Michigan State Wins NSF 'Beacon' Grant


Researchers at Michigan State University say a new federal grant will help them better understand the nature of evolution.

The $25-million National Science Foundation grant will create a new center that will explore evolutionary processes. MSU will study both natural evolution, and so-called "digital organisms;" self-replicating computer programs that mutate and evolve. Center director Erik Goodman says that work can enhance things like automotive and medical manufacturing:

"The more we learn about biological evolution and digital evolution, the better we're going to be able to solve real-world engineering problems," he explains. "That's important to Michigan."

MSU will be the lead agency. Universities in North Carolina, Idaho, Texas and Washington state will be partners in the project.