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.
March 29, 2023
Michigan State University microbiologist Sean Crosson, a professor in the MSU Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG), with joint appointments in the College of Natural Science and the College of Veterinary Medicine, was honored as a Rudolph Hugh Endowed Chair at an investiture ceremony held March 23 at MSU's Wharton Center.
March 28, 2023
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) announced the induction of Guowei Wei, Michigan State University Foundation Research Professor, to its prestigious College of Fellows. Wei was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows “for outstanding contributions in mathematical molecular biosciences and drug discovery, and for predicting variants, infectivity, and vaccine breakthrough of SARS-CoV-2.”
March 27, 2023
The moon holds answers, and Michigan State University plant biologist Federica Brandizzi and her team are bringing those answers within reach. Patience, creativity and a cheerful fearlessness are turning insights buried in plant seeds into pathways to the very survival of the human race.
March 24, 2023
NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies detected an asteroid that will pass Earth by 108,758 miles this weekend, which is closer than the moon’s distance from Earth 238,855 miles away. Seth Jacobson, a planetary scientist in Michigan State University’s College of Natural Science, is a member of NASA and MSU’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission which is the world’s first planetary defense space mission and tested how to redirect asteroids that could hit Earth.
March 16, 2023
Michigan State University is leading pioneering research on the world’s fastest supercomputer, thanks to a new grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The DOE has awarded an MSU-led team 1.3 million node hours of computation time on the Frontier supercomputer (Frontier is made up of 9,400 computing nodes, and one hour of computing on a single node is equal to one “node hour”). Lead researcher Brian O’Shea and the multi-institution team will harness the power of Frontier to better understand galaxies.
March 15, 2023
In a world where switchgrass could cut our fossil fuel dependency, can communities of fungi help grow more potent plants? Michigan State University researcher Acer VanWallendael, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Plant Biology, is helping highlight the very real and diverse ways microscopic fungi affect crops. His team’s recent paper in the journal PLOS Biology explores the complex relationships fungi have with switchgrass, a promising biofuel crop.
March 13, 2023
Scientists’ careers are defined by their contributions to peer reviewed literature. Yet, a recent Michigan State University study reveals that peer review disadvantages some scientists more than others, but solutions to rectify this disparity remain elusive. MSU researchers analyzed data from more than 300,000 biological science manuscripts to see if the authors’ demographics mattered when it came to deciding if research was worthy of publication. The findings were published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
March 9, 2023
Michigan State University biochemist Jian Hu has taken another important step in learning as much as possible about tiny protein machines that help shuttle metals into living cells. This latest step, published in the journal Nature Communications, provides detailed new insights into how these machines work. Hu and his team are working to use this knowledge to develop new cancer therapies and enable people to live healthier lives.
March 2, 2023
New research led by Michigan State University integrative biologist Alisha Shah is showing how vulnerable the threatened meltwater stonefly is to climate change. Shah is part of a research team that’s examining the biology of these stoneflies against the backdrop of climate change. Their findings were recently published in the journal Functional Ecology.
February 27, 2023
An international consortium that includes Michigan State University researchers has solved an evolutionary quandary that’s been the subject of debate for five decades. Publishing its results earlier this month in the journal Science, the team’s genomic analyses conclusively resolve which modern fish lineage branched off earliest within the tree of life. The findings shed new light on the evolutionary history of fishes and the understanding of evolutionary processes.
March 27, 2023Plants in space: Seeding a sustainable future