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...

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,...

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...

Smallpox: Could a vanquished foe return?

August 28, 2018

Smallpox, one of the most devastating diseases in human history, has ancient roots. Detected in mummified remains dating to the Egyptian dynasties, the disease would eventually claim hundreds of millions of victims in the 20th century alone. As recently as 1967, smallpox was still killing around 15 million people annually. In 1980, however, the World Health Assembly declared smallpox officially eradicated, thanks to aggressive global vaccination efforts. This triumph is often cited as one of...

Avian flu variant stalks Egypt

February 6, 2014

  Since its first identification in Asia, highly pathogenic avian influenza—H5N1—has caused significant alarm in the scientific community.  While the virus’ primary target is birds—tens of millions have already died from it—it is capable of infecting mammals, including humans, causing serious illness and a frightening rate of mortality.  In a new study, Matthew Scotch, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, tracks the spread of an H5N1...