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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.

A computer simulation of plasma inside a device called a tokamak, one of the leading technologies in development for fusion energy.
November 18, 2022
MSU's Andrew Christlieb is leading a massive U.S. Department of Energy project to help deliver on the not-yet-realized promise of nuclear fusion. That promise? To create an unmatched source of affordable and sustainable energy. Christlieb is now the director of a Mathematical Multifaceted Integrated Capability Center, or MMICC, supported by $15 million in funding from the DOE. He is joined by researchers at eight other universities and national labs across the country to develop new mathematical and computational tools to better model the physics needed to understand, control and sustain fusion.
Sparty logo on a piece of plywood
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.
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March 8, 2022
Michigan State University’s Thomas D. Sharkey has a gift for exploring the intricate biochemical mechanisms of photosynthesis, the life-sustaining reactions that plants use to grow literally from thin air. The University Distinguished Professor also has a gift for explaining those complex processes with metaphors and much simpler, more familiar machinery.Both skills are on display when Sharkey talks about his team’s new paper, published on March 8 in the journal Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, describing what they call a pilot light for photosynthesis.
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December 3, 2021
Improving the photosynthetic power-plants in crops could mean using less fossil fuel derived energy supplements in crop cultivation and lead to a second Green Revolution according to a new life-cycle assessment from the lab of Michigan State University plant biologist Berkley Walker. The study was recently published in the journal Food and Energy Security.
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February 25, 2021
The National Science Foundation has awarded Michigan State University researcher Polly Hsu a $1.2 million grant to probe plant genetics at a new level to better understand how crops cope with drought. This work could help farmers and scientists better protect plants as water scarcity is projected to affect more and more people over the next century.

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