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.
May 27, 2021
MSU microbiologist Chris Waters is using a five-year, $2.62 million National Institutes of Health MIRA grant to explore questions on the diversity of a class of signaling molecules known as cyclic di-nucleotides, or cdN. Since cdNs are critical for bacteria to cause disease as well as immune regulation in humans, understanding how they function can lead to new strategies to manipulate these systems for therapeutic treatments.
May 26, 2021
MSU researchers, including geomicrobiologist Matthew Schrenk, joined an interdisciplinary and international team of scientists who have revealed how ‘forests’ of microbes living in geological hotspots play an underestimated role in Earth’s carbon cycle.
May 25, 2021
Jabbar Bennett, Michigan State University vice president and chief diversity officer, was interviewed as part of a special section published May 22 in the Lansing State Journal on what’s changed in the year following George Floyd’s murder.
May 13, 2021
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring created a significant barrier to when shared facilities, such as microscope labs, became off-limits to all but essential employees, and instructors had to pivot to online courses. This online-only instruction prompted MSU geologist Tyrone Rooney and Ph.D. student Alex Steiner to begin talking about how to provide an accessible solution for creating and delivering microscopic educational materials to students. Their collective efforts resulted in the creation of an open‐source device known as the PiAutoStage system, providing an equivalent in-lab experience for students.
May 13, 2021
An international research team, including MSU's Tyler Cocker, to create a new type of ‘nanoscopy’ to characterize interesting materials like never before. A new microscopy technique lets researchers characterize materials with incredible precision while keeping its distance — at least from a nanoscopic perspective.
May 12, 2021
As climate change threatens global food security, researchers at MSU led by plant biologist Robin Buell are building better beans crucial to human nutrition by tapping into the genetics of the more heat-resistant tepary bean. Her research on bean genetics was published May 11 in Nature Communications.
May 10, 2021
Two Michigan State University scientists, Kristin Parent and Shannon Manning, have been selected for the 2021-2022 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Distinguished Lecturer Program. The ASM, one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences, chooses lecturers through a competitive nomination process each year, selecting only the most celebrated researchers as participants in the unique program.
May 7, 2021
Dean DellaPenna, Michigan State University Foundation Professor and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). DellaPenna, one of 120 members elected to NAS in 2021, joins 10 other Spartans who are active members. He’s also one of 16 active Spartan members of NAS and its two associated organizations, collectively referred to as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
May 4, 2021
Two key Michigan State University hires are paving the way for significant advances in chemistry and related sciences. Timothy H. Warren joins MSU as the Barnett Rosenberg Professor of Chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry in the College of Natural Science (NatSci). Thomas V. O’Halloran comes to the university as an MSU Foundation Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) and the Department of Chemistry.
May 3, 2021
Scientists have known about two of the most enormous and mysterious regions of the earth’s lower mantle, Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs), for decades, but no one knows what they are made of or where they came from. MSU experimental geologist Susannah Dorfman and a talented team of international researchers pieced together a way to make an iron-rich form of the mineral bridgmanite—a rusting rock—that may finally explain the existence of LLSVPs. Their results are published in Nature Communications.
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