News

News

Making sense of the viral multiverse

April 27, 2020 | News

In November of 2019—likely, even earlier—a tiny entity measuring just a few hundred billionths of a meter in diameter began to tear apart human society on a global scale. Within a few months, the relentless voyager known as SARS-CoV-2 had made its way to every populated corner of the earth, leaving scientists and health authorities with too many questions and few answers. Today, researchers are scrambling to understand where and how the novel coronavirus arose, what features account for...

Novel coronavirus detected, monitored in wastewater

April 22, 2020 | News

Within weeks of arriving on the world stage, SARS-CoV-2 has managed to encircle the globe, leaving illness, mortality and economic devastation in its vast wake. One of the central challenges facing health authorities and the medical community has been testing for the elusive virus on a sufficiently comprehensive scale. A new approach to monitoring the novel coronavirus, (as well as other dangerous pathogens and chemical agents), is being developed and refined. Known as wastewater-based...

ASU supplies health care providers with protective gear

April 22, 2020 | News

Arizona State University has responded to the coronavirus crisis by ramping up a massive initiative to design, produce and distribute critically needed personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.  Not only is ASU continuously fabricating gear to protect health care workers, it’s also leveraging its size and speed to activate the entire community to fulfill the need.  This week, ASU unveiled a new web site called the PPE Response Network that links university and...

What it takes to fast-track a vaccine

April 21, 2020 | News

In a matter of months, COVID-19 changed the world. More than 2.1 million cases are now documented worldwide, and as that number keeps rising, scientists are facing the challenge of quickly finding a vaccine — a process that normally takes about a decade. Health experts hope to see results in 12 to 18 months. But is that feasible? “Vaccines are only fast-tracked when there is an emergency need during a pandemic, like COVID-19,” said Brenda Hogue, a virologist at ASU’s Biodesign...

Indices of health under our feet

April 21, 2020 | News

A treasure trove of information relevant to human and environmental health is hiding in an unexpected place. Samples of wastewater from homes, institutions, towns and cities around the world can now be probed for valuable data concerning community well-being, antibiotic use and resistance, recreational substance consumption and abuse, biomarkers of disease as well as environmental hazards and degradation. This rapidly emerging health surveillance technique, termed wastewater-based...

Three Biodesign researchers awarded NSF CAREER Award

April 9, 2020 | News

Arizona State University has to date earned 15 National Science Foundation early faculty CAREER awards for 2020. The awards total $9.5 million in funding for ASU researchers over five years. Amongst these 15 recipients were three Biodesign Institute researchers: Richard Kirian, Brent Nannenga and Abhishek Singharoy. The NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program identifies the nation’s most promising young faculty members and provides them with funding to pursue...

Beating cancer by taking the unbeaten path

April 6, 2020 | News

Athena Aktipis could be called a “Renaissance woman.” After all, she’s a psychologist, evolutionary biologist, cancer biologist and studies conflict and cooperation. She crosses boundaries and colors outside the lines in her quest to find answers to questions about human nature and the nature of life on earth. At Arizona State University, she is a co-leader of the Arizona Cancer Evolution Center; at the Biodesign Institute at ASU, she is a member of three different research centers;...

ASU receives $2M to boost coronavirus rapid research response

March 31, 2020 | News

A $2 million donation in emergency grants from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will vastly increase efforts now underway at Arizona State University to coordinate preparedness responses to the coronavirus pandemic. The grants will support the university’s work in three areas: • Testing of critical workforce including health care workers, first responders and infrastructure personnel. • Assembling of nose- and throat-swab test kits in short supply for health care...

Cancer paper makes Top 100

March 30, 2020 | News

News that Stephen Albert Johnston’s published approach to cancer prevention is one of 2019’s most downloaded papers in cancer research is testament to scientific interest in breakaway approaches to cancer. Today, Johnston’s paper is 14th most popular among more than 1,000 papers submitted to Nature Scientific Reports from across the world. “The work we reported represents the foundational research for the vaccines and diagnostics we have been working on for 15 years,” said...

Viewpoint: Could disease pathogens be the dark matter behind Alzheimer’s disease?

March 18, 2020 | News

For researchers investigating Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), a devastating neurodegenerative illness afflicting close to 6 million Americans, it is the best and worst of times. Scientists have made exponential advances in understanding many aspects of the mysterious disease since it was first diagnosed over 100 years ago. Nevertheless, every effort to find a cure for AD or even slow its relentless advance has met with dispiriting failure. The next chapter in the fight against the disease...