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News

ASU researcher says human waste provides window into public health

February 9, 2017 | News

University is home to National Sewage Sludge Repository, comprising samples from 200 wastewater treatment plants It’s not touted on the side of a bus, but Arizona State University is full of it. The university is home to the National Sewage Sludge Repository. Collected from 200 wastewater treatment plants, representing 10 percent of the U.S. population, it’s the largest archive of its kind in the country. Row upon row of white freezers are packed with (at last count) more than...

Pervasive chemicals pose threats for pregnant women and their offspring

February 7, 2017 | News

Each day, we are exposed to an array of chemicals lurking in the foods we eat and the common products we use. Pregnant women and their developing offspring are particularly at risk for the adverse health effects such chemicals sometimes cause, but the scientific evidence necessary to make informed choices has been lacking. In a series of innovative, multi-institutional studies, Rolf Halden, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, has tracked the effects of a wide...

Sentinels in the blood: a new diagnostic for pancreatic cancer

February 6, 2017 | Press Release

Despite enormous research strides, detection methods for many diseases remain cumbersome and expensive, and often uncover illness only at advanced stages, when patient outcomes can be bleak. One such illness is pancreatic cancer, which may display no obvious symptoms in its early stages, yet can develop aggressively. Indeed, according to the American Cancer Society, a staggering 80 percent of those stricken with this form of cancer die within 1 year of diagnosis. Now, however, Tony Hu, a...

Diagnostics goes digital with technology conceived at ASU

February 1, 2017 | News

Innovation is part of $400 million international Digital Life Alliance aimed at producing a personalized health guide What if your smartphone could tell you that a potential disease or illness is lurking in your immune system? What if instead of contracting diabetes, you were able to stop it before it compromised your health — maybe even before you or your physician see any outward signs? This is the driving idea behind an international group of scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs that...

Inventions that clean up water earn Rittmann NAI Fellowship

January 25, 2017 | News

What makes a successful invention? There are many criteria, but often our most widely used inventions solve multiple problems. WD-40 and duct tape both boast hundreds of uses or more, and likely we all have both at hand. Another example involves making natural processes do a variety of work for us, such as using bacteria to clean up contaminants in wastewater. But Arizona State University Regents’ Professor Bruce Rittmann took his discovery of this process a step further and figured out...

Effects of spaceflight detected in blood

January 25, 2017 | News

As researchers have long known, the punishing conditions associated with human spaceflight present profound challenges for the mental and physical health of astronauts. Acceleration during launch, (which must rapidly propel the craft to some 18,000 mph), acute confinement, hazardous levels of radiation, sleep deprivation, and reduced gravity (or microgravity) can produce a range of physiological effects, from suppressed immune function, bone and muscle loss, eyesight problems, and viral...

Laboratory Arizona

January 23, 2017 | News

When people try to imagine Arizona, some minds call up images of arid planes that seem unfit to house complex ecosystems. They imagine lonely cacti, and circling vultures above the occasional rattlesnake or jackrabbit. This common depiction of Arizona however, is an oversimplification.  Scientists see the true value of Arizona as a scientific hot spot. The state's unique climate, ecosystem and population lend themselves to many different fields of research,...

Tiny, pond-dwelling organism reveals nearly bulletproof DNA

January 23, 2017 | News

Meet the tiny, hair-lined ciliate, Tetrahymena thermophila. This nondescript pond-loving, pear-shaped protist, only visible through the microscope, has long fascinated scientists---even fueling Nobel prize discoveries---due to its highly unusual cellular biology and genetic structure.  Now, it turns out that Tetrahymena’s genome, its genetic blueprint, is even more fascinating than previously thought.   ASU Biodesign Institute geneticist Reed Cartwright and colleagues at the...

The key to fighting autism might lie not in the mind, but in the gut

January 23, 2017 | News

A team led by Arizona State University researchers is taking a novel approach to the search for effective autism treatments by focusing on improving the gut microbiome through fecal microbial transplants. Early results are promising, but additional testing is required before an FDA-approved therapy would be available or recommended to the public. The ASU research group is led by James Adams, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown and Dae-Wook Kang, lead author of the study. Krajmalnik-Brown and Kang are...

The future of personalized medicine

January 13, 2017 | News

The 21st century’s barrage of new technologies has revolutionized the ways doctors practice medicine in the clinic and in their laboratories.   The rate of change is only expected to get faster, and so it is difficult for today’s medical experts to accurately depict the future of health care. There are some ideas however, that clinicians hope to see continue into the next frontier of medicine.   One of these emerging ideas is personalized medicine. While there has...