News

News

A new picture emerges on the origins of photosynthesis in a sun-loving bacteria

July 27, 2017 | News

Every day, enough sunlight hits the Earth to power the planet many times over---if only we could more efficiently capture all the energy. With today’s solar panels limited by their efficiency (currently, more than 80 percent of available solar energy is lost as heat), scientists have been looking into nature as inspiration to better understanding the way photosynthetic plants and bacteria capture sunlight. “Nature’s invention of photosynthesis is the single most important energy...

Living computers: RNA circuits transform cells into nanodevices

July 26, 2017 | Press Release

The interdisciplinary nexus of biology and engineering, known as synthetic biology, is growing at a rapid pace, opening new vistas that could scarcely be imagined a short time ago. In new research, Alex Green, a professor at ASU's Biodesign Institute, demonstrates how living cells can be induced to carry out computations in the manner of tiny robots or computers. The results of the new study have significant implications for intelligent drug design and smart drug delivery, green energy...

Study identifies new brain death pathway in Alzheimer’s disease

July 24, 2017 | News

Alzheimer’s disease tragically ravages the brains, memories and ultimately, personalities of its victims. Now affecting 5 million Americans, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and a cure for Alzheimer’s remains elusive, as the exact biological events that trigger it are still unknown. In a new study published today, Arizona State University-Banner Health neuroscientist Salvatore Oddo and his colleagues from Phoenix’s Translational Genomics Research...

Partnering with U.S. Army to improve Ebola detection

July 19, 2017 | News

To catch a serial killer, homicide detectives must quickly and accurately find clues. Trace evidence left at a crime scene will eventually reveal the killer’s presence and identity, but the detectives first have to know what to look for. Like a criminal hiding in plain sight, contagious pathogens spread by capitalizing on the delay between initial infection and telltale symptoms in their hosts. That reality was painfully clear during the 2014 Ebola outbreak where clinics struggled to...

Microbial communities clean toxic waste and generate useful chemicals

July 17, 2017 | Press Release

Microbes are Nature’s great multitaskers. They are ubiquitous inhabitants of the environment, flourishing in landscapes ranging from undersea vents to frozen Nordic tundra, where they are involved in the decomposition of organic matter and the cycling of chemicals essential to life, such as carbon and nitrogen. In new research, Sofia Esquivel-Elizondo, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown and Anca Delgado at the Biodesign Institute at ASU demonstrate that microbes can also be harnessed to clean up...

ASU-TGen led study identifies source of mutation in Alzheimer’s disease

July 12, 2017 | News

  ANK1 gene expression change found in brain's microglia cells associated with neuroinflammation   PHOENIX and TEMPE, Ariz. — July 12, 2017 — Researchers led by Arizona State University (ASU) and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have identified altered expression of a gene called ANK1, which only recently has been associated with memory robbing Alzheimer’s disease, in specific cells in the brain. Using an extremely precise method of isolating...

ASU faculty find kindred community of educators in a far-off land

July 12, 2017 | News

Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Bert Jacobs lead 2-day teachers' workshop in Tanzania to help create students passionate about learning Sometimes Arizona State University’s mission is carried out far beyond the boundaries of campus. This summer two ASU faculty members — Lindy Elkins-Tanton, director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and Bert Jacobs, director of the School of Life Sciences — went to Tanzania, where they led a team conducting a two-day teaching workshop for...

Solving a sweet problem for renewable biofuels and chemicals

June 29, 2017 | News

Whether or not society shakes its addiction to oil and gasoline will depend on a number of profound environmental, geopolitical and societal factors. But with current oil prices hovering around $50 dollars a barrel, it won’t likely be anytime soon. Despite several major national research initiatives, no one has been able to come up with the breakthrough renewable biofuel technology that would lead to a cheaper alternative to gasoline.  That research challenge led ASU scientists,...

Topping out celebration of ASU’s Biodesign Institute C Research Building

June 28, 2017 | News

ASU celebrated a major research building construction milestone with the topping out of the $120 million Biodesign Institute C Research Building. The ceremony officially commemorated the completion of the main structural work and gave the community a preview of future benefits when the third building in the ASU Biodesign Institute’s master-planned, 14-acre complex located on the main campus in Tempe, Arizona is completed in the summer of 2018. Joshua LaBaer, M.D., Ph.D., Biodesign’s...

Scientists call for immediate worldwide halt to consumer use of two widespread antimicrobial chemicals

June 20, 2017 | News

A pair of chemicals—prized for their antimicrobial properties—rose to become superstars in industry. Triclocarban is used in various soaps, while triclosan additionally appears in thousands of items of daily use in the United States and around the world, from pencils and office supplies to clothing and toothpaste, from toys and yoga mats to deodorants and cosmetics. But a growing chorus of researchers has raised serious questions regarding both the efficacy and safety of these products....