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Zika test among ASU research highlights for 2016

January 3, 2017 | Blog

A roundup of some of the university’s top stories of 2016 It was a year of big headlines for both the nation and Arizona State University. As the world has been faced with new challenges — and opportunities for new solutions — ASU has found innovative ways to help the communities it serves. The university’s faculty, staff and students have made advancements in health, space exploration, robotics and more, all while expanding access to education and extending compassion to...

Flawed Research Tool Leads To Faulty Medical Findings

September 29, 2016 | Blog

This article originally appeared on NPR.org Researchers trying to understand diseases and find new ways to treat them are running into a serious problem in their labs: One of the most commonly used tools often produces spurious results. More than 100 influential scientists met in California this week and agreed on a strategy to address the troubling issue. The tool in this case is a process — the use of custom-built antibodies. Like the antibodies in your body that help fight off...

The Lab Aquatic

August 30, 2016 | Blog

If you have been around the third floor of wing A in Biodesign lately, you have probably noticed the new 100-gallon saltwater aquarium. This may bring some welcome stress relief to the workplace as the new school year gets underway. The real purpose of the aquarium though, is purely scientific. Associate professor Carlo Maley of the Biodesign Institute Center for Personalized Diagnostics recently had the aquarium set up in his new lab space with snails, shrimp and crabs, followed later by...

Tracking water contamination

August 17, 2016 | Blog

A new environmental monitoring device has been pioneered by Rolf Halden's Center for Environmental Security. Rolf Halden's innovative in situ sampler was recentlly featured in Environmental Monitor, a trade magazine for environmental professionals.  Here's the article below:  "For common water quality parameters like pH or dissolved oxygen, there are plenty of devices out there to measure them. For low-level contaminants like pesticides, however, the...

Eradication of Zika Virus Funding

July 26, 2016 | Blog

Congress is in the midst of its seven-week summer recess period. Although the break coincides with the height of mosquito season, no legislation was passed in regards to the emerging Zika virus concerns. This was not for a lack of proposals on the matter, but rather for the differences between them. The accompanying infographic shows a comparison of what was requested by the President in February, and what was proposed in May in the Senate (S.A. 3900) and in the House of...

Urban Metabolism

May 20, 2016 | Blog

What can a wastewater treatment plant tell us about the health of a population? Despite having a bad reputation for being the smelly place at the end of the pipeline, wastewater treatment plants are flush with a wealth of human health information. Rolf Halden, PhD, professor and director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University can use the input and output from wastewater treatment plants to determine the health, lifestyle and consumption of a...

Zika and Dengue

May 11, 2016 | Blog

Female mosquitoes have vampiristic tendencies. Their unquenchable thirst for blood drives them to hastily hunt for their next human meal. Once the mosquito lands on its host, it punctures the flesh and inserts its straw-like mouth below the skin, releasing saliva that prevents the blood from clotting. It then proceeds to probe around for a nearby blood vessel to feed from. When mosquitoes perform this routine survival act, they are simultaneously spreading diseases through human populations....

Bracket madness, science style

March 14, 2016 | Blog

Who will win in a fight, a polar bear or a lemming? Science tackles this matchup and many more in this year’s March Mammal Madness. This bracket competition is organized by four ASU professors and can be followed on twitter. ASU Now reports, “Now in its fourth year, the event is managed by a team of evolutionary biologists who pick a different bunch of animals each year and then imagine who would win based on science. And it inspires a surprisingly fervid response from a general public not...

Body’s natural molecular mechanisms provide blueprint for better technology

March 14, 2016 | Blog

Ximin He, chemical engineer and materials scientist, is working to design “smart” materials that perform functions like, removing heavy metal ions from wastewater. ASU Now reports, “Such an achievement could open paths to better water purification and treatment, as well as more effective removal of heavy metals, medical diagnoses, environmental protection, food processing, energy efficiency and a number of other things that require combined applications of chemical, materials and...

Using bacteria to produce electricity, treat wastewater

March 14, 2016 | Blog

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...