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.
January 18, 2022
As irrigation practices expand worldwide, many bird species face an uncertain future. In a new paper published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, formerMSU visiting student Xabier Cabodevilla and his team found that 55 percent of common bird species in northern Spain decreased in their occurrence rates as a result of irrigation. Using ecological modeling, the team estimated the responses of multiple species to environmental factors. The hope is that their findings will influence the European Union’s common agricultural policy toward conservation.
January 13, 2022
MSU plant scientists have developed a new gene discovery method that is helping them to understand how plants recover from stressful situations in their environments. The approach, which covers big data sets spanning thousands of genes and hundreds of interactions between DNA and proteins, has long-term implications for agricultural productivity and the breeding of more resilient crops. The study was recently published in the journal Communications Biology.
January 5, 2022
Michigan State University has joined Purdue University and the University of Michigan to form a Midwest-based alliance that will push the frontiers of quantum science and engineering research, education and training. The Midwest Quantum Collaboratory, or MQC, will foster new cutting-edge projects across the universities, creating new opportunities for leading researchers in quantum computing and information science.
December 22, 2021
A new study from the Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory shows how some algae can protect themselves when the oxygen they produce impairs their photosynthetic activity. The discovery also answers a long-standing question about how algae survive when CO2 levels are low. The results of this research from the David Kramer lab was recently published in eLife.
December 17, 2021
Using innovative methodologies that combine biology and statistics, researchers from the David Kramer lab in the Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory observe the ways plants respond to their natural environments. The team used innovative open science platform and instruments developed at MSU called PhotosynQ and MultispeQ to reveal how photosynthesis in one species (mint) responds to complex environmental changes. The study is published in Royal Society Open Science.
December 15, 2021
Addy Pletcher, an MSU senior majoring in environmental geosciences in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences within the College of Natural Science, received a grand prize in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Freilich Visualization Competition for her innovative project to improve decision making for lake management related to harmful algal blooms.
December 7, 2021
Scientists discover potential mechanism of ultra-rare blood clots linked to adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines
An international team of scientists, including MSU researchers, believe they may have found a molecular mechanism behind the extremely rare blood clots linked to adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines. Their findings, which were recently published in the international journal Science Advances, suggest it is the viral vector and the way it binds to platelet factor 4 (PF4) once injected that could be the potential mechanism that triggers blood clots in a very small number of people after the vaccine is administered.
December 7, 2021
MSU integrative biologists have added an important piece to nature’s ecological and evolutionary puzzle with an assist from Trinidadian guppies. Assistant Professor Sarah Fitzpatrick and graduate student Isabela Lima Borges helmed an extensive study of Trinidadian guppies to gather elusive data on relatively short swims. This information can help explain the larger mystery of why some individuals leave the safety of home to pursue life elsewhere. Their findings were recently published in the journal Ecology Letters.
December 3, 2021
Photon to plate: How increasing the photosynthetic efficiency of potatoes could lead to a greener future
Improving the photosynthetic power-plants in crops could mean using less fossil fuel derived energy supplements in crop cultivation and lead to a second Green Revolution according to a new life-cycle assessment from the lab of Michigan State University plant biologist Berkley Walker. The study was recently published in the journal Food and Energy Security.
November 29, 2021
Over the past century, physicists have pieced together the basic building blocks of the universe like a giant jigsaw puzzle, one experiment at a time, inventing highly advanced instruments such as MSU’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and Facility for Rare Isotope Beams to test their theories. Research conducted by MSU high-energy particle theorist Huey-Wen Lin has just provided a major piece of the puzzle. For the first time, Lin used advanced calculations in lattice quantum chromodynamics to directly measure the momentum of quarks inside the center of an atom and to generate 3-D images of the proton’s structure. Her results were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
September 15, 2023Accelerating nuclear science with machine learning