuses on the science of exercise and its impact on mental health and cognitive function, is available for interviews on how exercise behaviors have changed during the…
Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Dearth of Snow, Windy Weather and Record Heat in March in N.J.
New Brunswick, N.J. (April 13, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick climatologist David A. Robinson is available for interviews on the dearth of snow in March in New Jersey following a very snowy February, as well as the frequently windy weather and some…
Corals Carefully Organize Proteins to Form Rock-Hard Skeletons
Charles Darwin, the British naturalist who championed the theory of evolution, noted that corals form far-reaching structures, largely made of limestone, that surround tropical islands. He didn’t know how they performed this feat. Now, Rutgers scientists have shown that coral structures consist of a biomineral containing a highly organized organic mix of proteins that resembles what is in our bones. Their study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, shows for the first time that several proteins are organized spatially – a process that’s critical to forming a rock-hard coral skeleton.
Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Viral ‘Pandemics’ in Oceans
New Brunswick, N.J. (April 6, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick microbial oceanographer Kay D. Bidle is available for interviews on the persistent and profound impact of viral infections on algae in the oceans. These infections influence the Earth’s carbon cycle, which helps…
Overfishing of Atlantic Cod Likely Did Not Cause Genetic Changes
Overfishing likely did not cause the Atlantic cod, an iconic species, to evolve genetically and mature earlier, according to a study led by Rutgers University and the University of Oslo – the first of its kind – with major implications for ocean conservation.
Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss How to Build a Native Plant Garden
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 18, 2021) – With spring on the horizon, Rutgers master gardener coordinator Angela Monaghan is available for interviews on how to build a native plant garden. “Everyone can encourage native plant communities in their backyards and…
Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss 17-Year Cicadas in N.J.
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 18, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick entomologist George C. Hamilton is available for interviews on the upcoming emergence of 17-year cicadas in New Jersey. The big, noisy insects appear suddenly in late May or early June. “This spring, we will…
“Ghost Forests” Expanding Along Northeast U.S. Coast
Why are “ghost forests” filled with dead trees expanding along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coast? Higher groundwater levels linked to sea-level rise and increased flooding from storm surges and very high tides are likely the most important factors, according to a Rutgers study on the impacts of climate change that suggests how to enhance land-use planning.
How to Make All Headphones Intelligent
How do you turn “dumb” headphones into smart ones? Rutgers engineers have invented a cheap and easy way by transforming headphones into sensors that can be plugged into smartphones, identify their users, monitor their heart rates and perform other services. Their invention, called HeadFi, is based on a small plug-in headphone adapter that turns a regular headphone into a sensing device. Unlike smart headphones, regular headphones lack sensors. HeadFi would allow users to avoid having to buy a new pair of smart headphones with embedded sensors to enjoy sensing features.
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.…
Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Near-Record February Snow, North American Snow Cover
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 9, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick climatologist David A. Robinson is available for interviews on the seventh snowiest February since 1895 in New Jersey as well as the fourth largest North American snow cover in February in 55…
Higher Pollen Levels Correlated With Increased Coronavirus Infection Rates
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 9, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick allergy specialist Leonard Bielory is available for interviews on a study he co-authored that correlates higher airborne pollen concentrations with increased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates. High-risk individuals should wear particle filter…
Rutgers University’s Resilient, Innovative Year Confronting COVID-19
The last year, which has been unlike any other in Rutgers’ 254-year history, has centered on keeping the Rutgers community safe, providing top-notch health care, developing the first saliva test for the coronavirus and helping society cope with the biggest global public health crisis since the 1918 influenza pandemic.
More than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Protein 3D Structures Available
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 3, 2021) – The 3D structures of more than 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus proteins are freely available from the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The data bank reached the milestone this week, with 1,018 proteins as…
Rutgers Wildlife Experts Can Discuss Coyotes in New Jersey
New Brunswick, N.J. (March 2, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick wildlife experts Kathleen Kerwin and Chris Crosby are available for interviews on coyote ecology and behavior, how and when coyotes got to New Jersey and how to avoid human-coyote conflict. “The…
Microplastic Sizes in Hudson-Raritan Estuary and Coastal Ocean Revealed
Rutgers scientists for the first time have pinpointed the sizes of microplastics from a highly urbanized estuarine and coastal system with numerous sources of fresh water, including the Hudson River and Raritan River. Their study of tiny pieces of plastic in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary in New Jersey and New York indicates that stormwater could be an important source of the plastic pollution that plagues oceans, bays, rivers and other waters and threatens aquatic and other life.
Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss James Webb Space Telescope Science
New Brunswick, N.J. (Feb. 22, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Kristen McQuinn is available for interviews on the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, its potential scientific impact and the leap forward it will provide in our understanding of the…
Fishes Contribute Roughly 1.65 Billion Tons of Carbon in Feces and Other Matter Annually
Scientists have little understanding of the role fishes play in the global carbon cycle linked to climate change, but a Rutgers-led study found that carbon in feces, respiration and other excretions from fishes – roughly 1.65 billion tons annually – make up about 16 percent of the total carbon that sinks below the ocean’s upper layers.
Bacteria and Algae Get Rides in Clouds
Human health and ecosystems could be affected by microbes including cyanobacteria and algae that hitch rides in clouds and enter soil, lakes, oceans and other environments when it rains, according to a Rutgers co-authored study.
Important Climate Change Mystery Solved by Scientists
Scientists have resolved a key climate change mystery, showing that the annual global temperature today is the warmest of the past 10,000 years – contrary to recent research, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Nature. The long-standing mystery is called the “Holocene temperature conundrum,” with some skeptics contending that climate model predictions of future warming must be wrong. The scientists say their findings will challenge long-held views on the temperature history in the Holocene era, which began about 12,000 years ago.
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.
Rutgers Legal Expert Available to Discuss Environmental, Climate Change Priorities
New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 21, 2021) – Rutgers University Professor Cymie R. Payne, an expert on United States and international environmental laws, is available for interviews on how the administration of President Biden can strengthen laws and regulations and efforts to…
Rutgers Experts Available to Discuss U.S. Rejoining Paris Climate Agreement
New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 20, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick professors Pamela McElwee and Robert E. Kopp are available for interviews on the announcement that President Biden’s administration will rejoin the Paris climate agreement. In 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw…
Greenland Melting Likely Increased by Bacteria in Sediment
Bacteria are likely triggering greater melting on the Greenland ice sheet, possibly increasing the island’s contribution to sea-level rise, according to Rutgers scientists. That’s because the microbes cause sunlight-absorbing sediment to clump together and accumulate in the meltwater streams, according to a Rutgers-led study – the first of its kind – in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings can be incorporated in climate models, leading to more accurate predictions of melting, scientists say.
Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Record Year for Bald Eagles in N.J.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick ecologist Michael C. Allen is available for interviews on the record year for bald eagles in New Jersey. “The resounding return of bald eagles in North America has been especially strong…
Rutgers Experts Available to Discuss Addressing Climate Change, Environmental Protection in 2021
New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 12, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick professors Robert E. Kopp and Pamela McElwee are available for interviews on how President-elect Joe Biden and his incoming administration could strengthen efforts to address climate change and protect the environment. Kopp, a professor in…
Big Differences in How Coral Reef Fish Larvae are Dispersed
How the larvae of colorful clownfish that live among coral reefs in the Philippines are dispersed varies widely, depending on the year and seasons – a Rutgers-led finding that could help scientists improve conservation of species. Right after most coral reef fish hatch, they join a swirling sea of plankton as tiny, transparent larvae. Then currents, winds and waves disperse them, frequently to different reefs.
3D-Printed Smart Gel Changes Shape When Exposed to Light
Inspired by the color-changing skin of cuttlefish, octopuses and squids, Rutgers engineers have created a 3D-printed smart gel that changes shape when exposed to light, becomes “artificial muscle” and may lead to new military camouflage, soft robotics and flexible displays. The engineers also developed a 3D-printed stretchy material that can reveal colors when light changes, according to their study in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
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.
Antibiotics for C-sections Effective After Umbilical Cord Clamped
Antibiotics for cesarean section births are just as effective when they’re given after the umbilical cord is clamped as before clamping – the current practice – and could benefit newborns’ developing microbiomes, according to Rutgers co-authored research. The study, by far the largest of its kind and published in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, challenges current recommendations for antibiotic use. Administering antibiotics after clamping does not increase the risk of infection at the site of C-section incisions, the study concludes.
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.
Rutgers Experts Can Discuss Expected Snowstorm in N.J.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 15, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick meteorologist Steve Decker and climatologist David A. Robinson are available for interviews on the major snowstorm expected in New Jersey tomorrow and previous notable snowstorms. “This storm is showing some similarities to…
Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Colorful Household Plants for Holiday Season and Year-Round
New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 14, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick horticultural expert Bruce Crawford is available for interviews on colorful household plants for the holiday season, beyond the standard poinsettia. “Keeping houseplants can improve your mood, work performance and even…
Planning Ahead Protects Fish and Fisheries
Conservation of fish and other marine life migrating from warming ocean waters will be more effective and also protect commercial fisheries if plans are made now to cope with climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Science Advances.
Rutgers Expert Can Discuss November and 2020 Warmth, Top Snowfall Seasons in N.J.
New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 9, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick climatologist David A. Robinson is available for interviews on the extreme warmth in New Jersey in November and 2020 to date, as well as the 10 snowiest and 10 least snowy seasons since…
Rutgers Expert Can Discuss AI Advances Linked to RCSB Protein Data Bank
New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 3, 2020) – Stephen K. Burley, director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank headquartered at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available for interviews on how the bank’s 50 years of data on the 3D biomolecular structures of life and artificial intelligence can lead…
Best Region For Life on Mars Was Far Below Surface
The most habitable region for life on Mars would have been up to several miles below its surface, likely due to subsurface melting of thick ice sheets fueled by geothermal heat, a Rutgers-led study concludes. The study, published in the journal Science Advances, may help resolve what’s known as the faint young sun paradox – a lingering key question in Mars science.
Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Science and Benefits of Handwashing in COVID-19 Era
New Brunswick, N.J. (Nov. 23, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner, a food microbiologist who has also studied handwashing for more than 20 years, is available for interviews on the science and benefits of handwashing during the COVID-19 pandemic and overall.…
Gut Microbiome Manipulation Could Result from Virus Discovery
Scientists have discovered how a common virus in the human gut infects and takes over bacterial cells – a finding that could be used to control the composition of the gut microbiome, which is important for human health. The Rutgers co-authored research, which could aid efforts to engineer beneficial bacteria that produce medicines and fuels and clean up pollutants, is published in the journal Nature.
Genetic Code Evolution and Darwin’s Evolution Theory Should Consider DNA an ‘Energy Code’
Darwin’s theory of evolution should be expanded to include consideration of a DNA stability “energy code” – so-called “molecular Darwinism” – to further account for the long-term survival of species’ characteristics on Earth, according to Rutgers scientists. The iconic genetic code can be viewed as an “energy code” that evolved by following the laws of thermodynamics (flow of energy), causing its evolution to culminate in a nearly singular code for all living species, according to the Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Quarterly Review of Biophysics.
Atmospheric Rivers Help Create Massive Holes in Antarctic Sea Ice
Warm, moist rivers of air in Antarctica play a key role in creating massive holes in sea ice in the Weddell Sea and may influence ocean conditions around the vast continent as well as climate change, according to Rutgers co-authored research. Scientists studied the role of long, intense plumes of warm, moist air – known as atmospheric rivers – in creating enormous openings in sea ice. They focused on the Weddell Sea region of the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, where these sea ice holes (called polynyas) infrequently develop during the winter.
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.