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News

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.

cow eating in the woods
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
Artemis I on launch pad
August 23, 2022
The Brandizzi lab at MSU is sending seeds to space aboard NASA’s Artemis I mission to explore how humanity can sustain itself outside of Earth. In previous experiments, scientists have learned that plants grown in space make lower levels of amino acids that keep their seedlings strong on Earth. The same amino acids would also be nutritious for people who eat the plants. Brandizzi’s lab has selected seeds that are enriched with those amino acids and is sending those into space along with regular seeds, allowing them to see if fortifying the seeds on Earth could create a more sustainable path to growing healthier plants — and food — in space.
A.J. Robison
August 22, 2022
A.J. Robison, associate professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Physiology, has been appointed director of Neuroscience Program at MSU, effective Aug. 16. He replaces Jim Galligan, who is stepped down from the position after 11 years.
Hero image
August 3, 2022
MSU biochemist Robert Quinn’s recent discovery related to bile acids produced by gut microbes represents a paradigm shift of 170 years of research in the field. Quinn, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the College of Natural Science, received a one-year, $100,000 grant from the Global Grants for Gut Health to dig deeper into this discovery and how it changes scientists’ understanding of the human gut microbiome.
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July 29, 2022
Plant gene regulation dictates how plants grow under differing environmental conditions, and Michigan State University researchers from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) are looking at how different genes control light-dependent processes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Their research was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science.
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July 28, 2022
Michigan State University researchers have found that the Zika virus can halt an embryo’s development in the earliest stages of pregnancy, signaling that the risks posed by the virus are greater than previously appreciated. The team from MSU also hopes its work, which was performed with mouse models, will inspire more studies examining how other diseases, such as cytomegalovirus — the leading infectious cause of birth defects — affect early pregnancy. Their findings were recently published in the journal Development.

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