News

Welcome to the NatSci news page! Check back often to learn about the latest innovations, discoveries and accomplishments of our faculty, staff, students and alumni.

How well antibiotics work for cystic fibrosis patients may be affected by pH, oxygen
October 16, 2018
How well antibiotics work for cystic fibrosis patients may be affected by pH, oxygen

Recently, researchers, including MSU environmental microbiologist Robert Quinn, discovered that tweaking factors in a cystic fibrosis lung model, such as pH balance and oxygen, helped eradicate pathogenic bacteria while minimizing risks of antibiotic resistance and overgrowth of other microorganisms.

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Exercise linked to a healthy gut and bones
October 15, 2018
Exercise linked to a healthy gut and bones

A recent study, led by Michigan State University researcher Laura McCabe, supports findings that a high-fat diet can negatively affect the bacterial composition of your intestine and decrease bone density, while exercise can counteract these harmful changes.

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Danny Ducat: Hooked on microbiology
October 11, 2018
Danny Ducat: Hooked on microbiology

Danny Ducat, an assistant professor in the MSU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, works with one of the oldest species on Earth: cyanobacteria. By tweaking their DNA, Ducat forces the bacteria to release sugars that can be used in the manufacturing of plastics that will degrade naturally.

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MSU earth and environmental sciences doctoral student receives prestigious scholarship
October 9, 2018
MSU earth and environmental sciences doctoral student receives prestigious scholarship

Patricia Jaimes, a doctoral student in the MSU Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is one of only 10 El Café del Futuro Scholarships in recognition of her drive to pursue secondary education and her motivation to give back in the face of adversity.

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Manufacturing mosquitoes in Mexico
October 9, 2018
Manufacturing mosquitoes in Mexico

Zhiyong Xi, a professor in Michigan State University's Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, has opened an Aedes aegypti Biological Control Laboratory in Yucatan, Mexico, at the Autonomous University of Yucatan in the city of Merida, to build on his work in China.

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MSU aquatic ecologist lands grant to study phytoplankton traits
October 7, 2018
MSU aquatic ecologist lands grant to study phytoplankton traits

MSU aquatic ecologist Elena Litchman is leading a three-year, $993,000 project funded by the NSF Division of Environmental Biology to investigate and predict intraspecific trait variation in phytoplankton from four lakes in southwest Michigan.

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Tropical frogs found to coexist with deadly fungus
October 3, 2018
Tropical frogs found to coexist with deadly fungus

Recent MSU-led research results published in the current issue of Ecological Applications, suggest that Panamanian frogs coexisting with deadly chytrid fungus underwent ecological and/or evolutionary changes that enabled them to persist, despite severe species losses. 

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Hitching a ride: Shedding light on fog's role in microbial transport
September 24, 2018
Hitching a ride: Shedding light on fog's role in microbial transport

Despite fog’s known role in providing water and nutrients to systems ranging from coastal forests to inland deserts, the biology of fog—particularly the microbial community that is transported and may make a home in fog—has remained a mystery.

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Harnessing algae and fungi to create new biofuel system
September 23, 2018
Harnessing algae and fungi to create new biofuel system

MSU scientists have found a solution to enhance oil production and harvest using what many consider sea sludge. The new proof of concept, published in Biotechnology for Biofuels, is a biofuel production platform that uses two species of marine algae and soil fungi.

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Getting to the root of plant stress response
September 19, 2018
Getting to the root of plant stress response

MSU microbiologist Ashley Shade and plant biologist Sheng Yang He have been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate how the microbiome interacts with, and may mediate, plant responses during environmental stress.

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