News

posted on February 3, 2015

MSI Principal Investigators are among researchers from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) who are studying ancient wild grains. These researchers hope that some of the grains will have resistance to diseases that affect modern agriculture; they could then be cross-bred with crops to provide them with that resistance. An article about this work appeared recently in the CFANS publication Solutions.

The article features MSI PIs Brian Steffenson (Plant Pathology) and Jim Anderson (Agronomy and Plant Genetics), who are members of a worldwide group called the Borlaug Global Rust initiative. This group is looking for ways to combat a deadly rust variety called Ug99, which is extremely virulent. Both Professors Steffenson and Anderson use MSI resources for their genomics and genetics research into wheat.

posted on February 2, 2015

Four MSI Principal Investigators are among the eight assistant professors at the University of Minnesota so have been named McKnight Land-Grant Professors for 2015-17. They are, from the College of Science and Engineering, Rafael Fernandes (Physics and Astronomy), Matthew Johnson (Biomedical Engineering), and Dan Knights (Computer Science and Engineering), and, from the College of Biological Sciences, Emilie Snell-Rood (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior).

The McKnight Land-Grant Professorships are given to new assistant professors and include $25,000 in each of the two years of the award. These funds are to be used for the professors’ research. More information about this award can be found on the Scholars Walk website.

You can see the abstracts of these PIs’ work using supercomputing resources on the MSI website:

 

posted on January 30, 2015

On Wednesday, February 4, from 04:00 - 15:00, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to the network and various systems.

During this maintenance period, we will be performing the following updates:
• Network upgrades (4:00 am - 5:30 am)
• Upgrades to the Citrix system
• Cascade system software upgrades and moab/torque upgrades
• MSI-wide system reboot for new system kernel patches

Systems status is always available on our Status page.

If you have any questions, please email help@msi.umn.edu.

posted on January 28, 2015

MSI Principal Investigator Peter Reich (Forest Resources, College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences) is the lead author on a new study that shows that the composition of forests may change as the climate warms. In a long-term field study in northern Minnesota, the researchers simulated the effects of warmer temperatures on trees. The results showed that boreal (northern) forest trees such as spruce and fir were adversely affected by warmer temperatures, while species that prefer temperate zones, such as oak and maple, did much better. The overall result was that the more southerly species seemed to crowd out the boreal ones.

Professor Reich has used MSI resources to support his research for many years. He is currently developing improved modeling techniques to study the effects of climate change.

The new study appeared recently in a letter in Nature Climate Change. It has also been posted on the U’s Discover blog. Several media outlets have discussed the study, including:

Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Duluth [Minnesota] News Tribune

City Pages (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Science Daily

Bring Me the News

Forum News Service

Phys.org

posted on January 26, 2015

MSI Principal Investigator Daniel Bond (Biotechnology Institute; College of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Engineering) is studying how Geobacter microbes use metals for energy. In a recent paper in mBio, he and his co-authors discuss their discovery of a protein that helps the bacteria utilize these metals as they grow underground. The paper’s lead author, Caleb Levar, and co-author Chi Ho Chan are also MSI users. The paper was also written up on the U Discover blog.

The Bond group uses MSI resources for genome assembly of metal-reducing bacteria and for data analysis.

 

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