Tropical plant called moringa shows promise in health, anti-aging products

lya Raskin is seeking cures and treatments for ailments afflicting hundreds of millions of people. And he’s trying to find them – along with anti-aging and other beneficial compounds – in myriad plants in 20 countries on four continents. Raskin’s laboratory at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences studies the health benefits of crops and medicinal plants.

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Prof. Pal Maliga Honored for Excellence in Plant Biology Research by National Society

Pal Maliga.

Pal Maliga.

Pal Maliga, distinguished professor in the Waksman Institute of Microbiology and professor of plant biology in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, has won the Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research from the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Maliga received a master’s degree in genetics and microbiology from the Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary, in 1969 and a doctoral degree from the Jozsef Attila University, Szeged, Hungary, in 1972. From 1971 through 1982, Maliga held appointments at the Biological Research Center, Szeged, Hungary, where his research group pioneered mutant isolation, organelle transfer and genetic recombination in cultured tobacco cells.

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Revolutionary for 250 Years: Waksman, Schatz and the Discovery of Streptomycin

Albert Schatz and Selman Waksman

Albert Schatz and Selman Waksman

Martin Hall on the George H. Cook campus was the site of the discovery of streptomycin – the first effective treatment for tuberculosis – by  Rutgers revolutionary Selman Waksman and his graduate student Albert Schatz. In 1952, Waksman received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his “ingenious, systematic and successful studies of the soil microbes” involved in that discovery. Read more at Rutgers Today.

Post-Doc Tina Dura Completes Expedition to Study Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Chile

Post-doc Tina Dura explores the coastal sediment layers in northern Chile, one of the sites that have preserved evidence of the 2015 tsunami.

Post-doc Tina Dura explores the coastal sediment layers in northern Chile, one of the sites that have preserved evidence of the 2015 tsunami.

Tina Dura, post-doc in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, recently completed fieldwork documenting the various ways in which the 2015 Illapel earthquake and tsunami along the Chilean coast altered the coastal environment.

Dura, who is part of Prof. Ben Horton’s Sea Level Research Lab, was awarded an $18,000 NSF Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant to conduct this research. She and a team of coastal geologists from the U.S. and Chile visited three coastal wetland sites that have preserved evidence of the 2015 tsunami.

The team mapped the tsunami deposit for thickness, structure, buried vegetation, inland run-up, among other factors,  at the three sites. The scientists also collected samples to characterize the sedimentology and microfossil content of the deposit. This data will shed light on how tsunami deposits are preserved in coastal sedimentary sequences and how they can be better identified in the fossil record. The run-up measurements of the tsunami will also be used to calibrate model simulations of the 2015 event in order to improve prehistoric tsunami model solutions.

The team also found possible paleotsunami evidence in the same coastal wetlands where they mapped the 2015 deposit and discovered up to three additional sand beds interbedded within coastal marsh peats. According to Dura, this is an exciting find in north central Chile where no paleotsunami evidence has ever been described.

Historic Achievement for Rutgers Oceanographers as First Autonomous Underwater Robot Circumnavigates Ocean Basin

Recovery of the Rutgers "Challenger" glider following its historic circumnavigation of the South Atlantic Ocean.

Recovering the Rutgers “Challenger” glider following its historic circumnavigation of the South Atlantic Ocean.

After a historic circumnavigation of an ocean basin by the Rutgers “Challenger” glider, it was recovered on March 31 by an international team anchored by faculty and student oceanographers from Rutgers, and international partners that include the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, University of Sao Paulo, University of Cape Town, and the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The 282-day circumnavigation of the southern Atlantic Ocean basin by an autonomous underwater robot was completed in stages by the Rutgers glider, which was first deployed in January 2013 off of Cape Town, South Africa. It was recovered and redeployed off of Ascension Island in November of the same year, and landed in Brazil. Following its recovery off the coast of Ubatuba, Brazil, in May 2014, the glider began its history-making trek back to South Africa, completing another major achievement in modern oceanography. [Read more…]