Dangerous Tick-Borne Bacterium Extremely Rare in New Jersey

There’s some good news in New Jersey about a potentially deadly tick-borne bacterium. Rutgers researchers examined more than 3,000 ticks in the Garden State and found only one carrying Rickettsia rickettsii, the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. But cases of tick-borne spotted fevers have increased east of the Mississippi River, and more research is needed to understand why, according to a study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

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Heat Stress May Affect More Than 1.2 Billion People Annually by 2100

Heat stress from extreme heat and humidity will annually affect areas now home to 1.2 billion people by 2100, assuming current greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Rutgers study. That’s more than four times the number of people affected today, and more than 12 times the number who would have been affected without industrial era global warming.

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New Method Detects Toxin Exposure from Harmful Algal Blooms in Human Urine

A newly developed method can detect even low-dose human exposure to microcystins and nodularin in human urine. During harmful algal blooms (HABs), species of cyanobacteria release toxic peptides, including microcystins and nodularin into waterways, impacting wildlife and humans living in these marine environments. These findings are the first to report microcystin concentrations directly from exposed residents impacted by cyanobacteria in Florida, and is a critical step in developing and interpreting clinical diagnostic tests for HABs exposure worldwide.

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Moderate to Heavy Drinking During Pregnancy Alters Genes in Newborns, Mothers

Mothers who drink moderate to high levels of alcohol during pregnancy may be changing their babies’ DNA, according to a Rutgers-led study.

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