'Dialing in the lipidome' for human health, environmental sustainability

Decades of cutting-edge research at MSU on lipids - small, naturally occurring molecules that make up oils, fats and waxes - has scientists excited about recent advancements and the untapped potential of these microscopic workhorses.

September 26, 2016 - Author: Mark Kuykendall

Christoph Benning

In the ongoing quest for healthier lifestyles and environmental sustainability, one of the biggest solutions might also be one of the tiniest. Decades of cutting-edge research at Michigan State University (MSU) on lipids – small, naturally occurring molecules that make up oils, fats and waxes – has scientists excited about recent advancements and the untapped potential of these microscopic workhorses.

“There’s a long history of plant lipid research at MSU,” said MSU Foundation Professor and MSU AgBioResearch scientist Christoph Benning, director of MSU’s Plant Research Laboratory. “But it takes a long time to do – often 20 years or more – for some of our recent advancements. We hope we can accelerate our progress through basic research.”

In an invited contribution to a special issue of Science Magazine, Benning and MSU biochemist Patrick Horn highlight recent advancements in lipid research at MSU and beyond – work that could have wide-ranging applications in both human wellbeing and environmental sustainability.

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