News and events

Artificial cell membrane channels composed of DNA can be opened and locked with a key

May 10, 2022

Technique opens new possibilities for smart drug delivery and other applications Just as countries import a vast array of consumer goods across national borders, so living cells are engaged in a lively import-export business. Their ports of entry are sophisticated transport channels embedded in a cell’s protective membrane. Regulating what kinds of cargo can pass through the borderlands formed by the cell’s two-layer membrane is essential for proper functioning and survival. In new...

Redesign of Vancomycin for Resistant Bacteria

February 28, 2022

Redesign of vancomycin for resistant bacteria Dale Boger, PhD, Richard and Alice Cramer Professor of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute March 8 | 1-2 p.m. | Zoom Join via Zoom: https://bit.ly/DaleBoger-Seminar Professor Boger is internationally recognized for his work in organic synthesis, heterocyclic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, natural products total synthesis and their biological evaluation, synthetic methodology development, and chemical biology, and has made...

Simple, inexpensive, fast and accurate nano-sensors pinpoint infectious diseases

February 1, 2022

In recent years, deadly infectious diseases, including Ebola and COVID-19, have emerged to cause widespread human devastation. Although researchers have developed a range of sophisticated methods to detect such infections, existing diagnostics face many limitations. In a new study, Chao Wang, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute and School of Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering, along with ASU colleagues and collaborators at the University of Washington...

Digitized Number 2: Stool Samples Reveal Enzyme Driving Bowel Disease

January 27, 2022

Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute joins an international team led by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine to help unlock the causes of ulcerative colitis. Researchers have identified microbiome-derived proteases in the gut contributing to the disorder, inspiring new potential drug targets for inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis, a subtype of inflammatory bowel disease, is a chronic ailment of the colon affecting nearly one million individuals...

Freeze Frame: Scientists use new electron microscope to explore the mysteries of life

November 30, 2021

In a winding corridor behind a loading dock in the basement of Arizona State University's Schwada building, a group of ASU scientists are meeting in a lab, deeply focused, exploring the mysteries of life.  Tucked in the basement in the heart of the Tempe campus is the only microscope of its kind in Arizona, ASU's Titan Krios, a dedicated cryogenic transmission electron microscope (or cryo-EM) that uses flash-frozen samples to explore the complexities of cellular life.  Associate...

Hao Yan receives 2020 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize

December 15, 2020

Hao Yan, director of the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics at Arizona State University has been awarded the 2020 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize. The coveted award, named in honor of visionary physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, is given annually for outstanding contributions to nanoscience in two research categories: experimental and theoretical. This year’s award for experimental research recognizes Professor Yan’s significant contributions to the...

New techniques probe vital and elusive proteins

October 6, 2020

The number of proteins in the human body, collectively known as the proteome, is vast. Somewhere between 80,000 and 400,000 proteins circulate in our cells, tissues and organs, carrying out a broad range of duties essential for life. When proteins go awry, they are responsible for a myriad of serious diseases. Now, researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences, along with their colleagues, investigate a critically important...

Holloway honored as a rising star in chemical engineering

October 5, 2020

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers honored Julianne Holloway with a 35 Under 35 Award. Holloway, an associate faculty member in the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, is being recognized for outstanding achievements as one of the best and brightest young professionals in her field. AIChE’s 35 Under 35 Award is given to rising stars in seven categories, and she was chosen for her contributions to bioengineering.  Holloway and her research group focus...

Storing information and designing uncrackable codes with DNA

September 15, 2020

For billions of years, Nature has used DNA like a molecular bank vault; a place to store her most coveted secrets: the design blueprints essential to life. Now, researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Institute are exploring the unique information-carrying capacities of DNA, hoping to produce microscopic forms whose ability to encrypt, store and retrieve information rival those of the silicon-based semiconductor memories found in most computers. If successful, DNA-based storage technologies...

New method to design diamond lattices and other crystals from microscopic building blocks

September 14, 2020

An impressive array of architectural forms can be produced from the popular interlocking building blocks known as LEGOS®. All that is needed is a child’s imagination to construct a virtually infinite variety of complex shapes. In a new study appearing in the journal Physical Review Letters, researchers describe a technique for using LEGO®-like elements at the scale of a few billionths of a meter. Further, they are able to cajole these design elements to self-assemble, with each LEGO®...