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News

ASU research propels awareness for contact lens recycling movement

November 15, 2018 | News

Microplastics are a growing area of concern for researchers and the public, with much of the focus on plastics in our oceans. Until recently, the environmental impact of the plastic we put in our eyes has been largely overlooked. Now manufacturers and researchers are teaming up to raise awareness that disposing lenses down the toilet or the drain adds to the planet’s plastic pollution – and that recycling or disposing lenses with recyclable solid waste are eco-friendly options. Every...

Garcia-Pichel recognized at Governor’s Celebration of Innovation

November 9, 2018 | News

Arizona State University celebrates innovation every day. Once a year, the state of Arizona shines a light on those who do it best. This year, ASU professor and researcher Ferran Garcia-Pichel and his lab were recognized as finalists for the Governor’s Innovator of the Year – Academia award. The finalists were acknowledged at the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation event on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Convention Center in downtown Phoenix. The award ceremony was held...

Expert shares advances and opportunities for genetic editing

November 8, 2018 | News

Genome engineering was the subject of the day as Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute kicked off a new lecture series designed to bring science’s preeminent thought leaders to ASU. The Arntzen Grand Challenges Lecture Series launched on Nov. 1 with a presentation by Samuel Sternberg, co-author of A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution—the premiere text on the emergence and future of genetic editing. CRISPR is a revolutionary tool...

Healing kidneys with nanotechnology

November 8, 2018 | News

Each year, there are some 13.3 million new cases of acute kidney injury (AKI), a serious affliction. Formerly known as acute renal failure, the ailment produces a rapid buildup of nitrogenous wastes and decreases urine output, usually within hours or days of disease onset.  Severe complications often ensue. Currently, there is no known cure for AKI. AKI is responsible for 1.7 million deaths annually. Protecting healthy kidneys from harm and treating those already injured remains a...

DOE awards $4.5M to ASU researchers to discover new ways to harness carbon dioxide for reducing biofuel costs

November 5, 2018 | News

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced 36 projects that together have been awarded $80 million to support early-stage bioenergy research and development. Two ASU research teams are among the grantees, with the grants to ASU totaling about $4.5 million. The two teams are headed by Wim Vermaas, Foundation Professor in the School of Life Sciences and a member of the Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis, and Bruce Rittmann, director of Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental...

Tying the knot: New DNA nanostructures

November 2, 2018 | News

Knots are indispensable tools for such human activities as sailing, fishing and rock climbing, (not to mention, tying shoes).  But tying a knot in a lacelike strand of DNA, measuring just billionths of a meter in length, requires patience and highly specialized expertise. Hao Yan, a researcher at ASU, is a practiced hand in this delicate and exotic field, operating at the crossroads of nanotechnology and fine art. In new research appearing in the journal Nature Communications, Yan...

National Cancer Institute awards Carlo Maley $10.8M grant

November 1, 2018 | News

When Carlo Maley first delved into his studies on the evolution of disease, he was struck with how little the field had been explored. He decided that his skills in evolution and computational biology would be well-suited for the job. “I went to PubMed and looked for all papers that had both cancer and evolution in the title … and I only came up with a handful of hits. It became clear that evolution is fundamental to the basic science of cancer, which explains why people have such a...

‘Leading women’ of biotech share insights

October 24, 2018 | News

Gathered on the 20th floor of a Phoenix skyscraper on a recent Monday evening, nearly 40 women – and a few brave men – looked out over the valley and shared their “no boundaries” spirit. They came to connect on the topic of women’s leadership in the biotech industry in Arizona at an Arizona Bioscience Week event, “Leading Women: Biotech and Beyond.” Featured panelists were Cheryl Nickerson, an internationally recognized researcher at the Biodesign Institute and a professor...

Hao Yan awarded $1.2 million to create ‘living electronics’

October 18, 2018 | News

Hao Yan, director of the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, received an extension of the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant for his groundbreaking work in nanotechnologies. The additional $1.2 million will help “set the foundation for the bottom-up engineering of synthetic biology tools,” according to Yan. A previous five-year grant of $6.25 million allowed Yan’s team to use structural components of cells to test out fundamental elements and...

In the fight against Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome may hold vital clues

October 16, 2018 | News

At first glance, Down syndrome (DS) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), two severe brain abnormalities, may seem to have little in common. Down syndrome is a hereditary disease, the source of which has long been recognized—a  triplication of chromosome 21. By contrast, the overwhelming majority of Alzheimer’s cases (over 95 percent), do not have a clear-cut genetic source. Instead, the disease, which usually becomes clinically apparent late in life, is caused by a perplexing constellation...