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.
May 27, 2021
MSU microbiologist Chris Waters is using a five-year, $2.62 million National Institutes of Health MIRA grant to explore questions on the diversity of a class of signaling molecules known as cyclic di-nucleotides, or cdN. Since cdNs are critical for bacteria to cause disease as well as immune regulation in humans, understanding how they function can lead to new strategies to manipulate these systems for therapeutic treatments.
May 26, 2021
MSU researchers, including geomicrobiologist Matthew Schrenk, joined an interdisciplinary and international team of scientists who have revealed how ‘forests’ of microbes living in geological hotspots play an underestimated role in Earth’s carbon cycle.
May 13, 2021
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring created a significant barrier to when shared facilities, such as microscope labs, became off-limits to all but essential employees, and instructors had to pivot to online courses. This online-only instruction prompted MSU geologist Tyrone Rooney and Ph.D. student Alex Steiner to begin talking about how to provide an accessible solution for creating and delivering microscopic educational materials to students. Their collective efforts resulted in the creation of an open‐source device known as the PiAutoStage system, providing an equivalent in-lab experience for students.
May 13, 2021
An international research team, including MSU's Tyler Cocker, to create a new type of ‘nanoscopy’ to characterize interesting materials like never before. A new microscopy technique lets researchers characterize materials with incredible precision while keeping its distance — at least from a nanoscopic perspective.
May 12, 2021
As climate change threatens global food security, researchers at MSU led by plant biologist Robin Buell are building better beans crucial to human nutrition by tapping into the genetics of the more heat-resistant tepary bean. Her research on bean genetics was published May 11 in Nature Communications.
May 3, 2021
Scientists have known about two of the most enormous and mysterious regions of the earth’s lower mantle, Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs), for decades, but no one knows what they are made of or where they came from. MSU experimental geologist Susannah Dorfman and a talented team of international researchers pieced together a way to make an iron-rich form of the mineral bridgmanite—a rusting rock—that may finally explain the existence of LLSVPs. Their results are published in Nature Communications.
April 29, 2021
MSU computational biologist Arjun Krishnan is the recipient of a 5-year, $704,889 NSF Early CAREER Award to develop machine learning approaches that will automatically annotate publicly available samples from human and major animal models on a massive scale. His efforts will allow researchers to seamlessly search and re-analyze immense reserves of untapped omics data for advances in biology and human health. The award will also support Krishnan’s efforts to help students interested in programming and data science gain access to the “hidden curriculum” of bioinformatics.
April 27, 2021
Two Michigan State University students – one an undergraduate, the other in her second year of medical school – analyzed a decade’s worth of stroke studies and found a glaring flaw: women patients were significantly underrepresented. That two students made such an important finding is impressive enough. Even more so is that their study was published in JAMA Neurology, a prestigious journal of the American Medical Association.
April 21, 2021
An international research team led by Michigan State University has helped created cosmic conditions at RIKEN's heavy-ion accelerator in Japan to better understand this extreme science. The team, which included MSU's d William Lynch and Betty Tsang recently shared its results in the journal Physical Review Letters.
April 19, 2021
An expansive project led by MSU plant biologist Lars Brudvig is examining the benefits, and limits, of environmental restoration on developed land after humans are done with it. Although humans can heal some of that damage by working to restore the land to its natural state, questions remain about how far restoration can go in overcoming a land’s past.. Brudvig and his collaborators now have some answers that they’ve published April 19 online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
September 15, 2023Accelerating nuclear science with machine learning