With the North American drought ended last year according to the USDA, it still affects parts of the United States and dries out plant life in its wake. The drought reached 80 percent of the country’s agricultural land, and many of the impacts of the stunted food production will be felt this year at supermarkets and restaurants. It’s no surprise, then, that a large question in agricultural biotechnology is how to more effectively combat drought for the present and future. This is where Michigan State University shines, presenting a way for plants to make even better use of the water they receive.
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Dependence on fossil fuels has been a hot topic for decades now. Several United States presidents have urged that we step away from oil and utilize other natural resources. Now, a partnership between Michigan State University at East Lansing and Luleå University of Technology in Sweden is working on just that. Their plan for alternative energy comes from a biomaterial produced from agricultural residue called butyric acid.
Michigan State University at East Lansing is priming plants to cope with two very different adversaries: hostile insects on Earth and the stressful conditions of space. Rather than furnishing them with armor or a spacesuit, researchers are working at the molecular level in order to make these plants more genetically hardy.
Despite a challenging economic climate, Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing is thriving and continues to develop strong research programs. Currently the university is working on constructing a $40-million bioengineering facility, along with other building projects in progress that include the Bott Building for Nursing Education and Research and a state-of-the-art Plant Science Building. When completed, these buildings will add to an already strong research hub at MSU.