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News

Microbial remedies target chemical threats in the environment

November 16, 2020 | News

Across America, hazardous waste sites pose an ongoing threat to human and environmental health. The most severe cases are known as Superfund sites, of which over a thousand currently exist. Some 50 million Americans live within three miles of one of these zones, potentially placing them at increased risk for cancer and other serious diseases. While decontamination of such sites is a public health priority, the technical challenges are daunting.  Of particular concern are a pair of...

Managing the microbiome raises new hope for autism

November 12, 2020 | News

According to the Centers for Disease Research, 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) each year, and the number has been rising. The disease causes perplexing, lifelong developmental disabilities, which usually arise during early childhood and affect social skills, communication, personal relationships, and self-control. In new research appearing in the journal mSphere, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, James Adams and their colleagues highlight the crucial importance of...

State recognizes ASU Biodesign Institute’s response to COVID-19 with Innovator of the Year Award

November 12, 2020 | News

Since the rise of COVID-19 in our state last spring, the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute has worked tirelessly to respond, in particular by providing rapid public testing for the virus and by developing a less invasive saliva-based test. As of mid-November, the ASU Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory has processed over 255,000 tests. Last Wednesday, Arizona’s leaders recognized these efforts by awarding the Biodesign Institute with the Innovator of the Year Award in the...

Criss-crossing viruses give rise to peculiar hybrid variants

October 29, 2020 | News

For millions of years, viruses have participated in a far-flung, import-export business, exchanging fragments of themselves with both viral and non-viral agents and acquiring new features.  What these tiny entities lack in outward complexity, they make up for with their astonishing abilities to swap out modular genomic components and ceaselessly reinvent themselves. In new research appearing in the journal mBio, Arvind Varsani and his colleagues investigate a recently discovered class...

Arizona Wellbeing Commons finds answers for COVID-19, hope for future

October 14, 2020 | News

After battling on the front lines of the global coronavirus pandemic for nearly a year, Arizona’s health care community paused last Friday to evaluate what we’ve learned about COVID-19, what challenges are yet to come and how best to work together for greater success. Over 300 health care professionals, researchers, policy makers and others gathered virtually for the fourth annual Arizona Wellbeing Commons event, which focused on the coronavirus pandemic. Arizona Wellbeing Commons brings...

Tiny pumping stations play outsized role in cellular health and disease

October 12, 2020 | News

In order to carry out their astonishingly varied tasks, living cells make use of a range of micro-machines. One of the most crucial of these— known vacuolar ATPase or V-ATPase—is responsible for ferrying protons into cellular compartments or organelles. Without it, cells could not survive. Once set in motion, this natural motor—ensconced in the cell organelle’s fatty outer membrane—spins like a helicopter blade at 100 times per second, sweeping in protons from outside the...

Rapid testing to the rescue

October 7, 2020 | News

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, researchers at the Biodesign Institute leapt into action Editor's note: This story originally appeared in the fall 2020 issue of ASU Thrive magazine.  On the morning of March 11, clinicians at the Arizona Department of Health Services reported three new cases of the novel coronavirus in the state, and Gov. Doug Ducey declared a public health emergency.  Dr. Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute at ASU, was in his...

New techniques probe vital and elusive proteins

October 6, 2020 | News

The number of proteins in the human body, collectively known as the proteome, is vast. Somewhere between 80,000 and 400,000 proteins circulate in our cells, tissues and organs, carrying out a broad range of duties essential for life. When proteins go awry, they are responsible for a myriad of serious diseases. Now, researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences, along with their colleagues, investigate a critically important...

Holloway honored as a rising star in chemical engineering

October 5, 2020 | News

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers honored Julianne Holloway with a 35 Under 35 Award. Holloway, an associate faculty member in the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, is being recognized for outstanding achievements as one of the best and brightest young professionals in her field. AIChE’s 35 Under 35 Award is given to rising stars in seven categories, and she was chosen for her contributions to bioengineering.  Holloway and her research group focus...

Biodesign, on a research roll, announces new centers, state-of-the-art X-ray lab

September 28, 2020 | News

The Biodesign Institute at ASU significantly expands its scientific enterprise, announcing three new centers/labs to advance explorations in the fields of microbiomics, green chemistry and pioneering compact X-ray science. With the new additions poised to begin operations, Biodesign continues its aggressive effort to probe exciting new domains, pursuing research to address human health, safeguard the environment, improve daily life and advance basic scientific understanding in diverse...