First electrons generated for revolutionary new tool in biological discovery

June 2, 2021 | News

A milestone for ASU’s compact X-ray free electron laser program A team of scientists at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute has successfully achieved a milestone five years in the making — generating the first electrons from their highly innovative compact X-ray program. The achievement is a major operational step as the ASU scientists race to complete the project's first phase, called a compact X-ray light source (CXLS). “This is a kind of eureka moment, when we...

Improving a virus’ cancer-killing potency

June 1, 2021 | News

In recent years, an unusual new domain in cancer research has opened up. The idea is to use infectious pathogens to attack and kill cancerous cells. So-called oncolytic viruses, in particular, have shown great promise for targeting cancer cells, while leaving normal, healthy cells intact. In new research, Rahman Masmudur and his colleagues describe a method for improving the effectiveness of a powerful oncolytic virus known as myxoma virus.   A member of the pox family of viruses,...

Helping each other to avoid and recover from disaster

May 30, 2021 | News

What can we learn from developing societies around the world about mitigating risk and sharing resources during a disaster? When disasters happen, we often have to rely on others to help us get through. In our modern world, many of us rely on commercial insurance that we buy through the market to manage our risk. But managing risk is an ancient human practice — one that has roots going far back in our evolutionary history. We can catch a glimpse of these fundamentally human risk management...

COVID-19: A one-year review

May 25, 2021 | News

As COVID-19 threatened the lives, livelihoods and mental well-being of people worldwide, Arizona State University met the unprecedented challenges with speed, agility and, most of all, teamwork. As part of ASU’s effort, Biodesign researchers, faculty, staff and students sprang into action, joining forces with the state, health care agencies, businesses and nonprofits in the epic battle against COVID-19.

Chief of Staff Robinson named one of the most admired leaders in Phoenix

May 24, 2021 | News

When COVID-19 testing was desperately needed in Arizona, Biodesign Institute Chief of Staff Kerri Robinson sprang to action. Her leadership made it possible for ASU to offer partner testing sites, initially for critical employers and later all around the state. For her tireless efforts, Robinson was named among the 2021 Phoenix Business Journal Most Admired Leaders during a virtual event May 13.  According to the journal’s eligibility requirements, the award strives to honor...

Untangling the brain: new research offers hope for Alzheimer’s disease

May 12, 2021 | News

Since the discovery of Alzheimer’s disease over a century ago, two hallmarks of the devastating illness have taken center stage. The first, known as amyloid plaques, are dense accumulations of misfolded amyloid protein, occurring in the spaces between nerve cells. Most efforts to halt the advance of Alzheimer’s disease have targeted amyloid protein plaques. To date, all have met dispiriting failure. The second classic trait has, until recently, received less scrutiny.  It...

Graduates fueled by Biodesign research experiences credit opportunity and mentor trust

May 4, 2021 | News

Typically, scientific laboratories hum at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University from the energy that students bring. In fact, the institute regularly engages hundreds of undergraduate and graduate researchers to perform hands-on work with mentors. With ASU commencement approaching, many of these students are ready to embark on the next phases of their lives and credit their collaborative experiences and their mentors for shaping their career trajectories.  Use-inspired...

Greater than the sum of its parts

April 29, 2021 | News

ASU engineers develop new ways to 'program' self-organizing systems Some things seem to happen without direction. Fish form schools to deter predators and ants form rafts to survive floods. These emergent group behaviors have long been the focus of research in biological science, but they are inspiring new work in computing and robotics. Members of the Biodesign Center Biocomputing, Security and Engineering Andréa Richa, a professor of computer science in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of...

Study paves the way for new photosensitive materials

April 22, 2021 | News

Photocatalysts are useful materials, with myriad environmental and energy applications, including air purification, water treatment, self-cleaning surfaces, pollution-fighting paints and coatings, hydrogen production and CO2 conversion to sustainable fuels. An efficient photocatalyst converts light energy into chemical energy and provides this energy to a reacting substance, to help chemical reactions occur. One of the most useful such materials is knows as titanium oxide or titania, much...

Petra Fromme’s pioneering efforts in X-ray crystallography honored with the prestigious Anfinsen Award

April 12, 2021 | News

Arizona State University researcher Petra Fromme has received the 2021 Christian B. Anfinsen Award. The honor is bestowed by The Protein Society, the premier international association dedicated to supporting protein research. In presenting Fromme with this prestigious prize, the Protein Society recognizes her groundbreaking efforts to advance the field of protein research, using ultra-high-speed X-ray crystallography to probe matter at the tiniest scales and shortest time durations. These...