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.
June 30, 2022
At MSU, Molecular Plant Sciences faculty member Patrick Edger teaches an undergraduate Honors College course that creates the opportunity for lab experience and publishing research in scientific publications. In Spring 2022, the research focused on finding the parental species of the popular sour cherry – a crop of great economic and cultural importance to Michigan. Students in his molecular phylogenomic and evolution class worked alongside teaching assistants on a semester-long research project. In addition to gaining research experience, a paper reporting their findings was recently published in Plants People Planet.
June 27, 2022
The National Institutes of Health have awarded Michigan State University researchers $2.7 million to continue developing artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that predict key features of viruses as they evolve. The team is led by Guowei Wei, an expert in AI who has published nearly 30 papers on COVID-19, and Yong-Hui Zheng, whose extensive background in virology is helping verify and improve AI predictions. The team also includes Jiahui Chen, a visiting assistant professor at MSU who played an essential role in developing the AI models.
June 23, 2022
An international team of 114 scientists has performed the most comprehensive study of aging and longevity to date with data collected in the wild from 107 populations of 77 species of reptiles and amphibians worldwide. The team, led by researchers at Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University and Northeastern Illinois University, reported its findings in the journal Science on June 23.
June 16, 2022
Songqiao “Shawn” Wei, an Endowed Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University, has been studying the earthquakes in response to Earth’s tectonic plate movement around the world. In this "Ask the Expert" column, he explains earthquakes, how they are detected and his current research related to them.
June 15, 2022
The ability of a plant to grow and reproduce – including the crops we rely on – is directly associated with the motility of organelles within the plant. Understanding how these organelles move is key to developing crops that can survive and thrive in stressful environmental conditions. MSU plant biologist Jianping Hu, has received a 4-year, $900,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the motility of cellular energy organelles in the common mustard plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. The knowledge gained will provide fundamental insights into the principles associated with the motility of plant organelles and perspectives on how these molecular machineries evolved.
June 13, 2022
Cheryl Sisk, MSU professor of behavioral neuroscience and psychology, is recipient of the 2022 Daniel S. Lehrman Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology for her outstanding career as a researcher and educator. Sisk, an MSU Distinguished Professor and associate dean for faculty development in the College of Natural Science, has been instrumental in moving her field, program, and college forward. As one of the leading researchers in the field of neural development, Sisk has dedicated her career to the study of brain and behavioral development during puberty and adolescence.
June 6, 2022
MSU graduate student Hannah Christine Berg is the recipient of a highly competitive Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program grant. She is one of 80 outstanding graduate students representing 27 states in the program, each of whom was selected through peer review by external scientific experts. Berg, a Ph.D. student in nuclear astrophysics working at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, will conduct her research at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
June 1, 2022
Researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Texas at Austin have made a shocking discovery. In a study published June1 in the journal Science Advances, the team explained how small genetic changes enable weakly electric fish to evolve their electric organs. The findings could have broader implications for human health and disease.
May 31, 2022
MSU chemists are discovering new information to help remediate “forever chemicals” by showing for the first time how they interact with soil at the molecular level. The researchers, Narasimhan Loganathan and Angela K. Wilson in the MSU College of Natural Science, published their findings May 11 online in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
May 31, 2022
An integrated approach to land management practices in the United States can reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere far more than earlier estimates based on separate approaches. MSU researchers including ecosystems ecologist Phil Robertson and colleagues from Colorado State University and the University of Aberdeen in the U.K. are now finding how combining practices might reduce carbon dioxide levels critical for keeping the global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius by year 2100. Their research was published May 31 in the journal Global Change Biology.
May 15, 2023Prominent cancer researcher joins MSU to lead biochemistry and molecular biology department, establish Center for Cancer Health Equity Research
May 12, 2023Seed grants sow dazzling return on investment