When using pyrite to understand Earth’s ocean and atmosphere: Think local, not global

Scientists have long used information from sediments at the bottom of the ocean to reconstruct the conditions in oceans of the past. But a study in Science Advances raises concerns about the common use of pyrite sulfur isotopes to reconstruct Earth’s evolving oxidation state. These signals aren’t the global fingerprint of oxygen in the atmosphere, according to new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

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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

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How Did Red Algae Survive in Extreme Environments?

Red algae have persisted in hot springs and surrounding rocks for about 1 billion years. Now, a Rutgers-led team will investigate why these single-celled extremists have thrived in harsh environments – research that could benefit environmental cleanups and the production of biofuels and other products.

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How to Get a Handle on Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Plants

How much carbon dioxide, a pivotal greenhouse gas behind global warming, is absorbed by plants on land? It’s a deceptively complicated question, so a Rutgers-led group of scientists recommends combining two cutting-edge tools to help answer the crucial climate change-related question.

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Marine animals live where ocean is most ‘breathable,’ but ranges could shrink with climate change

Research shows that many marine animals already inhabit the maximum range of breathable ocean that their physiology allows. The findings are a warning about climate change: Since warmer waters harbor less oxygen, stretches of ocean that are breathable today for a species may not be in the future.

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Ocean Algae Get “Coup de Grace” from Viruses

Scientists have long believed that ocean viruses always quickly kill algae, but Rutgers-led research shows they live in harmony with algae and viruses provide a “coup de grace” only when blooms of algae are already stressed and dying. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, will likely change how scientists view viral infections of algae, also known as phytoplankton – especially the impact of viruses on ecosystem processes like algal bloom formation (and decline) and the cycling of carbon and other chemicals on Earth.

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Hubble Uses Earth as a Proxy for Identifying Oxygen on Potentially Habitable Planets Around Other Stars

Astronomers used Hubble during a total lunar eclipse to detect ozone in our planet’s atmosphere by looking at Earthlight reflected off the Moon in ultraviolet wavelengths. This method serves as a proxy for how astronomers will observe Earth-like exoplanets in search of life.

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Algae in the Oceans Often Steal Genes from Bacteria

Algae in the oceans often steal genes from bacteria to gain beneficial attributes, such as the ability to tolerate stressful environments or break down carbohydrates for food, according to a Rutgers co-authored study.
The study of 23 species of brown and golden-brown algae, published in the journal Science Advances, shows for the first time that gene acquisition had a significant impact on the evolution of a massive and ancient group of algae and protists (mostly one-celled organisms including protozoa) that help form the base of oceanic food webs.

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Scientists Discover New Clue Behind Age-Related Diseases and Food Spoilage

Berkeley Lab scientists have made a surprising discovery that could help explain our risk for developing chronic diseases or cancers as we get older, and how our food decomposes over time.

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