News

News

Bright lights, big science: Revolutionary laser instrument receives $4.7 million boost from the National Science Foundation

September 17, 2019 | News

Deep within the subterranean confines of Building C—the latest addition to the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University—a pathbreaking machine is quietly taking shape. Designed to unlock some of nature’s tiniest and most fleeting mysteries, the Compact X-ray Free Electron Laser (CXFEL) is the only instrument of its kind in the world. The device is the brainchild of physicist William Graves, a passionate authority on massive, intricate machines for leading-edge science. For the...

Biodesign mourns the loss of J. Orin Edson, philanthropist and entrepreneur

September 4, 2019 | News

In March 2019, Arizona State University received a transformational gift of $50 million from Charlene and Orin Edson; $25 million was directed to the Biodesign Institute, and $25 million to the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, which is now known as the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. Edson died Aug. 27 at the age of 87, but his name and legacy live on at Arizona State University. At the time of their gift, the Edson family issued this statement: “We believe in...

The Kombucha Culture: Microbial communities in this fermented drink can teach us about cooperation and competition

September 3, 2019 | News

In today’s health-conscious community, kombucha is all the rave. Its appeal comes from its accessibility and alleged health benefits, which range from introducing probiotics to killing deleterious bacteria in the human body.  But as is the case for many things in science, there is more to kombucha than meets the eye – literally. The microscopic microbes inhabiting this fermented concoction could offer insight into how microbial communities interact, more specifically on how...

Extracting clean fuel from sunlight

September 3, 2019 | News

Securing enough energy to meet human needs is one of the greatest challenges society has ever faced. Previously reliable sources—oil, gas and coal—are degrading air quality, devastating land and ocean and altering the fragile balance of the global climate, through the release of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, earth’s rapidly industrializing population is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050.  Clean alternatives are a matter of urgent necessity. Researchers at ASU’s...

Biodesign researchers identify new way to diagnose urinary tract infections

August 29, 2019 | News

UTI Three little letters -- U, T and I – conjure up images of pain, bloating, fever and discomfort. According National Institutes of Health, urinary tract infections (UTIs) encompass one quarter of all bacterial infections suffered by humans. Women, in particular, fall prey to UTIs. Global statistics predict that 60% of women have experienced a UTI. The majority will contract this infection before the age of 24, with the expectation of reoccurrences throughout the rest of their lives. The...

Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown named recipient of Distinguished Alumni Award at UAM

August 29, 2019 | News

Universities worldwide recognize their brightest and most successful alumni with prestigious academic awards.   Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, a faculty member in the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology and an associate faculty member in the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, received the Distinguished Alumni award from her alma mater, the Universidad Autonoma...

An innovative diagnostic for Lyme disease

August 26, 2019 | News

When researchers examined the mitochondrial DNA of Ötzi, a man entombed in ice high in the Tyrolean Alps some 5,300 years ago, they made a startling discovery. Secreted within the tangles of the ice man’s genetic code was evidence he’d been infected with a bacterial pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi. Ötzi is the first known case of Lyme disease. Today, Lyme disease is a mounting health concern, with estimates of over 300,000 cases in the US annually. The illness, which produces a...

Origins of world’s first cure for Ebola had roots at ASU

August 22, 2019 | News

High-risk, creative plant-based therapeutic program led to discovery of Ebola antidote Recently, dramatic news came out of Africa concerning Ebola, one of the world’s deadliest and most feared diseases. New drugs can overcome the virus and save lives. Health officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that four antidotes — including one first developed by Arizona State University and its commercial partners — had been tested...

Researchers offer new strategies for the use of extracellular vesicles as biomarkers

August 21, 2019 | News

With advances in technology and our understanding of the human body, come better techniques for diagnosing disease. One recent innovation involves the use of extracellular vesicles as biomarkers for a range of illnesses. Extracellular vesicles are tiny bubbles of material emitted from most living cells that can offer vital clues about the status of the cells producing them. However, the field of extracellular vesicle (EV) research is a relatively new one, and there are more refinements to be...

ASU and USF investigators collaborate to explain where DNA repairs occur most frequently

August 15, 2019 | News

From hair and eye color to how our biological system is regulated, the blueprint of life is held in the genome. The gene also is what provides the instructions to the DNA as to what proteins to make and when, but our DNA is under constant attack from our environment — sun exposure, the air we breathe, the foods we eat and the body’s own metabolic processes to sustain life. If the enzymes that repair DNA are not signaled, damaged DNA may affect cell division and may result in the...