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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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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.
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April 14, 2022
College of Natural Science (NatSci) chemist Jetze Tepe was among the honorees at the 12th annual Michigan State University Innovation Celebration on April 12. Tepe, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, received the MSU Innovation Center’s 2022 Innovator of the Year award for his research on the synthesis of natural products and medicinal chemistry. His drug discovery work seeks to identify innovative therapeutics for neurogenerative diseases and cancer.
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April 13, 2022
Sometimes making a brand-new type of box requires outside-the-box thinking, which is exactly what Michigan State University chemists used to create an eight-atom, magnetic cube. That tiny box is at the heart of a new magnetic molecule that could power future technologies for data storage, quantum computing and more. MSU chemist Selvan Demir and her team recently published their work in the journal Chem, which featured the research on the cover of its March 10 issue.
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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. 
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April 8, 2022
Dead bacteria can still make their presence felt in the land of the living. New research led by Michigan State University integrative biologists is showing that this could have big implications for antibiotic resistance on farms. The results were recently published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
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April 6, 2022
MSU’s Ben Orlando is a structural biologist who studies some of nature’s smallest machines, sees how they are put together and figures out how they work. He’s currently focused on proteins that bacteria use to survive antibiotic treatments so that he can help decommission these biological machines and fight potentially deadly infections. Orlando’s team has now taken new, atomically detailed snapshots of a bacterial protein that helps many germs sense and evade antibiotics. The researchers recently published their work in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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March 29, 2022
Cholera is a diarrheal illness caused by the highly transmissible bacteria V. cholerae which still infects two to three million people a year and kills tens of thousands annually. In a paper recently published in ACS Publications, MSU chemist Xuefei Huang; Zahra Rashidijahanabad, a former Ph.D. student in the Huang Group; and their international team announced promising test results for a new, longer lasting cholera vaccine.
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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.
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March 17, 2022
Newly published Michigan State University research led by ecosystems scientist Bruno Basso shows that incorporating in-season water deficit information into remote sensing-based crop models drastically improves corn yield predictions. The study was recently published in Remote Sensing of Environment, a leading journal in the field.
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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.

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