News

A new DNA editing toolkit for the alga Nannochloropsis

The alga Nannochloropsis is increasingly of interest for the production of biofuels and other oil-based chemicals.

Reflections from "Feed the Future" conference in Burkina Faso

Atsuko Kanazawa reflects on collaborative projects in West Africa that contribute to local food security, like identifying drought-resistant beans or supporting women-run experimental farms.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

[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. 

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.

From the lab to the world: solving big problems in agriculture and energy

Introducing MultispeQ, an affordable and sophisticated scientific instrument that measures plant health and photosynthetic parameters.

Power Plants: Kramer lab featured in MSU President's 2016 Report

The 90-second clip is part of a series showcasing MSU's abilities in anticipating global challenges. The Kramer lab focuses on understanding photosynthesis in real time and in dynamic environments.

Molecular velcro boosts microalgae's potential in biofuel industrial applications

Derek Fedeson from the Ducat lab has designed a system to attach cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, to yeast and other surfaces. 

Managing photosynthesis' traffic jams

The Ducat lab has coaxed a lab-grown cyanobacteria to efficiently make and export sugar, a technique which could someday lead to greater biofuel production at lower cost.

'Dialing in the lipidome'

In the ongoing quest for healthier lifestyles and environmental sustainability, one of the biggest solutions might also be one of the tiniest: lipids. Think biofuels, cancer research, or even producing fish oils in plants.

Kramer lab's CoralspeQ featured in Nature magazine

The technology is featured alongside various new tools that are transforming marine science, as researchers rush to understand how coral reefs are affected by overfishing, pollution, global warming and ocean acidification.

CoralspeQ Debut at International Coral Reef Symposium

Atsuko blogs on the debut of a PRL-built device that measures coral reef health. "If we continue the current practice of land-use, with no further pollution control, over-fishing & etc., coral reefs would disappear by 2070."

Improving grain legume production in Zambia

The Kramer lab is using its homegrown tech, PhotosynQ, towards improving bean production in this African country, where 60 percent of the population lives in poverty and more than 350,000 people suffer from food insecurity.

Federica Brandizzi featured in Lansing State Journal

Brandizzi is studying ways to increase soybean and alfalfa yields. She is one of 11 MSU professors who have received grants through the university’s Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization program.  

Fighting back the Yellow Dragon

The Walton lab and a team of international researchers are exploring a natural tool to combat citrus greening, one of the most economically devastating citrus diseases worldwide.

PhotosynQ helping Malawian farmers increase yields

A fascinating collaboration has developed between the Kramer lab and local partners to improve land management practices in one of the poorest nations on the planet.