Fellowship for Outstanding Early Career Scientists Awarded to Rutgers Bioinformaticist Yana Bromberg

Yana Bromberg

Yana Bromberg

How can you tell one microbial species from another? One way is to compare species functional abilities encoded in microbial DNA. To do so experimentally, that is to design and carry out bench experiments to establish the molecular functions of every gene in every microbial genome, is not feasible. Bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary field that combines computer science and biology, enables this kind of biologically relevant analyses in silico, i.e. using computational models.

Beginning this summer, Yana Bromberg, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry, will start research to address this question at the Institute for Advanced Study at the Technical University of Munich (TUM-IAS) in Germany, under a TUM-IAS Hans Fischer Fellowship for outstanding early-career scientists. This three-year fellowship supports a Ph.D.-level graduate student to work under Bromberg’s supervision. It also provides financial support that will allow Bromberg to spend time at TUM-IAS refining and developing advanced bioinformatics techniques useful in medical research and industrial applications. [Read more...]

Gypsy moths, destroyer of forests, virtually gone in South Jersey

The gypsy moths that destroyed or severely damaged hundreds of thousands of acres of trees throughout the state for about a century have virtually disappeared in South Jersey. An aerial survey performed in June and earlier this month showed evidence of gypsy moths in only 76 acres in Camden, Burlington and Ocean counties, according to the state Department of Agriculture…Still, officials at Rutgers University’s Department of Entomology warn that the decline in gypsy moth numbers could spike in the future based on a number of variables. For instance, there could be significant regional outbreaks as the gypsy moths migrate through the state, said James Lashomb, a entomology department professor.

Read the entire article at PressOfAtlanticCity.com »

From Flurry to Blizzard: Ranking Weather-Themed Desserts With A Meteorologist [AUDIO]

There are a lot of desserts named after different weather phenomena, but while some pack a whollop, others are pretty mild. We asked legendary Oklahoma meteorologist Gary England, who’s spent the past 40 years predicting severe weather in Tornado Alley, to help us rank some of these desserts based on the severity of their namesake weather system…Also in this episode, I talk to Professor Paul Breslin about how weather affects our tastes. Breslin studies taste perception at Rutgers University and is a member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, researching taste perception.

Read the entire article at sporkful.com »

Alumni Story: Andrea Cochran’s Journey from Art to ‘Artist of the Land’

Andrea Cochran

Andrea Cochran

Editor’s Note: In this series of alumni accounts prepared by the Office of Alumni and Community Engagement, a thread that binds them is the recurring reference to the enormous transformational impact our students have experienced during their days at Rutgers. This is one of those stories.

It is June 2014. The year is just half over, and Andrea Cochran (CC ’76) already has received two very important honors for her work as a landscape architect: a 2014 National Design Award, conferred by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and a 2014 Design Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects. [Read more...]

Want to repel mosquitoes? There’s an APP for that: Phone software mimics the sounds of predators to repel biting females

The muggy weather is creating a "perfect storm" for mosquitoes to descend on our gardens. But the latest high-tech weapon in the battle against the bloodsuckers doesn’t come in the form or a spray or clip, instead it’s a free app on your smartphone. Anti-mosquito apps emit ultrasonic frequencies designed to frighten the mosquitoes away…The Liverpool researchers added that "male mosquitoes are actually the ones attracted by the female flight sound, and females normally have a very weak sensitivity for sound compared with the males." Wayne Crans, Associate Research Professor in Entomology at Rutgers added mosquitoes are also not known to leave areas hunted by dragonflies.

Read the entire article at dailymail.co.uk »