News

December 5, 2019

Rutgers researchers teach science to local students

Rutgers University postdoctoral associate researcher Kenneth McGuinness said he helps students to think about the diversity of life by taking them outside for lessons.

Read the complete article at the Daily Targum.

December 4, 2019

 
NASA-funded researchers say astrobiology lessons can boost a child’s confidence.
Students from McKinley Community School in New Brunswick have a Skype chat with Rutgers researcher Kasey Walsch in Antarctica.
 
Read the complete article at Rutgers Today.

November 25, 2019

 
How do we teach students to help in the search for extraterrestrial life? Universities should develop courses that integrate concepts in biology, physics, chemistry and planetary sciences, Dr. Nathan Yee says. Rutgers University’s School of Arts and Sciences did that this fall with the creation of an interdisciplinary course on astrobiology, which Yee teaches.
 
Read the complete Op-Ed article at The Star-Ledger/NJ.com.  

November 24, 2019

Rutgers researchers study origins of early life

Postdoctoral researcher Joshua Mancini said his group worked at the Busch and Cook campuses.

 

Read the complete article at the Daily Targum.

November 22, 2019

The Tyler Prize edition of NPR’s Blue Dot has just been released! Our own Paul G. Falkowski, 2018 Tyler Prize winner, speaks about this experiences of wonder as a child and how he came to understand the role of our planets oceans play in the biogeochemical cycles that regulate our climate.   He speaks on many interdisciplinary topics – microbes, phytoplankton, “life from light”/photosynthesis, evolution, climate change, and astrobiology.
 
Blue Dot 165: The Environmental Science Version Of The Nobel Prize: Tyler Laureates November 22, 2019 * For scientists in the fields of chemistry, medicine and physics, there is the Nobel Prize and all the accolades that come with it. But for scientists in the environmental sciences, the Tyler Prize was created by Ann and John Tyler in 1973 to recognize scientists making world class contributions to the fields of science that most impact our understanding of the Earth’s ecosystems.
 
You can listen to the conversation here.

November 13-14, 2019

Vik Nanda of Rutgers attended the NAI in-person EC meeting and the NASA Astrobiology Science Forum hosted by the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA.

November 13, 2019

Enigma team post-doc’s and researchers Joshua Mancini, Saroj Poudel, and Douglas Pike were interviewed for the New Jersey News12 story “Rutgers researchers to investigate for NASA how life began”. They discussed their work on the Enigma NASA project –  the study of protein or peptides, which are the basic building blocks of life, and how life began on Earth.

Read the article on New Jersey News 12

Biophysics doctoral candidate Douglas Pike, along with postdocs Josh Mancini and Saroj Poudel

November 13, 2019

The Rutgers science and education team continued their school 4-H STEP club (Short Term Exploratory Program) focused on ENIGMA.  29 students (4-8th grade) from McKinley Ave Community School in New Brunswick, NJ participated – Every Tuesday and Wednesday from Oct.  15 to Nov. 13th (excluding Nov. 5th).

November 11, 2019

Post-doc Saroj Poudel presented “Nanomachines that powered ancient life “ at Rutgers Theobald Smith Society Fall Meeting of the American Society of Microbiology.

November 7, 2019

Rutgers Researchers Set Out to Prove Evolution of All Life, Possibility of Extraterrestrial Life

From simple proteins to living cells, NASA-funded research at Rutgers tests theories on the origins of life.

Biophysics doctoral candidate Douglas Pike, along with postdocs Josh Mancini and Saroj Poudel
Biophysics doctoral candidate Douglas Pike, along with postdocs Josh Mancini and Saroj Poudel, are replicating proteins from billions of years ago in an oxygen-free chamber that mimics the conditions of ancient Earth, moving one step closer to proving the origins of life. Photo: Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University

Read the complete article at Rutgers Today.

November 6, 2019

Professor Juliane Gross helps NASA open Apollo samples ahead of Artemis missions

NASA scientists opened an untouched rock and soil sample from the Moon returned to Earth on Apollo 17, marking the first time in more than 40 years a pristine sample of rock and regolith from the Apollo era has been opened. It sets the stage for scientists to practice techniques to study future samples collected on Artemis missions.

Read the complete article at NASA.

November 4, 2019

Graduate student Ian Campbell of Rice University presented an ENIGMA Seminar on “Evolutionary Relationships Between Low Potential Ferredoxin and Flavodoxin Electron Carriers.”

October 30-31, 2019

Our Carnegie Institute collaborators held a datathon with Sara Walker of Arizona State University, with the objective of advancing NAI themes related to the expression of oxidoreductase enzymes in differing geological/geochemical environments.

October 28, 2019

Rock-breathing aliens? NASA researcher says we must think beyond anything we know

Any place where there is water on Earth, scientists say they have found life. A Rutgers University professor says in the search to find extraterrestrial life, the focus should be not on planets but rather on moons in our galaxy where there’s evidence of water… Nathan Yee is a NASA-funded researcher at Rutgers and is teaching a new class on astrobiology, the study of alien life, the university said. “In science fiction, there is a lot of effort put into searching for signs of life like plants, animals and organisms that look like us. But there is a higher probability that alien life will be at the microscopic level. That fact is so much more interesting when you consider what the earliest lifeforms on Earth were capable of doing.”

Read the complete article in the Kansas City Star.

October 26, 2019

Shaunna Morrison of Carnegie Institute for Science won the DCO Emerging Leader award  at the Deep Carbon 2019 meeting.

October 23-26, 2019

Bob Hazen,  Shaunna Morrison, Adrienne Hoarfrost, Joy Buongiorno, Donato Giovannelli, and Jihua Hao of the Enigma team attended and presented on NAI themes at the Deep Carbon 2019 meeting in Washington DC .

October 21, 2019

Graduate student Douglas Pike presented an ENIGMA Seminar here at Rutgers on “Dimensionality Reduction of Protein Structure for Phylogenetic Analysis and Design of Putative Ancestral Proteins”

October 19, 2019

Warm Congratulations to Bob Hazen who was elected as a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences!

October 15, 2019

“Are We Alone in the Universe? Rutgers Professor Explores Possibility of Life on Mars and Beyond” – Rutgers’ first astrobiology course explores possibility of alien microbes on other planets and moons
 
People have spent centuries wondering whether life exists beyond Earth, but only recently have scientists developed the tools to find out.
 
One of them is Nathan Yee, a Rutgers University-New Brunswick professor of geomicrobiology and geochemistry and a co-investigator at Rutgers ENIGMA, a NASA-funded research team focused on discovering how proteins evolved to become the catalysts of life on Earth. Yee co-created and teaches Rutgers’ first course on astrobiology, an interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand whether life arose elsewhere and whether we can detect it.
 
Read the complete article on Rutgers Today.

October 8-9, 2019

Alesha Vega, ENIGMA education and outreach team specialist, attended and presented at the 20th annual Conference of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium in Denver, Colorado. Alesha presented “Engaging Urban K-12 Children in Complex Science Topics” using the Enigma after-school and family science night programs as a paradigm.

October 7, 2019

Check out another new publication:

Miller, M., Vitale, D., Kahn, P.C., Rost, B., & Bromberg, Y. (2019). fuNTRp: Identifying protein positions for variation driven functional tuning. Nucleic Acids Research, , gkz818, DOI/10.1093/nar/gkz818/5580908

Hazen, R. M., Bromberg, Y., Downs, R. T., Eleish, A., Falkowski, P. G., Fox, P., … & Knoll, A. H. (2019). Deep Carbon through Deep Time: Data-Driven Insights in Whole Earth Carbon. Online Publication

September 16, 2019

Post-doc Ariel Aptekmann presented the first Enigma Seminar of the term here at Rutgers on  “Prediction of metal-binding proteins from sequence.”

September 6, 2019

Bob Hazen presented a seminar on “Co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere” at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

September 4, 2019

Shaunna Morrison gave a talk on mineral network analysis with middle school student collaborator, Cadence Boucher, at the Mineralogical Society of DC.

August 19-23, 2019

Bob Hazen presented a paper on “An evolutionary system of mineralogy” at the Goldschmidt.  Additionally, our Carnegie team post-docs of Joy Buongiorno and Shaunna Morrison had talks/abstracts on the Enigma project at the Goldschmidt Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

August 19, 2019

Rutgers is offering its first Astrobiology course for undergraduates this coming Fall 2019. It is being taught by Prof. Nathan Yee, ENIGMA team member and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences.  Course description is so interesting: Investigation of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in our solar system and beyond. Addresses some of the biggest questions in science today such as where life began, whether there is life on other planets, and how scientists search for extra-terrestrial life. Course code is 01:460:225–Astrobiology (3 cr) and there are no prerequisites.

August 15, 2019

Warm Congratulations to Bob Hazen who was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union!

August 13, 2019

Some more new publications from Bob Hazen to check out:

Hazen, R.M. (2019) An evolutionary system of mineralogy: Proposal for a classification based on natural kind clustering. American Mineralogist, 104, 810-816. https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2019-6709CCBYNCND

Chan, M.A., Hinman, N.W., Potter-McIntyre, S.L., Schubert, K.E., Gillams, R.J., Awramik, S.M., Boston, P.J., Bower, D.M., Des Marais, D.J., Farmer, J.D., Jia, T.Z., King, P.L., Hazen, R.M., Leveille, R.J., Papineau, D., Rempfert, K.R., Sanchez-Roman, M., Spear, J.R., Southam, G., Stern, J.C., and Cleaves, H.J. II (2019) Deciphering biosignatures in planetary contexts. Astrobiology, 19, 28 p. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/ast.2018.1903

August 1-2, 2019

Post-doc’s Kenneth McGuinness, Saroj Poudel, and Ariel Aptekmann attended the MIT Dating in Deep Time II Workshop, in Cambridge MA. Kenneth presented a talk on “Can we date the emergence of metal-binding proteins in deep time?” and Ariel presented his poster on “Archaea genomic adaptations and their effect on phylogeny reconstruction“.

July 23, 2019

Rutgers Researchers Identify the Origins of Metabolism” – Scientists insert synthesized, primordial protein into living cells.

A Rutgers-led study sheds light on one of the most enduring mysteries of science: How did metabolism – the process by which life powers itself by converting energy from food into movement and growth – begin?

To answer that question, the researchers reverse-engineered a primordial protein and inserted it into a living bacterium, where it successfully powered the cell’s metabolism, growth and reproduction, according to the study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read the complete article on SEBS/NJAES Newsroom

July 21, 2019

Shaunna Morrison gave an invited talk on “Predicting Martian Mineral Compositions In-situ: Crystal Chemical Techniques” at the American Crystallographic Association Annual meeting in Cincinnati, OH/Northern KY.

July 20, 2019

Professor Gross to become NASA Deputy Curator of Apollo Moon samples:  NASA has offered Professor Juliane Gross, ENIGMA team member and Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University, an 18 month IPA (Intergovernmental Personnel Act) position to help open the Apollo Moon samples that were sealed 50 years ago. She will be the new “Deputy Apollo Sample Curator” at NASA JSC in Houston and will work in curation next to Dr. Ryan Zeigler (Apollo Sample Curator and the Branch Chief of the Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office) to oversee the preparations to open the samples and assist in the preliminarily examination, as well as assist in the curation of all other Apollo samples. As well as working in the Apollo lab, Professor Gross will be conducting experiments at NASA JSC, which also will allow Rutgers students a prestigious opportunity to help conduct research a NASA facility. Additionally, Professor Gross recently was interviewed for the special “50 years ago – One Giant Leap” magazine, jointly published by National Geographic and USA Today. In the article “Rocks unlocked”, she is quoted together with NASA civil servant Sarah Noble about the importance of the samples collected during the Apollo mission and how study of lunar basalt rocks can help understand the origins of Earth.
 
Read the complete article at USA Today

July 15-19, 2019

Paul Falkowski and post-doc Joshua Mancini participated in the 2019 Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop: Astrobiology for Astronomers, at Caltech. Paul presented on “Life as a Major Driver of Biogeochemical Cycles”.

Additional presentations from the Sagan Exoplanet Summer Workshop can be viewed here

July 15-17, 2019

Bob Hazen participated in a datathon at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) to create a new, interactive visualization tool for the Dana mineral classification system.

July 15, 2019

Congratulations to Rutgers undergraduate Havishk Tripathi on the recent article  “Havishk Tripathi Wins NASA Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Award” which highlights his many paths, interests, and experiences in science.  The Falkowski lab team is especially proud to have supported his passions and of his NAI Early Career Award for travel to the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) in Japan.

Read the article on SEBS/NJAES Newsroom

July 8-12, 2019

Our NASA funded ENIGMA Education and Outreach team had a chance to participate in the 4-H STEM Ambassadors Program for urban youth, at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers. Ten students from New Brunswick, Newark, Paterson, Trenton, and Atlantic City participated in a full day of learning about proteins which took place on July 10th  during the STEM “Pursue” projects portion of the program. The 9th and 10th graders had a chance to work at a college junior and senior-level of understanding to complete this proteins-focused ENIGMA project. Their work resulted in a poster presentation to 150 people at a closing luncheon for the program. The students worked with Dr. Shuchi Dutta, Dr. Vikas Nanda and Dr. Ken McGuinness.

July 1, 2019

Check out our latest publication:

 Mutter, A.C., Tyryshkin, A.M., Campbell, I.J., Poudel, S., Bennett, G.N., Silberg, J.J., Nanda, V. and Falkowski, P.G. (2019). De novo design of symmetric ferredoxins that shuttle electrons in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(29), pp.14557-14562. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1905643116

June 15, 2019

ENIGMA Co-I and Executive Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory, Robert M. Hazen, has crafted a delightful exploration of carbon, entitled: Symphony in C: Carbon & the Evolution of (Almost) Everything. In this new work, he uses his knowledge of musical compositions as a muse to explain the complexities of carbon and why it is so important to life on Earth. Learn more about the book: https://deepcarbon.net/project/symphony-c

Hazen’s book is a valuable and welcome explanation of why we would do well to pay more attention to the sixth element  — and of how much more remains to be discovered about its planetary role through time. Nature

Despite its abundance and importance, the location and cycling of carbon on Earth are not yet well understood. Ever-increasing atmospheric concentrations of its dioxide form lend urgency to a more accurate accounting of this element. However, it is Hazen’s enthusiasm, the string of shareable facts presented, and the introduction of so many interesting scientists that make this book such a fascinating read. Science

June 11-13, 2019

Paul Falkowski visited with ENIGMA collaborators Oded Livnah and Yossi Paltiel of Hebrew University while in Israel.

June 6, 2019

Shaunna Morrison participated in a panel on “Subsurface Data and Machine Learning” at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC.

June 1, 2019

Vikas Nanda attended the Structure and Function of Natural Proteins and Maquettes:  A Symposium in Honor of P. Leslie Dutton at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He  presented on the “Modular origins of oxidoreductases.

May 30, 2019

Vikas Nanda  presented “Co-evolution of proteins and metals“ at CUNY School of Medicine, New York , NY.

May 29-30, 2019

Paul Falkowski and Nathan Yee attended the NASA Astrobiology Institute Executive Council and Science Meeting in Greenbelt, MD.

May 24-27, 2019

Bob Hazen presented a featured public lecture on “The private lives of crystals” (exploring NAI themes of planetary evolution) at Balticon (the annual science and science fiction convention) in Baltimore.

May 15-16, 2019

Bob Hazen, Shaunna Morrison, and Donato Giovannelli  attended  a data science workshop, “UI Research Computing and Data Science Symposium”, where they explored advanced methods of data analysis and visualization at the University of Idaho, Moscow

May 7-8, 2019

Our second ENIGMA Annual Astrobiology Symposium took place on Rutgers New Brunswick Campus. Our team of Co-Investigators, collaborators, post-doc’s, graduate students, staff, and undergraduates convened for a great two day event, forwarding our multi-themed integrated science together with excellent presentations and discussions.

April 24, 2019

Rutgers undergraduate Havishk Tripathi received an NAI Early Collaborator Award and will be heading to the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) in Japan for research with Dr. Henderson James (Jim) Cleaves. Havishk has been working in the Falkowski lab the past year and we are so very happy for him.

April 17-19, 2019

Bob Hazen and Shaunna Morrison attended a meeting of the Deep-time Digital Earth (DDE) founding committee to discuss how the 4D Initiative will interface with DDE in Kunshan, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China.

April 15, 2019

Merino, N., Aronson, H. S., Bojanova, D. P., Feyhl-Buska, J., Wong, M. L., Zhang, S., & Giovannelli, D. (2019). Living at the Extremes: Extremophiles and the Limits of Life in a Planetary Context. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10, 780.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00780

April 14, 2019

The ENIGMA (Evolution of Nanomachines in Geospheres and Microbial Ancestors) project led by Rutgers scientists, launched another interactive K-8 Family Science Night entitled “Exploring Life on Other Planets”, at the McKinley School in downtown New Brunswick, NJ. The Family Science Night event centered on a relatable curriculum for the whole family through five different astrobiology-themed stations. Scientists from the ENIGMA project shared their experiences with this exciting and cutting-edge research in the hopes of inspiring young scientists in research.

Read the article on NJTV or watch the video below.

April 9, 2019

Bob Hazen presented “Where Minerals and Biology Collide” at the Arlen Edgar Distinguished Lecture at the Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas

April 4-11, 2019

Janice McDonnell, the NAI Rutgers outreach team, with post-doc’s Kenneth McGuinness, Saroj Poudel, Josh Mancini, Max Miller, and others, lead two Family Science programs entitled “Exploring Life on Other Planets” with two of our local New Brunswick K-8 schools and their families. They were a tremendous success with 150 participants at the Greater New Brunswick Charter School and 60 at McKinley Community School.

Read a great Rutgers Newsroom article on our Family Science Nights

April 4, 2019

Janice McDonnell was interviewed on News12 NJ at the Family Science Night event held on April 4th at the Greater Brunswick Charter School. Our Rutgers ENIGMA team, Geology Museum staff, and Rutgers scientists engaged in an evening of fun and exploration about the universe, earth science and life on other planets through hands on activities, demonstrations and exhibits.

April 2-4, 2019

Shaunna Morrison attended a NASA Mars Science Laboratory team meeting at NASA Goddard in Greenbelt

April 2, 2019

Shaunna Morrison presented “The Age of Data: Visualizing the Revolution” in the Capital Science Evening Lecture at the Carnegie Institution for Science

April 1, 2019

Adrienne Hoarfrost Ph.D. has joined the Bromberg lab and will be focusing on finding the relationship between bacterial microbial functionality and the corresponding trace elements found in the environment

March 18-24, 2019

Paul Falkowski participated in the World Science Festival Brisbane 2019

March 22, 2019

Bob Hazen presented “Evolution of minerals throughout Earth history” at the Industry-Rice Science Symposium, Rice University

March 21-22, 2019

Shaunna Morrison presented “Data science in mineral exploration” at the Industry-Rice Earth Science Symposium 2019 (IRESS) in Houston

March 17, 2019

The Rutgers Geology Museum is showing a new exhibit on meteorites and planetary science. Through the guidance of Rutgers University’s own resident meteorite expert, Dr. Juliane Gross (CoI) of the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department, this three-part exhibit details the formation history of our Solar System and tells the story of how stars and planets are formed

March 17, 2019

Bob Hazen presented the “Science Sunday” lecture at Ohio State University on “Life’s Rocky Start” (origins of life)

March 06, 2019

Bob Hazen presented “Chance, Necessity, and the Origins of Life” at Janelia Farms “Dialogues of Discovery” series (Warrenton, VA)

February 27, 2019

Bob Hazen presented “The Story of Earth” at the Geological Society of London

February 27, 2019

Paul Falkowski was interviewed by NY Times science writer Ferris Jabr

February 26-28, 2019

Shaunna Morrison presented a keynote talk entitled “Applications of Advanced Analytics and Visualization in Mineral Systems” at the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) Recognized Big Science Program Deep-time Digital Earth (DDE) in Beijing, China

February 14-15, 2019

Visiting lecturer and ENIGMA Collaborator Oded Livnah of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem meet extensively with team members and gave a talk on “The Quest for Smart(er) Avidins: Old Dog – New Tricks” at Rutgers CABM

February 12, 2019

Vikas Nanda presented “Evolution and engineering of protein electron transfer” at Kansas University Center for Computational Biology

February 11, 2019

Janice McDonnell and her education and outreach team are currently providing on-going support/science communication training for the post-docs and graduate students involved in the ENIGMA project. The workshops, entitled Communication Strategies for Interdisciplinary Learning, provide participants with an overview of learning theory to help improve collaborations within and outside of their discipline.

February 11, 2019

Three more publications in press that we are looking forward to sharing:

Hazen, R.M. (2018) Earth in five reactions: Grappling with meaning and value in science. American Mineralogist, in press.

Estrada, C., Sverjensky, D.A., and Hazen, R.M. (2018) Selective adsorption of calcium-aspartate ligands onto [Mg(OH)2]-brucite: Implications for calcium in prebiotic chemistry. Astrobiology, in press.

Freiberger, M.I., Guzovsky,B.A., Wolynes, P.G., R. G., Parra, & D.U. Ferreiro. (2019). Local frustration around enzyme active sites. Proc Natl Acad Sci., in press.

February 11, 2019

Janice McDonnell and her education and outreach team met with ENIGMA team postdoc’s to develop a series of Community Engagement events (Family Science and a Special Interest (SPIN) Club for urban youth. We will offer an 8-week ENIGMA SPIN club in collaboration with two local K-8 schools (Greater New Brunswick Charter School and McKinely Ave School, New Brunswick, NJ).

February 08, 2019

Adrienne Hoarfrost Ph.D. (who will be joining Yana Bromberg’s group in April) has been awarded a NASA Astrobiology Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellowship

February 04, 2019

ENIGMA Team conference call was held

February 01, 2019

Visiting lecturers Eli Moore and Stephanie Spielman of Rowan University presented “Investigating Vanadium’s Evolving Redox Chemistry and the Expanding Total Mineral Network” at our NAI Seminar Series

January 30, 2019

Check out new paper acknowledging the NAI:

Morrison, S., Runyon, S., & Hazen, R. (2018). The Paleomineralogy of the Hadean Eon Revisited. Life, 8(4), 64. DOI: 10.3390/life8040064

https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/8/4/64

January 30, 2019

Post-doc Kenneth McGuinness presented to the team on the evolution of metalloproteins at our NAI Seminar Series

January 24, 2019

Donato Giovannelli is starting his new position as an assistant professor at the Department of Biology of the University of Naples.

January 22, 2019

Joy Buongiorno has gone to work on her postdoctoral projects with ENIGMA Collaborator, Donato Giovannelli, at the University of Naples for several months.

January 19, 2019

Bhanu Jagilinki Ph.D. joins the Rutgers ENIGMA team as a postdoctoral fellow exploring metallo-peptides of the pre-biotic world.

January 18, 2019

Janice McDonnell recently became partner in Center for Advancing the Societal Impacts of Research (ARIS Center) to translate the importance of scientific research to the public, as part of $5.2 million NSF grant. We are delighted for Janice and her enlarged role in science education and outreach.

January 17, 2019

Shaunna also presented “Multidisciplinary approaches in Earth, life and planetary science with application of advanced analytics…” at Wayne State University.

January 15, 2019

Shaunna Morrison presented “Advanced analytics and visualization applications in Earth and planetary science” at Rutgers Earth & Planetary Science Colloquium.

January 14, 2019

As an introduction, Joy Buongiorno presented to the team “Climate change and the microbial ferrous wheel: Implications of Arctic warming on biogeochemical cycling in sediments?“

January 11, 2019

Check out new paper acknowledging the NAI:

Turjanski, P., & Ferreiro, D. U. (2018). On the Natural Structure of Amino Acid Patterns in Families of Protein Sequences. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 122(49), 11295-11301.

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b07206

January 09, 2019

Joy Buongiorno joined the Carnegie Institute of Science team as a post-doc working on the ENIGMA project relating the expressed protein functions of extant microbial communities to their geochemical environments.

January 07, 2019

Shaunna Morrison consulted with a First Lego Robotics Team, “Galaxy Explorers,” to discuss and hone their project on “Helping astronauts sleep better by auto-adjusting their mission schedule based on their body’s circadian rhythm.” The Galaxy Explorers made it to the finals – congratulations!

December 21, 2018

Post-doc Joshua Mancini presented to the team on primordial folds of iron sulfur proteins at our Rutgers NAI Seminar Series.

December 10, 2018

AGU 2018 Fall Meeting December 10-14, Washington D.C.:

Bob Hazen presented three talks:

  • “Data-Driven Discovery in Biogeoscience: Past, Present, and Future“
  • “Data-Driven Discovery and the Rise of the Collaborative Culture of Data Sharing (Invited) “
  • “Natural Kind Cluster Analysis of Mineral Chemistry Data: A New Approach to Mineral Classification”

December 09, 2018

Bob Hazen and Shaunna Morrison attended Deep Carbon Observatory Virtual Reality Data Visualization workshop.

December 07, 2018

Shaunna Morrison additionally participated in an outreach program with high school students at Virginia Episcopal School, presenting her “Mars Science Laboratory” lecture.

December 06, 2018

Shaunna Morrison presented as part of an outreach program with 4H Homeschool groups, “Mars Science Laboratory” lecture.

November 20, 2018

Visiting lecturer John Goldbeck of Penn State meet with NAI team members and gave a talk on “The Influence of the Great Oxygenation Event on the Structure and Function of Type I Photosynthetic Reaction Centers” at Rutgers CABM.

November 16, 2018

Paul Falkowski participated in Rutgers STEMcosR outreach programing to high school and community college students. Keynote lecture was “Light to Life”.

November 09, 2018

Post-doc Andrew Mutter presented his talk to the team on ferredoxin scaffolds at our Rutgers NAI Seminar Series.

November 08, 2018

Yana Bromberg presented “Forget their names: understanding the microbiome without focusing on individual microbes“at Emory University.

November 07, 2018

Paul Falkowski presented “Life’s engines: How microbes made Earth habitable” as part of Old Dominion University’s College of Sciences’ Dean’s Lecture Series.

November 07, 2018

Vikas Nanda presented “Structure-guided design of peptides” at 2018 Symposium on Protein Engineering and Molecular Design of Industrial Enzymes, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China.

November 04, 2018

GSA 2018 Annual Meeting, Indianapolis:

Bob Hazen was chair with Ed Grew of University of Maine of session on mineral evolution and ecology. Hazen presented “Natural kind clustering of planetary materials: A new data-driven approach to mineral classification”.

At same GSA 2018 session keynote was presented by Shaunna Morrison on “Advanced analytical and visualization techniques applied to mineral evolution and ecology.“ Daniel Hummer, Hazen, Morrison, and others: “Ecology and evolution of manganese minerals: Implications for the redox history of Earth and life“. Grethe Hystad, Hazen, Morrison, and others: “Future and current approaches for modeling the distribution of minerals on Earth and other planets”.

In other GSA 2018 sessions, Shaunna Morrison had a Keynote: “Applications in comparative planetology: Advanced analytics and visualization of mineral systems” and Grethe Hystad, Hazen, Morrison, and others: “Estimating Earth’s undiscovered mineralogical diversity using a Bayesian approach”.

November 01, 2018

Check out new paper:

Loell, Kaiser, and Vikas Nanda. “Marginal protein stability drives subcellular proteome isoelectric point.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018): 201809098.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/10/31/1809098115.short

October 26, 2018

Rutgers NAI Seminar Series: Saroj Poudel presented his work on the evolution of metal binding proteins.

October 25, 2018

Vikas Nanda presented “Evolution and Engineering of Protein Electron Transfer” at Princeton University.

October 25, 2018

Paul Falkowski presented “Light to Life: The coevolution of the geosphere and biosphere “at UC Berkeley.

October 22, 2018

Paul Falkowski presented the Storer Lecture at UC Davis on “The Origin and Emergence of Global Coupled Biogeochemical Cycles”

October 17, 2018

NAI ENIGMA team and EBME lab members Paul Falkowski, Vikas Nanda, Saroj Poudel, Joshua Mancini, Kenneth McGuinness, Andrew Mutter, Douglass Pike, Winnie Liu, and Liti Haramaty visited the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Goddard Center for Astrobiology (GCA) for collaborative meetings and a tour.

October 16, 2018

Paul Falkowski presented “Legos of Life” at the Flatiron Institute in NYC.

October 14, 2018

Bob Hazen also presented at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution’s Origin’s of Life Workshop in Atlanta October 14-17th.

October 12, 2018

Rutgers NAI Seminar Series: Doctoral student Douglass Pike presented his work in iron-sulfur peptide design.

October 09, 2018

Vikas Nanda presented “Evolution and Engineering of Protein Electron Transfer” at Syracuse University Department of Chemistry.

October 06, 2018

Post-doc Douglas Pike presented a poster on “De novo design of a primitive ferredoxin” at the 32nd Gibbs Conference on Biological Thermodynamics in Carbondale, IL October 6-9th.

October 05, 2018

Bob Hazen presented the keynote address, “Chance, necessity, and the origins of life” at the Center for the Study of Origins, University of Colorado Boulder.

October 03, 2018

Shaunna Morrison presented “Advanced analytics and visualization of mineral systems” and “Roving the Red Planet: Exploring the habitability and geologic history of Mars” at University of Toronto Seminar, Toronto, Canada, October 3rd-4th.

October 01, 2018

ENIGMA Team leaders meeting held with Paul Falkowski, Nathan Yee, Yana Bromberg, Vikas Nanda, Bob Hazen, and Shaunna Morrison.

September 24, 2018

Bob Hazen participated in the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) team meeting at CalTech in Pasadena, Ca. September 24 -26th

September 21, 2018

Bob Hazen presented a seminar at Ohio State entitled “Deep-time data-driven discovery and the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere”.

September 20, 2018

ENGIMA welcomes new team members:

Joshua Mancini, Ph.D. joins us as a postdoctoral fellow exploring the primordial folds of iron sulfur proteins.

Saroj Poudel, Ph.D. joins us as a Rutgers EOAS Planetary Habitability Postdoctoral Fellow to study origins and evolution of redox catalysts.

Kenneth McGuinness, Ph.D. joins us as a postdoctoral fellow to study the evolution of redox enzymes using machine learning approaches.

September 07, 2018

de novo designed 4Fe-4S binding peptide capable of robust electron transfer” paper featured in Forbes article “A Tiny Protein Like This May Have Kick-Started Life On Earth”.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/fionamcmillan/2018/08/31/a-tiny-protein-like-this-may-have-kick-started-life-on-earth/

This paper was also featured in the following:

Astrobioogy Magazine:

https://www.astrobio.net/also-in-news/scientists-identify-protein-that-may-have-existed-when-life-began/

Science Daily:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180830180101.htm

September 05, 2018

Check out new paper “Minimal hetereochiral de novo designed 4Fe-4S binding peptide capable of robust electron transfer” in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Kim, J.D., Pike, D.H., Tyryshkin, A.M., Swapna, G.V.T., Raanan, H., Montelione, G.T., Nanda, V. and Falkowski, P.G. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.8b07553

September 03, 2018

Vikas Nanda presented at Ursinus College Chemistry Seminar Series “What did proteins look like 4,000,000,000 years ago?”.

September 03, 2018

Paul Falkowski to serve as an advisor for new NASA Center for Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES).

September 03, 2018

Mihaela Glamoclija joined COSPAR “Sample Safety Assessment Protocol (SSAP) Working Group” to assess the safety of samples from Mars. The final product of these working group activities will be published and will feed into the current NASA-ESA activities on Mars sample return.

September 03, 2018

Mihaela Glamoclija and Graduate Student Ashley Murphy have returned from Morocco where they sampled Precambrian and Cambrian carbonates for the Europlanet (http://www.europlanet-2020-ri.eu) funded project “Moroccan Early Animal Record from Precambrian – Cambrian Transient Environments and its Relevance for Life Detection on Mars”. Glamoclija group is going to combine laboratory based research and data mining to learn in more details about formation of new habitable environments as recorded in Ediacaran period of Moroccan Anti-Atlas mountains and the early animal evolution from the Cambrian sequences.

August 20, 2018

Postdocs Shaunna Morrison, Chao Liu, Allison Enright, and Graduate Student Ashley Murphy attended the GeoDeepDive Workshop in Madison, Wisconsin from August 20 to 21. Go to (https://geodeepdive.org/workshop2018/) to learn how to explore and handle the data from big data depository such as GeoDeepDive.

August 16, 2018

At the University of Sydney, Australian National Science Week Special Seminars, Robert Hazen gave a lecture on “The co-evolution of rocks and life: data-driven insights from ‘The New Mineralogy'”, and Shaunna Morrison presented “Mars Science Laboratory: Exploring the habitability and geologic history of the red planet.”

August 15, 2018

Robert Hazen presented at the International Mineralogical Association Conference XXII in Melbourne “A revised (upwards) estimate of Earth’s missing minerals,” Monday, August 13, 2018 and “Data-driven discovery in <strong>mineralogy: setting the stage for MSA’s second century,”.

August 15, 2018

Shaunna Morrison gave another Keynote: “In situ mineralogical observations on Mars: Discoveries by the CheMin X-ray diffraction instrument,”.

August 13, 2018

Nathan Yee gave a Keynote lecture at the Goldschmidt Conference in Boston entitled: “The Role of Cellular Cysteine in Microbe-Metal Interactions”.

August 13, 2018

Shaunna Morrison gave Keynote at International Mineralogical Association Conference XXII in Melbourne, Australia: “Recent advances in mineral evolution and mineral ecology via big data analytics and visualization”.

August 12, 2018

Graduate Student, Winnie Liu, presented her work on photo-oxidation of Mn-containing minerals at the 2018 Goldschmidt Conference in Boston August 12-17, 2018. Poster entitled “Abiotic Conversion of Rhodochrosite to Mn Oxides by Ultraviolet Light”.

July 12, 2018

Rutgers graduate student, Benjamin Jelen, was invited to serve as Executive Secretary for the Early Metabolisms panel of the Exobiology 2018 review August 5-10, 2018&gt; in San Diego

June 11, 2018

Paul Falkowski was interviewed on NJTV NEWS providing background and commentary into NASA’s recent discoveries on Mars and recent Science papers on complex organic molecules and seasonal methane on Mars.

Life on Mars? Rutgers professor breaks down NASA’s most recent discovery

June 02, 2018

Several members of the team including Yana Bromberg, Donato Giovannelli, Vik Nanda, and Nathan Yee attended a “4D Data Workshop” hosted by team member Robert Hazen of the Carnegie Institute.

June 01, 2018

Three members of the team, Paul Falkowski, Vik Nanda, and Nathan Yee attended a workshop on light driven catalysis hosted by CIFAR.