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Biodesign researchers among world’s most influential researchers

December 17, 2019

Web of Science has named Marc Messerschmidt, an associate research professor in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and the School of Molecular Sciences; Uwe Weierstall, associate faculty in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and research professor in the Department of Physics; Hao Yan, the Milton D. Glick Distinguished Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry and director of the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics; and Wei...

Hao Yan and 6 other ASU researchers honored as AAAS Fellows

December 4, 2019

Biodesign researcher Hao Yan, along with six other outstanding faculty members from Arizona State University have been named as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Yan, (chemistry), is recognized for pioneering work and distinguished contributions in structural DNA nanotechnology and molecular self-assembly. His overarching research goal is to achieve programmed design and assembly of biologically inspired nanomaterials and to explore its...

New electrochemical platform paves the way for advanced portable diagnostic tools

November 25, 2019

Scientists at Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Toronto (U of T) and have developed the first direct gene circuit to electrode interface by combining cell-free synthetic biology with state-of-the-art nanostructured electrodes. Long inspired by concepts from the field of electronics, with its circuits and logic gates, synthetic biologists have sought to reprogram biological systems to carry out artificial functions for medical, environmental, and pharmaceutical applications....

That’s a switch! Synthetic circuits regulate gene expression

November 4, 2019

During the first flickering of life on earth, ribonucleic acid (RNA) occupied center stage. Since its shadowy beginnings, RNA has become a basic constituent of all living cells, faithfully transcribing DNA messages contained in genes and translating these into proteins. Now, Alex Green and his group at ASU’s Biodesign Institute and scientists from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Northwestern University, along with a group of...

Ask A Biologist: Nicholas Stephanopoulos builds his career at the nanoscale

September 19, 2019

Nicholas Stephanopoulos always wanted to be a professor, just like his father. From an early age, he pursued his passion through science, working in labs during his high school years, and later studying chemistry at Harvard. Today, he serves as an assistant professor in the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics and School of Molecular Sciences. Stephanopoulos is a newly featured scientist in Ask A Biologist, an award-winning online science learning resource for students,...

Researchers offer new strategies for the use of extracellular vesicles as biomarkers

August 21, 2019

With advances in technology and our understanding of the human body, come better techniques for diagnosing disease. One recent innovation involves the use of extracellular vesicles as biomarkers for a range of illnesses. Extracellular vesicles are tiny bubbles of material emitted from most living cells that can offer vital clues about the status of the cells producing them. However, the field of extracellular vesicle (EV) research is a relatively new one, and there are more refinements to be...

ASU professor named to Fast Company’s 'Most Creative People in Business 2019'

May 22, 2019

Arizona State University Biodesign Institute researcher Hao Yan has been named to Fast Company’s list of “Most Creative People in Business 2019” for his work using nanobots to fight cancerous tumors by choking off their blood supply. Fast Company recognized Yan’s work using nanorobots to treat cancer at the molecular level. A pioneer in the field of DNA origami, Yan and his team in the  Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics  draw their inspiration from...

Programmable 'Legos' of DNA and protein building blocks create novel 3D cages

March 29, 2019

The central goal of nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale, especially to build microscopic devices or structures. Three-dimensional cages are one of the most important targets, both for their simplicity and their application as drug carriers for medicine. DNA nanotechnology uses DNA molecules as programmable “Legos” to assemble structures with a control not possible with other molecules. However, the structure of DNA is very simple and lacks the...

Plucky science: Researchers’ nanotweezers used in detection of conformational changes

March 12, 2019

Biomolecules, such as DNA and proteins, are not static structures. They undergo complex conformational changes that are essential to their functioning and the signaling pathways they belong to. Understanding these changes is pivotal to a deeper comprehension of how the body works and could eventually shed light on certain diseases that afflict us. Recent advancements in DNA nanotechnology provide insight into the subtle role of biomolecules. Channeling DNA’s chemical and physical...

Natural killers: Biodesign researcher enhances ability of immune system to fight off cancer

January 28, 2019

Cancer remains a leading cause of death globally and is the focus of exhaustive and varied medical research. Many of ASU’s Biodesign Institute researchers are working to establish alternative therapies that sidestep the harmful effects of chemotherapy and radiation while improving the success rate for the more difficult-to-treat cancers. These immunotherapies are innovative treatments that leverage the body’s own defense infrastructure to recognize and destroy diseased cells. Bo Ning,...