News

Ten Michigan State University professors have been named University Distinguished Professors in recognition of their achievements in the classroom, laboratory and community.

The Board of Trustees voted on and approved the recommendations on June 21. The designations were effective immediately.

Sometimes, when a science experiment doesn’t work out, unexpected opportunities open up. That’s what Yang Yang and the Benning lab have found in their latest work on sustainable biofuels.

| Leslie Shown

In the world of biofuels research, the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae gets a lot of love, with scientists commonly tweaking the yeast’s fermentative qualities to enhance ethanol production. Researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), however, are expanding that focus to a broad range of wild yeasts in the genus Saccharomyces.

| Layne Cameron

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University scientists have pinpointed a new source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that’s more potent than carbon dioxide. The culprit?

Tiny bits of decomposing leaves in soil.

| Chris Barncard

Winter is no time to flower, which is why so many plants have evolved the ability to wait for the snow to melt before investing precious resources in blooms.

| Chris Barncard

When Max Haase set out for a walk in Green Bay’s Baird Creek Nature Preserve on a May day in 2015, it was pretty normal stuff. Baird Creek was practically in his backyard, and it was a good day for a hike — sunny and unseasonably warm for so early in the UW–Madison biology major’s summer break.

| Krista Eastman

If you want to create sustainable biofuels from less and for less, you’ve got a range of options. And one of those options is to go microbial, enlisting the help of tiny but powerful bacteria in creating a range of renewable biofuels and chemicals.

Technologies for converting non-edible biomass into chemicals and fuels traditionally made from petroleum exist aplenty. But when it comes to attracting commercial interest, these technologies compete financially with a petroleum-based production pipeline that has been perfected over the course of decades.

How healthy a plant matures depends on how well it grows during its early life stages, which is not a surprise to anyone who has raised children.

In the face of mounting pressure, like inconsistent temperature patterns or the burden to produce more for us due to the lack of new arable land, plant health might be taking a beating.

| Leslie Shown

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), one of three bioenergy research centers established in 2007 by the Biological and Environmental Research program in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, recently published its 1,000th scientific paper.