News & Events

1st-generation ASU grad gains research experience through Biodesign Institute

May 5, 2022

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates. If someone gave Jasmine Nguyen $40 million to solve one problem, she would invest the money to create a scholarship fund that supports learning for generations to come. “I would strive to make sure every student in Arizona gets the opportunity to pursue higher education or education in general by providing funding for supplies and necessities at school,” said Nguyen, a...

Wastewater provides a planet-wide laboratory for the study of human health

April 6, 2022

Of the many contemporary conveniences often taken for granted in developed countries, modern sanitation may be among the most important. A new study suggests that wastewater infrastructure may provide societal benefits far beyond the dramatic improvements in community hygiene. The research highlights a technique known as Wastewater-based Epidemiology (WBE), in which samples of municipal wastewater can be used as a diagnostic tool to explore a surprisingly broad range of community-wide health...

New meta-analysis explores potential environmental causes of ALS disease

January 26, 2022

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neuromuscular disease, believed to affect as many as 30,000 Americans. A hundred and fifty years after its discovery, the disease remains mysterious and devastating, striking without warning. Teasing out the constellation of factors that underlie this complex disorder has been a challenge for researchers. In addition to a hereditary component for some ALS and related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease,...

Wastewater Surveillance – Monitoring Covid-19 to Protect Public Health

November 17, 2021

This webinar brings together NIEHS-supported researchers working with university campuses, tribal nations and Appalachian communities, to discuss their unique research perspectives and experiences with wastewater surveillance as it relates to COVID-19. Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering Director Rolf Halden will be featured as a panelist. There will also be a presentation from the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch Head of the North Carolina Department of...

SARS-CoV-2: a theme and variations

August 11, 2021

The celebrations were well underway. America seemed to be emerging from the depths of the COVID-19 crisis, following some of the darkest days in the nation’s history. A vast reduction in infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities, driven by improved therapies and above all, a suite of highly effective vaccines, had brought a collective sigh of relief. The July 4th festivities were euphorically anticipated, marking not only the nation’s independence from colonial rule but its...

ASU scientific team finds new, unique mutation in coronavirus study

May 7, 2020

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...

Novel coronavirus detected, monitored in wastewater

April 23, 2020

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...

Indices of health under our feet

April 21, 2020

A treasure trove of information relevant to human and environmental health is hiding in an unexpected place. Samples of wastewater from homes, institutions, towns and cities around the world can now be probed for valuable data concerning community well-being, antibiotic use and resistance, recreational substance consumption and abuse, biomarkers of disease as well as environmental hazards and degradation. This rapidly emerging health surveillance technique, termed wastewater-based...

Researchers look to toxins in the environment for answers to Alzheimer’s

November 25, 2019

Can insecticides, industrial and commercial pollutants, antimicrobials, heavy metals and air pollutants contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s? As our population ages at a break-neck pace, visions of a society overwhelmed by the sorrows of the “silver tsunami’ strike fear and concern, but answers remain elusive. Researchers across the world continue to search valiantly for answers to Alzheimer’s. With no clear answers, people are asking, should I take vitamins or supplements? Are...

Environmental entrepreneurs receive national recognition

November 14, 2019

Identified as “a powerful new model for the environmental field,” Professor Rolf Halden’s One Water One Health, an environmental justice organization, launched at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University , has been selected by The J.M. Kaplan Fund to receive an award of $175,000 over the course of three years. Halden’s organization is one of three environment-focused awardees and seven additional social innovation awardees, chosen from a field of 1,354 entries from all 50...