Component in Olive Oil Looks Promising in the Fight Against Cancer

Paul Breslin

Paul Breslin

While it is well known that olive oil contains a type of healthy fat that can protect against heart disease, its role in preventing cancer has not been as well researched. Rutgers professor of nutritional sciences Paul Breslin and colleagues at Hunter College have found that an ingredient in extra-virgin olive oil, oleocanthal, ruptures a part of cancerous cells, releasing enzymes that cause cell death. Read more at Rutgers Today.

Celebrating 100 Years: Karl Maramorosch

The following is a tribute to Karl Maramorosch, Robert L. Starkey emeritus professor in the Department of Entomology of the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, by Executive Dean Bob Goodman on the occasion of Maramorosch’s 100th birthday on January 16, 2015.

Bob Goodman, right, chats with Karl at the 2011 Retired Faculty Luncheon.

Bob Goodman, right, chats with Karl Maramorosch at the 2011 Retired Faculty Luncheon.

Few of us will be fortunate enough to pass the century mark in our lives, not to mention reaching 100 years of age and still being an active, productive scholar, lecturer, world traveler and mentor. For Karl Maramorosch, that fortunate milestone is just a small piece of what he would call a very lucky life, indeed.

Among the countless prizes and honors Karl has received during his career, he understandably is proudest of the Wolf Prize in Agriculture, bestowed upon him in 1980 by the Wolf Foundation in Israel. This honor is widely considered the Nobel Prize of agriculture, and Karl was cited “for his pioneering and wide-ranging studies on interactions between insects and disease agents in plants.”

Karl’s Wikipedia profile describes him as a virologist, entomologist and plant pathologist. That doesn’t begin to sketch a life that easily could have become a major motion picture. To get an idea of this remarkable man, one needs only to read Karl’s memoir. Here are some of the revelations:

“When the suggestion was made to write my biographical chapter for Advances in Virus Research, I did not know how difficult a task that would be – where to start, what to say, what to omit? I decided to start with my childhood and describe events in my life that inspired me to become a virologist and that were responsible for my scientific career.” [Read more…]

Alumni Story: Arthur R. Brown, Jr. (GSNB-Horticulture ’77) – Always Jersey Fresh

New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown

New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown

Paging through the many personal photo albums that Art Brown’s staff and friends have compiled for him over the years, one is struck by his cheerful exuberance in the images. Clearly, Art Brown is a person who enjoyed his career as New Jersey’s longtime Secretary of Agriculture. And New Jersey enjoyed his valuable contributions during his decades-long tenure.

The leading architect of the popular “Jersey Fresh” marketing campaign that broke new ground by focusing on locally grown produce and became a model for such programs nationally, Art was tireless in promoting New Jersey agriculture in its various forms. He is shown tasting a spoonful of honey at a fair, eating Jersey corn or a leg of Jersey-bred turkey, posing with a prize-winning rabbit, sampling fresh oysters, picking pumpkins, sitting astride a cutting horse, making the rounds at the county fairs, shaking hands at the Horse Park of New Jersey, promoting Jersey Fresh products for school lunches, and on and on. [Read more…]

Student Interns Tackle Oyster Disease Ecology at Haskin Lab

L-R: William Shroer, Lauren Huey and Joseph Looney at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory.

L-R: William Shroer, Lauren Huey and Joseph Looney at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory.

Ecologically diverse communities are resilient communities. But can this diversity also help prevent the spread of disease? This question was at the heart of research conducted during experiments conducted by student interns at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory in Bivalve, New Jersey. As part of a collaborative project with Old Dominion University, that is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Rutgers undergraduate students Joseph Looney, William Schroer and Lauren Huey ran experiments that examined how oysters get sick. [Read more…]

Magical Mud, Microbes and Methane

Re-enactment of the George Washington – Thomas Paine discovery that the “Will-O’-the Wisp” was a flammable gas on the 225th anniversary, November 5, 2008. Photo courtesy of Robert H. Barth

Re-enactment of the George Washington – Thomas Paine discovery that the “Will-O’-the Wisp” was a flammable gas on the 225th anniversary, November 5, 2008. Photo courtesy of Robert H. Barth

The Revolutionary War had ended and attention now turned to other issues. Debate ensued over the origin of the mysterious marsh blue flame, Will-o’-the-Wisp, which lured unsuspecting travelers to a boggy death near Rocky Hill. George Washington and Thomas Paine argued the origin was a flammable gas. In an experiment on November 5th, 1783, from a scow in the Millstone River, flaming torches were held above the river surface while soldiers probed the mud . . . 231 years later, Professors Douglas Eveleigh, Theodore Chase Jr., Craig Phelps and Lily Young submit a note of acknowledgement to their forebears on how that flash of inspiration from magical mud heralded American science and the study of microbiology. Read more at New Jersey 350.