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.
November 14, 2022
There's a popular saying that people who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. It turns out that there's another reason not to ignore history according to new research from Michigan State University published in the journal Ecology. Experts and a unique research site at MSU are showing how the history of land being restored shapes the future and success of conservation efforts. With support from the National Science Foundation, this new study focuses on one of those factors — when a plot is restored — through the lens of biodiversity.
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
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.
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.
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.
April 27, 2022
Thanks to a lesser-known feature of microbiology, Michigan State University researchers have helped open a door that could lead to medicines, vitamins and more being made at lower costs and with improved efficiency. The international research team, led by Henning Kirst and Cheryl Kerfeld, have repurposed what are known as bacterial microcompartments and programmed them to produce valuable chemicals from inexpensive starting ingredients. The team recently published its work in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
April 18, 2022
María Santos Merino, postdoctoral researcher from the Ducat lab at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, is the first to be awarded the Clarence Suelter Endowed Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the MSU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB). This fellowship, new to BMB in 2022, recognizes outstanding accomplishments and aims to encourage career development. María plans to use the monetary award to visit the University of Turku in Finland to learn a new technique, Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry.
April 12, 2022
Climate change doesn’t just mean warmer weather. Cold spells can hit unusual lows, too, and the fluctuations between warm and chilly are becoming more extreme. MSU’s David Kramer is interested in resilience as it relates to photosynthesis because the process by which plants are powered by the sun is particularly sensitive to temperature swings. This knowledge could one day help certain crops grow in more places and help growers decide when to plant crops so they can harvest before the most severe stresses from heat and pests. The work of Kramer and his team was recently published online in the journal Plant, Cell & Environment.
March 25, 2022
Elias Aydi, a postdoc in Michigan State University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of a select group of 24 young scientists internationally who were awarded a prestigious 2022 NASA Hubble Fellowship. As a Hubble Fellow, Aydi plans to combine multi-wavelength observations from diverse NASA space-based facilities, several ground-based observatories, and 3D radiation-hydro simulations to decipher shocks in novae and work on solving several long-standing puzzles in high-energy astrophysics.
March 17, 2022
Spartan astronomer Elias Aydi is helping show what our solar system and others may look like when they enter their final acts. Aydi is the first author of the study, which was a collaboration with Shazrene Mohamed, a University of Miami astrophysicist with the South African Astronomical Observatory. The duo found that interactions between a red giant star and a nearby substellar object will create distinct structured patterns, such as spirals and arcs, in the environment around the star. The work was recently accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
March 15, 2023How biofuel crops harness fungal defenders
March 13, 2023MSU study reveals inequity in journal peer review