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.
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.
October 27, 2022
A Spartan-led collaboration, headed by MSU chemist Kenneth Merz, is modernizing software and computational methods for next-gen hardware to help accelerate drug discovery, materials development and more. The team is working to ensure a powerful software tool known as Amber is optimized for the high-performance computers of today and tomorrow.
October 20, 2022
Michigan State University and the University of California, Merced, are working to get a better handle on the huge problem of climate change with the help of some very small organisms. With $12.5 million from the National Science Foundation, MSU researchers Elizabeth Heath-Heckman and Kevin Liu are teaming up with UC Merced’s Michele Nishiguchi to launch an institute that focuses on a new angle in climate change.
October 18, 2022
Major depressive disorder affects women twice as often as men, but researchers are still trying to identify the reasons why. Researchers at Michigan State University have recently received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue their investigation of how male and female brains respond to stress differently and how testosterone could be the key to increasing resilience.
September 28, 2022
MSU and Purdue University researchers are teaming up to create a new building material. It’ll be stronger than steel and have the power to heal itself while pulling greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. The U.S. DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, has awarded the research team, which includes MSU College of Natural Science microbiologist Gemma Reguera, nearly $1 million to develop “living” wood, a first-of-its-kind concept using the natural activity of microbes implanted in wood.
September 21, 2022
As climate change causes more frequent drought conditions, MSU researchers are learning more about the biology of plants, fungi and microscopic animals that survive on very little water in a drought or desiccation state. This research is part of a $12.5 million multi-institution and cross-disciplinary National Science Foundation grant as part of the NSF Biology Integration Institutes.
September 19, 2022
Nitrogen, like it’s neighbors carbon and oxygen in the periodic table, is an element we can’t live without. Although science has developed much of the nitrogen cycle’s big picture, MSU chemist Timothy Warren and his team are drilling down into its fundamental chemical details to create a more intimate understanding of the nitrogen cycle that could lead to holistic solutions for ensuring a healthy balance of nitrogen, wherever it’s needed. The team recently released two peer-reviewed reports on that front in the journals Nature Chemistry and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
August 31, 2022
MSU researchers and colleagues at the University of California Berkeley, the University of South Bohemia and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have helped reveal the most detailed picture to date of important biological “antennae.” The findings, published Aug. 31 in the journal Nature, shed new light on microbial photosynthesis, and could also help researchers remediate harmful bacteria in the environment, develop artificial photosynthetic systems for renewable energy and enlist microbes in sustainable manufacturing that starts with the raw materials of carbon dioxide and sunlight.
August 29, 2022
Michigan State University researchers, led by earth and environmental scientist Jeffrey Freymueller and his team, could help predict seasonal changes in the Great Lakes Basin by developing a new groundwater model to monitor surface and groundwater flow with a $960K grant from the National Science Foundation.
August 25, 2022
MSU ecologists in Elise Zipkin's Qualitative Ecology lab in the College of Natural Science have developed a mathematical framework that could help monitor and preserve biodiversity without breaking the bank. This framework or model takes low-cost data about relatively abundant species in a community and uses it to generate valuable insights on their harder-to-find neighbors. The journal Conservation Biology published the research as an Early View article on Aug. 25
September 15, 2023Accelerating nuclear science with machine learning