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News

ASU researchers unraveling protein structure to understand and fight disease

February 12, 2021 | News

Proteins are one of the major building blocks of life, and they carry out many chemical reactions related to life. This includes how the body interacts with disease-causing agents. Understanding and treating diseases requires scientists to determine the structures and shapes of proteins involved in these interactions.  Three-dimensional computer modeling and electron microscopy are two of the tools scientists are currently using to help learn more about these proteins. To spur...

AAAS lecture: microbes and autism

February 7, 2021 | News

Monday, February 8, 2021 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM MST Microbiota Transfer Therapy for Autism: Multi-Omic Approaches and Lessons Learned During every instant of life, over a hundred trillion microbes, collectively known as the microbiome, reside on skin surfaces and course through the human body. In the human gut, vast colonies of bacteria, belonging to around 1000 different species, carry out duties ranging from the digestion of food and the management of body weight to effects on the brain...

ASU hosts AAAS annual meeting Feb. 8-11

February 2, 2021 | News

Arizona State University is proud to host this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, the world’s largest general scientific gathering, Feb. 8–11. This year’s virtual meeting is the first ever to offer dozens of free, public events. These include a plenary session on COVID-19 in 2021 presented by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and another on the future of competitiveness with Sethuraman...

ASU’s unsung heroes

January 25, 2021 | News

Workers on one of the front lines of the pandemic keep ASU's campuses safe and running Everything the rest of us have tried to avoid for the past nine months – public spaces, oft-touched surfaces, contact with crowds – they have had to embrace. They’re on one of the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. Every day since the pandemic hit, they have stepped up to keep Arizona State University's campuses running. They come in the form of custodians, groundskeepers, bus drivers, sign...

Message in a bottle: Info-rich bubbles respond to antibiotics

January 20, 2021 | News

Once regarded as merely cast-off waste products of cellular life, bacterial membrane vesicles (MVs) have since become an exciting new avenue of research, due to the wealth of biological information they carry to other bacteria as well as other cell types. These tiny particles, produced by most bacteria, can bud off from outer cellular membranes, travelling along cell surfaces and occasionally migrating into intercellular spaces. In a new study, Luis H. Cisneros and his colleagues describe...

A dose of facts: answering your COVID-19 vaccine questions

January 20, 2021 | News

With three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States and more in development, vaccination efforts are well underway worldwide.  The speed with which Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson developed their vaccines, coupled with the internet’s ability to spread rumors more quickly than the coronavirus itself, means many people have questions about how the vaccines work and how safe and effective they are. We asked experts from Arizona...

Cyber-evolution: How computer science is harnessing the power of Darwinian transformation

January 18, 2021 | News

From a pair of simple principles of evolution—chance mutation and natural selection—nature has constructed an almost unfathomable richness of life around us. Despite our scientific sophistication, human design and engineering have struggled to emulate nature’s techniques and her inexhaustible inventiveness. But that may be changing. In a new perspective article, Stephanie Forrest and Risto Miikkulainen explore a domain known as evolutionary computation (EC), in which aspects of...

4 top ASU scholars named Regents Professors

December 22, 2020 | News

They are the best and brightest and have brought honor and distinguishment to their disciplines. They’re considered the top researchers that Arizona State University has to offer, and they’re getting their moment in the sun. Four ASU faculty are being honored with the title of Regents Professor: the most prestigious and highest faculty award possible. In order to receive this elite designation, they must be recognized by peers nationally and internationally. On Nov. 20, their names...

The far-reaching effects of mutagens on human health

December 21, 2020 | News

In order to survive, flourish and successfully reproduce, organisms rely on a high degree of genetic stability. Mutagenic agents, which can threaten the integrity of the genetic code by causing mutations in DNA, pose a serious risk to human health. They have long been implicated in a range of genetically inherited afflictions, as well as cancer, aging and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. It now appears that mutagenic threats to a cell’s subtle machinery may be far more...

How and why microbes promote and protect against stress

December 18, 2020 | News

More than half of the human body is not actually human: The body hosts approximately 100 trillion microbes. These bacteria, yeast and viruses, which make up the human microbiome, affect more than physical health. They also influence behavior and emotions. Some microbes prosper when the body is under stress, while other microbes contribute to buffering the body against stress. Athena Aktipis, associate professor of psychology in the Biodesign Center Biocomputing, Security and Society at...