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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.

As part of the IceCube Collaboration, Michigan State researchers are using neutrinos to probe the inner depths of an active galaxy. Credit: NASA/ESA/A. van der Hoeven
November 3, 2022
For just the second time in human history, researchers have identified a source of high-energy neutrinos — ghostly subatomic particles produced in some of the universe’s most extreme environments. The discovery was made by an international collaboration led by Michigan State University and Technical University of Munich researchers at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica. The team announced its findings on Nov. 3 in an online webinar and will publish its study Nov. 4 in the journal
Deepak Bhandari, a postdoc in the Brandizzi lab, uses microscopes to study Arabidopsis thaliana for his research under this grant.
October 31, 2022
Michigan State University plant biologist Federica Brandizzi and her team are collaborators with Stanford University's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on a  a three-year, $507,264 grant from Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science’s Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program to build new microscopes that allow scientists to look into plant cells like never before. The grant aims to create optical and X-ray multimodal-hybrid microscope systems for live imaging of plant stress responses and microbial interactions.
A Spartan-led collaboration, headed by MSU chemist Kenneth Merz, is modernizing software and computational methods for next-gen hardware to help accelerate drug discovery, materials development and more. The team is working to ensure a powerful software tool known as Amber is optimized for the high-performance computers of today and tomorrow.
October 27, 2022
A Spartan-led collaboration, headed by MSU chemist Kenneth Merz, is modernizing software and computational methods for next-gen hardware to help accelerate drug discovery, materials development and more. The team is working to ensure a powerful software tool known as Amber is optimized for the high-performance computers of today and tomorrow.
Computational sciences have seen rapid development in recent years, creating new horizons of discovery and employment. But changing undergraduate curriculums throughout academia is in a slower lane. The Partnership for Integrating Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP) Team has established a site and a process for the peer-review and dissemination of high-quality instructional materials to achieve the goal of lowering the barriers to integrating computation into physics curricula.
October 24, 2022
MSU physics education researcher Danny Caballero is being honored by the American Physical Society (APS) for building the village needed to provide physics students with crucial computing skills. Caballero is part of the Partnership for Integrating Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP) Team receiving the APS Excellence in Education Award. The team rallied hundreds of physics educators focused on helping students develop valuable computational skills and giving those educators the needed support and resources to make meaningful changes in curriculum.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are increasingly big news. Julie Butler's research involves combining infinite fermionic systems, coupled cluster (CC) theory, and machine learning to produce a more accurate model of infinite systems. The project will attempt to speed up calculations in many-body nuclear physics simulations by strategically applying machine learning to accelerate convergence.
October 21, 2022
MSU graduate student Julie Butler is the recipient of a highly competitive Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program grant. Butler is one of 44 outstanding graduate students from across the nation representing 36 states in the program selected to conduct research at 12 DOE national laboratories. Butler will conduct her research on applications of machine learning to coupled cluster studies of infinite fermionic matter at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. 
MSU Associate Professor Kevin Liu (left) and MSU Assistant Professor Elizabeth Heath-Heckman (right) stand in the Heath-Heckman Symbiosis Lab. Credit: Derrick L. Turner
October 20, 2022
Michigan State University and the University of California, Merced, are working to get a better handle on the huge problem of climate change with the help of some very small organisms. With $12.5 million from the National Science Foundation, MSU researchers Elizabeth Heath-Heckman and Kevin Liu are teaming up with UC Merced’s Michele Nishiguchi to launch an institute that focuses on a new angle in climate change.
The College of Natural Science (NatSci) at Michigan State University is home to 27 departments and programs in the biological, physical and mathematical sciences. NatSci provides a world-class educational experience to 6,000 undergraduate students and 1,200 graduate and postdoc students. There are 800+ faculty and academic staff associated with NatSci and more than 63,000 living alumni worldwide.
October 20, 2022
Two faculty members in the Michigan State University College of Natural Science (NatSci)—Danny Caballero and Huey-Wen Lin—have been selected as 2022 Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). This distinction recognizes researchers for significant and innovative contributions to physics. Each year, less than one-half of one percent of the APS membership earns fellowship status.
A group of neurons forming a brain circuit.
October 18, 2022
Major depressive disorder affects women twice as often as men, but researchers are still trying to identify the reasons why. Researchers at Michigan State University have recently received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue their investigation of how male and female brains respond to stress differently and how testosterone could be the key to increasing resilience.
Abstract ground texture image representing microbial ecology.
October 3, 2022
MSU microbial ecologist James Tiedje has been awarded the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society of Microbiology to honor his sustained contributions to the microbiological sciences. Tiedje’s major contributions include his foundational discovery of the microbial ecology of the nitrogen cycle; a paradigm-shifting discovery of microbes that dechlorinate pollutants; and his findings surrounding the use of genomics and metagenomics to understand microbial speciation, community structure and ecological functions.
Logo image for the American Chemical Society
September 29, 2022
Michigan State University chemist Marcos Dantus is the 2023 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding and creative contributions to fundamental discoveries or inventions in ultrafast science and technology in the areas of physics, chemistry, biology or related fields.

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