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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.

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May 25, 2022
On the list of scientific tools that help us understand health, evolution or the environment, the Trinidadian guppy doesn't often come to mind. The fish are more often thought of as aquarium pets in the United States and, in their native Trinidad, wild guppies are so ubiquitous, they’re almost taken for granted. But thanks to a unique combination of biology and ecology, guppies have provided researchers with insights into evolution for decades. Integrative biologists Sarah Evans and Sarah Fitzpatrick are studying these fish to help probe big questions about how microbes living in host organisms contribute to health, survival and quality of life. The results of their research was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
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May 23, 2022
Yuehua Cui, MSU professor in the Department of Statistics and Probability, has been selected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) for his contributions and leadership in the fields of statistical genetics and genomics Cui is one of 48 members designated as an ASA fellow this year. He was recognized “for outstanding contributions to methodology development and applications in statistical genetics and genomics; for exemplary mentoring of graduate students and junior researchers; and for significant service to the profession.”
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May 20, 2022
The gut microbiome has made a huge splash in human health with numerous products popping up promising vast benefits to everything from a healthy digestive system to better mood regulation. But humans aren’t the only ones partnering up with viruses, bacteria and fungi. Researchers at Michigan State University are peering into the dazzling world of microbiomes in plants and animals, searching for keys to a healthier world.
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May 19, 2022
Thursday, May 19, 2022, help us celebrate the 11th Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than one billion people with disabilities/impairments.This page highlights how NatSci has been tackling digital accessibility in both the academic and web space, through the sharing of interviews, highlights and yearly reports.
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May 18, 2022
Michigan State researchers have helped peer inside a nova — a type of astrophysical nuclear explosion — without leaving Earth. These stellar events help forge the universe’s chemical elements, and Spartans helped explore their nature with an intense isotope beam and a custom experimental device with record-setting sensitivity at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, or NSCL. The team, led by MSU physics Professor Christopher Wrede, published its work May 3 in the journal Physical Review Letters.
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May 17, 2022
Popular conservation campaigns featuring mammals with big eyes and fuzzy features implies that to be saved, an animal best be cute. Yet species less well known and not as visually pleasing have essential roles within our ecosystems and are sometimes left out of critical assessments of our world’s biodiversity. Several faculty members in MSU's Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior program, including integrative biologist Phoebe Zarnetske, indicate that a focus on species providing ecosystem services may be the way forward to increase inclusivity for these important and lesser-known creatures.
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May 16, 2022
When a plant is exposed to stressful conditions – such as drought, heat, cold stress and pathogen attack – the functionality of a key cellular organelle known as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is impeded, which can stunt the plant’s ability to grow and even lead to the death of the plant. This condition is known as ER stress, and researchers from MSU plant biologist Federica Brandizzi’s lab in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory are looking to understand how plants respond and adapt to it. Their research, which discovered new mechanisms for plant stress mitigation, was recently published in Nature Plants.  
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May 16, 2022
MSU microbial ecologist Sarah Evans is one of 22 leading sustainability scientists named to the 2022 North American cohort of the Earth Leadership Program. The program enables scientists to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders and become agents of change within and beyond their universities. Evans is interested in how microbial communities respond to their environment, and how this response affects ecosystems.
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May 10, 2022
Five MSU College of Natural Science faculty members are among nine MSU scientists receiving 2022 awards from the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). Erich Grotewold and Jiming Jiang were named ASPB Fellows; Emily Josephs received the Early Career Award; Beronda Montgomery received the Adolph E. Gude, Jr. Award; and Berkley Walker is the recipient of the Robert Rabson Award. This year’s recipients will be presented with their awards at the Plant Biology 2022 Worldwide Conference in July in Portland, Ore.
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May 9, 2022
Shane Crandall always welcomes new challenges. It’s exploring the unknown that motivates the assistant professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Physiology and Neuroscience Program to make new discoveries about the brain. Just last month, the National Institutes of Health awarded Crandall a five-year, $1.9 million grant to study how neocortical feedback projections influence sensory processing in the brain.

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