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Rutgers researchers identify additional genes linked to Tourette Syndrome

Rutgers University scientists and research partners worldwide have identified genes that may be linked to Tourette syndrome (TS) — a neuropsychiatric condition characterized by involuntary motor and vocal movements — and this discovery can potentially lead to better treatments for the syndrome. Statistics from the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome (NJCTS) website indicate that about one out of every 100 individuals show signs of this syndrome, which includes symptoms such as repetitive jaw movements, arm jerking, grunting and shouting.

Lab members Nanxia Zhou, Dr.Nicola Francis and Hannah Calvelli (left to right) are a part of a Dr.Prabhas Moghe's research team that focuses on methods to treat neurodegenerative diseases. 

Research team used 3D scaffold technology to develop regenerative neural tissue therapy

Science tells us that neurons rarely regenerate, and if they do it is at a painfully slow rate. “Something that seems so far-fetched in science fiction is something that we are able to discover in labs right upstairs where I take my classes,”said Sree Gollakota, a School of Engineering senior. Neural tissue regeneration, what was once the stuff of fiction, is coming to reality.


State climatologist explains recent temperature hikes

New Brunswick reached a record-high temperature for February on Friday after the city soared to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, marking the warmest day in the month in 124 years. The last week has also been among the warmest for New Jersey in February in recorded history, said David Robinson, a Rutgers professor in the Department of Geography. “With observations at New Brunswick dating back to 1893, the 77-degree (Fahrenheit) maximum temperature last Friday was the warmest on record for the month,” the New Jersey State Climatologist said in an email.

In the Rube Goldberg competition, students engineered mechanisms with levers and pulleys to get a balloon from one place to another. The event took place Monday alongside the first-ever Spirit Day.

Rutgers kicks off Engineer's Week with spirit day, Rube Goldberg competition

On Feb. 20, 2017, Rutgers kicked off celebrations for National Engineers Week with a spirit day in the Busch Student Center. Spirit day is a day where students can experience different areas of engineering and get involved even if they are not normally inclined, said Priti Kantesaria, a School of Engineering first-year student. Kantesaria is part of the Engineering Governing Council (EGC), one of the two organizations responsible for coordinating the events. While EGC focuses a lot on planning Spirit Day and the signature Cardboard Canoe Races, the School of Engineering is more involved in other events such as the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture series and Young Engineer’s Day. During Spirit Day, multiple engineering societies set up tables where students can learn more about them, and participate in certain activities to get a hands-on feel for engineering. Students from the School of Engineering Honors Program presented a Rutgers-themed Operation game, a project they had been working on during their introductory classes. The Rutgers American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) also had a table up at the event. Kevin Leiton, president of the Rutgers AIAA and a School of Engineering senior, said the organization started four years ago with only seven students.

Young Engineer’s Day on Wednesday brought together students from 3rd to 12th grade for a series of hands-on engineering activities and projects. 

Engineering outreach brings 3rd to 12th grade students to Rutgers for variety of interactive activities

More than 160 schoolchildren learned how to build bridges, create catapults, develop apps or make glass last week during Rutgers’ annual "Young Engineers Day." The School of Engineering hosted 165 students from nine different schools as part of "Young Engineers Day" last Wednesday in the Busch Student Center, said Assistant Dean Michael Brown.  Participants enjoyed a host of activities while learning about the Rutgers School of Engineering and how to apply engineering concepts to practical uses. “'Young Engineers Day' is a program that we do just to provide outreach, understanding of engineering and the School of Engineering community for third grade to 12th-grade students," he said.

Thirty-three teams had one hour to engineer a canoe out of cardboard, duct tape and a garbage bag. They then raced across the recreation center pool.

Teams use engineering skills to stay afloat in annual cardboard canoe race

The sixth annual canoe races took place Feb. 24, bringing a lot of soaking cardboard and wet students. The event is the cumulative event of Engineers Week, a week-long national celebration of engineering at Rutgers, said a first-year School of Engineering student and Engineers Week chair Priti Kantesaria. The theme of this year’s event is “Dream Big,” she said. “It’s about, you know, doing things bigger, doing things better.


Rutgers genetic counseling master’s program receives official accreditation

The Rutgers Genetic Counseling Master’s Program (GCMP) recently received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC).  According to a brochure regarding the Program, the GCMP is a two-year graduate program that aims to prepare students for the rigors associated with the profession of genetic counseling. “The GCMP is a master’s level program to train future genetic counselors.


Why is chocolate unsafe for dogs?

It is common for owners to feed their dogs food that they happen to be eating themselves. But some foods, like chocolate, can be particularly dangerous for your companion. Chocolate contains the chemical theobromine, which is similar in structure to caffeine and a central nervous system stimulant, according to the Milliken Animal Clinic. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine chemical it contains.  While the human body contains the enzyme required to break down theobromine, dogs do not have the same enzyme, according to the site.   An influx of theobromine can cause excessive stimulation of the nervous and cardiovascular systems in dogs.

The bioethical society collaborates with other organizations to promote important dialogues about current events. They are working to expand and increase their presence on campus.

Rutgers organizations promotes discussions on bioethical issues

Students can meet and debate the ethics of research and other scientific topics with the Bioethics Society of Rutgers University, a discussion-based student organization on campus. Alex Lin and Suraj Shukla, both School of Arts and Sciences seniors, are co-presidents of the Bioethics Society, which opens up conversations about bioethical topics. “Our organization is about creating an open forum where students can come together and discuss current controversial issues in health and medicine,” Lin said.

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