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Water-Dwelling Bacteria Tracks Light to Control Its Energy, Food

Thursday, February 22, 2018
Banner image of Cyanobacterial bloom near fiji by NASA, Public Domain; Refraction_triangular prism by Siyavula Education, CC BY 2.0.

The Montgomery lab in the Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory has found a link between how water-dwelling bacteria, called cyanobacteria, monitor light quality in their…

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MSU Scientists Helping African Farmers Grow New Sources of Protein

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Atsuko Kanazawa

Atsuko Kanazawa, assistant professor in the lab of University Distinguished Professor David Kramer, focuses on understanding the basics of photosynthesis, the process by which which plants capture solar…

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MSU Students Win Silver Medal at Synthetic Biology Competition

Thursday, December 21, 2017
The Shewlock Holmes team, from left to right: Ciara Fromwiller, Serenity Tyll, Cody Madsen, Michaela TerAvest, Danny Ducat, Noelia Bravo, Brian Amburn, Donna Liebelt (advisor). Not included: Bjoern Hamberger, Tim Whitehead. By Shewlock Homes.

MSU’s second-ever iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) student team won a Silver Medal at the 2017 competition in Boston. The team was made up of seven students from Chemical Engineering,…

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How Plants ‘Muscle Up’ to Prep for Cold

Thursday, December 21, 2017
Beal Graden in winter

Plants, like humans, do not like very hot or cold weather. Temperature extremes are a major factor that determines where plants grow and that can limit agricultural production….

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MSU Researchers Studying Plants’ Genetic Response to Space

Thursday, December 21, 2017
Mars

The public buzz is building as technological advances get us closer to sending a human to Mars – and sometime in the future, to colonizing it. But how…

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High Temperatures Weaken Plants’ Defenses Against Bacteria

Monday, November 27, 2017

An issue of global concern is the anticipated shortage of agricultural output to meet the steady rise in human population. Michigan State University scientists understand that overcoming crop…

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Bacteria Community Creates Biodegradable Plastic with Sunlight

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

For all their convenience, plastics are massive environmental headaches. “The main problem is that most synthetic plastic is not completely biodegradable. It cannot be broken down by living…

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Light-Sensitive Proteins Offer Potential ‘Custom’ Health Solutions

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Each cyanobacterium is 25 times smaller than a human hair. We are studying the fundamentals of energy capture and conversion in this organism in order to apply that knowledge for synthetic biology purposes Original by Eric Young.

We are inching closer to the day where we can use light to help cure diseases. The key is harnessing the power of  proteins that are sensitive to light. The Kerfeld…

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Identifying a New Family of Light-Responsive Proteins

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
cyanobacteria

When Han Bao started looking for a new  cyanobacteria species to study, she had no idea that the perfect candidate was just upstairs. Han is part of the Kerfeld lab’s project around…

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MSU Researchers Study Plants’ Growth/Defense Switch

Monday, July 10, 2017
plant defenses

A year ago, the lab of Gregg Howe, a Michigan State University Foundation Professor and AgBioResearch scientist, developed a plant that upended a common misconception that plants can…

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