News & Events

Probing life’s simplest organism to understand the complexity of cancer

February 18, 2019

The simplest multicellular animal known to man (Trichoplax adhaerens) has no nervous system, no muscle tissue, and, most importantly, no history of cancer. Typically, cancer is a disease afflicting multicellular organisms that spreads as cells grow and divide. Arizona State University researchers are looking to these small creatures to learn more about how they evade the deadly disease, and the implications this has for other multicellular animals. At the Biodesign Center for...

Discovering New Cancer Treatments By Studying Cacti

December 12, 2018

What can a type of cactus tell us about cancer, and treating the disease? Two researchers at ASU believe it's a lot. Carlo Maley and Athena Aktipis have helped set up a cactus garden on the school’s Tempe campus — but the garden doesn’t feature the kinds of specimens you might expect to see. Instead, they’re plants with kinds of malformations on them. Maley is an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and director of the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center. Aktipis is...

Calling all Deadheads: ASU hosts Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting

October 10, 2018

We see it in movies, TV shows and books, but we rarely see it in science – the zombie apocalypse may be nearer than we think, and an ASU-hosted event intends to address that. On Oct. 18-21, ASU will host the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting, an interdisciplinary gathering blending the arts and sciences to address the provocative, ever-engaging topic of zombies. According to the website, a zombie is defined as “an entity that is fully or partially under control of another entity,” a...

Evolution and Cancer take center stage at ISEEC conference

January 8, 2018

  Evolution is the creative force shaping all earthly life. It is also the reason why all multicellular life is susceptible to cancer. The processes of evolution are the fuel behind the interplay of malignant cells with the bodies they attack. From Dec 7-10th, researchers attended ISEEC 2017, the conference of the International Society for Evolution, Ecology and Cancer, held on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University. The conference, which is held every other year, drew a highly...

Cancer through the lens of evolution

October 23, 2017

“What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” The oft-repeated maxim, (from Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols), offers a model of human fortitude. It could also serve as the motto of a cancer cell, emphasizing—with brutal precision—how treatment-resistant cancers outwit our best medical interventions.  Cancer owes its ability to colonize and devastate the body to the same Darwinian forces that have shaped all life on earth: chance mutation and natural selection....

ASU symposium examines cheating

February 21, 2017

The guy at work who contributes squat to a team project. The one who develops alligator arms every time the check arrives. The people you’ve had for dinner 20 times who always show up empty-handed. Does it make you feel any better that ants, bees and wasps suffer from similar company? Arizona State University’s first Cooperation and Conflict Symposium was held Thursday, bringing scholars from around campus and the world to discuss “Solving the problem of cheating in large-scale...

All cells must die!

May 24, 2016

Event recap | Emerge 2016: The Future of Sport What will sports look like 25 years in the future? Jerseys might have built in heart monitors and defibrillators, skates may hover over magnetic tracks, and the Olympics may be held in outer space. Judging by the costumes of the night, there will be a lot of neon and silver, clothing will be infused with technology, and dogs will wear matching tracksuits with their owners. Another trend of the night was an increase in brain games and puzzles,...

ASU joins aggressive White House initiative to probe the mysteries of the microbiome

May 13, 2016

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced today a new National Microbiome Initiative (NMI) to foster the integrated study of microbiomes across different ecosystems. Helping lead the initiative is Dr. Ferran Garcia-Pichel, dean of natural sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University and founding director of the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, which launched today in concert with...

ASU, White House collaborate to investigate mysteries of microorganisms

May 13, 2016

We asked Garcia-Pichel to explain microbiomes, from where they come, the reasons they are important and why it is the right time to studying them more closely. Question: What is a microbe? Answer: A microbiome is the collective ecological community of microbes that reside in an environment, like a human body, a desert or a river. part is really easy. It is a living organism that you cannot see with your naked eye. Q: Where do microbes live? A: They live everywhere. You...

Game of Clones: Cancer Wars at Emerge 2016

April 13, 2016

The Future of Sport 2040: How far can the human body go? Emerge’s Sport 2040 will take you to places beyond your wildest imagination. In The Game of Clones: Cancer Wars, you will engage in live-action role play with scientists from the Biodesign Institute who are working to understand how cancer cells behave. They proliferate. They control. They kill one another. They kill healthy cells, too. They invade. They seduce. They metastasize. They cheat. There’s only two ways to win. Will your...