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The Rutgers Science Festival on Saturday was centralized on making science accessible and interactive to people of all ages. Just inside the door of the Life Sciences Building on Busch campus, a crowd of children stared with expectant eyes at a demonstration labeled “Elephant Toothpaste,” clearly named for the sake of being silly and approachable.
The word “geek” is defined two ways according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: A person who is intelligent, but socially awkward and unpopular, and a person who is interested and invested in a particular field or activity.Of these two definitions, “geek” was initially defined as the first — the geek was an intelligent, but socially inept being.
Anti-cancer treatments kill body cells and weaken patients. So, Rutgers researchers have developed a way to strengthen these cells to tolerate the toxicity of such treatments. A team of researchers in Alexey Ryazanov’s lab in the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has discovered a way to strengthen the body’s cells to withstand current cancer treatments such as anti-cancer drugs and chemotherapy.
Science is a method of understanding nature, as such, it can only be fully understood through analyzing the art, literature and culture of the world’s inhabitants. The Rutgers British Studies Center had this understanding in mind when they invited like-minded professionals to speak at “Scientific (R)evolutions” last Friday in Alexander Library’s Teleconference Lecture Hall.
One hundred and fifty years is a long time — about four times longer than Doctor Who has been in production, three times longer than Star Trek has been around and roughly enough time for a student to repeat a full four-year education 37 times. Rutgers University School of Engineering is celebrating just that amount of time — it turns 150 this year.
Students from seven New Brunswick public schools participated in “Young Engineers Day,” where they built bridges out of popsicle sticks and created structures to soften the landing of hard-boiled eggs when dropped from 10 feet high. Young Engineers Day took place in the Busch Campus Center last Wednesday and was a part of Rutgers’ Engineers Week.
Rutgers participates in a week dedicated to engineers every year to show appreciation for that discipline. But this year, it is also celebrating the 150th anniversary of the School of Engineering. The School of Engineering is collaborating with the Engineering Governing Council and several other communities to organize events for both students and the public this week.
Sustainable science research buildings are rarely given the energy demands of state-of-the-art instrumentation. Despite the expense, Rutgers is planning to construct an environmentally friendly research space on Busch campus. The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is fortifying plans for a new, energy-efficient four-story building with an expected completion date in 2016, said Antonio Calcado, vice president of Facilities and Capital Planning.
In the modern world, the consumption of energy is a common problem, whether it is through energy-eating supercomputers or the lack of carpooling by those who commute to work. Last Friday, the Rutgers Energy Institute invited Richard York from the University of Oregon to speak at the Marine Sciences Building on Cook campus.
Demonstrating physics concepts to make a living and receive recognition is an opportunity for those with the insight to make physics visually appealing and conceptually simple. David Maiullo, a laboratory support specialist in the Department of Physics, spent a week during this winter break filming demonstrations for The Weather Channel’s second season of “The Strangest Weather on Earth.”
The end of the fall semester signals the beginning of a project every student in the School of Engineering must contribute to — the Senior Design Project. The project, a graduation requirement, allows students to collaborate in groups of between three and five to design a real-world application of their undergraduate education.
Rutgers researchers are concerting their efforts to finish developing a multipurpose, user-friendly wireless sensor kit that boasts a battery life of approximately 10 years. Rutgers University Wireless Information Network Laboratory researchers Robert Moore, Ben Firner, Richard Howard and Richard Martin are in the process of finalizing the sensors, which use their own wireless communication platform called Owl Platform.
Cooperative research may lead to researchers discovering ways to improve lithium ion batteries. Rutgers invited Jianmin Qu to speak at the Fiber Optic Materials Research Building on Busch campus last Wednesday about his research on structural fracturing in multi-chemical batteries. Normally, lithium batteries use graphite to create energy, but Qu’s research focuses on replacing it with silicon.
The National Institutes of Health awarded a Rutgers researcher $1.65 million to explore the mechanisms behind cancer mutation and growth. “This is considered a major grant for cancer research,” said recipient X.F. Steven Zheng, a researcher in the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. “Only 7 percent of all applications pass.”
The National Institute of Health awarded a Rutgers researcher $794,790 to study an anti-cancer compound that prevents the unlimited replication of cancer cells. Dr. Darren Carpizo, a surgical oncologist at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, was given the grant to continue research on this compound.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection chose six New Jersey schools to address flooding in the state. Rutgers University, Montclair State University, Monmouth University, The New Jersey Institute of Technology, Stevens Institute of Technology and The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey will use the money granted to research flood prevention and mitigation around Barnegat Bay, the Arthur Kill tidal strait, the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers, and the Delaware Bay.
Thanks to Rutgers, bridge maintenance is taking a large step in damage prevention — through the creation of automated data-gathering robots.The American Society of Civil Engineers awarded Rutgers the 2014 Charles Pankow Award for Innovation for its Robotics Assisted Bridge Inspection Tool. Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation designed and constructed RABIT.
Three Rutgers researchers have found an alternative for bedbug detection — a trap made from household items that is cheaper and more effective than current methods. Narinderpal Singh, Changlu Wang and Richard Cooper worked together with the intention of looking for more affordable methods of early bedbug detection.
Robert Trivers, a professor in the Department of Anthropology, received a five-month ban from campus beginning April 2012 for initiating what colleague Lee Cronk called a violent confrontation.
The key to understanding the birth of our galaxy and stars is suspected to lie far, far away in the stars that are old enough to tell many stories of their own. Some of these stars are billions of years old — almost as old as the universe itself.