News

News

Switched-on DNA

February 20, 2017 | Press Release

DNA, the stuff of life, may very well also pack quite the jolt for engineers trying to advance the development of tiny, low-cost electronic devices. Much like flipping your light switch at home---only on a scale 1,000 times smaller than a human hair---an ASU-led team has now developed the first controllable DNA switch to regulate the flow of electricity within a single, atomic-sized molecule.  The new study, led by ASU Biodesign Institute researcher Nongjian Tao, was published in the...

X-ray pulses reveal structure of viral cocoon

February 13, 2017 | News

Scientists analyze smallest ever protein crystals Arizona State University’s Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery (BCASD) and an international team of scientists have used high-intensity X-ray pulses to determine the structure of the crystalline protein envelope of an insect virus. Their analysis reveals the fine details of the building blocks that make up the viral cocoon down to a scale of 0.2 nanometers (millionths of a millimeter) – approaching atom-scale...

Medicine without side effects

February 9, 2017 | News

What Would You Give … For Medicine Without Side Effects? For many battling cancer and other diseases, treatment can be as physically draining as the ailment. Now imagine a medication that fights cancer, but doesn’t fight your body: medicine without side effects. Petra Fromme, director of the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery, leads a team of researchers determined to make this a reality. The scientific community took notice when Fromme’s team developed a novel...

ASU researcher focuses energy on future of science

February 9, 2017 | News

  In Q&A, professor Gary F. Moore discusses his work, which includes study of what plants can teach us about solar energy storage ASU researcher Gary F. Moore focuses on the future of science — and he hopes that we as a society do, as well. Moore, an assistant professor in the School of Molecular Sciences and a researcher in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery, studies what plants can teach us about solar energy storage, which currently is too expensive to...

ASU researcher says human waste provides window into public health

February 9, 2017 | News

University is home to National Sewage Sludge Repository, comprising samples from 200 wastewater treatment plants It’s not touted on the side of a bus, but Arizona State University is full of it. The university is home to the National Sewage Sludge Repository. Collected from 200 wastewater treatment plants, representing 10 percent of the U.S. population, it’s the largest archive of its kind in the country. Row upon row of white freezers are packed with (at last count) more than...

Pervasive chemicals pose threats for pregnant women and their offspring

February 7, 2017 | News

Each day, we are exposed to an array of chemicals lurking in the foods we eat and the common products we use. Pregnant women and their developing offspring are particularly at risk for the adverse health effects such chemicals sometimes cause, but the scientific evidence necessary to make informed choices has been lacking. In a series of innovative, multi-institutional studies, Rolf Halden, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, has tracked the effects of a wide...

Sentinels in the blood: a new diagnostic for pancreatic cancer

February 6, 2017 | Press Release

Despite enormous research strides, detection methods for many diseases remain cumbersome and expensive, and often uncover illness only at advanced stages, when patient outcomes can be bleak. One such illness is pancreatic cancer, which may display no obvious symptoms in its early stages, yet can develop aggressively. Indeed, according to the American Cancer Society, a staggering 80 percent of those stricken with this form of cancer die within 1 year of diagnosis. Now, however, Tony Hu, a...

Diagnostics goes digital with technology conceived at ASU

February 1, 2017 | News

Innovation is part of $400 million international Digital Life Alliance aimed at producing a personalized health guide What if your smartphone could tell you that a potential disease or illness is lurking in your immune system? What if instead of contracting diabetes, you were able to stop it before it compromised your health — maybe even before you or your physician see any outward signs? This is the driving idea behind an international group of scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs that...

Inventions that clean up water earn Rittmann NAI Fellowship

January 25, 2017 | News

What makes a successful invention? There are many criteria, but often our most widely used inventions solve multiple problems. WD-40 and duct tape both boast hundreds of uses or more, and likely we all have both at hand. Another example involves making natural processes do a variety of work for us, such as using bacteria to clean up contaminants in wastewater. But Arizona State University Regents’ Professor Bruce Rittmann took his discovery of this process a step further and figured out...

Effects of spaceflight detected in blood

January 25, 2017 | News

As researchers have long known, the punishing conditions associated with human spaceflight present profound challenges for the mental and physical health of astronauts. Acceleration during launch, (which must rapidly propel the craft to some 18,000 mph), acute confinement, hazardous levels of radiation, sleep deprivation, and reduced gravity (or microgravity) can produce a range of physiological effects, from suppressed immune function, bone and muscle loss, eyesight problems, and viral...