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.
PRL won two prizes at the 12th Workshop on Cyanobacteria, geared towards students and post docs. We interviewed our winners to find out what got them in science, and why their research is cool.
Undergrads make strong showing at Mid-SURE Symposium
The Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences – or Mid-SURE for short – provides undergraduate researchers, visiting students participating in MSU summer research programs (such as the REU), and other students from select institutions with, “an opportunity for students involved in research and creative activities at Michigan State and select institutions to share their work with their peers, faculty, and external audiences.”
Mid-SURE 2016 took place on July 27 on the 4th floor of Spartan Stadium.
Following is a highlight of some of the participants and their research:
- Samuel Vaitkevicius, from the Brandizzi lab looked at a protein that is vital for an essential defensive mechanism used by plants and animals alike in the face of environmental stressors.
- Thien Crisanto ( visiting from Humboldt State University) and Daniel O'Hagan from the Ducat lab examined how to build and improve synthetic microbial communities that are driven by sunlight by using an organism that has lived for billions of years: cyanobacteria.
- Nicole Haddad (visiting from Purdue University) worked with the Howe lab on research demonstrating the importance of certain chemical compounds towards defending plants against herbivores.
- Ciara Fromwiller and Sean McGuire, from the Kerfeld lab, explored strategies to reengineer a protein structure, found in many bacteria, so it becomes a miniature factory that could create green energy or sustainably produce materials for use in biotechnology fields.
- Olivia Stephens (visiting from Spelman College), from the Montgomery lab, examined plant light receptors and how different parts of the light spectrum affect plant growth and development.
The protein, peroxiredoxin Q, is known to maintain a healthy balance of chemicals and energy levels in chloroplasts. The new research shows the protein also impacts the system that produces chloroplast membranes.
The CAMTA system - which is known to protect plants from cold weather - plays a newly discovered role: when bacteria invade a leaf, CAMTA warns neighboring, unaffected leaves to prepare for invasion.
When algae get stressed, they hibernate and store energy in forms that we can use to make biofuels. Understanding how stress impacts algal hibernation could help scientists lower the cost of biofuels production.