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Aug. 14, 2018

Weird science

Aug. 15, 2018

There’s something pretty cool, a little unsettling and absolutely fascinating to simply sit in a room and send detailed recordings of your heartbeat to your doctor 70 miles away. But, that’s exactly what I did last night and do every couple of months. I simply walk into the room, and a machine wirelessly pulls data from the device in my chest that is connected to my heart. (Or I push a button if a reading isn't scheduled.) Once received, it then sends it off to my doctor’s office. In minutes, my health team can get months’ worth of data about how my heart has been beating. Weird, right?

finger pushing button on heart monitor that lights upIt’s weird, but also pretty awesome. Thanks to some high-tech equipment (complete with cute little icons for patient, heart and doctor) skilled medical professionals and some crazy science behind it all, I can stay in my house and my doc can check out my heart. Talk about convenient. It’s great for regular checkups and comforting to have if I ever have an episode I want my doc to see right away to evaluate. Weird science is totally appreciated by me.

Honestly, I say it’s weird (mainly so I can sing the Oingo Boingo song in my head), but science is actually amazing. Though I’m reminded of the innovation that went into my device all the time, there are countless ways that scientific discovery touches my life every day – probably every second. Thanks to the inquiring minds and relentless determination of scientists, our lives are made healthier, safer, stronger, cleaner and better all the time.

MSU researchers have always been on the forefront of discovery. In every discipline, Spartans are uncovering breakthroughs that will create better tomorrows and change lives.

Those breakthroughs can happen in any field, but I’m certain we’ll see incredible discoveries coming out of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams housed on campus and set to be operational in 2022. FRIB is literally a huge discovery machine that will power next-generation nuclear science experiments exploring rare isotopes. The possible applications for society, including in medicine, security and industry are truly exciting – and it’s all happening right here on campus, home to the nation’s No. 1 nuclear physics graduate program. Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Accelerating into the future, to watch a short video that explains more about FRIB and the research that will happen there.

Although still an undergraduate, William Yakah, a senior majoring in neuroscience, already has his sights set on life-changing discovery. As a College of Natural Science Dean's Research Scholar, he’s exploring how nutrition contributes to growth and cognitive development in children. Read his STUDENT VIEW: Growth spurt, to learn more about this dedicated young man.

Clearly, there are plenty of rocket scientists who are Spartans, but did you know there’s one who also packages rockets? I can barely pack up birthday gifts to send to New York, but MSU alumna Kristine Haugaard was responsible for packing and shipping NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (coincidentally named after another Spartan, Eugene Parker) to the launchpad. Check out the FACULTY VOICE: Moving rockets, that has Sue Selke, director of MSU’s School of Packaging, introducing some inside perspective from Haugaard about her career.

Albert Einstein once said, “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” Spartans embody this spirit – endlessly questioning, exploring, seeking, creating and making real advances in science that will make our world better – and there’s nothing weird about that at all. #SpartansWill


Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by Kurt Stepnitz


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