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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.

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April 7, 2022
Five Michigan State University researchers from the College of Natural Science—Julia Ganz, Huan Lei, Mohammad Maghrebi, Elizabeth Munch and Johannes Pollanen—have received 2022 NSF Early CAREER Faculty Awards. One of NSF’s most prestigious grants, it is awarded to faculty who demonstrate leadership in research and education and have a passion for integrating the two. Collectively, over the next five years (2022-2027) they will receive more than $3.7 million in National Science Foundation funding.
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April 6, 2022
MSU’s Ben Orlando is a structural biologist who studies some of nature’s smallest machines, sees how they are put together and figures out how they work. He’s currently focused on proteins that bacteria use to survive antibiotic treatments so that he can help decommission these biological machines and fight potentially deadly infections. Orlando’s team has now taken new, atomically detailed snapshots of a bacterial protein that helps many germs sense and evade antibiotics. The researchers recently published their work in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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April 2, 2022
Samuel Sottile, an MSU junior majoring in advanced mathematics in the College of Natural Science’s Department of Mathematics, is among three MSU undergraduate students who are recipients of the nationally competitive Goldwater Scholarship for 2022. Each year, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation seeks scholars committed to a career in science, mathematics or engineering who display intellectual intensity and who have the potential for significant future contribution in their chosen field. Since the scholarship program began in 1989, 52 MSU students have been recognized with the honor.
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March 30, 2022
Michigan State University Assistant Professors Jonas Becker and Tyler Cocker were each honored as a Jerry Cowen Chair of Experimental Physics in the College of Natural Science’s Department of Physics and Astronomy at an investiture ceremony held March 24 in the Christman and Jackson Lounges of MSU’s Wharton Center.
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March 29, 2022
Cholera is a diarrheal illness caused by the highly transmissible bacteria V. cholerae which still infects two to three million people a year and kills tens of thousands annually. In a paper recently published in ACS Publications, MSU chemist Xuefei Huang; Zahra Rashidijahanabad, a former Ph.D. student in the Huang Group; and their international team announced promising test results for a new, longer lasting cholera vaccine.
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March 25, 2022
Elias Aydi, a postdoc in Michigan State University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of a select group of 24 young scientists internationally who were awarded a prestigious 2022 NASA Hubble Fellowship. As a Hubble Fellow, Aydi plans to combine multi-wavelength observations from diverse NASA space-based facilities, several ground-based observatories, and 3D radiation-hydro simulations to decipher shocks in novae and work on solving several long-standing puzzles in high-energy astrophysics.
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March 17, 2022
Newly published Michigan State University research led by ecosystems scientist Bruno Basso shows that incorporating in-season water deficit information into remote sensing-based crop models drastically improves corn yield predictions. The study was recently published in Remote Sensing of Environment, a leading journal in the field.
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March 17, 2022
Spartan astronomer Elias Aydi is helping show what our solar system and others may look like when they enter their final acts. Aydi is the first author of the study, which was a collaboration with Shazrene Mohamed, a University of Miami astrophysicist with the South African Astronomical Observatory. The duo found that interactions between a red giant star and a nearby substellar object will create distinct structured patterns, such as spirals and arcs, in the environment around the star. The work was recently accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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March 17, 2022
An international quartet of physicists, including Michigan State University Professor Stephen Hsu, have co-authored two papers that significantly alter our understanding of black holes and resolve a problem that has confounded scientists for nearly half a century. Their research was recently published in the journals Physical Review Letters and Physics Letters B.
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March 14, 2022
Michigan State University and Spelman College in Atlanta are teaming up to create a new educational pipeline for data science, one of the fastest growing fields in the country. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that, by 2026, the nation will have created more than 11 million data science jobs. The duo are teaming up to create a new degree program to help make data science more inclusive and equitable.

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