Blog

Phosphorus forum tackles how to feed a future world of 10 billion while protecting water resources

March 23, 2018

When it comes to the essential element phosphorus, our relationship is both on a personal and global scale. “We each carry about three pounds of phosphorus in our bodies and in our bones, and yet, we are fully dependent upon it to feed a future world of 10 billion people by 2050,” said professor Jim Elser. Elser, a long-time ASU professor now at Montana State, initiated the Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance a decade ago. The Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance is a unique partnership made...

Korean documentary spotlights ASU autism research

February 12, 2018

A recently broadcast multipart Korean television documentary that explores new treatments for people with autism and gastrointestinal problems includes reports on research led by three Arizona State University faculty members. James Adams, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown and Dae-Wook Kang collaborated on the research projects whose results are featured in the documentary. Together they co-authored the study “Treating gastrointestinal disorders in children with autism using microbiota transplant...

Using bacteria to produce electricity, treat wastewater

March 14, 2016

ASU Now reports, “What if the bacteria found in wastewater could power the water’s own purification system? Chemical engineering professor Cesar Torres is exploring this possibility through research in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), supported in large part by a $1.9 million grant from the Department of Defense." Torres is researching energy efficient wastewater treatment that harnesses the energy released from microorganisms and converts it into electricity. Click here to read...

Girl Power in New Orleans: Conquering the ASM2015 Meeting

June 25, 2015

It was that time of the year again:  thousands of microbiologists and microbiology enthusiasts packed their suitcases and traveled to the 115th American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Annual Meeting. This year, the destination was NOLA! New Orleans had lots to offer to first-time visitors like us:  from local fresh seafood dishes to swamps with alligators.  Unlike last year, this year ladies only contingent (Sofia Esquivel, Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, and I)...

Alex Zevin Defends Research Completed in the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology; Receives Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in May of 2015 from the Biological Design Graduate Program

May 18, 2015

When I first started graduate school, I was excited about the Biological Design Graduate Program because of its interdisciplinary nature and hoped it might give me the chance to research an exciting topic that I was passionate about.  When I started in the Swette Center, I knew I would have this opportunity.  Still, beginning a Ph.D. is a somewhat intimidating undertaking, and I wondered what would become of me as I progressed.   The goal of my doctoral research was to...

Educational outreach at the Swette Center

December 15, 2014

As scientists and engineers, it is vital that we use our expansive knowledge of esoteric material to educate the public and increase scientific literacy within our communities. By being effective communicators of science, we are enabling our citizens to make educated decisions about science based funding and policies- which is essential to the function of our democracy. The Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology is dedicated to the purpose of spreading scientific awareness and contains...

Memoirs from Cesar and Anca's wedding

December 5, 2014

Here I am, writing about a memorable trip that I took with my wife and fellow SCEBers this October to witness César and Anca unite in wedlock on a pristine and sandy beach in La Salinas, Baja California, Mexico. My wife and I were to be accompanied by Bruce and Jon Badalamenti (who made the trek all the way from Minneapolis) in my mid-size Sedan for the six-hour road trip to the Pacific Baja coast.  Other folks from SCEB (Daniel, Devyn, and Diana) embarked on separate journeys to join us...

On online learning

October 7, 2014

I enjoy working with microorganisms because they make their livings in the most innovative ways.  During my graduate study, I have worked with the anode-respiring bacterium, which is a special kind of bacterium that can “breathe” a solid material, much like you breathe oxygen.   By breathing I mean that the bacterium can bring electrons from its inside to outside the cell membrane and transfer the electrons to a solid material.  Fascinating works by researchers in...

Experiences as an IGERT fellow in the Solar Utilization Network

September 10, 2014

The past two years I have had the privilege to go through the ASU IGERT SUN program.  The National Science Foundation funds Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) programs as an interdisciplinary training program for Ph.D. scientists and engineers. The program emphasizes collaborative research transcending traditional boundaries.  In 2012 ASU won an IGERT for their Solar Utilization Network (SUN) proposal, which brings together students studying photovoltaics,...

Understanding the impacts of our innovations using life cycle assessment

August 26, 2014

While necessity is the mother of invention, often those same inventions have important unintended consequences.  A timely example is triclosan, an antimicrobial that is an ingredient in products ranging from hand soaps to toothpaste and is credited with preventing the spread of disease.  However, ASU’sCenter for Environmental Security recently reported that triclosan also bioaccumulates in the human body and can even be transferred from mother to baby through umbilical cord...