A new model of Alzheimer's progression

June 14, 2021 | News

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and is characterized by neurodegeneration in regions of the brain involved in memory and learning. Amyloid beta and tau are two toxic proteins that build up in disease and cause eventual neuronal death, but little is known about how other cells in the brain react during disease progression. A new study from the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Research Center (NDRC) and MIT/Koch Institute sheds new light on how disease processes manifest in...

Strange bedfellows: new research explores a rare case of endosymbiosis

June 11, 2021 | News

Across nature, symbiotic relationships abound. Recently, a very unusual example of symbiosis at the cellular level was discovered by researchers with the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution at Arizona State University, along with international collaborators. A new study, led by corresponding author Sebastian Hess from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Cologne, describes the discovery of a very rare and enigmatic triple endosymbiosis consisting of a...

Largescale brain epigenetics study provides new insights into dementia

June 10, 2021 | News

  The largest study of its kind has unveiled new insights into how genes are regulated in dementia, including discovering 84 new genes linked to the disease. Researchers from the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center (NDRC) join international colleagues, led by the University of Exeter, to investigate the molecular underpinnings of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.   The collaboration combined and analysed data across six different studies, in...

New research in protein sequencing poised to transform medicine

June 7, 2021 | News

  While DNA provides the genetic recipe book for biological form and function, it is the job of the body’s proteins to carry out the complex commands dictated by DNA’s genetic code. Stuart Lindsay, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at ASU, has been at the forefront of efforts to improve rapid DNA sequencing and has more recently applied his talents to explore the much thornier problem of sequencing protein molecules, one molecule at a time. In a new overview article,...

First electrons generated for revolutionary new tool in biological discovery

June 2, 2021 | News

A milestone for ASU’s compact X-ray free electron laser program A team of scientists at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute has successfully achieved a milestone five years in the making — generating the first electrons from their highly innovative compact X-ray program. The achievement is a major operational step as the ASU scientists race to complete the project's first phase, called a compact X-ray light source (CXLS). “This is a kind of eureka moment, when we...

Improving a virus’ cancer-killing potency

June 1, 2021 | News

In recent years, an unusual new domain in cancer research has opened up. The idea is to use infectious pathogens to attack and kill cancerous cells. So-called oncolytic viruses, in particular, have shown great promise for targeting cancer cells, while leaving normal, healthy cells intact. In new research, Rahman Masmudur and his colleagues describe a method for improving the effectiveness of a powerful oncolytic virus known as myxoma virus.   A member of the pox family of viruses,...

Helping each other to avoid and recover from disaster

May 30, 2021 | News

What can we learn from developing societies around the world about mitigating risk and sharing resources during a disaster? When disasters happen, we often have to rely on others to help us get through. In our modern world, many of us rely on commercial insurance that we buy through the market to manage our risk. But managing risk is an ancient human practice — one that has roots going far back in our evolutionary history. We can catch a glimpse of these fundamentally human risk management...

COVID-19: A one-year review

May 25, 2021 | News

As COVID-19 threatened the lives, livelihoods and mental well-being of people worldwide, Arizona State University met the unprecedented challenges with speed, agility and, most of all, teamwork. As part of ASU’s effort, Biodesign researchers, faculty, staff and students sprang into action, joining forces with the state, health care agencies, businesses and nonprofits in the epic battle against COVID-19.

Chief of Staff Robinson named one of the most admired leaders in Phoenix

May 24, 2021 | News

When COVID-19 testing was desperately needed in Arizona, Biodesign Institute Chief of Staff Kerri Robinson sprang to action. Her leadership made it possible for ASU to offer partner testing sites, initially for critical employers and later all around the state. For her tireless efforts, Robinson was named among the 2021 Phoenix Business Journal Most Admired Leaders during a virtual event May 13.  According to the journal’s eligibility requirements, the award strives to honor...

Untangling the brain: new research offers hope for Alzheimer’s disease

May 12, 2021 | News

Since the discovery of Alzheimer’s disease over a century ago, two hallmarks of the devastating illness have taken center stage. The first, known as amyloid plaques, are dense accumulations of misfolded amyloid protein, occurring in the spaces between nerve cells. Most efforts to halt the advance of Alzheimer’s disease have targeted amyloid protein plaques. To date, all have met dispiriting failure. The second classic trait has, until recently, received less scrutiny.  It...