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20 December 2018

The Leonardo Da Vinci DNA Project opened our eyes to the possibilities (inevitability!) of exciting new discoveries by integrating new tools of genetics, molecular biology, and microbiology into studies of art history and practices in conservation of cultural heritage.  We were able to help arrange support for a joint project of the NYU Institute of Fine Arts and the research lab of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

ART BIO MATTERS 2018 aims to assemble, for the first time, scientists, curators/art historians, and conservators for a stimulating forum to explore new directions in the study of biological materials in works of art. Through guided and balanced discussions, participants will identify connections between advanced DNA, mass-spectrometric, and antibody-based approaches and their own research questions, thereby, facilitating focused and mutually beneficial collaborations.

By many accounts, the conference 8-10 November 2018 was thrilling.  The website has lots of great materials and leads.  Congratulations to Julie Arslanoglu, Peggy Ellis, Matthew Teasdale, and the emerging community at the interface of biology and art!

Posted at 10:12 am in News

20 December 2018

In 1996 while working with Ralph Gomory, then President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Jesse Ausubel helped Sloan develop initiatives in higher education.  These included the first university simulator (Virtual U.), professional science master’s degrees (championed by Sheila Tobias), and research on community colleges.   A great success was (is) the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teacher’s College (TC).  The CCRC was partly inspired by insights of TC faculty member Thomas Bailey, an expert on the high-performance workplace and school-to-work transitions. Bailey became the founding director of the CCRC and led it until this autumn, when he became President of Teacher’s College.  Congratulations to  Tom and to TC.  Read Tom’s excellent inaugural address and about his pathfinding career, which includes kind mentions of Sloan and Jesse.

Posted at 09:12 am in News

14 December 2018

The Deep Life Community shared its progress over the past decade in the Deep Carbon Observatory at the December 2018 meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington DC.  Jesse Ausubel helped found the DCO in 2009.

Articles include: Life in deep Earth totals 15 to 23 billion tons of carbon—hundreds of …  Phys.OrgDec 10, 2018Deep Life scientists say about 70% of Earth’s bacteria and archaea …. says Jesse Ausubel of the Rockefeller University, a founder of the DCO.

PersonalTech MD The group has approximated the ‘size of the deep biosphere to be 2 to … Jesse Ausubel, of the Rockefeller University, a founder of the DCO, …

Posted at 05:12 pm in News

13 December 2018

Our “GoFish” paper is published in PLOS ONE (Stoeckle MY, Mishu MD, Charlop-Powers Z. GoFish: a versatile nested PCR strategy for environmental DNA assays for marine vertebrates). From water collection to Sanger sequencing results, the assay can be carried out in three days. This approach will be a useful addition to current eDNA methods when analyzing presence/absence of known species, when turnaround time is important, and in educational settings.


Posted at 12:12 pm in News

3 December 2018

An article by Steve Leahy for National Geographic about our National Conference on Marine Environmental DNA 

New DNA tool ‘changes everything in marine science’

Also in the news net:

Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Newsletter

Leading Practitioners Of eDNA Science Gather To Discuss New Tool’s Possibilities

Thanks to every one of the 100 participants.  It was thrilling for all!

Also a good story in the Martha’s Vineyard Times about Linda Fairstein’s new book in which kids collect eDNA on Martha’s Vineyard.

And in the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette: Swimming With the Fishes, Naming Them Too,  Monday, December 3, 2018 – 1:58pm.



Posted at 10:12 am in News

29 November 2018

Today begins our National Conference on Marine Environmental DNA.

A press release describes the purposes and previews some findings.

The meeting is part of the continuing Monmouth University-Rockefeller University Marine Science and Policy Initiative.

We are exploring the marine waters of New York City and New Jersey with eDNA.  Some of our work is posted here

Posted at 11:11 am in News

27 November 2018

The article Why should mitochondria define species?
Stoeckle M.Y., Thaler D.S.
is grounded in and strongly supports Darwinian evolution, including the understanding all life has evolved from a common biological origin over several billion years.

The study follows mainstream views of human evolution. We do not propose there was a single “Adam” or “Eve”. We do not propose any catastrophic events.

Posted at 09:11 am in News

26 November 2018

Leonardo da Vinci: the faces of the genius,” an exhibition curated by our esteemed colleague in the Leonardo DNA Project, Christian Galvez, opens in Madrid on 30 November.  Team members Jose Lorente and Karina Aberg will participate.  The exhibition includes a section about our search for his DNA.


Posted at 05:11 pm in News

8 October 2018

The passing on 30 September 2018 in Washington DC of Jeannette Aspden, colleague from IIASA and the Carnegie Commission, elicits a brief written tribute.   Celebrations and remembrances of our colleagues have accumulated over the years, and we re-post them here.

Jeannette Aspden (Remembrance 2018)
Robert Herman (In Memory of Robert Herman, 1997)
Alexander Keynan (The Germination of Alexander Keynan, in memoriam, 2013)

Robert Kates (The Classification of Robert Kates, 2018)
Joshua Lederberg (In memoriam, 2008)
Joshua Lederberg (A Tribute to the Foresight of Joshua Lederberg, 2009)
Thomas F. Malone (Tom Malone here [poem], 1984)

Fan and Don Ogilvie (“It was fruit“, poem celebrating our friendship)

Rodney Nichols (Remembrance, 2018)
William A. Nierenberg (Memorial Tribute, 2000)
Chauncey Starr (A 90th Birthday Tribute, 2002)

Oleg F. Vasiliev, 1925-2017 (scroll to second entry past Beck tribute)
Paul E. Waggoner (Thriving Thrift: On the Occasion of Paul Waggoner Appreciation Day, 2013)
Robert M. White (Portrait of Robert M. White in the style of Gertrude Stein, 1979)

Norton Zinder (A Remembrance of Norton Zinder, 2012)

Census of Marine Life, for a personal view of the program, read Jesse’s poem, The Census of Marine Life is about the total richness of the sea, the foreword to Life in the World’s Oceans: Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance, A. McIntyre (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2010


Posted at 11:10 am in News

8 October 2018

William Nordhaus today earned the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his pioneering work on climate change.  Hooray for Bill!

Jesse first encountered Bill’s work in the late 1970s, started a magazine file of it, and retains to this day first editions of the classic inventive papers from 1975, Can We Control Carbon Dioxide?, and 1977, Strategies for the Control of Carbon Dioxide, and others that followed (see photo below).

Jesse served as a research assistant to Bill during the 1981-1983 Carbon Dioxide Assessment Committee of the National Academy of Sciences and co-authored with him the 1983 paper, JH Ausubel, WD Nordhaus. A review of estimates of future carbon dioxide emissions in Changing climate: Report of the carbon dioxide assessment committee, pp. 153-185, National Academy Press, Washington DC 1983.

Posted at 08:10 am in News