Climate change and land use are affecting the cold-water ecosystems of lakes in the Midwest. In a recent paper appearing in the journal Ecosphere, MSI PI Gretchen Hansen (assistant professor, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology) and colleagues used statistical models to determine the resilience of lakes to these effects, and determined the temperature and watershed conditions above which critical habitat was lost.
MSI PI Ningling Kang (associate professor, Hormel Institute) has received a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. The grant will be used to study how colorectal cancer cells metastasize to the liver. When this type of cancer spreads to the liver, the five-year survival rate drops dramatically.
A recent study by MSI PI Emil Lou (professor, Medicine; Masonic Cancer Center) and colleagues has shown that the protein GLS1 seems to be associated with better outcomes in patients with ovarian cancer. Previously, GLS1 had been considered as a drug target for cancer treatments. This study indicates that GLS1 may have a protective effect.
MSI PI Nidhi Kohli (professor, Educational Psychology) and colleagues Panayiota Kendeou and Kristen McMaster have been awarded a five-year, $3.9 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences. The grant will allow the researchers to scale up their Early Language Comprehensive Individualized Instruction (ELCII) technology. This technology provides supplemental early instruction in language comprehension skills.
On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. During this month's scheduled maintenance period, primary storage, Mesabi, and Mangi will be unavailable some portion of the day. A global system reservation will start at 5:00 a.m. on September 7. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00 a.m. on September 7 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. September maintenance will include:
Come see MSI at the Minnesota State Fair! We’ll be there with our partners at the Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM) and the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center (BMDC) on Wednesday, August 31. You can see videos of cool research being done using MSI. Come say hi! MSI will be there 12 – 3 p.m. 
MSI PI Gunda Georg (Regents Professor; Director, Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development) has been interviewed by several media outlets about a new contraceptive pill for men that may soon enter clinical trials. The pill, which works by blocking sperm production, is 99% effective in mice and is completely reversable. Stories about this research appear on the following websites:
MSI PI Vlad Pribiag (professor, Physics and Astronomy) is leading a team that is developing a new process combining quantum physics and biochemistry that could lead to a major breakthrough in the quantum computing field. The team has received a $1.4M grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation for a project that will use DNA nanoassembly techniques to create stable quantum structures.
Professor Eric Watkins, an MSI PI in the Department of Horticultural Science, has been named the Vice Provost for Distributed Learning. This is a new position created to drive the development of innovative, coordinated, and scaled systemwide distributed learning models as part of the University’s strategic plan. Professor Watkins will begin this role in September 2022 and will continue as a faculty member.
Several MSIs PIs are participating in a project that has received a $1.7M grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The project, “Neurobehavioral Mechanisms Linking Childhood Social Disadvantage With Substance Use Trajectories in Adolescence and Adulthood,” includes the following MSI PIs:
MSI PI Emilie Snell-Rood (associate professor, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) is studying the development of roadsides as habitats for pollinators. Professor Snell-Rood has overseen projects that studied the pros and cons of using roadsides for this purpose; while the amount of land is quite large, there are challenges such as road salt and car collisions affecting these areas. The studies are providing data for roadside managers working on conservation.
Climate change is having enormous effects on farming. One of these effects is reduced snowfall. With less snow protection, winter crops may be more likely to freeze, and the reduced amount of snow could lead to drought later in the year.
MSI’s Research Computing partner, the University of Minnesota Informatics Institute (UMII), has opened the application period for the 2023 MnDRIVE Graduate Assistantship program. This program supports UMN PhD candidates pursuing research at the intersection of informatics and any of the five MnDRIVE areas: Robotics, Sensors and Advanced Manufacturing; Global Food Ventures; Advancing Industry, Conserving Our Environment; Discoveries and Treatments for Brain Conditions; and Cancer Clinical Trials. 
On Wednesday, August 3, 2022, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. During this month's scheduled maintenance period, primary storage may be unavailable or in a read-only state throughout much of the day. Mesabi and Mangi front-end nodes will be unavailable some portion of the day. A global system reservation will start at 5:00 a.m. on August 3. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00 a.m. on August 3 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status.
A U of M-led research team has received a grant from the Department of Defense totaling $3.7M over four years for a project that is developing bioengineered blood vessels that will grow with the patient. These artificial vessels could eventually be used in children with congenital heart defects, avoiding the need for multiple surgeries.
The mountain pine beetle (MPB) is destroying pine forests throughout North America. Not only do they kill trees by boring under bark, they spread pathogens from tree to tree. Because of this, although the beetle hasn’t been found yet in Minnesota, the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center (MITPPC) has given research into the pest top priority.
This information was last updated on July 21, 2022. MSI staff are now working under a hybrid model; not all staff are working on-site full time. All MSI systems are operational and can be accessed remotely. Tutorials are being held via Zoom.  To request technical assistance with your MSI account, contact the Helpdesk:
MSI PI Harry Orr (professor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology; Director, Institute for Translational Neuroscience) is one of four winners of the 2022 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience. This award is presented by the Kavli Foundation and Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research to scientists in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.
A team of researchers including MSI PI Xiang Cheng (associate professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) has published a study that investigated how bacteria swim through different fluids and environments. The study, published recently in the journal Nature, describes how bacteria move through solutions of small solid particles. The research could be used for developing new medical treatments and drug delivery systems.
In a new citizen-science project called Jovian Vortex Hunter, anyone can help identify atmospheric vortices on Jupiter. The images were taken by Juno, a probe which reached Jupiter in 2016 and has been sending stunning images of the planet back to Earth. Scientists are interested in the physics behind the many atmospheric vortices found in the Jovian atmosphere. The project is hosted on the citizen-science platform Zooniverse, which was co-founded by MSI PI Lucy Fortson (professor, Physics and Astronomy).