News and events

ASU research on protein responsible for detection, regulation of body temp part of collection marking Nobel Prize

October 8, 2021

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded on Oct. 3 to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian "for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch." To celebrate, the journal Nature Portfolio presented a collection including further exciting research focused on different aspects of TRP and PIEZO channels, proteins that sense these ubiquitous stimuli. Included in the collection is a paper published by scientists from Arizona State University's School of...

New and unexplored dimension in the study of protein-protein interactions

December 10, 2020

Many proteins are required to maintain the structure, and to preserve the genetic integrity, of DNA. Sliding clamps are proteins that increase the efficiency of DNA replication. Without these proteins, cells would not be able to carry out continuous DNA synthesis, and organisms, from bacteria to humans, would not survive. Sliding clamps are ring-shaped proteins that encircle DNA and bind to the DNA polymerase, the enzyme that performs the actual DNA replication. They effectively organize and...

Electrifying science: new study describes conduction through proteins

October 30, 2019

Amid the zoo of biomolecules essential to life, enzymes are among the most vital. Without these specialized proteins, which speed up the rates of chemical reactions, thousands of essential life processes, from cell growth and digestion to respiration and nerve function, would be impossible. In new research, Stuart Lindsay and his colleagues investigate a recently discovered feat carried out by enzymes, and most likely, all proteins. Under proper conditions, they can act as superb conductors...

ASU researchers use new tools of data science to capture single molecules in action

August 14, 2019

In high school chemistry, we all learned about chemical reactions. But what brings two reacting molecules together? As explained to us by Albert Einstein, it is the random motion of inert molecules driven by the bombardment of solvent molecules. If brought close enough together, by random chance, these molecules may react. Capturing the motion of single molecules is achieved by a method known as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). The catch? It takes many detections of light...

Conducting research: Exploring charge flow through proteins

March 4, 2019

Among the zoo of biomolecules essential to life, proteins are the most startlingly varied and versatile. These complex structures, generated from the DNA code and built from some 20 amino acids play a central role in innumerable life processes. In the form of antibodies, proteins defend organisms from infectious agents like bacteria and viruses. As enzymes, protein molecules speed up chemical reactions necessary to sustain life.  Proteins also act as messengers that coordinate disparate...

Biodesign symposium hosts researchers from West China

November 19, 2018

Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute, co-hosted a lively and innovative symposium, greeting the international guests in their native language. After enthusiastic applause, the presentations began. The symposium, which hosted representatives from Sichuan University and West China Hospital, in addition to researchers from the Biodesign Institute, focused on exploring strategies for the detection and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. The gathering...

The force is strong within us: New study explores cell mechanics at work

June 18, 2018

It’s a remarkable choreography. In each of our bodies, more than 37 trillion cells tightly coordinate with other cells to organize into the numerous tissues and organs that make us tick. Within our bodies, cells are subjected to all sorts of environments and forces over a lifespan, calling for methods to quantify mechanical properties of cells and tissues.  “A few years ago, the NCI initiated this challenge within the framework of the Physical Sciences in Oncology (PSOC) Network,...

Scientists show that a protein can be switched on and off to conduct electricity like a metal

October 27, 2017

When pushing the boundaries of discovery, sometimes even the most experienced of scientists can get a surprise jolt from a completely unpredictable result. That was the case for ASU Regents’ Professor and biophysicist Stuart Lindsay, who has spent his career building new microscopes that have become the eyes of nanotechnology and next-generation, rapid and low-cost DNA and amino acid readers to make precision medicine more of a reality. In the process, Lindsay’s research team has...

Could Proteins Be Quantum Objects?

February 23, 2017

Stuart Lindsay, Ph.D., Director, Biodesign Center for Single Molecule Biophysics Chemical bonds are quantum objects and remain so at room temperature because they are strong enough to resist thermal fluctuations. But does quantum mechanics reach further than individual bonds? There has been a long history of physicists proposing roles for one of their cleverest inventions (quantum mechanics) in biology, but almost all the evidence to date indicates that thermal motion ruins quantum...

Novel technique helps ID elusive molecules

December 21, 2016

Among the most important molecules in the living world are sugars or carbohydrates, which play a vital role in life processes. Sugars provide the main source of fuel for the body, protect muscles from damage and contribute to the immune response. They also act as the brain’s key metabolite (in the form of glucose), powering basic function and influencing memory and mood. Dysregulation of carbohydrates can lead to a raft of major illnesses, including cancer. Now, Stuart Lindsay, a...