News & Events

ASU scientific team finds new, unique mutation in coronavirus study

May 7, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the U.S., in addition to tracking the number of COVID-19 daily cases, there is a worldwide scientific community engaged in tracking the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself. Efrem Lim leads a team at Arizona State University that looks at how the virus may be spreading, mutating and adapting over time. To trace the trail of the virus worldwide, Lim’s team is using a new technology at ASU’s Genomics Facility called next-generation...

Novel coronavirus detected, monitored in wastewater

April 23, 2020

Within weeks of arriving on the world stage, SARS-CoV-2 has managed to encircle the globe, leaving illness, mortality and economic devastation in its vast wake. One of the central challenges facing health authorities and the medical community has been testing for the elusive virus on a sufficiently comprehensive scale. A new approach to monitoring the novel coronavirus, (as well as other dangerous pathogens and chemical agents), is being developed and refined. Known as wastewater-based...

Indices of health under our feet

April 21, 2020

A treasure trove of information relevant to human and environmental health is hiding in an unexpected place. Samples of wastewater from homes, institutions, towns and cities around the world can now be probed for valuable data concerning community well-being, antibiotic use and resistance, recreational substance consumption and abuse, biomarkers of disease as well as environmental hazards and degradation. This rapidly emerging health surveillance technique, termed wastewater-based...

Researchers look to toxins in the environment for answers to Alzheimer’s

November 25, 2019

Can insecticides, industrial and commercial pollutants, antimicrobials, heavy metals and air pollutants contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s? As our population ages at a break-neck pace, visions of a society overwhelmed by the sorrows of the “silver tsunami’ strike fear and concern, but answers remain elusive. Researchers across the world continue to search valiantly for answers to Alzheimer’s. With no clear answers, people are asking, should I take vitamins or supplements? Are...

Environmental entrepreneurs receive national recognition

November 14, 2019

Identified as “a powerful new model for the environmental field,” Professor Rolf Halden’s One Water One Health, an environmental justice organization, launched at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University , has been selected by The J.M. Kaplan Fund to receive an award of $175,000 over the course of three years. Halden’s organization is one of three environment-focused awardees and seven additional social innovation awardees, chosen from a field of 1,354 entries from all 50...

Biodesign receives $1.5 million to develop early warning system for flu outbreaks

July 24, 2019

As winter draws near, the microbial world of viruses is poised to attack. Viral, non-living entities have the ability to infect you and spread to others, jumping from host to host to host. Unchecked, viral infections can spread through families and communities like wildfire. With $1.53 million in support from the National Library of Medicine, three research teams from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute are bringing their distinct areas of expertise to answer the question,...

Pervasive polymers of the deep blue sea

June 6, 2019

Clean is not necessarily green ”It all comes out in the wash,” is proving to be a more accurate phrase than previously realized, and it may not be good news. It seems that our cleaning habits are a major contributor to the growing problem of synthetic tidbits in our oceans. Unfortunately, most of us are unaware that we are part of the problem.  Researchers at Arizona State University are finding a particularly pervasive problem with the microplastics that originate from human...

Biodesign researcher evaluates the impact of climate change on avian flu

May 22, 2019

The flu pandemic of 2009 was met by a flurry of panic. This strain of the H1N1 virus, or the “swine flu,” swept across the globe and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of approximately 284,500 people worldwide. Like a shuffled deck of cards, the virus was the product of the reassortment of avian, swine, and human influenza viruses. These everchanging viral strains pose a formidable challenge to modern healthcare as they require the development of new vaccines. One virus of...

What is Clean Breathing Water?

January 16, 2019

PHILADELPHIA (January 16, 2019) ­­– “Don’t drink the water” might be good enough advice to keep you from getting sick in some places, but according to researchers from Arizona State and Drexel University, the admonition should probably be expanded to “…try not to breathe the water either.” In research recently published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the group takes a closer look at how the spray from showers, sinks and toilets can expose us to the...

ASU research propels awareness for contact lens recycling movement

November 15, 2018

Microplastics are a growing area of concern for researchers and the public, with much of the focus on plastics in our oceans. Until recently, the environmental impact of the plastic we put in our eyes has been largely overlooked. Now manufacturers and researchers are teaming up to raise awareness that disposing lenses down the toilet or the drain adds to the planet’s plastic pollution – and that recycling or disposing lenses with recyclable solid waste are eco-friendly options. Every...