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Hop to it: Researchers evaluate rabbits’ evolved resistance to myxoma virus

February 14, 2019 | News

As most know already, rabbit populations are not easily controlled – they reproduce swiftly, and as a result, they have a severe impact on their environment. This was the case when European settlers introduced the wild European rabbit to Australia in the late 19th century. In an attempt to reduce the population size that had grown to almost a billion rabbits by 1950, Australian scientists released the myxoma virus – a virus known to be deadly to rabbits at the time – to the rabbit...

Is your brain lying to you? What magicians can teach scientists about observation

February 13, 2019 | News

Observation is one of the most powerful tools that scientists use. Scientists meticulously perform experiments, analyze data and interpret the results, then repeat this process hundreds of times. But what if our brains are lying to us? Can scientists trust their observations? Parag Mallick, a computer scientist and researcher at Stanford Medicine and a world-renowned magician, explored these questions during a recent visit to Arizona State University. In “An Evening of Science and...

X-ray laser study identifies crystalline intermediate in our 'pathway to breathing'

February 11, 2019 | News

Scientists from Arizona State University’s School of Molecular Sciences, in collaboration with colleagues from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, have captured for the first time snapshots of crystal structures of intermediates in the biochemical pathway that enables us to breathe. Their results, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the article "Snapshot of an Oxygen Intermediate in the Catalytic Reaction of Cytochrome c...

Quantum strangeness gives rise to new electronics

February 11, 2019 | News

Noting the startling advances in semiconductor technology, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore proposed that the number of transistors on a chip will double each year, an observation that has been born out since he made the claim in 1965. Still, it’s unlikely Moore could have foreseen the extent of the electronics revolution currently underway. Today, a new breed of devices, bearing unique properties, is being developed. As ultra-miniaturization continues apace, researchers have begun to explore...

Krajmalnik-Brown encourages us to ‘go with our gut’

February 7, 2019 | News

When Nicole Neuman, the editor of Molecular Cell sought a learned look at the connection of microbes to behavior, they knew exactly who to call: Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown. “Dr. Rosy,” as she’s known at Arizona State University, is becoming increasingly well-known for her interest and expertise in gut-brain interactions. Molecular Cell is a companion to Cell, the leading journal of biology and the highest-impact journal in the world, so Krajmalnik-Brown knew the invitation to write a...

Running toward answers: DeCourt receives $4.5 million for Alzheimer's research

February 6, 2019 | News

Boris DeCourt was about 12 years old when he knew he would be committing his life to biomedical research. During those tender years, his 38-year-old father had a heart attack; an incident so serious that it called for a transplant. The young DeCourt traveled to Paris, the closest hospital that could perform the heart transplant. “It was a special kind of transplant that was done in an extreme emergency,” said DeCourt. “He had a second heart – connected to his original heart. He had...

Study Looks for DNA Changes to Measure Parkinson’s Disease

February 4, 2019 | News

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Arizona State University (ASU) have received funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to launch a multiyear, $1.7 million effort to identify blood-based biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease (PD), which could improve care and accelerate new treatments for the neurodegenerative disorder, which affects nearly 1 million Americans, with 60,000 new cases diagnosed annually. “The exact...

Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease while holding on to humanity

January 31, 2019 | News

The challenge of Alzheimer’s disease is hard for the patient, painful for the family and, in many ways, still baffling for researchers.  “There is no way to predict the manifestations or the rate of progression of the disease,” said Mary-Charlotte Domandi, host of the ASU Now podcast "Thought Huddle." In the latest episode, “Alzheimer’s Disease: Holding on to Humanity,” she recounts her own experience with her stepfather who had Alzheimer’s, remembering an...

Science Day at the Arizona Capitol

January 31, 2019 | News

Some 65 students and scientists from Arizona State University are expected to converge in Phoenix on Tuesday, Feb. 5 for the first-ever Science Day at the Arizona Capitol. This event is the brainchild of the Arizona Science Policy Network, a group of ASU students who are especially interested in opening lines of communication between scientists and government leaders. “Our event will be a success if we can ignite a long-term relationship with the state’s policymakers”, said Caitlyn...

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

January 28, 2019 | News

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,...