Rutgers award-winning film, Antarctic Edge: 70° South, Heads to iTunes, Netflix and DVD

Antarctic Edge 70 South imageHave you ever wondered what it would be like to be a researcher in the Antarctic? Would it be easy or hard for the scientists and the crew? Would you see penguins and icebergs?

Now is your chance to answer these questions and more from the comfort of your home as Antarctic Edge: 70° South, the award winning Rutgers documentary film that captures a thrilling journey to one of the world’s most perilous environment, debuts June 30 on iTunes. It’s also a story of climate change from one of the most remote parts of the world, according to Oscar Schofield, the lead scientist in the film and Rutgers professor of marine and coastal sciences. “It’s a race against time,” he says in the film.

The documentary, which follows a team of world-class scientists as they explore the fastest warming place on earth: the West Antarctic Peninsula, debuts later summer on Netflix starting August 1. DVDs will be available from First Run Features. Pre-orders are currently being taken and some of the proceeds will return to Rutgers.

Antarctic Edge: 70° South won Best Documentary at the Princeton Film Festival, best documentary feature at the International Lighthouse Film Festival and won the Science and Technology Film Prize of the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic at the International Film Festival EKOTOPFILM – ENVIROFILM 2015.

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Food for Thought: Use More Forages in Livestock Farming

Small-scale livestock farming in the tropics can become more intensive yet sustainable if more and better forage is used to feed the animals being reared. This could benefit farming endeavours in rural South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, and see a move away from the increased reliance on grain-based feeds, say scientists at CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture) and Thomas Rudel of Rutgers University in the US, in Springer’s journal Ambio… Rudel and his associates at CIAT argue that the "LivestockPlus" program could be a way forward by increasing the use of forages to feed livestock, which is often reared on small farms, in the tropics. Its agricultural research and extension efforts help to intensify in sustainable ways the management of forage grasses and legumes, shrubs, trees, and animals… "In addition to enhancing the food security of poor consumers by reducing global demand and prices for grains, forage-focused sustainable intensification would improve the productive capacity of poor producers who raise crops and livestock on small landholdings in rural South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America.", says Rudel.

Read the entire article at www.phys.org »

Senators, Health Experts Demand Action to Address Biolab Accidents

Key members of Congress, public health leaders and biosecurity experts demand better oversight and accountability for laboratories in the wake of a USA TODAY Network investigation that revealed widespread safety lapses and pervasive secrecy that obscures failings by researchers and regulators… The "lack of transparency and significant variability in how safety lapses are reported and reprimanded across all levels of government is very concerning," said U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs… Richard Ebright, a biosafety expert at Rutgers University in New Jersey who has testified before Congress, said lab oversight by the CDC and USDA is clearly ineffective. Ebright said both agencies have conflicts of interests as regulators because they conduct research in their own labs and their departments fund studies at facilities receiving inspections.

Read the entire article at www.usatoday.com »

Drought: Saving Water with Plant Genetics, Breeding Salt Tolerance

As arid conditions increase in various parts of the nation and world, scientists focus are focusing on using drought-resistant plants and increasing the number of plants able to use treated wastewater that still contains salt. The less water for plants, the more clean water for humans… Researcher Stacy Bonos, at the Department of Plant Biology & Pathology at Rutgers University, and her team recently published their research on perennial ryegrass in Crop Science journal. They’ve found that perennial ryegrass is controlled by additive genetic effects rather than environmental effects, meaning that salt tolerance can be bred for… Bonos’ research team measured salt tolerance using something called "visual percent green color"–the percentage of the plant that is green and actively growing, as compared to brown and therefore dying, according to a release… "It most makes sense…in areas like Las Vegas where there may not be much drinkable water available to water your lawn," Bonos said in a release. "That’s a prime example."

Read the entire article at www.natureworldnews.com »

Recycled Water, Salt-Tolerant Grass A Water-Saving Pair

Plants need water. People need water. Unfortunately, there’s only so much clean water to go around- and so the effort begins to find a solution… Luckily for people, some plants are able to make do without perfectly clean water, leaving more good water for drinking. One strategy is to use treated wastewater, containing salt leftover from the cleaning process, to water large areas of turf grass. These areas include athletic fields and golf courses. Golf courses alone use approximately 750 billion gallons of water annually in arid regions… "We found through a series of experiments that salt tolerance in perennial ryegrass is highly controlled by additive genetic effects rather than environmental effects," said Stacy Bonos from Rutgers University. "This is great news for breeders because we now know salt tolerance can be more easily bred for."

Read the entire article at www.phys.org »