News

News

Cancer through the lens of evolution

October 23, 2017 | News

“What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” The oft-repeated maxim, (from Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols), offers a model of human fortitude. It could also serve as the motto of a cancer cell, emphasizing—with brutal precision—how treatment-resistant cancers outwit our best medical interventions.  Cancer owes its ability to colonize and devastate the body to the same Darwinian forces that have shaped all life on earth: chance mutation and natural selection....

Drawing blood from a stone: photosynthetic microbiomes found to live on carbon source of the rocks they excavate

October 20, 2017 | News

A little sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. That is all it takes to keep cyanobacteria --the miniature versions of plants--- happy. For this, they use carbon fixation, one of the most important reactions on Earth, turning carbon dioxide into sugars, fats and proteins needed to grow and thrive, while giving humans and the rest of animals a precious byproduct: the oxygen in the air we breathe.   While land plants get most of their carbon dioxide from the air, aquatic microalgae...

Biodesign researchers featured in breast cancer foundation's national campaign

October 18, 2017 | News

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation funds more than 275 researchers across 15 countries and six continents. Biodesign Institute executive director Joshua LaBaer, M.D., Ph.D., was asked to play a prominent role in BCRF’s international awareness campaign. As a BCRF grant recipient, LaBaer was selected for his work in identifying genes that are especially important on particularly aggressive types of breast cancer – and for his personal advocacy for breast cancer research: LaBaer's own...

International Study Identifies Genes Responsible for Diversity of Human Skin Colors

October 17, 2017 | News

Human populations feature a broad palette of skin tones. But until now, few genes have been shown to contribute to normal variation in skin color, and these had primarily been discovered through studies of European populations. Now, a study of diverse African groups led by University of Pennsylvania geneticists Sarah Tishkoff and Nicholas Crawford, with key contributions from new Arizona State University School of Life Sciences faculty Susanne Pfeifer and Jeff Jensen, has identified new...

ASU team among first user groups at Europe’s brightest light source

October 17, 2017 | Press Release

A team of ASU scientists led by Professor Alexandra Ros in the School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery, has been just the second user group to conduct experiments at the brand new European X-ray free electron laser facility (EuXFEL) in Hamburg, Germany. This 1.5-billion-dollar facility is the third, and far the most powerful, X-ray laser in the world. After ten years of construction, it opened for first experiments just a month ago. The XFEL...

Alex Green wins $2.1M NIH New Innovator Award

October 9, 2017 | News

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year, $2.1 million grant to ASU Biodesign Institute professor and School of Molecular Sciences faculty member Alexander Green to pursue innovative approaches to major contemporary challenges in biomedical research. The highly competitive grants, which were recently announced Oct. 5, were among 86 such awards nationwide, were made under the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program supported by the NIH Common Fund. “I...

NPR correspondent on the dangers of sloppy science

October 5, 2017 | News

  Richard Harris and ASU Professor Andrew Maynard talk about how iffy research can grab headlines but dash public's hopes In 2000, it was discovered that a breast-cancer cell line used in thousands of studies was actually a melanoma cell. After the discovery, approximately 900 more studies were conducted — using the same cell line. The National Institutes of Health now requires all studies it funds to validate their cell lines. National Public Radio science correspondent and...

Physician-Scientist Research Team Awarded $1.3 Million Grant to Study Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury

September 28, 2017 | Press Release

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a team of scientists and physicians from leading health care institutions across Phoenix a $1.3 million grant over three years to study traumatic brain injury and its relationship to dementia. The collaboration is between the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Barrow Neurological Institute and Arizona State...

All eyes on Alzheimer’s

September 21, 2017 | News

Alzheimer’s, a mysterious disease of cognitive decline, was first recognized a century ago. The unremitting illness continues to frustrate the best efforts toward treatment or prevention. A tidal wave of new cases in the coming decades threatens to overwhelm the nation’s healthcare system and bring tragedy to millions more patients and their families. September 21st has been declared World Alzheimer’s Day by Alzheimer’s Disease International. The occasion offers an opportunity to...

Could chili peppers become the hottest new thing in weight loss?

September 20, 2017 | News

For scorching taste buds, nothing beats the zing of a chili pepper. Now, a new ASU research study has shown that chili peppers may also be a key ingredient to melting the pounds away and reducing one’s appetite. The ASU research team, led by scientists Yue Deng and Fang Chen at the Biodesign Institute, has shown the first promising links between capsaicinoids (the active ingredient that gives chili peppers their sweat-inducing hotness) and an individual’s energy burning...