News and events

Going with the DNA flow: molecule of life finds new uses in microelectronics

February 26, 2018

For sheer versatility, there’s no molecule quite like DNA. The iconic double-helix carries the genetic blueprint for living forms ranging from single-celled organisms to human beings. Recently, researchers have found that DNA’s remarkable properties of self-assembly and its ability to conduct electrical charge over considerable distance make it ideally suited for myriad applications, including tiny electronic circuits and computing devices, nanorobots and new advances in...

Could chili peppers become the hottest new thing in weight loss?

September 20, 2017

For scorching taste buds, nothing beats the zing of a chili pepper. Now, a new ASU research study has shown that chili peppers may also be a key ingredient to melting the pounds away and reducing one’s appetite. The ASU research team, led by scientists Yue Deng and Fang Chen at the Biodesign Institute, has shown the first promising links between capsaicinoids (the active ingredient that gives chili peppers their sweat-inducing hotness) and an individual’s energy burning...

Switched-on DNA

February 20, 2017

DNA, the stuff of life, may very well also pack quite the jolt for engineers trying to advance the development of tiny, low-cost electronic devices. Much like flipping your light switch at home---only on a scale 1,000 times smaller than a human hair---an ASU-led team has now developed the first controllable DNA switch to regulate the flow of electricity within a single, atomic-sized molecule.  The new study, led by ASU Biodesign Institute researcher Nongjian Tao, was published in the...

Scientists engineer tunable DNA for electronics applications

June 20, 2016

DNA may be the blueprint of life, but it’s also a molecule made from just a few simple chemical building blocks. Among its properties is the ability to conduct an electrical charge, fueling an engineering race to develop novel, low-cost nanoelectronic devices. Now, a team led by ASU Biodesign Institute researcher Nongjian (N.J.) Tao and Duke theorist David Beratan has been able to understand and manipulate DNA to more finely tune the flow of electricity through it. The key...

Mobile Chemical Sensors Based on Nanomaterials, Bridging the Gap from the Lab to Real World

January 28, 2016

Erica Forzani, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biodesign Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors The ASU School of Molecular Sciences is presenting this seminar. >> More information

Sensing small molecules may revolutionize drug design

October 23, 2015

Most pharmaceutical drugs consist of tiny molecules, which target a class of proteins found on the surfaces of cell membranes. Studying these subtle interactions is essential for the design of effective drugs, but the task is extremely challenging. Now, Nongjian (NJ) Tao and his colleagues at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute describe a new method for examining small molecules and their communication with membrane proteins. The research will allow scientists and...

Methods for Detection of Small Molecule-protein Interactions

July 29, 2015

Presented by Yan Guan, Graduate Research Assistant, Biodesign’s Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors This is a doctoral dissertation defense.  

Study shows novel pattern of electrical charge movement through DNA

April 13, 2015

Electrical charges not only move through wires, they also travel along lengths of DNA, the molecule of life. The property is known as charge transport. In a new study appearing in the journal Nature Chemistry, authors, Limin Xiang, Julio Palma, Christopher Bruot and others at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, explore the ways in which electrical charges move along DNA bases affixed to a pair of electrodes. Their work reveals a new mechanism of charge transport that differs...

Flinn Foundation grants unite leading-edge science and clinical practice

October 15, 2013

  In its quest to advance bioscience research in Arizona, the Flinn Foundation recently awarded five new grants to the state’s three public universities, totaling $800,000. Arizona State University is the recipient of two such grants, for collaborative projects with clinical partners.  In the first project, Erica Forzani, and Nongjian “NJ” Tao from ASU’s Biodesign Institute will partner with Dr. Craig Stump of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson...

Stretching electrical conductance to the limit

December 4, 2011

Individual molecules have been used to create electrical components like resistors, transistors and diodes, that mimic the properties of familiar semiconductors. But according to Nongjian (NJ) Tao, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute® at Arizona State University, unique properties inherent in single molecules may also allow clever designers to produce novel devices whose behavior falls outside the performance observed in conventional electronics. In research appearing in today’s issue...