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, 2022
Postdoctoral researcher Jeff Doser and his team at Michigan State have developed a unique model to analyze declining biodiversity and understand the changes occurring within individual species and across broader wildlife communities. In a new paper, published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, the team shows how integrating data from multiple species and data sources can take analyses a step further than previous approaches.
May 26, 2022
MSU researchers are unveiling and studying chemical clues that could lead to better diagnoses and treatments for a metastatic form of breast cancer. Sophia Lunt, associate professor in the MSU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and her team—whose research focuses on understanding the role of metabolism in metastasis—are now reporting results from their work on triple negative breast cancer and how it spreads to other parts of the body. Lunt’s latest research, funded in part by a new $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, was recently published in the journal Nature on May 18.
May 25, 2022
On the list of scientific tools that help us understand health, evolution or the environment, the Trinidadian guppy doesn't often come to mind. The fish are more often thought of as aquarium pets in the United States and, in their native Trinidad, wild guppies are so ubiquitous, they’re almost taken for granted. But thanks to a unique combination of biology and ecology, guppies have provided researchers with insights into evolution for decades. Integrative biologists Sarah Evans and Sarah Fitzpatrick are studying these fish to help probe big questions about how microbes living in host organisms contribute to health, survival and quality of life. The results of their research was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
May 23, 2022
Yuehua Cui, MSU professor in the Department of Statistics and Probability, has been selected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) for his contributions and leadership in the fields of statistical genetics and genomics Cui is one of 48 members designated as an ASA fellow this year. He was recognized “for outstanding contributions to methodology development and applications in statistical genetics and genomics; for exemplary mentoring of graduate students and junior researchers; and for significant service to the profession.”
May 20, 2022
The gut microbiome has made a huge splash in human health with numerous products popping up promising vast benefits to everything from a healthy digestive system to better mood regulation. But humans aren’t the only ones partnering up with viruses, bacteria and fungi. Researchers at Michigan State University are peering into the dazzling world of microbiomes in plants and animals, searching for keys to a healthier world.
May 19, 2022
Thursday, May 19, 2022, help us celebrate the 11th Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than one billion people with disabilities/impairments.This page highlights how NatSci has been tackling digital accessibility in both the academic and web space, through the sharing of interviews, highlights and yearly reports.
May 18, 2022
Michigan State researchers have helped peer inside a nova — a type of astrophysical nuclear explosion — without leaving Earth. These stellar events help forge the universe’s chemical elements, and Spartans helped explore their nature with an intense isotope beam and a custom experimental device with record-setting sensitivity at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, or NSCL. The team, led by MSU physics Professor Christopher Wrede, published its work May 3 in the journal Physical Review Letters.
May 17, 2022
Popular conservation campaigns featuring mammals with big eyes and fuzzy features implies that to be saved, an animal best be cute. Yet species less well known and not as visually pleasing have essential roles within our ecosystems and are sometimes left out of critical assessments of our world’s biodiversity. Several faculty members in MSU's Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior program, including integrative biologist Phoebe Zarnetske, indicate that a focus on species providing ecosystem services may be the way forward to increase inclusivity for these important and lesser-known creatures.
May 16, 2022
When a plant is exposed to stressful conditions – such as drought, heat, cold stress and pathogen attack – the functionality of a key cellular organelle known as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is impeded, which can stunt the plant’s ability to grow and even lead to the death of the plant. This condition is known as ER stress, and researchers from MSU plant biologist Federica Brandizzi’s lab in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory are looking to understand how plants respond and adapt to it. Their research, which discovered new mechanisms for plant stress mitigation, was recently published in Nature Plants.
May 16, 2022
MSU microbial ecologist Sarah Evans is one of 22 leading sustainability scientists named to the 2022 North American cohort of the Earth Leadership Program. The program enables scientists to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders and become agents of change within and beyond their universities. Evans is interested in how microbial communities respond to their environment, and how this response affects ecosystems.
December 6, 2022Guiding conservation with a local touch
December 6, 2022Ask the Expert: Why is Mauna Loa erupting now and for how long?
December 1, 2022MSU researcher expertise, energy and empathy leave a legacy