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News

Imaging at the speed of life

November 18, 2019 | News

The European XFEL marks a new age of protein movie-making that enables enzymes involved in disease to be observed in real time To study the swiftness of biology – the protein chemistry behind every life function – scientists need to see molecules changing and interacting in unimaginably rapid time increments – trillionths of a second or shorter. Imaging equipment with that kind of speed was finally tested last year at the European X-ray Free-Electron Laser, or EuXFEL. Now, ASU...

Massive simulation reveals how a bacterial organelle converts sunlight to chemical energy

November 14, 2019 | News

Researchers from ASU’s Biodesign Institute in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Illinois report that they have successfully simulated every atom of a light-harvesting structure in a photosynthetic bacterium that generates energy for the organism. The simulated organelle behaves just like its counterpart in nature, the researchers report. The work is a major step toward understanding how some biological structures convert sunlight into chemical energy, a biological...

Environmental entrepreneurs receive national recognition

November 14, 2019 | News

Identified as “a powerful new model for the environmental field,” Professor Rolf Halden’s One Water One Health, an environmental justice organization, launched at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University , has been selected by The J.M. Kaplan Fund to receive an award of $175,000 over the course of three years. Halden’s organization is one of three environment-focused awardees and seven additional social innovation awardees, chosen from a field of 1,354 entries from all 50...

Photosynthesis seen in a new light by rapid X-ray pulses

November 8, 2019 | News

The ability to transform sunlight into energy is one of Nature’s more remarkable feats. Scientists understand the basic process of photosynthesis, but many crucial details remain elusive, occurring at dimensions and fleeting time scales long deemed too minuscule to probe. Now, that is changing. In a new study, led by Petra Fromme and Nadia Zatsepin at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery, the School of Molecular Sciences and the Department of Physics at ASU, researchers...

Myxoma's viral leap into Iberian hares sheds light on how viruses swap genetic material

November 6, 2019 | News

Viruses are all around us – they are present in most environments, lying in wait for the optimal host, and they even reside within our bodies, whether we know it or not. While hopping from species to species, these viruses can swap genetic material with each other and sometimes even with the host. In fact, over the course of millions of years, viral DNA has been integrated into human chromosomes. It is estimated that about 100,000 pieces of viral DNA have merged with human DNA, making up...

That’s a switch! Synthetic circuits regulate gene expression

November 4, 2019 | News

During the first flickering of life on earth, ribonucleic acid (RNA) occupied center stage. Since its shadowy beginnings, RNA has become a basic constituent of all living cells, faithfully transcribing DNA messages contained in genes and translating these into proteins. Now, Alex Green and his group at ASU’s Biodesign Institute and scientists from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Northwestern University, along with a group of...

Electrifying science: new study describes conduction through proteins

October 30, 2019 | News

Amid the zoo of biomolecules essential to life, enzymes are among the most vital. Without these specialized proteins, which speed up the rates of chemical reactions, thousands of essential life processes, from cell growth and digestion to respiration and nerve function, would be impossible. In new research, Stuart Lindsay and his colleagues investigate a recently discovered feat carried out by enzymes, and most likely, all proteins. Under proper conditions, they can act as superb conductors...

Scientists find solution to Gulf War Illness in FDA-approved antiviral drugs

October 23, 2019 | News

A team of scientists, including Efrem Lim, a virologist at the Arizona State University Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics  and assistant professor at the School of Life Sciences, has shown that adjusting GI tract viruses by repurposing existing FDA-approved antiviral drugs offers a route for effective treatment for Gulf War Illness (GWI) and its myriad of symptoms. Their findings were published in the journal, Viruses. “Viruses in the human microbiome have...

NASA Artemis project awards grant to Jiseon Yang to study ways to protect water for space travelers

October 22, 2019 | News

Water is Life: on Earth and in space Water is essential to life. Without it, humans can survive for only days. NASA spaceflights are reliant on water for successful space travel. Supplying enough water to sustain life in the very cramped quarters of a spacecraft or space station is not an easy order to fill. Now, armed with a $750,000 grant from the NASA Artemis project, Jiseon Yang, a researcher at the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics at Arizona State...

Biodesign startup OncoMyx Therapeutics, Inc. receives Fast Lane Award from AZBio

October 15, 2019 | News

The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) named OncoMyx Therapeutics, Inc.,  an Arizona State University Biodesign Institute startup, as a Fast Lane Company for 2019. Other Arizona companies to receive the distinction during Arizona Biosciences Week this year were Biosensing Instrument, Tempe, Arizona, and Gt Medical Technologies, Mesa, Arizona. The annual award recognizes Arizona bioscience companies that have arrived at significant milestones during the past 18 months. Impact...