News

News

Mining molecular data with cryo-EM unveils hidden biological secrets

September 21, 2020 | News

The field of structural biology has made enormous strides, peering into the activities of nature at the tiniest scale. Such investigations are critical for charting the behavior of important macromolecules and understanding their essential role in living organisms. Researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences have taken a new approach to studying molecules of life, examining not only their static structures...

Technique permits convenient, precise optical imaging of individual proteins

September 21, 2020 | News

Often considered the workhorses of the body, proteins are among the most important biomolecules critical to life processes. They provide structural foundation for cells and tissues and perform a dizzying array of tasks, from metabolizing energy and helping cells communicate with one another to defending the body from pathogens and guiding cell division and growth. Because protein dysfunction is implicated in so many serious diseases, proteins are the primary targets for most therapeutic...

Arizona genetic research group tracks initial spread of SARS-CoV-2

September 16, 2020 | News

Seeds of widespread ‘community’ distribution began mid-February Initial findings reported by the Arizona COVID-19 Genomics Union (ACGU) suggest that following Arizona’s first reported case of COVID-19 in late January, the state experienced no cases that went undetected and was COVID-19-free until at least 11 distinct incursions occurred between mid-February and early April. Efrem Lim, a virologist who leads the ASU contributions to the ACGU, said the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence...

Storing information and designing uncrackable codes with DNA

September 15, 2020 | News

For billions of years, Nature has used DNA like a molecular bank vault; a place to store her most coveted secrets: the design blueprints essential to life. Now, researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Institute are exploring the unique information-carrying capacities of DNA, hoping to produce microscopic forms whose ability to encrypt, store and retrieve information rival those of the silicon-based semiconductor memories found in most computers. If successful, DNA-based storage technologies...

New method to design diamond lattices and other crystals from microscopic building blocks

September 14, 2020 | News

An impressive array of architectural forms can be produced from the popular interlocking building blocks known as LEGOS®. All that is needed is a child’s imagination to construct a virtually infinite variety of complex shapes. In a new study appearing in the journal Physical Review Letters, researchers describe a technique for using LEGO®-like elements at the scale of a few billionths of a meter. Further, they are able to cajole these design elements to self-assemble, with each LEGO®...

Are male genes from Mars, female genes from Venus? Review highlights sex differences in health and disease

September 11, 2020 | News

Males and females share the vast majority of their genomes. Only a sprinkling of genes, located on the so-called X and Y sex chromosomes, differ between the sexes. Nevertheless, the activities of our genes—their expression in cells and tissues—generate profound distinctions between males and females. Not only do the sexes differ in outward appearance, their differentially expressed genes strongly affect the risk, incidence, prevalence, severity and age-of-onset of many diseases,...

AZBio awards ASU researchers for exceptional work in biosciences

September 9, 2020 | News

This month, AZBio announced that two of their annual awards will go to outstanding Arizona State University researchers — Joshua LaBaer and Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown. AZBio is a statewide organization that is dedicated to “building the biosciences industry in Arizona by providing access to key resources, connections and information in our biosciences community.” As part of those efforts, each year AZBio recognizes scientists, educators, leaders and companies that are furthering biological...

New microfluidic device minimizes loss of high value samples

September 7, 2020 | News

A major collaborative effort that has been developing over the last three years between Arizona State University and European scientists has resulted in a significant technical advance in X-ray crystallographic sample strategies. The ASU contribution comes from the School of Molecular Sciences , Department of Physics and the Biodesign Institute Center for Applied Structural Discovery. The European X-ray Free Electron Laser (EuXFEL) is a research facility of superlatives:...

A new twist on DNA origami

September 7, 2020 | News

A team of scientists from Arizona State University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), led by Hao Yan, ASU’s Milton Glick Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences and director of the ASU Biodesign Institute’s Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, has just announced the creation of a new type of meta-DNA structures that will open up the fields of optoelectronics, including information storage and encryption as well as synthetic...

Research shows water quality could diminish in closed buildings during COVID-19 pandemic

August 28, 2020 | News

While bars, gyms, dine-in restaurants and other buildings have been closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, water left sitting in pipes could change in quality. It’s possible that water left sitting for long periods of time could contain excessive amounts of heavy metals and pathogens concentrated in pipes nationwide, say researchers who have begun a field study on the impact of a pandemic shutdown on buildings. “There are several factors that encourage the growth of...