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News

ASU develops state’s first saliva-based COVID-19 test

May 29, 2020 | News

In an effort to make COVID-19 diagnostic testing easier and more readily available to Arizonans, researchers at Arizona State University have developed the state’s first saliva-based test. “This new saliva-based test will be a real game-changer for those individuals who want to know whether or not they have an active COVID-19 infection,” said ASU Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer, who leads ASU COVID-19 research efforts. “As we return to the workplace, schools...

Biodesign C shines in copper awards

May 28, 2020 | News

Traveling down Rural Road next to Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, it’s impossible to ignore the shiny copper façade of the Biodesign Institute Building C.  The building earns accolades as a modern-day architectural marvel, with its latest win, a North American Copper in Architecture Award. Turns out, this shiny reddish metal is very green — as a sustainable building material — and has a very long history. Some of the most celebrated landmarks in the world’s...

Cancer gets a bad rap: Cell meets song when rap musician and cancer scientist connect to create new music video

May 26, 2020 | News

When it comes to helping understand cancer, Athena Aktipis wants to get her point across – not just to other researchers, but to anyone who will listen. A cancer researcher at Arizona State University, Aktipis is also co-founder of the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center (ACE) at Arizona State University, launched in 2018 with a grant of $8.5 million from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute. ACE is one of 13 international hubs for helping researchers understand cancer...

Memories of home

May 22, 2020 | News

Genes are more than blueprints for building organisms. They are also vessels of memory. In new research published in Science Advances, Wei Chin Ho, a researcher in the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution, along with his colleagues, describe how species can re-adapt to ancestral environments. Phenotypic plasticity is the phenomenon in which one set of genes can code for the expression of various traits. Only one trait is expressed at a time depending on the environment, but if the...

ASU grad student earns fellowship from National Science Foundation

May 14, 2020 | News

John Vant, a graduate student at Arizona State University’s School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Applied Structural Discovery, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the LeRoy Eyring Memorial Fellowship. That's even more impressive considering Vant said that attending graduate school was, for him, “a low probability phenomenon” and “not for kids like me.” Growing up, Vant always had a...

MELTDOWN: Can we push SARS CoV-2 off an evolutionary cliff?

May 14, 2020 | News

From New York to Luxembourg, Namibia, Iceland and Bhutan, the novel coronavirus SARS CoV-2 has turned the modern world into a crisis zone. An unprecedented global effort is underway to understand the elusive pathogen and find effective therapies. An intriguing approach to treating Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has recently been suggested by Arizona State University faculty members Jeff Jensen (Center for Evolution and Medicine) and Michael Lynch (Biodesign Center for...

An unconventional solution: Researchers recognized by ASU Women and Philanthropy for Salmonella-based cancer therapy

May 13, 2020 | News

Standard-of-care treatments—chemotherapy and radiation—remain at the forefront of cancer therapy, but in light of the high rate of recurrence and treatment failure still observed for most cancer subtypes and the high toxicity conferred by current practices, new and innovative therapies are being pursued.   These approaches include engineering viruses and bacteria to attack cancer cells, while leaving non-cancerous, healthy cells untouched. This line of research is quickly...

Cloth masks are a worthy line of defense to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic

May 13, 2020 | News

As our world finds itself in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, practically everything has changed. Sarah Arrowsmith, a scientist and lab coordinator with the Arizona State University Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, was stuck at home starting in mid-March —just like the rest of us. But unlike others, she pulled out her sewing machine and set to work making masks. Arrowsmith was prompted to action after Diana Calvo, a doctoral candidate in the center, asked...

Cost-effective cancer vaccine offers promise for prevention and treatment

May 7, 2020 | News

Being diagnosed with cancer is always alarming and too often, grim. An ancient disease, cancer is still with us, though treatment options remain limited, painful and frequently unsuccessful. What if we could treat cancer the same way we do other leading killers, like smallpox? What if we could prevent it (or even treat it) with a vaccine? There is a lot about cancer we don’t yet understand, but we do understand the complexities associated with treating it. Cancer defies the normal...

ASU scientific team finds new, unique mutation in coronavirus study

May 6, 2020 | News

As the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the U.S., in addition to tracking the number of COVID-19 daily cases, there is a worldwide scientific community engaged in tracking the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself. Efrem Lim leads a team at Arizona State University that looks at how the virus may be spreading, mutating and adapting over time. To trace the trail of the virus worldwide, Lim’s team is using a new technology at ASU’s Genomics Facility called next-generation...