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News

Biodesign researcher evaluates the impact of climate change on avian flu

May 22, 2019 | News

The flu pandemic of 2009 was met by a flurry of panic. This strain of the H1N1 virus, or the “swine flu,” swept across the globe and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of approximately 284,500 people worldwide. Like a shuffled deck of cards, the virus was the product of the reassortment of avian, swine, and human influenza viruses. These everchanging viral strains pose a formidable challenge to modern healthcare as they require the development of new vaccines. One virus of...

Forrest’s paper garners award for positive impact on the field

May 15, 2019 | News

Maintaining software is costly, and for developers like Facebook and Microsoft, repairing software bugs can be very expensive. Today, most software bugs are repaired by humans – highly trained software engineers. About 10 years ago, a group of researchers, including Stephanie Forrest, director of the Biodesign Center for Biocomputing, Security and Society, looked to biological processes like evolution for ideas about ways to automate de-bugging. The result was a totally new approach for...

Peptides show promise for early detection of pancreatic cancer

May 14, 2019 | News

Cancer is a protean disease, assuming many forms and disguises. Despite enormous strides in research in past decades, some cancers remain persistently lethal. Pancreatic cancer—one of the ten most common cancers for both men and women—is one such affliction.  Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common form of the disease, is notoriously difficult to detect in its early stages and has a 5-year survival rate of less than 5 percent. In new research appearing in the...

Study Expands Understanding of Bacterial Communities for Global Next-generation Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Systems

May 13, 2019 | News

Wastewater treatment and reuse are critical to global health and sustaining a world population predicted to reach 10 billion by 2050. Now, researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University join University of Oklahoma colleagues, who led an interdisciplinary global study to explore wastewater microbial communities. The research expands the understanding of activated sludge microbiomes for next-generation wastewater treatment and reuse systems enhanced by microbiome...

World’s largest canine cancer vaccine trial begins

May 9, 2019 | News

Meet Trilly: The black-and-tan, floppy-eared, 9-year-old Gordon setter may have just made medical history by receiving a shot that may contain the very first vaccine intended to prevent cancer. “First one. We did it!” said Arizona State University scientist Stephen Johnston, a professor in the School of Life Sciences and director of the Biodesign Center for Innovations in Medicine. For Johnston, the moment was the culmination of a 12-year, high-risk, high-reward quest to reshape...

Good genes: Researchers break down DNA of world’s largest mammals to discover how whales defy the cancer odds

May 9, 2019 | News

Scientists know that age and weight are risk factors in the development of cancer. That should mean that whales, which include some of the largest and longest-lived animals on Earth, have an outsized risk of developing cancer. But they don’t. Instead, they are less likely to develop or die of this enigmatic disease. The same is true of elephants and dinosaurs’ living relatives, birds. Marc Tollis, an assistant professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at...

FBI honors ASU's David Gillum for leading the field in biosecurity and biosafety

May 8, 2019 | News

FBI director Christopher Wray invites you to visit him in Washington D.C., where you share a spotlight with country crooner Dolly Parton: all in a day’s work? It is for biosecurity superstar David Gillum, Arizona State University’s director of biosafety and biosecurity and chief of staff for Environmental Health and Safety. Gillum was presented with the 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award on May 3 during an FBI headquarters ceremony. Parton received similar recognition for...

Fifteen Projects Receive Copper Architecture Award

May 2, 2019 | News

From a new copper clad university building seeking LEED accreditation to a restored 100-year-old copper roof, 15 unique and creative buildings from the United States and Canada recently earned a spot among the 2019 North American Copper in Architecture (NACIA) award-winners. The NACIA awards program, organized by the Copper Development Association (CDA) and the Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association (CCBDA), recognizes and promotes building projects in the United...

First-of-its-kind microbial nursery grand opening

May 1, 2019 | News

Microbiologist Ferran Garcia-Pichel has been on a mission to solve a particularly gritty problem: How can we keep the Earth’s natural topsoil tethered to the ground and out of the air – a particularly challenging problem in the desert, where haboobs and other natural processes can kick up some significant dust. In Arizona, particulate matter is the top source of pollution. As dirt flies away, it becomes dust and pollutes the air, causing issues for public health and the environment. For...

Biodesign researchers offer new approach to small-cell lung cancer treatment with oncolytic virotherapy

April 30, 2019 | News

Intensive investigations into the nature of cancer have given rise to innovative and unorthodox approaches to this deadly affliction. A recent and exciting avenue of cancer treatment involves targeting malignant cells with specialized viruses that can kill cancer cells while ignoring healthy tissue, a technique known as “oncolytic virotherapy.” The process involves administering an oncolytic virus, which infects and breaks down cancer cells but does not harm healthy self-cells. This...