News

News

Controversy surrounding red wolves and Mexican gray wolves clarified in new study

April 2, 2019 | News

Once, they roamed free in great numbers across the deserts, arboreal forests, grasslands and arctic tundra of the continental US. Today, wolf populations have been sadly depleted, the result of human ignorance, cruelty and loss of their vital habitats. The red wolf and Mexican gray wolf are among the most endangered mammals in North America. Both species at one time were extinct in the wild. At last count, an estimated 114 wild Mexican gray wolves remain in the U.S. and only about 40 red...

Priming the ocean’s carbon pump

April 1, 2019 | News

When it comes to climate change and carbon reduction, Susanne Neuer is thinking small — extremely small. The Arizona State University biological oceanographer, both a professor in the School of Life Sciences and associate faculty in the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, is an expert on marine phytoplankton, microscopic algae found in the sunlit zone of waters all over the globe. As Neuer is quick to point out, phytoplankton may be small — too small...

Rittmann sounds a call to action for a more sustainable phosphorus supply

April 1, 2019 | News

Bruce Rittmann, director of the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at Arizona State University, is slated to be the keynote speaker at the Phosphorus Forum 2019 in Washington, D.C., on April 5. Rittmann will discuss “Minimizing P loss and Maximizing Value.” The annual conference attracts scientists and NGOs focused on water quality issues, nutrient recovery technology companies, fertilizer manufacturers, food producers, water utilities, farm consultants, government...

Programmable 'Legos' of DNA and protein building blocks create novel 3D cages

March 29, 2019 | News

The central goal of nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale, especially to build microscopic devices or structures. Three-dimensional cages are one of the most important targets, both for their simplicity and their application as drug carriers for medicine. DNA nanotechnology uses DNA molecules as programmable “Legos” to assemble structures with a control not possible with other molecules. However, the structure of DNA is very simple and lacks the...

$50 million gift supports dementia research, education

March 25, 2019 | News

Dementia is a health issue that touches everyone, from the person afflicted to their friends and family to the individuals providing their care. As the aging population continues to grow, the number of people who become susceptible to the condition increases every day, underscoring the urgent need for more well-trained caregivers and better treatments. This spring, Charlene and J. Orin Edson made a $50 million gift to Arizona State University, to be split evenly between the College of...

LaBaer start-up selected for Flinn Foundation Entrepreneurship Program

March 19, 2019 | News

Ordinatrix, a startup company launched by Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer, is one of six bioscience firms from Phoenix and Tucson selected to participate in the Flinn Foundation’s 2019 Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program. Ordinatrix, a Phoenix-based company, will receive $30,000 in funding support and program services through a nonprofit partner. The services include “a professionally developed, yearlong plan specific to the needs of the company, helping them...

PBS’ 'Catalyst' shines the spotlight on Biodesign researchers’ stories

March 18, 2019 | News

Arizona State University researchers work all over the world, from Antarctica to Mexico, and Tucson to Pasadena. Now, a group of journalists and storytellers at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is chronicling their research for a science documentary series for PBS. “Catalyst” returned to Arizona PBS Wednesday, Feb. 13 for a highly anticipated second season, featuring host Vanessa Ruiz, a Cronkite professor of practice and former...

Wayne W. Luchsinger Chemistry Scholarship paves way for veteran to earn a 4+1 degree

March 12, 2019 | News

Tyler Rockwood is finishing up his 4+1 master’s degree in biochemistry and medicinal chemistry in the School of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University. The Phoenix native was the recipient of the Wayne W. Luchsinger Chemistry Scholarship, an award that gives preference to veterans of one of the U.S. military services. Rockwood enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve during his senior year of high school and left for boot camp just 10 days after graduation. While friends were hanging...

Plucky science: Researchers’ nanotweezers used in detection of conformational changes

March 12, 2019 | News

Biomolecules, such as DNA and proteins, are not static structures. They undergo complex conformational changes that are essential to their functioning and the signaling pathways they belong to. Understanding these changes is pivotal to a deeper comprehension of how the body works and could eventually shed light on certain diseases that afflict us. Recent advancements in DNA nanotechnology provide insight into the subtle role of biomolecules. Channeling DNA’s chemical and physical...

New plant-based vaccine at the forefront of more efficient, affordable HPV prevention

March 11, 2019 | News

The Gardasil vaccine advertisement flashes across the screen – you change the channel. Maybe you are a male and don’t think you are at risk of acquiring cancer from HPV, maybe you aren’t sexually active, or maybe you don’t have the resources to get the vaccine. But research shows that in addition to causing cervical cancer in women, certain strains have been linked to head and neck cancers in men. The Gardasil-9 vaccine protects against nine of the most cancer-associated strains of...