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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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June 16, 2022
Songqiao “Shawn” Wei, an Endowed Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University, has been studying the earthquakes in response to Earth’s tectonic plate movement around the world. In this "Ask the Expert" column, he explains earthquakes, how they are detected and his current research related to them.
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June 15, 2022
The ability of a plant to grow and reproduce – including the crops we rely on – is directly associated with the motility of organelles within the plant. Understanding how these organelles move is key to developing crops that can survive and thrive in stressful environmental conditions. MSU plant biologist Jianping Hu, has received a 4-year, $900,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the motility of cellular energy organelles in the common mustard plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. The knowledge gained will provide fundamental insights into the principles associated with the motility of plant organelles and perspectives on how these molecular machineries evolved.
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June 13, 2022
Cheryl Sisk, MSU professor of behavioral neuroscience and psychology, is recipient of the 2022 Daniel S. Lehrman Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology for her outstanding career as a researcher and educator. Sisk, an MSU Distinguished Professor and associate dean for faculty development in the College of Natural Science, has been instrumental in moving her field, program, and college forward. As one of the leading researchers in the field of neural development, Sisk has dedicated her career to the study of brain and behavioral development during puberty and adolescence.
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June 6, 2022
MSU graduate student Hannah Christine Berg is the recipient of a highly competitive Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program grant. She is one of 80 outstanding graduate students representing 27 states in the program, each of whom was selected through peer review by external scientific experts. Berg, a Ph.D. student in nuclear astrophysics working at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB,  will conduct her research at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
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June 1, 2022
Researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Texas at Austin have made a shocking discovery. In a study published June1 in the journal Science Advances, the team explained how small genetic changes enable weakly electric fish to evolve their electric organs. The findings could have broader implications for human health and disease.
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May 31, 2022
MSU chemists are discovering new information to help remediate “forever chemicals” by showing for the first time how they interact with soil at the molecular level. The researchers, Narasimhan Loganathan and Angela K. Wilson in the MSU College of Natural Science, published their findings May 11 online in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
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May 31, 2022
An integrated approach to land management practices in the United States can reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere far more than earlier estimates based on separate approaches. MSU researchers including ecosystems ecologist Phil Robertson and colleagues from Colorado State University and the University of Aberdeen in the U.K. are now finding how combining practices might reduce carbon dioxide levels critical for keeping the global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius by year 2100. Their research was published May 31 in the journal Global Change Biology.
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May 30, 2022
Gregg Howe, an MSU College of Natural Science researcher internationally known for his work on plant resilience and how plants respond to insect attacks, will be heading to the University of Tsukuba in Japan as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for the 2022-2023 academic year. Howe and his collaborators will apply cutting-edge genetic technologies to the development of crop plants that will contribute to sustainable agriculture and food security.
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May 27, 2022
Postdoctoral researcher Jeff Doser and his team at Michigan State have developed a unique model to analyze declining biodiversity and understand the changes occurring within individual species and across broader wildlife communities. In a new paper, published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, the team shows how integrating data from multiple species and data sources can take analyses a step further than previous approaches.
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May 26, 2022
MSU researchers are unveiling and studying chemical clues that could lead to better diagnoses and treatments for a metastatic form of breast cancer. Sophia Lunt, associate professor in the MSU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and her team—whose research focuses on understanding the role of metabolism in metastasis—are now reporting results from their work on triple negative breast cancer and how it spreads to other parts of the body. Lunt’s latest research, funded in part by a new $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, was recently published in the journal Nature on May 18.

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