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News

Hao Yan and 6 other ASU researchers honored as AAAS Fellows

December 4, 2019 | News

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...

The sounds of science: A quiet home for a powerful laser

December 3, 2019 | News

Descending into the basement of Biodesign Institute Building C, a stillness settles around you. The sounds of skateboards clacking across sidewalks, students hurrying to class, even the chime of the nearby light rail and rush of traffic fade the deeper you go into the copper-plated, five-story building.  “You can feel it. You can just feel how quiet your feet are,” says Mark Holl. “Theoretically, this is one of the quietest, most vibration-free rooms in the entire...

World’s top researchers convene at ASU Biodesign to improve understanding of molecules in action, helping to advance areas including medicine and clean energy

November 26, 2019 | News

Early in November, under azure Arizona skies, researchers from around the world gathered at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus for an unusual scientific conference. “Functional dynamics—visualizing molecules in action” was sponsored by the premier scientific journal Nature, in collaboration with the Biodesign Institute at ASU. The conference highlighted recent advances that have allowed scientists to probe critical aspects of nature occurring at mind-bogglingly tiny dimensions...

One step closer: Membrane protein structure expressed in Lyme disease could offer therapeutic target

November 26, 2019 | News

Stories of those afflicted with Lyme disease abound and cases appear to be on the rise. Yet few are aware of the symptoms, severity or cause of this disease, which is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. Lyme disease, which is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete bacteria, is transmitted from ticks to humans. It represents the most common vector-borne illness in the Northern Hemisphere, and in the United States alone, there are 300,000 cases annually. As the number of cases...

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

November 25, 2019 | News

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...

New electrochemical platform paves the way for advanced portable diagnostic tools

November 25, 2019 | News

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....

Aquatic microorganisms offer important window on the history of life

November 25, 2019 | News

The air, earth and water of our planet are pulsating with living things. Yet, a vast and diverse web of life exists, about which almost nothing is known. This is the world of flagellates, tiny organisms that persist in staggering numbers in many diverse ecosystems around the world. According to Jeremy Wideman, a researcher at the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms in Evolution at Arizona State University, we have a great deal to learn from these delicate and wildly varied creatures. Among other...

ASU professor tackles life at the atomic level with NSF CAREER award

November 20, 2019 | News

Assistant Professor Abhishek Singharoy from Arizona State University’s School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Applied Structural Discovery has recently earned a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The prestigious CAREER program supports the early career development activities of teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the mission of their organization. It...

Protecting drone security: Research team videos demonstrate success

November 20, 2019 | News

When the Air Force sought answers to the challenge of drone security, they looked to researchers at University of Michigan, University of Virginia, Carnegie-Mellon, BBN Technologies and Arizona State University’s Biodesign Center for Biocomputing, Security and Society for answers. The collaborative research, led by Prof. Westley Weimer at the University of Michigan, developed methods for unmanned vehicles such as drones to automatically detect and repair security problems during a mission....

Imaging at the speed of life

November 18, 2019 | News

The European XFEL marks a new age of protein movie-making that enables enzymes involved in disease to be observed in real time To study the swiftness of biology – the protein chemistry behind every life function – scientists need to see molecules changing and interacting in unimaginably rapid time increments – trillionths of a second or shorter. Imaging equipment with that kind of speed was finally tested last year at the European X-ray Free-Electron Laser, or EuXFEL. Now, ASU...