News

News

Arizona genetic research group tracks initial spread of SARS-CoV-2

September 16, 2020 | News

Seeds of widespread ‘community’ distribution began mid-February Initial findings reported by the Arizona COVID-19 Genomics Union (ACGU) suggest that following Arizona’s first reported case of COVID-19 in late January, the state experienced no cases that went undetected and was COVID-19-free until at least 11 distinct incursions occurred between mid-February and early April. Efrem Lim, a virologist who leads the ASU contributions to the ACGU, said the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence...

Storing information and designing uncrackable codes with DNA

September 15, 2020 | News

For billions of years, Nature has used DNA like a molecular bank vault; a place to store her most coveted secrets: the design blueprints essential to life. Now, researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Institute are exploring the unique information-carrying capacities of DNA, hoping to produce microscopic forms whose ability to encrypt, store and retrieve information rival those of the silicon-based semiconductor memories found in most computers. If successful, DNA-based storage technologies...

New method to design diamond lattices and other crystals from microscopic building blocks

September 14, 2020 | News

An impressive array of architectural forms can be produced from the popular interlocking building blocks known as LEGOS®. All that is needed is a child’s imagination to construct a virtually infinite variety of complex shapes. In a new study appearing in the journal Physical Review Letters, researchers describe a technique for using LEGO®-like elements at the scale of a few billionths of a meter. Further, they are able to cajole these design elements to self-assemble, with each LEGO®...

Are male genes from Mars, female genes from Venus? Review highlights sex differences in health and disease

September 11, 2020 | News

Males and females share the vast majority of their genomes. Only a sprinkling of genes, located on the so-called X and Y sex chromosomes, differ between the sexes. Nevertheless, the activities of our genes—their expression in cells and tissues—generate profound distinctions between males and females. Not only do the sexes differ in outward appearance, their differentially expressed genes strongly affect the risk, incidence, prevalence, severity and age-of-onset of many diseases,...

AZBio awards ASU researchers for exceptional work in biosciences

September 9, 2020 | News

This month, AZBio announced that two of their annual awards will go to outstanding Arizona State University researchers — Joshua LaBaer and Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown. AZBio is a statewide organization that is dedicated to “building the biosciences industry in Arizona by providing access to key resources, connections and information in our biosciences community.” As part of those efforts, each year AZBio recognizes scientists, educators, leaders and companies that are furthering biological...

New microfluidic device minimizes loss of high value samples

September 7, 2020 | News

A major collaborative effort that has been developing over the last three years between Arizona State University and European scientists has resulted in a significant technical advance in X-ray crystallographic sample strategies. The ASU contribution comes from the School of Molecular Sciences , Department of Physics and the Biodesign Institute Center for Applied Structural Discovery. The European X-ray Free Electron Laser (EuXFEL) is a research facility of superlatives:...

A new twist on DNA origami

September 7, 2020 | News

A team of scientists from Arizona State University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), led by Hao Yan, ASU’s Milton Glick Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences and director of the ASU Biodesign Institute’s Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, has just announced the creation of a new type of meta-DNA structures that will open up the fields of optoelectronics, including information storage and encryption as well as synthetic...

Research shows water quality could diminish in closed buildings during COVID-19 pandemic

August 28, 2020 | News

While bars, gyms, dine-in restaurants and other buildings have been closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, water left sitting in pipes could change in quality. It’s possible that water left sitting for long periods of time could contain excessive amounts of heavy metals and pathogens concentrated in pipes nationwide, say researchers who have begun a field study on the impact of a pandemic shutdown on buildings. “There are several factors that encourage the growth of...

Nimble ASU events crew supports dozens of COVID-19 saliva-testing sites

August 28, 2020 | News

Adaptable team brings hope to Arizonans during pandemic As the COVID-19 pandemic began to make a stronghold in Arizona, Arizona State University employees began fighting back — by answering urgent calls for help and, often, by taking on completely new roles. From CEO to directing site operations, from managing campus events to learning new software and training others how to use it, and from preparing for Homecoming to preparing remote sites for COVID-19 testing, ASU employees are...

Study offers new insights for sun-gathering technologies

August 24, 2020 | News

Every hour, the sun saturates the earth with more energy than humans use in a year. Harnessing some of this energy to meet global demand has become a grand challenge, with the world poised to double its energy consumption in just thirty years. In a new study, researchers at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery (CASD) and ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences take a page from Nature’s lesson book. Inspired by the way plants and other photosynthetic organisms collect and use...