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Turning the evolutionary clock back on a light-sensitive protein Turning the evolutionary clock back on a light-sensitive protein

Scientists show how the two OCP parts interact and also create new synthetic versions of that protein. The goal is to use it in synthetic healthcare systems, powered by light.

September 19, 2017 Tags: Lechno-Yossef, Kerfeld lab, fundamental research
Perspectives on building nanofactories for energy and medical uses Perspectives on building nanofactories for energy and medical uses

Scientists are learning how bacterial nanofactories are constructed in nature. Recent experiments show we could engineer their building blocks into new structures, for useful applications.

September 12, 2017 Tags: Ducat lab, green solutions
PhotosynQ at Feed the Future Conference in Burkina Faso [LINK] PhotosynQ at Feed the Future Conference in Burkina Faso [LINK]

“Feed the Future," funded by USAID, engages universities, institutions, and private organizations in the US, Africa, and Central/South America to improve legume management on local farms. 

September 11, 2017 Tags: green solutions, Kanazawa, Kramer lab, PhotosynQ
Han Bao wins Gordon Research Conference award Han Bao wins Gordon Research Conference award

Her poster showcased a newly discovered family of light-sensitive proteins of interest for renewable energy and medical applications.

September 7, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, future scientists, awards
Xiufang Xin starts PI position at the Chinese Academy of Sciences [LINK] Xiufang Xin starts PI position at the Chinese Academy of Sciences [LINK]

The former He lab post-doc joins the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology. She studies plant-microbe interactions and how plants control a healthy microbiome.

August 31, 2017 Tags: He lab, alumni, future scientists
Introducing PhotosynQ to Scientists in West Africa [LINK] Introducing PhotosynQ to Scientists in West Africa [LINK]

A blog post by Dan TerAvest on a workshop with researchers from across West Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with support from the McKnight Foundation.

August 30, 2017 Tags: Kramer lab, green solutions, PhotosynQ
Taylor Weiss to join Arizona State University in August Taylor Weiss to join Arizona State University in August

Taylor will be Assistant Professor in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, researching the design of artificial and synthetic algae-bacteria consortia for scaled production of bioproducts.

July 27, 2017 Tags: Ducat lab, future scientists, alumni
Anso Bohrer: reflecting on Fascination of Plants day [LINK] Anso Bohrer: reflecting on Fascination of Plants day [LINK]

The postdoctoral research associate at Michigan State University reflects on coordinating MSU's first Fascination of Plants Day.

July 19, 2017 Tags: outreach, future scientists
Protecting plants from the power of sunlight Protecting plants from the power of sunlight

Plants, like us, don’t like too much sunlight. The Kramer lab has figured a way to better measure how plants respond to excessive exposure, and the information might help us create more resilient plants.

July 13, 2017 Tags: Kramer lab, fundamental research
A new chloroplast 'app' for making biofuels A new chloroplast 'app' for making biofuels

In addition to doing photosynthesis, the chloroplast is the source of up to 10% of seed oil production in plants. Scientists are experimenting with harvesting that oil to make biofuels.

July 11, 2017 Tags: Benning lab, green solutions
Gregg Howe earns University Distinguished Professor title Gregg Howe earns University Distinguished Professor title

Howe is among ten MSU faculty named University Distinguished Professors in recognition of their achievements in the classroom, laboratory, and community.

July 7, 2017 Tags: Howe lab, awards
The ref and the fighter: two sides of plant defense The ref and the fighter: two sides of plant defense

The Howe lab delves into how defense genes do more than just fight. They also tangle with growth functions.

July 5, 2017 Tags: Howe lab, fundamental research
Thomas Sharkey joins the PRL Thomas Sharkey joins the PRL

The MSU Distinguished Professor studies the biochemistry and biophysics that determine the exchange of gases between the biosphere and the atmosphere.

July 3, 2017 Tags: Sharkey lab, future scientists
[VIDEO] Our first ever look at bacterial organelle shells [VIDEO] Our first ever look at bacterial organelle shells

In a new Science publication, The Kerfeld lab show us the details of bacterial organelle shells for the first time ever, making it easier to target them for medical or renewable energy applications. 

June 23, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, green solutions
Squeezing oil out of plants and into your gas tank: it's hard. Squeezing oil out of plants and into your gas tank: it's hard.

When the Benning lab tried a technique for producing plant biofuels, an unexpected result led to an increase in our basic knowledge of plant biology.

June 20, 2017 Tags: Benning lab, green solutions
How to build an artificial nano-factory to power our futures How to build an artificial nano-factory to power our futures

The Kerfeld lab has analyzed over 200 sets of cyanobacteria DNA. This knowledge is getting us closer to understanding how to build synthetic factories that will someday produce green fuels or products used to diagnose diseases.

June 14, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, fundamental research
Bowling scores only a mom could love, records shattered at PRL bowling tourney Bowling scores only a mom could love, records shattered at PRL bowling tourney

Eric Young wins big time, scoring an impressive 267 to take home the Gutter Ball XXIII trophy.

May 31, 2017 Tags: outreach
MSU hosts first ever Fascination of Plants Day MSU hosts first ever Fascination of Plants Day

MSU plant biologists invited the general public to explore the world of plants and algae in a celebration that took place alongside hundreds of others in over 50 countries.

May 30, 2017 Tags: outreach
2017 Anton Lang Memorial Award Winners Announced 2017 Anton Lang Memorial Award Winners Announced

Clement Aussignargues and Joshua MacCready have won the 2017 Anton Lang Memorial Award.

May 26, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, Ducat lab, awards, future scientists
Getting first prize at the UURAF: Our 3 winners tell us how Getting first prize at the UURAF: Our 3 winners tell us how

We interview Hope, Michael, and Cassie to find out what drew them to science, what makes them tick, and why they think they did well at the UURAF.

May 24, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, Benning lab, Howe lab, future scientists

Top Stories

Recently discovered protein enhances understanding of photosynthesis Recently discovered protein enhances understanding of photosynthesis

MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) scientists have published a new study that furthers our understanding of how plants make membranes in chloroplasts, the photosynthesis powerhouse

Using Artificial Intelligence to delve into plant cell secrets Using Artificial Intelligence to delve into plant cell secrets

A new AI system, called DeepLearnMOR, can identify organelles and classify hundreds of microscopy images in a matter of seconds and with an accuracy rate of over 97%. The study illustrates the potential of AI to significantly increase the scope, speed, and accuracy of screening tools in plant biology.

Study links energy metabolism to reduced fertility in overheated bean crops Study links energy metabolism to reduced fertility in overheated bean crops

The study reports that the activity levels of the carbon metabolism protein, G6PDH, are related to decreased production of pollen in bean flowers. As global temperatures rise, some bean crops, including Michigan-grown varieties, might be more sensitive to higher heat levels.