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News

ASU grad student earns fellowship from National Science Foundation

May 14, 2020 | News

John Vant, a graduate student at Arizona State University’s School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Applied Structural Discovery, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the LeRoy Eyring Memorial Fellowship. That's even more impressive considering Vant said that attending graduate school was, for him, “a low probability phenomenon” and “not for kids like me.” Growing up, Vant always had a...

MELTDOWN: Can we push SARS CoV-2 off an evolutionary cliff?

May 14, 2020 | News

From New York to Luxembourg, Namibia, Iceland and Bhutan, the novel coronavirus SARS CoV-2 has turned the modern world into a crisis zone. An unprecedented global effort is underway to understand the elusive pathogen and find effective therapies. An intriguing approach to treating Covid-19, the disease caused by the emergent virus, has recently been suggested by Arizona State University faculty members Jeff Jensen (Center for Evolution and Medicine) and Michael Lynch (Biodesign Center for...

An unconventional solution: Researchers recognized by ASU Women and Philanthropy for Salmonella-based cancer therapy

May 13, 2020 | News

Standard-of-care treatments—chemotherapy and radiation—remain at the forefront of cancer therapy, but in light of the high rate of recurrence and treatment failure still observed for most cancer subtypes and the high toxicity conferred by current practices, new and innovative therapies are being pursued.   These approaches include engineering viruses and bacteria to attack cancer cells, while leaving non-cancerous, healthy cells untouched. This line of research is quickly...

Cloth masks are a worthy line of defense to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic

May 13, 2020 | News

As our world finds itself in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, practically everything has changed. Sarah Arrowsmith, a scientist and lab coordinator with the Arizona State University Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, was stuck at home starting in mid-March —just like the rest of us. But unlike others, she pulled out her sewing machine and set to work making masks. Arrowsmith was prompted to action after Diana Calvo, a doctoral candidate in the center, asked...

Cost-effective cancer vaccine offers promise for prevention and treatment

May 7, 2020 | News

Being diagnosed with cancer is always alarming and too often, grim. An ancient disease, cancer is still with us, though treatment options remain limited, painful and frequently unsuccessful. What if we could treat cancer the same way we do other leading killers, like smallpox? What if we could prevent it (or even treat it) with a vaccine? There is a lot about cancer we don’t yet understand, but we do understand the complexities associated with treating it. Cancer defies the normal...

ASU scientific team finds new, unique mutation in coronavirus study

May 6, 2020 | News

As the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the U.S., in addition to tracking the number of COVID-19 daily cases, there is a worldwide scientific community engaged in tracking the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself. Efrem Lim leads a team at Arizona State University that looks at how the virus may be spreading, mutating and adapting over time. To trace the trail of the virus worldwide, Lim’s team is using a new technology at ASU’s Genomics Facility called next-generation...

Making sense of the viral multiverse

April 27, 2020 | News

In November of 2019—likely, even earlier—a tiny entity measuring just a few hundred billionths of a meter in diameter began to tear apart human society on a global scale. Within a few months, the relentless voyager known as SARS-CoV-2 had made its way to every populated corner of the earth, leaving scientists and health authorities with too many questions and few answers. Today, researchers are scrambling to understand where and how the novel coronavirus arose, what features account for...

Novel coronavirus detected, monitored in wastewater

April 22, 2020 | News

Within weeks of arriving on the world stage, SARS-CoV-2 has managed to encircle the globe, leaving illness, mortality and economic devastation in its vast wake. One of the central challenges facing health authorities and the medical community has been testing for the elusive virus on a sufficiently comprehensive scale. A new approach to monitoring the novel coronavirus, (as well as other dangerous pathogens and chemical agents), is being developed and refined. Known as wastewater-based...

ASU supplies health care providers with protective gear

April 22, 2020 | News

Arizona State University has responded to the coronavirus crisis by ramping up a massive initiative to design, produce and distribute critically needed personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.  Not only is ASU continuously fabricating gear to protect health care workers, it’s also leveraging its size and speed to activate the entire community to fulfill the need.  This week, ASU unveiled a new web site called the PPE Response Network that links university and...

What it takes to fast-track a vaccine

April 21, 2020 | News

In a matter of months, COVID-19 changed the world. More than 2.1 million cases are now documented worldwide, and as that number keeps rising, scientists are facing the challenge of quickly finding a vaccine — a process that normally takes about a decade. Health experts hope to see results in 12 to 18 months. But is that feasible? “Vaccines are only fast-tracked when there is an emergency need during a pandemic, like COVID-19,” said Brenda Hogue, a virologist at ASU’s Biodesign...