September 30 Wall Street Journal featured our National Cockroach Project (NCP) in an illustrated story “Why cockroaches stay in your neighborhood”. The National Cockroach team consists of PHE researcher Mark Stoeckle, Daniel Kronauer and Christoph von Beeren from The Rockefeller University Laboratory of Insect Social Evolution, and Joyce Xia, Hunter HIgh school senior and RU summer student. So far we’ve analyzed using DNA barcoding about 120 of 200 cockroaches collected by colleagues, friends, and family, or mailed in by citizen scientists around the country (including specimens from Australia and Spain). We found four distinct DNA barcode types that differ by NYC neighborhood. The WSJ story prompted an interview for Channel 4 TV news, complete with cockroach close-ups, and coverage in the London Times and US Metro.
Prof. Hani Mahmassani, Director of the Transportation Center at Northwestern University, has set up a Google Scholar public profile for the late Robert Herman, with whom we worked closely on materialization, dematerialization, and cities. http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=7Yiedy4AAAAJ&hl=en
The site makes the scope, significance and impact of Bob’s work accessible to a new generation. Impressively, more than 15 years after Bob passed away, his publications are being cited in excess of 500 times per year.
PHE researchers Mark Stoeckle and Cameron Coffran developed a new software, TreeParser, that helps generate Klee diagram “heat maps” of genetic biodiversity (freely available on the PHE website http://phe.rockefeller.edu/barcode/klee.php ). Their work appears today in Nature Publishing Group’s open access journal Scientific Reports http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130911/srep02635/full/srep02635.html The resulting Klee diagrams are both beautiful and scientifically informative. In the figure below, bird and butterfly species appear as discrete “hot blocks” of sequence along the diagonal.
Our National Cockroach Project (NCP) aims to map genetic diversity in the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). This week an excellent post by Douglas Main on LiveScience captures the science and spirit of the project and results so far. The LiveScience post was picked up by NBC News, Yahoo News, and Discovery websites. Results so far show four distinct genetic types of American cockroaches living together in New York City. Like New Yorkers, cockroaches differ by neighborhood. We are continuing to solicit contributions from citizen scientists and hope to learn more including where in the world the genetic variants came from originally.
The crew of NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer recently spent six days in New York at the halfway point of their Northeast US Canyons Expedition. Before departing for the continental shelf between Nantucket and the Canadian border, LT Brian Kennedy was gracious enough to give PHE’s Alan Curry a tour of the research vessel, including a look at their newest remotely-operated-vehicle, Deep Discoverer, profiled here: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/ex1302/new_rov_video.html
One of the great figures in 20th century meteorology, Thomas F. Malone passed away at age 96 in Hartford CT on 6 July 2013. Tom played a major role in bringing attention to the likelihood of human-induced climate change. Jesse met Tom first in 1977 when Tom served as a member of the Climate Research Board of the National Research Council, and then worked a lot with him while Tom served as Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences (1978-1982) and then as chair of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. Tom also co-chaired the 1983 Woods Hole workshop (with Herb Friedman) that led to the report Toward an International Geosphere-Biosphere Program: A Study of Global Change, for which Jesse was the scribe.
In 2003 Jesse started working with communications expert Terry Collins to share news of the Census of Marine Life and then other environmental programs. Terry specializes in unorthodox press releases, long and detailed, that helpfully force researchers to articulate what they have discovered. Terry has now created the Jesse Ausubel archive with 38 entries authored by Terry and Jesse (with help from many others). The archive effectively chronicles a decade of important developments from the Census, DNA barcoding, Encyclopedia of Life, forest science, and most recently Deep Carbon Observatory.
Yikes, we realize we never posted the 4 March news of the release of the baseline report of the Deep Carbon Observatory. The Press Release, which Jesse helped draft with Terry Collins, provides an excellent summary of the DCO program.
The DCO website provides excellent updates about the program.
We are excited by the progress of the DCO since its founding 1 July 2009 and look forward to many significant discoveries during the coming years. The DCO was initiated with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Jesse is proud to continue to help foster the program on behalf of Sloan.