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Better together: a bacteria community creates biodegradable plastic with sunlight Better together: a bacteria community creates biodegradable plastic with sunlight

The cooperative works like an assembly line and is relatively cheap to run. Future products could include medicine, even food for Martian outposts.

October 23, 2017 Tags: Ducat lab, green solutions
Grad student Isaac Osei-Bonsu wins conference award Grad student Isaac Osei-Bonsu wins conference award

The Department of Plant Biology student won for his poster presentation on research to improve photosynthetic performance in heat-sensitive cowpea crops.

October 12, 2017 Tags: Kramer lab, awards, future scientists
Taking the brakes off plant production: not so good after all Taking the brakes off plant production: not so good after all

When engineers want to speed up a system, they look for the slowest steps and make them faster. In plants, this approach potentially does more harm than good, says the Kramer lab.

October 10, 2017 Tags: Kanazawa, Kramer lab, fundamental research
Identifying a new family of light-responsive proteins Identifying a new family of light-responsive proteins

The new family of proteins protects cyanobacteria from sunlight damage, and they are interesting for use in synthetic medical or renewable energy applications.

October 2, 2017 Tags: Kerfeld lab, Montgomery lab, fundamental research
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
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
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

Top Stories

PsoR: How cyanobacteria change their colors PsoR: How cyanobacteria change their colors

Similar to how chameleons can change colors to blend into their surroundings, cyanobacteria can tune their coloring to better absorb light in different environments.

Plant Morphogenesis: How genes and their products interact and control a plant's response to light Plant Morphogenesis: How genes and their products interact and control a plant's response to light

Plant gene regulation dictates how plants grow under differing environmental conditions, and researchers from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory are looking at how different genes control light-dependent processes in Arabidopsis thaliana.

MSU's Jianping Hu receives NSF grant to shed light on plant growth, reproduction MSU's Jianping Hu receives NSF grant to shed light on plant growth, reproduction

Jianping Hu, professor at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) and the Department of Plant Biology, received a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the motility of cellular energy organelles, peroxisomes and mitochondria in particular, along the cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis thaliana.