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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

$10M DOE Grant to Help Boost Camelina OIlseed Yield

Thursday, September 14, 2017
MSU's Danny Schnell works on the seed-oil based Camelina plant, and is seen here with research associates Emily Pawlowski (left) and Bibin Paulose.

Both civil airlines and the military have successfully used camelina oil blends to fly airplanes. Camelina is not a significant food crop. So why doesn’t the oilseed plant…

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Fighting the Protective Barriers of Bacteria

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Meng-Lun Hsieh

One of the challenges in treating infectious bacteria is finding agents that can penetrate the protective barriers, also known as biofilms, that the organisms develop. Biofilms are layers…

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Zinc Transporter Key to Fighting Pancreatic Cancer and More

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Jian Hu

Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease harbor significantly higher levels of zinc and iron in their brains than healthy patients. Those with pancreatic cancer have an unusually…

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MSU Scientists Tracking Evolution of Specialized Plant Molecule

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Robert Last

Michigan State University’s Robert Last studies tomatoes. Specifically, he researches their hair, or trichomes. His most recent study focused on a single type of molecule in trichomes –…

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Protecting Plants from the Power of Sunlight

Friday, July 21, 2017
These plants are related, but those that can't manage environmental stress might not survive. Source: Donghee Hoh, Kramer lab

Research is showing that the speed at which plants adjust to changes in their surroundings is vital to their health. But a major problem for scientists has been…

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Research Offers New Clues to Rare Genetic Disease

Monday, July 3, 2017
Jeff MacKeigan

Tuberous sclerosis complex, or TSC, is considered a rare genetic disease, yet for the estimated 50,000 patients in the United States and almost 2 million individuals worldwide, dealing…

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New Snapshot of How Bacteria are Organized

Thursday, June 22, 2017

For the first time, scientists have visualized the fine details of bacterial microcompartment shells – the organisms’ submicroscopic nanoreactors, which are comprised completely of protein. The results, led…

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MSU’s Last is President-Elect of National Plant Biologists Group

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Robert Last

Robert Last, an MSU Barnett Rosenberg Professor, has been elected president-elect of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). Last, a professor in the MSU Departments of Biochemistry…

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MSU’s ‘Fascination of Plants Day’ Tied to International Initiative

Thursday, June 1, 2017
fascination of plants 2017

Thirty Michigan State University volunteers – grad students, post-docs and faculty – from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Plant Biology, Horticulture,…

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MSU Launches Online Mitochondrial Disease Database

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
MSU biochemist Laurie Kaguni and her team have created a new tool – the POLG Pathogenicity Prediction Server – to help clinicians and scientists better diagnose POLG disorders and more accurately predict their outcomes. Photo by Cristina Nadalutti and Jack Griffith

In recent years, one area of medical research receiving increased attention is mitochondrial disease – a group of disorders caused by dysfunctional mitochondria. DNA polymerase gamma is the…

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