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 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.
March 1, 2023
NatSci faculty member, Kellogg Biological Station Culture and Inclusion Committee recognized with Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards
High-energy particle physicist Huey-Wen Lin and the W.K. Biological Station’s Culture and Inclusion Committee (CIC) received 2022-23 Michigan State University Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards at a ceremony held Feb. 13 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. This university wide award recognizes individuals, teams and units for their exceptional and innovative contributions to advancing DEI in teaching, research, programming, service, community outreach and organizational change.
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.
February 15, 2023
Andrea Case has been appointed chair of the Michigan State University Department of Plant Biology in the College of Natural Science. Case came to MSU in January from Kent State University, where she was a professor in the Biological Sciences Department. In addition to her duties as department chair, Case has relocated her research group to MSU and will continue her work, which focuses on the evolution of reproductive systems in flowering plants.
February 12, 2023
Michigan State University chemist Tuo Wang was recently awarded a 4-year, $1.9 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grant. The funds will support the development of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) technology that allows enhanced understanding of the nanoscale structure of the fungal cell wall to promote development of antifungal therapeutics.
February 10, 2023
New research from Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that, for all the complexities and challenges of ecosystem restoration, simple first steps can still go a long way. The team showed that degraded savanna ecosystems scarred by decades or centuries of human activity can reap lasting benefits from a single seeding of native understory plants. Their research was recently published in the journal Proceedings in the National Academy of the Sciences.
November 30, 2023Detoxifying gold mining
November 27, 2023Getting to the root of visceral pain
November 22, 2023NatSci scientists among the world's most cited researchers