News

News

Globe-trotting virus threatens tomato crops

January 10, 2017 | News

Tomatoes, prized for their delicious taste and high nutritional content, are one of the most important crops grown around the world. In recent years, however, tomatoes have come under assault from a persistent and aggressively spreading pathogen. Known as tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), the microbe has undergone rapid expansion from its humble origins in the Jordan Valley in the Middle East. Today, TYLCV devastates cultivated plants in both tropical and subtropical regions, and has...

Inside and out, Biodesign researcher studies the role microbes play in health

January 5, 2017 | News

We humans can’t function without the help of trillions of helpful bacteria that form communities in our guts and other parts of our bodies, also known as microbiomes. This we do know. But there’s still a lot we don’t know about how these ecosystems of microflora affect our health, and how they interact with the surrounding environment. A microbial engineer from the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology and the Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics has been...

Kuroiler Chicken Project

January 3, 2017 | News

It was a warm summer day about seven years ago when Jagdev Sharma and two companions visited a village in rural Uganda to talk to the locals about chickens. A farmer introduced Sharma to several villagers. “I want you to meet somebody who has brought a bird to our country that is going to change our lives,” he said. “It was a very poignant moment,” said Sharma, a researcher at the ASU Biodesign Institute who has spent the past seven years introducing a fast-growing backyard...

Gary Moore receives prestigious NSF CAREER Award

December 22, 2016 | News

Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery researcher and School of Molecular Sciences faculty Gary Moore is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. The CAREER award is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious and competitive honor for early-career investigators. CAREER awards support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through research, education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission...

Parkinson's Disease Linked to Microbiome

December 21, 2016 | News

Scientists have discovered for the first time a functional link between bacteria in the intestines and Parkinson's disease (PD). The researchers show that changes in the composition of gut bacterial populations—or possibly gut bacteria themselves—are actively contributing to and may even cause the deterioration of motor skills that are the hallmark of this disease. The work—which has profound implications for the treatment of PD—was performed in the laboratory of Sarkis...

Novel technique helps ID elusive molecules

December 21, 2016 | News

Among the most important molecules in the living world are sugars or carbohydrates, which play a vital role in life processes. Sugars provide the main source of fuel for the body, protect muscles from damage and contribute to the immune response. They also act as the brain’s key metabolite (in the form of glucose), powering basic function and influencing memory and mood. Dysregulation of carbohydrates can lead to a raft of major illnesses, including cancer. Now, Stuart Lindsay, a...

Atlas of the RNA universe takes shape

December 7, 2016 | News

As the floor plan of the living world, DNA guides the composition of animals ranging from unicellular organisms to humans. DNA not only helps shepherd every organism from birth through death, it also plays an essential role in the development of many human diseases. But it wasn’t always so. Long before DNA emerged as the molecule of life, its closely related cousin, RNA (ribonucleic acid), held center stage.  The RNA world refers to a time in earth’s distant past when primitive...

Structural biologists capture detailed image of gene regulator’s fleeting form

November 17, 2016 | News

Using an ultrafast, high-intensity radiation source called an X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL), scientists have captured an atomic-level picture of an RNA structure called a riboswitch as it reorganizes itself to regulate protein production. The structure has never been seen before, and likely exists for only milliseconds after the riboswitch first encounters its activating molecule. “We showed that structural changes in biochemical reactions or interactions between molecules can now be...

ASU protein pioneer honored as innovator at governor’s celebration

November 11, 2016 | News

Petra Fromme, an Arizona State University researcher who is cracking the mystery of proteins and how they function, was hailed as Innovator of the Year at the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation, Nov. 10, a celebration also honoring Arizona businesses, legislators, teachers and students who are leading the state in science and technology discovery and entrepreneurialism. Fromme, a Regents’ Professor and director of the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery at the ASU...

ASU’s ‘Salute to Service’ puts the spotlight on science that protects our nation

November 8, 2016 | News

In the 21st century, the United States needs more than a strong military to protect itself. Our nation needs robust and carefully planned strategies to protect the public from disease epidemics or attacks using biological, chemical or radiological agents. This week, all of Arizona State University comes together to salute, support and advance the university’s focus on veterans, soldiers and national defense. For 2016, the ASU Salute to Service theme is “bound by service; driven by...