Research Spotlights Digest

Global Experiments to Solve Ecological Problems

Photo credits:
Left: Jos Moore, University of Melbourne (Australia)/Monash University (Australia)
Right: T. Michael Anderson and T. Morrison

Human activities, such as farming and burning fossil fuels, have more than doubled the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus,...Read more

2014 Research Exhibition

MSI researchers will present posters of their work at the 2014 MSI Research Exhibition on Thursday, April 24, 1:30-3:30 p.m., on the fourth floor of Walter Library. This is the fifth year that MSI has held this event.

Everyone is invited! This is an excellent...Read more

particle size distribution and plasma Cyber Enabled Discovery and Innovation

The research group of Professor Steven Girshick (MSI Fellow; Mechanical Engineering) uses MSI to support their development of computational models of gas plasmas in which nanoparticles nucleate and grow. These plasmas have...Read more

diagrams of genes in Chlamydomonas and humans Seeking the Causes of Ciliary Dyskinesia

Cilia and flagella are small, hairlike protrusions that are found on the surface of a cell body. They can be sense organs, or they can move, beating in a coordinated motion to either move the cell or to move liquids or small solids across the cell surface. A disease known as primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) can cause a number of human disorders. One of these is chronic destructive airway...Read more

picture of Bengt Svensson Interview: Bengt Svensson

Bengt Svensson is a Research Associate in the group led by Professor David Thomas (MSI Fellow; Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics...Read more

Fighting A Wheat Pathogen

Stem rust, caused by a number of varieties of the fungus Puccinia graminis, is a serious disease of wheat and barley. One variety of wheat stem rust, called Ug99, is particularly virulent, causing up to 100% crop losses. This pathogen affects most varieties of wheat that are grown today. Ug99 has spread throughout eastern Africa, and has also been detected in Yemen and Iran. While...Read more

Fighting Prostate Cancer

Among different types of cancers, prostate cancer  has the highest incidence rate among men, and the second-highest death rate. In early stages of prostate cancer, radiation and surgical resection represent the standard of care, and often lead to good outcomes. In advanced cases, various forms of androgen depletion therapies can achieve effective control of the disease. This is because...Read more

Solving Chemical Master Equations

Above: Random events may tip the fate of living organisms. Master equations can be used to understand these random events.

Biology is full of randomness – as random molecular events take place in organisms, populations evolve. Master probability equations can provide a complete model of this probabilistic behavior in biomolecular networks. These equations purport to...Read more

photo of Wen Wang Interview: Wen Wang

Wen Wang is a graduate student who is a member of the MSI research group of Professor Vipin Kumar (MSI Fellow and Head, Department of Computer Science and Engineering). Assistant Professor...Read more

Studying Legume Genomics

Understanding the genetic makeup of food crops is critical if we want to develop sustainable ways of protecting those crops against disease. To this end, researchers are using genomics to study plants and their characteristics. Distinguished McKnight Professor Nevin Young (Plant...Read more

Interview: Jin Woo Jung


Jin Woo Jung is a computer science graduate student who is doing research at the Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics (MDRCBB), led by Professor Alex Fok (Restorative Sciences), in the...Read more

Investigating Highly Frustrated Quantum Magnets


In the past few decades, researchers specializing in condensed matter physics have been intensely interested in studying the properties of strongly correlated quantum many-body systems, which are systems on the microscopic scale that include more than two particles that interact with each other. Researchers especially want to be able to explain how the macroscopic behavior of...Read more

Modeling Forest Biotic Dynamics

As the earth’s climate changes, scientists are concerned about the effects these changes will have on the earth’s ecosystems. Regents Professor Peter B. Reich (Forest Resources, Institute on the Environment) and post-doctoral researcher...Read more

Protecting the Food Supply


In 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), headquartered at the University of Minnesota. This research consortium, which includes researchers from over 30 other universities, addresses the vulnerability of the nation’s food supply to...Read more

Modeling Polymer Structures and Dynamics


Polymers, which many people think refer only to plastic, are actually a large group of natural and man-made materials. They have many uses in industry and as consumer products. Some of these include the super-absorbant polymers used in disposable diapers, the heat-stable materials used for non-stick cookware, and the fiber spandex, used for stretchy clothing like athletic wear and...Read more