News & Events

Useful in a pinch: nanoscale tweezers are triggered by light

July 16, 2018

Using segments of DNA, researchers at ASU have constructed a pair of tweezers, measuring 100,000 times tinier than the width of a human hair. A brief burst of ultraviolet light causes the jaws of the tweezers to switch from their closed to open position in seconds—about 65 times faster than similar devices. The new light-activated tweezers are the latest innovation in the fast-moving world of nanotechnology. Devices of this kind, which can directly interact with and influence biological...

Built for speed: DNA nanomachines take a (rapid) step forward

May 7, 2018

When it comes to matching simplicity with staggering creative potential, DNA may hold the prize. Built from an alphabet of just four nucleic acids, DNA provides the floorplan from which all earthly life is constructed. But DNA’s remarkable versatility doesn’t end there. Researchers have managed to coax segments of DNA into performing a host of useful tricks. DNA sequences can form logical circuits for nanoelectronic applications. They have been used to perform sophisticated...

Chinese partners bring strong potential to advance research at Biodesign Institute

January 3, 2018

ASU’s approach toward global research engagement addresses some of the most pressing problems facing us in health today—including global pandemics and a growing cancer incidence in the developing world—that are tied to issues that require multiple, transnational partners to come up with solutions more rapidly. Recently, ASU Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer led a delegation to visit key Chinese partners to further explore new research possibilities. The stops...

Spaghetti-like, DNA “noodle origami” the new shape of things to come for nanotechnology

December 14, 2017

May one day revolutionize medicine by making and delivering drugs inside cells For the past few decades, scientists have been inspired by the molecule of life, DNA, as the shape of things to come for nanotechnology. This burgeoning field is called DNA origami. Scientists borrowed its moniker from the paper artists who conjure up birds, flowers and planes from imaginatively folding a single sheet of paper. Similarly, DNA origami scientists are dreaming up a variety of shapes ---at a...

Learning from Photosynthesis

November 13, 2017

The green sulfur bacterium makes its home in the chilly waters of the Black Sea. To eek out its lonely existence, this life form scavenges energy from the feeble sunlight available to it at a depth of over 250 feet. Plants perform the same remarkable trick, gathering radiant energy from the sun and converting it to biological energy essential for growth.  This process—perfected over billions of years—is known as photosynthesis. Now, Hao Yan and Neal Woodbury from ASU’s...

Alex Green wins $2.1M NIH New Innovator Award

October 10, 2017

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year, $2.1 million grant to ASU Biodesign Institute professor and School of Molecular Sciences faculty member Alexander Green to pursue innovative approaches to major contemporary challenges in biomedical research. The highly competitive grants, which were recently announced Oct. 5, were among 86 such awards nationwide, were made under the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program supported by the NIH Common Fund. “I...

Restoring loss: Bio-inspired materials boost regenerative medicine

August 8, 2017

Technology could one day help treat diseases including stroke, heart attacks, Parkinson’s and arthritis What if one day, we could teach our bodies to self-heal like a lizard’s tail and make severe injury or disease no more threatening than a paper cut? Or heal tissues by coaxing cells to multiply, repair or replace damaged regions in loved ones whose lives have been ravaged by stroke, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease? Such is the vision, promise and excitement in the...

Absolute Control Over Light-matter Interaction

June 14, 2017

Ashwin Gopinath, Ph.D., Senior Postdoctoral Scholar in Bioengineering, California Institute of Technology, presents: The interaction between matter and electromagnetic fields is interesting not only for its fundamental significance, but also to enable applications ranging from optical sensing to information processing and communication. The main problem is the technical challenge associated with positioning and orienting a single unit of matter within an arbitrary electromagnetic...

Alex Green honored for early career achievements

March 22, 2017

Honored for Zika virus work and New Investigator Award to develop valley fever test kit ASU assistant professor of the School of Molecular Sciences and Biodesign Institute researcher Alex Green earned double accolades this year, for outstanding research in molecular science. The most recent award, which comes from the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission (ABRC), will fund Green’s research on an easy to use test kit for Valley fever, which is a disease caused by fungal spores native to...

Junior faculty in ASU's School of Molecular Sciences receive recognition

March 15, 2017

Four faculty members in the School of Molecular Sciences have recently received national recognition for their research and scholarship. Assistant Professors Ryan Trovitch and Gary Moore were awarded prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards. These awards are designed to support teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization, and are the most competitive of the National Science Foundations...