News

News

New study sheds far-red light on the mysteries of photosynthesis

February 5, 2020 | News

Some three billion years ago, tiny organisms known as cyanobacteria helped create an oxygen-rich atmosphere on Earth. Their activities, which continue to the present day, provide an essential ingredient for all advanced life. Such organisms convert radiant sunlight into useable energy through photosynthesis, yet scientists are still sketchy on the details of this vital process. In a new study, Penn State joins colleagues from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute. Their...

Mother-baby microbiome rush at birth can have lifelong health impact for the infant

January 29, 2020 | News

Every mother wants to give their newborn the very best start. During the nine months of gestation, women understand that eating right, breathing fresh air, exercising and maintaining a positive mindset during pregnancy are important to giving birth to a healthy baby. But many do not know just how important the very moment of birth is in shaping the infant’s long-term well-being. This is a pivotal time when a massive amount of the mother’s microbes are being actively transferred to the...

Science at the interface: Bioinspired materials reveal useful properties

January 27, 2020 | News

The design of sophisticated new materials is undergoing brisk technological advancement. Innovations in material science promise transformative improvements in industries ranging from energy to manufacturing. In a new study, researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Institute and their colleagues explore new materials with physical properties that can be custom-tailored to suit particular needs. The work is inspired by mechanisms in nature, where the complex three-dimensional structure of surrounding...

China is dealing with a new and deadly virus

January 23, 2020 | News

A new coronavirus that emerged last month in China and has claimed the lives of 17 people and infected approximately 540 others has the country on high alert. The World Health Organization (WHO) has convened its emergency committee to determine measures that need to be taken to deal with this outbreak. A cure is nowhere in sight but health officials are scrambling to develop a vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that one American has already been...

Getting personal: Alzheimer’s research across ASU is fueled by knowledge and life experience

January 13, 2020 | News

“My mother was driving to work one morning and was alarmed to see an older man riding a bicycle against traffic,” says Diego Mastroeni. To her surprise, that man was his grandfather, Giuseppe Abramo. For Mastroeni, now an assistant research professor and neuroscientist at Arizona State University’s ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center, dementia struck close to home, with painful immediacy. Mastroeni has warm memories of teaching his grandfather to speak English and...

Just follow the ‘butterfly’

January 9, 2020 | News

Have you ever wondered what Earth was like in its distant past? It was indeed very different from today. For one, the atmosphere contained no oxygen, so none of us would have survived it. This all changed when cyanobacteria arose – microbes that release oxygen from photosynthesis. Over an incredibly long period of time, the cyanobacteria continued to release oxygen, and little by little, it changed the Earth’s chemistry. They first oxidized the Earth’s minerals, and oceans -- and, then...

Cliques, binges and bullies: What animals tell us about teen behavior

December 20, 2019 | News

It’s not easy being teen. Negative images of adolescents populate the media. Words like moody, selfish, impulsive, disrespectful and even dangerous come to mind.  Suicide rates among teens and young adults have reached their highest point in nearly two decades. Adolescence is a particularly malleable time for mental and social development. Gaining a better understanding of the teenage brain and behavior can make this time an opportunity, rather than a calamity. In their recently...

Democracy 2.0: Returning power to the people

December 18, 2019 | News

It’s no secret that the United States is growing more and more politically polarized. A recent report from the Pew Research Center indicates that “public opinion remains more divided along partisan lines than along the lines of race, religion, age gender or educational background.” Americans are deeply divided on controversial issues like immigration, health care, gun control and women’s rights – a division that impedes social progress on nonpartisan issues. The number of Americans...

The sky is no longer the limit

December 17, 2019 | News

Hundreds of spaceflight research experts, biological scientists, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts gathered in September at Arizona State University (ASU) to add fuel to the exploding market of space life sciences research. “Developing the Commercial Spaceflight Research Marketplace: Challenges, Solutions and Benefits,” held this fall, and sponsored by ASU’s Biodesign Institute and NewSpace Initiative, drew not only a cross-section of Arizona’s university-based space life sciences and...

Biodesign researchers among world’s most influential researchers

December 16, 2019 | News

Web of Science has named Marc Messerschmidt, an associate research professor in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and the School of Molecular Sciences; Uwe Weierstall, associate faculty in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and research professor in the Department of Physics; Hao Yan, the Milton D. Glick Distinguished Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry and director of the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics; and Wei...