Rutgers Residence Life, Local Elementary Schools Team Up For Monster Mash Halloween Celebration on Oct. 24

Monster Mash flyerThe 11th annual free Halloween Monster Mash, a collaborative community service event sponsored by Rutgers University Residence Life on the Cook/Douglass Campus, will be held Friday Oct. 24, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cook/Douglass Recreation Center Gymnasium.

The Halloween Monster Mash is a community outreach event that provides an alternative trick-or-treat experience to elementary school children in New Brunswick and Piscataway. Various student organizations at Rutgers set up activity tables for the young visitors and reward their efforts with treats. Activities include pumpkin painting, crafts, costume contest, “Zombie Walk” contest and relay races. Last year, approximately 1,100 people participated in the event.

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 »

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...]

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 »