News

PhD candidate Lotus Lofgren, who uses MSI resources as part of the group of Associate Professor Peter Kennedy (Plant and Microbial Biology), was recently awarded the J.L. Harley Medal from the International Mycorrhiza Society. This award is given to a graduate student for excellence in research and presentation at the Society’s annual conference.
MSI PIs Kenneth Beckman (Director, University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC)) and Dan Knights (Computer Science and Engineering; BioTechnology Institute), along with MSI user Daryl Gohl (Research and Development Lead, UMGC), have developed microbiome-analysis technology that is now being made available to the public through a new company,
MSI PI Peter Reich (Forest Resources) is a co-author on a recent study that studied the factors that result in size of plants’ leaves. The study was the cover article on the September 1, 2017 issue of the prestigious journal Science. Professor Reich and his colleagues studied thousands of leaves from all continents, climate zones, and plant types. They discovered that cold, as well as heat, can be the main factor in determining how large a plant’s leaves can get.
MSI PI Michael Sadowsky and collaborator Alexander Khoruts have developed and tested a treatment for a serious gut infection that is showing excellent results. The infection, Clostridium difficile, which affects about half a million people every year, is debilitating and sometimes fatal. The treatment, called fecal microbiota transplantation, has a greater than 95% cure rate and has been adopted by medical practitioners around the country.
Three MSI PIs are among the University faculty who have received seed grants from the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics. The Partnership is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and the State of Minnesota that supports biotechnology and biomedical research. The projects receiving grants include researchers from the University and Mayo. The PIs receiving awards are:
MSI PI Jay Austin (professor, UMD – Physics and Astronomy; Large Lakes Observatory) was interviewed recently on radio station WTIP in northern Minnesota about Lake Superior’s warming water temperatures. Listen to the interview: Lake Superior continues warming trend despite cooler summer in 2017.
On Wednesday, September 6, 2017, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. During this month's scheduled maintenance period, Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Itasca will be unavailable throughout much of the day. September maintenance will include: Mesabi: Compute nodes will be upgraded from CentOS 6.8 to 6.9 Windows updates: Install Windows updates on all Windows machines CentOS and Debian updates for Lab machines Systems status is always available on our Status page.
A study by MSI PI Jonathan Schilling (Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering) was recently featured in the OVPR’s Inquiry blog. The study examines two kinds of fungi that decompose wood, called “white rot” and “brown rot” fungi. These different fungi thrive in different condition and cause different amounts of carbon to be released to the atmosphere as they degrade wood.
MSI PI Renee Frontiera (Chemistry) has received an Early Career Research Program award from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. This is a highly competitive award that is intended to provide support to exceptional researchers in the early years of their careers.
MSI PI Rafael Fernandes (Physics and Astronomy) has been named a McKnight Presidential Fellow for 2017-19. This program recognizes exceptional faculty who have been newly granted tenure and promotion to associate professor. A complete list of this year’s recipients can be found on the U’s Scholars Walk website. Professor Fernandes uses MSI resources for quantum Monte Carlo studies of high-temperature superconductors.
On Wednesday, August 2, 2017, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. During this month's scheduled maintenance period, Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Itasca will be unavailable throughout much of the day. August maintenance will include:
MSI’s shared scratch storage volume has been heavily utilized during the months of June and July, so much so that on one occasion all jobs writing to scratch failed because scratch reached its capacity. Since this incident, we have been working one-on-one with users to prevent future failures by moving some data off of scratch to other MSI storage resources better suited for longer-term data storage. While one-on-one engagements have helped, starting August 1 we plan to implement a couple new measures to safeguard against scratch filling and causing jobs writing to scratch to crash.
MSI PI Linda Kinkel (Plant Pathology) has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation that will lead to the creation of the Agricultural Microbiomes Project (MP). This project will develop a global network of researchers studying plant microbiomes and their relationships to plant productivity and sustainable crop production.
The Duluth News Tribune recently featured two MSI PIs, Professor Jay Austin (UMD – Head, Department of Physics and Astronomy; Large Lakes Observatory) and Assistant Professor Sam Kelly (UMD – Physics and Astronomy; Large Lakes Observ
A technique for thawing cryopreserved tissues developed by MSI PI John Bischof (Mechanical Engineering) and other researchers (see MSI News from March 2017: Breakthrough in Tissue Preservation) is being extended to zebrafish embryos. Zebrafish are a popular experimental animal. However, although their embryos can be cryopreserved, researchers have been unable to thaw them without damage.
Five MSI PIs have received awards from the 2017 Research Infrastructure Investment Program. This Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) program is designed to support transdisciplinary research and collaboration across the U. Thirteen projects received awards this year. Below are the MSI PIs who have received awards: James Dutton
On Wednesday, July 5, 2017, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. During this month's scheduled maintenance period, Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Itasca will be unavailable throughout much of the day. Systems status is always available on our Status page. If you have any questions, please email help@msi.umn.edu.
Professor Lian Shen, an MSI PI from the Department of Mechanical Engineering (College of Science and Engineering), has been named the new Director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL). Professor Shen has been a member of SAFL since his arrival at the University of Minnesota in 2012. He will assume the directorship on September 1, 2017.
The Bell Museum of Natural History has begun the process of moving its famous dioramas to its new location on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. A story about the move appears on the Fox 9 website: Bell Museum carefully moves from Minneapolis to St. Paul.
MSI PI R. Roger Ruan and a PhD student in his group, Erik Anderson, have developed a process that converts scum, a byproduct of wastewater treatment, into biodiesel. A story about the process appears on the University of Minnesota News site: U of M wastewater treatment pilot promises to turn scum into profit.