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News

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.

Two Michigan State University College of Natural Science (NatSCi) researchers -- Andrea Case and Shin-Han Shiu – were elected 2022 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
January 31, 2023
Two Michigan State University College of Natural Science (NatSCi) researchers -- Andrea Case and Shin-Han Shiu – were elected 2022 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Case and Shiu were among five MSU faculty members named 2022 AAAS fellows, who were recognized with the honor for their contributions to science and society. The cohort joins more than 175 current and past Spartans who have been honored as fellows. 
The zebrafish is a freshwater fish belonging to the minnow family. It is an important and widely used vertebrate model organism in scientific research, notable for its regenerative abilities.
January 30, 2023
MSU integrative biologist Julia Ganz will use a two-year, $439,408 grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore the zebrafish’s unique superpower to gain insights that could someday lead to discoveries benefitting people suffering from neurological diseases of digestive system.
Mathematicians at Michigan State will use a five-year, $1.9 million National Science Foundation training grant to amplify the university’s success in math research by creating communities of undergraduates, graduates, post-graduates and faculty working in topology and related mathematical areas.
January 25, 2023
Mathematicians at Michigan State will use a five-year, $1.9 million National Science Foundation training grant to amplify the university’s success in math research by creating communities of undergraduates, graduates, post-graduates and faculty working in topology and related mathematical areas. The goal: To create environments that nurture mentorship and connections and ultimately open doors to more inclusivity and broader recruitment.
By explaining a photosynthetic peculiarity in switchgrass, Michigan State University researchers may have unlocked even more of the plant’s potential.
January 25, 2023
Michigan State University researchers have solved a puzzle that could help switchgrass realize its full potential as a low-cost, sustainable biofuel crop and curb our dependence on fossil fuels. Berkley Walker’s team in the Department of Plant Biology in MSU’s College of Natural Science has revealed why switchgrass stops performing photosynthesis in the middle of the summer — its growing season — limiting how much biofuel it yields. This knowledge, published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, is a key piece to overcoming this quirk and getting the most out of switchgrass.
Buidling on earlier research, MSU graduate students Emily Lanier (left) and Abigail Bryson (right) discovered how several genomes of the mint family have evolved and how these chemistries have emerged over the past 60 to 70 million years.
January 23, 2023
MSU synthetic biologist Björn Hamberger and graduate students Emily Lanier and Abigail Bryson have traced the evolution of mint genomes for potential future applications that range from medicines, pesticides and antimicrobials. Their research was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Michigan State University was awarded a $5 million grant from the MSU Research Foundation to advance its world-class program in the plant sciences and critical research in the mitigation of and adaptation to global climate change.
January 18, 2023
Michigan State University has received a $5 million grant from the MSU Research Foundation to advance its world-class program in the plant sciences and critical research in the mitigation of and adaptation to global climate change. The grant complements the university’s and the state of Michigan’s investment in the greenhouse complex and the proposed new plant and environmental sciences building.
Michigan State University and the National Audubon Society are collaborating to project future impacts to hundreds of bird species, including the American redstart, pictured here.
January 17, 2023
Michigan State University and the National Audubon Society are teaming up to help protect declining bird populations across North America. With $1.3 million from a collaborative National Science Foundation grant, the team—led by MSU integrative biologist Elise Zipkin—will develop statistical models fueled by four massive data sets to evaluate how climate change and land use are affecting hundreds of bird species.
The western United States and mountains, such as those found in Colorado, are home to a large area of refugia for terrestrial biodiversity.
January 12, 2023
When the U.S. government committed last January to conserving 30 percent of the United States’ natural land and water by the year 2030, the decision was embraced by the majority of Americans. Now, Michigan State University ecologists are part of a team that’s sharing data to help inform those choices throughout the United States and beyond. Their research identified North America’s climate change refugia, habitats that will be the most likely to support the persistence of the greatest amount of biodiversity in the face of a changing climate.
January 12, 2023
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A portion of the newly discovered Earth-sized planet TOI-700 e orbits within the habitable zone of its star in this illustration.
January 11, 2023
Working with data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, Michigan State University has helped discover an Earth-sized exoplanet — a planet outside of our solar system. This planet, named TOI-700 e, falls within its star’s habitable zone, meaning the newfound planet could be capable of supporting life as we know it. The research team announced the finding Jan. 10 at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle. 

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