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News

Biodesign researchers collaborate to develop innovative manufacturing for modern industries

July 19, 2021 | News

Every day we interact with products manufactured using polymer chemistry — whether shower stalls, automotive parts, concrete structures or a wide range of plastics. Modern fabrication utilizes additive manufacturing, in which a product is built by adding molecules to precise locations. This process is more commonly known as 3D printing. Additive manufacturing is more economical and potentially more sustainable because it requires less energy, produces less waste and overall uses less...

New study targets molecular culprit of liver disease

July 14, 2021 | News

Some 80-100 million people in the US have a serious medical condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The affliction is caused by abnormal retention of fat within cells or organs. People of all ages are vulnerable to this disease, though individuals suffering from obesity or type 2 diabetes are at heightened risk. In a new study, researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery (CASD) and their colleagues use NMR technology to probe a protein known as...

Bruce Rittmann honored with WEF research award

July 12, 2021 | News

Arizona State University Regents’ Professor Bruce Rittmann has been named the 2021 recipient of the WEF Camp Applied Research Award, bestowed by the Water Environment Federation (WEF). “Dr. Rittmann is recognized for his body of work, from membrane biofilm reactors to membrane capture of CO2,” according to a WEF Award statement. Rittmann is the director of the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, Regents' Professor of Environmental Engineering at ASU and one...

In memoriam: Regents Professor John Spence

June 30, 2021 | News

John Spence, a researcher in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery, the Richard Snell Professor of Physics and ASU Regents Professor, died peacefully Monday morning, June 28, in Boston.  Spence’s career spanned more than 40 years at ASU, where early on he was a key contributor to ASU’s world-renowned program in electron microscopy and, most recently, was the director of science for the NSF BioXFEL Science and Technology Center on the application of X-ray...

A nomad finds a home in viruses

June 22, 2021 | News

When Arvind Varsani arrived in the Antarctica for the first time a decade ago, he noted that the world looked black and white — from the sheet ice to the sky to the snippets of Earth peeking out from under the snow-covered mountains. That is, with the exception of an oversized vermilion bus that ferried him and other researchers to a nearby camp. The sounds of a wind farm and heavy machinery reverberated. “It was a very surreal experience,” Varsani recalled. So was the...

Translating innovation from the lab to the marketplace

June 18, 2021 | News

Academic entrepreneurs looking to translate their research from the lab to the marketplace often face a daunting challenge: the valley of death. This is the point in the innovation cycle where many technologies meet their demise. It represents the period when opportunities for governmental funding that support fundamental science breakthroughs have been exhausted, at the same time when industry investors are waiting for more testing and finishing touches. For researchers at Arizona...

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,...