NJ Secretary of Ag Tours Rutgers Turf Research Farm

(L-R) Brad Hillman, Bob Goodman, Doug Fisher, Bill Meyer, Bruce Clarke and Stacy Bonos observe a plot of tall fescue at the Rutgers Plant Science Research and Extension Farm. Photo source: New Jersey Department of Agriculture

(L-R) Brad Hillman, Bob Goodman, Doug Fisher, Bill Meyer, Bruce Clarke and Stacy Bonos observe a plot of tall fescue at the Rutgers Plant Science Research and Extension Farm. Photo source: New Jersey Department of Agriculture

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher visited the Rutgers Plant Biology Research and Extension Farm in Adelphia on September 16. Faculty from the Turfgrass Breeding Project at the Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science gave Fisher a tour of research plots and discussed types of grasses being evaluated and studied for breeding. Faculty on hand for the tour were William Meyer, director of the Turfgrass Breeding Project; Stacy Bonos, assistant professor and turfgrass breeder; Bruce B. Clarke, director of the Center for Turfgrass Science; Brad Hillman, director of research for NJAES; and Rutgers Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources Bob Goodman. [Read more...]

Containing Ebola Like They Did in This Video Game [AUDIO]

Public health officials need to be able to predict how outbreaks like Ebola spread and grow. But that’s not so easy. Mainly because it requires knowing how real people will react. Human behavior ain’t so easy to plug into a computer model. But, then there was this bizarre and totally accidental video game incident that made real life disease outbreak modeling smarter. The story of "corrupted blood" in World of Warcraft is still inspiring epidemiologists. (Featuring Professor Nina Fefferman, department of Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources)

Read the entire article at WNYC.org »

Hot Pepper Plots Picked Clean in ‘HYOP’ 2014

Hot Peppers gleaning - 2014In the second annual “Harvest Your Own Pepper” (HYOP) event on October 15, the hot pepper plots at Hort Farm III on Ryders Lane in New Brunswick were once again open to Rutgers faculty and staff to pick their own hot peppers left over from research variety trials. Albert Ayeni, ethnic crop specialist, and Tom Orton, extension specialist in vegetable breeding, are conducting the hot pepper trials for selecting varieties that grow well in New Jersey. In addition, they are investigating the peppers’ potential use as ornamental plants and medicinal foods. Read more about the hot pepper research and the first HYOP in 2013.

Big brown bats in N.J. thrive as smaller cousins decline

While New Jersey’s little brown bat population, ravaged by a fungal disease, continues to slip toward likely extinction, another species, the big brown bat, appears to be benefiting, with its numbers rising by as much as 50 percent in the state since white nose syndrome first hit in 2009, according to experts studying the species…Banding efforts in New Jersey have led researchers to conclude that while the overall numbers are still declining, the survival rate for hibernating little brown bats in New Jersey has been increasing slightly each year. The rate was 66 percent in 2010, and 71 percent last winter, according to research conducted by the state Department of Environmental Protection and Brooke Maslo, a wildlife ecologist at Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at NorthJersey.com »

Rutgers professor develops ‘superfood’ lettuce

Blueberries are considered the gold standard of "superfoods" because of their high levels of polyphenols, beneficial compounds shown to protect against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, memory loss, inflammation and cancer. However, this seasonal fruit, often priced at a premium, is high in sugar content, requiring limited consumption by people on restrictive diets…A new superfood that’s low in sugar and available year-round and exceeds the high polyphenol content of blueberries hits the market this month. This high-polyphenol lettuce has been named Rutgers Scarlet Lettuce (RSL) – a tribute to Rutgers’ school mascot and color, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, and is the brainchild of Rutgers Distinguished Professor in Plant Biology Ilya Raskin.

Read the entire article at MyCentralJersey.com »