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...]

Fending Off Disease with a Fork: Rutgers Scarlet Lettuce Exceeds Blueberries in Polyphenol Content

Rutgers Professor Ilya Raskin’s research focuses on plant-derived functional foods and medicines.

Rutgers Professor Ilya Raskin’s research focuses on plant-derived functional foods and medicines.

Modern science is catching up with ancient wisdom. The expression “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” has been attributed to Hippocrates, father of medicine, around 431 B.C. Hippocrates’ adage is aptly illustrated by a glance down a supermarket produce aisle with its colorful display of deep red strawberries, fiery orange carrots, bright green broccoli and brilliant blueberries. The vibrant hues found in plant pigments that create these distinct colors have aroused the interest of the scientific community as vast amounts of research uncovers the beneficial effects these “phytonutrients” have on preventing disease and maintaining health.

Antioxidants, phytonutrients, and polyphenols have become familiar buzzwords to the health-oriented, and certain fruits and vegetables have achieved “superfood” status due to their high content of these beneficial compounds. In the arena of produce with high antioxidant abilities, blueberries have topped the list. Blueberries are considered the gold standard due to their high levels of polyphenols, which are a subgroup of phytochemicals. Anthocyanins are a further subgroup of polyphenols and provide the pigments that color deep red and purple foods such as blueberries, acai, blackcurrant and red wine. Research has shown these polyphenols to protect against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, memory loss, inflammation and cancer. [Read more...]

Rutgers discovery can change way to study diseases

Having discovered a new way to study tissues and organs more clearly, for these young scientific entrepreneurs the future seems, well, clear. In 2012, Tom Villani of Plainsboro, a Rutgers University student pursuing a doctorate in medicinal chemistry, set out to create a clearing agent for plants to replace the highly regulated chemical chloral hydrate.

Read the entire article at MyCentralJersey.com »

NSF Grant Awarded to Rutgers to Support Research on the Sustainability of Fisheries

Malin Pinsky

Malin Pinsky

Most of us enjoy eating fish and plan to continue eating fish into the future. But which local fish will be available in New Jersey? How will summer flounder and hake populations on the northeast continental shelf change as our climate warms and fisheries practices adapt? We currently do not know the answer to these questions, but we plan to learn more over the next four years thanks to a new grant announced by the NSF.

A Rutgers team, led by Malin Pinsky, assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), will soon begin its research on fisheries and coastal communities in the northeastern United States under a $1.1 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This award is one of only nine national awards for the year by the Coastal SEES Research Program at NSF. [Read more...]

Ken Able Honored with NOAA Fisheries Habitat Conservation Award

Ken Able addressing a local group with a focus on fish and fisheries research at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station.

Ken Able addresses a local fisheries group at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station in Tuckerton, NJ.

Ken Able, distinguished professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences and director of Rutgers University Marine Field Station (RUMFS) at Tuckerton, NJ, was chosen as the 2014 recipient of the Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award from NOAA Fisheries, Office of Habitat Conservation.

“The Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award is the most prestigious award in the country given in recognition of an individual’s contributions to the restoration and conservation of marine and coastal habitats,” said Rich Lutz, director of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers. “What a wonderful honor it is for Rutgers to have one of its most sterling scientists recognized as the worthy recipient of this year’s Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award.”

Able’s research at RUMFS focuses on the life history and population dynamics of larval and juvenile fishes in the relatively undisturbed Mullica River–Great Bay estuary and along the east coast of the U.S. In 1989, Able introduced weekly monitoring of larval and juvenile fishes in the estuary. This weekly monitoring, which continues today by RUMFS, is part of a broader analysis of issues of habitat quality for estuarine fishes in natural and impacted estuaries that stretches from New York Harbor to the Gulf of Mexico.

“Habitat conservation and restoration are increasingly important issues in the management of the nation’s coastal resources and for that reason, my colleagues and I from the Rutgers University Marine Field Station feel particularly honored by this award,” said Able.

[Read more...]