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September 3, 2019
Tiny airborne particles from wildfires have climate change implications
Wildfires are widespread across the globe. They occur in places wherever plants are abundant — such as the raging fires currently burning in the Brazilian Amazon. Such biomass burning (BB) can be an environmental calamity. Regents Professor Peter Buseck and collaborators have just published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which addresses this problem.
August 26, 2019
An innovative new diagnostic for Lyme disease
In new research, Joshua LaBaer and his colleagues describe an early detection method for pinpointing molecular signatures of the disease with high accuracy.
August 15, 2019
Devens Gust named senior member of National Academy of Inventors
The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named Terry Alford, Devens Gust and Andreas Spanias as senior members for fostering a spirit of innovation at Arizona State University while educating and mentoring the next generation of inventors.
Steve Presse and Marcia Levitus for ASU School of Molecular Sciences show how Bayesean nonparametrics can be used to increase the time resolution of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.
Marcia Levitus, associate professor in the School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, received a National Science Foundation grant to lead a study on the dynamics of DNA sequence and deformability on lesion recognition and excision in the base excision repair pathway, which will help us understand key aspects of DNA repair, DNA mutation rates and molecular evolution.
The ASU team — led by Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute and director of the Center for Personalized Diagnostics, and co-principal investigator Vel Murugan — aims to develop a technology that will use a single drop of blood to quickly read a person’s epigenetic “fingerprint.” The fingerprint will identify signatures that indicate if the individual has ever been exposed to materials associated with producing weapons of mass destruction.
Astrophysicists know that iron (chemical symbol: Fe) is one of the most abundant elements in the universe, after lightweight elements such as hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. Iron is most commonly found in gaseous form in stars such as the sun, and in more condensed form in planets such as Earth.
The Arizona State University charter describes a commitment to linking innovation with the advancement of research and discovery of public value. The establishment of the School of Molecular Sciences from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry embodies this commitment to research that directly addresses such major public and societal issues.
Arizona State University Biodesign Institute researcher Hao Yan has been named to Fast Company’s list of “Most Creative People in Business 2019” for his work using nanobots to fight cancerous tumors by choking off their blood supply.
Arizona State University President’s Professor Ariel Anbar has been selected to receive the 2019 Science Innovation Award from the European Association of Geochemistry (EAG). This award recognizes scientists who have recently made a particularly important and innovative breakthrough in geochemistry.
An international team of scientists, including Wei Liu from Arizona State University’s School of Molecular Sciences, has shed much-needed light on melatonin’s effects, opening the door to the development of new drugs for sleep disorders and other health issues affected by melatonin. They developed 3D models of the tiny antennae — called receptors — on the surface of cells that synchronize the body’s internal clock with the day and night cycle.
April 22, 2019
Using DNA templates to harness the sun’s energy
In a recent paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a team of researchers led by Hao Yan, Yan Liu and Neal Woodbury of the School of Molecular Sciences and Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics at Arizona State University report significant progress in optimizing systems that mimic the first stage of photosynthesis, capturing and harnessing light energy from the sun.
Oct. 1, 2019, is almost 50 years to the day since a precocious assistant professor named Alexandra Navrotsky started her independent career at Arizona State University's Department of Chemistry (now the School of Molecular Sciences). On that day, Navrotsky, now a member of the National Academy of Sciences, will return to ASU to head the new one-of-a-kind Center for Materials of the Universe.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has just awarded the 2019 Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography to ASU Emeritus Regents' Professor Michael O’Keeffe and Professor Omar M. Yaghi, of the University of California, Berkeley, “for their fundamental contributions to the development of reticular chemistry.” The honor was personally awarded by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
A unique center officially opens on April 3 at Arizona State University, housed within the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.The Global KAITEKI Center is funded by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC) and its group’s think tank and research institute, the KAITEKI Institute, and led by Professor George Stephanopoulos, who holds joint positions in the School of Molecular Sciences and the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
In 2016, the School of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University embarked on a journey to change how biochemistry could be taught and create opportunities for students who thought that a bachelor’s degree was out of reach unless they went the traditional route of a brick-and-mortar school. That fall, pilot online general chemistry courses for biochemistry majors were offered for the first time, followed by online organic chemistry the following spring. These pilot courses were the precursor to a much larger project — to deliver a fully online biochemistry program with an in-person lab.
The structure of DNA is very simple and lacks the diversity of proteins that make up most natural cages, like viruses. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to control the assembly of proteins with the precision of DNA. That is, until recently. Nicholas Stephanopoulos — an assistant professor in Arizona State University's Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, and the School of Molecular Sciences — and his team built a cage constructed from both protein and DNA building blocks through the use of covalent protein-DNA conjugates.
Anne Jones and Ian Gould of The College’s School of Molecular Sciences will be jointly awarded the Faculty Teaching Achievement Award, for an innovative new approach to pre-med education.
Biomolecules, such as DNA and proteins, are not static structures. They undergo complex conformational changes that are essential to their functioning and the signaling pathways they belong to. Understanding these changes is pivotal to a deeper comprehension of how the body works and could eventually shed light on certain diseases that afflict us.
In a new study, Stuart Lindsay and his colleagues at Arizona State University explore a surprising property of proteins — one that has only recently come to light. In research appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the group demonstrates electrical conductance through proteins poised between a pair of electrodes.
February 25, 2019
Stories of the Grand Canyon
Feb. 26 marks the centennial of Grand Canyon National Park and the sesquicentennial of John Wesley Powell’s expedition down the Colorado River. Literally and figuratively, it’s Arizona’s biggest attraction. Naturally, it draws the attention of artists, faculty, and scientists from Arizona State University, the state’s biggest university.
February 25, 2019
Ancient rocks provide clues to Earth’s early history
Oxygen in the form of the oxygen molecule (O2), produced by plants and vital for animals, is thankfully abundant in Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. Researchers studying the history of O2 on Earth, however, know that it was relatively scarce for much of our planet’s 4.6 billion-year existence. So when, and in what environments, did O2 begin to build up on Earth?
Arizona State University’s Assistant Professor Petr Sulc of the School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Institute recently collaborated with Assistant Professor Thorsten L. Schmidt of Kent State, formerly of Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, to study structural DNA nanotechnology.
Scientists from Arizona State University’s School of Molecular Sciences, in collaboration with colleagues from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, have captured for the first time snapshots of crystal structures of intermediates in the biochemical pathway that enables us to breathe.
February 13, 2019
Four ASU faculty named Senior Members of National Academy of Inventors
Exemplifying Arizona State University’s commitment to innovation and impact, four faculty members have been named Senior Members of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). David Allee, Sidney Hecht, Jianming Liang and Nongjian Tao join an elite group of faculty, scientists and administrators from NAI member institutions in the inaugural class of 66 Senior Members.
January 29, 2019
7-year School of Molecular Sciences collaboration bears new fruit
In an academic field where female researchers comprise a talented minority, two professors from Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences are making an impact. Rebekka Wachter and Marcia Levitus have been collaborating for seven years, with several co-authored, highly rated publications to their credit.
Arizona State University’s Professor Giovanna Ghirlanda and Assistant Professor Matthias Heyden, both of the School of Molecular Sciences, and Associate Professor Sara Vaiana of the Department of Physics are viewing our cells through a new lens, enabling them to gain novel insight into the mechanisms of several cellular activities.
Postpartum bleeding is the world’s leading cause of death for women during and after childbirth, and the third-leading cause in the United States alone. Development of a safer drug to counter postpartum bleeding may be on the horizon, based on new research by Arizona State University, the Bridge Institute at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience and the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory based at Stanford University. The work appears in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.
In the fall of 2015, Stephanopoulos joined Arizona State University and the School of Molecular Sciences, then known as the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, as an assistant professor. His research interests are protein/peptide-DNA nanotechnology for novel bioactive materials, medicine, energy and nanorobotics. The CMDB provided fertile ground for getting his exact research program off the ground, and Yan was building up a network of top-notch colleagues and young faculty.
January 4, 2019
Putting DNA on autopilot
Nature has made extravagant use of a simple molecule — DNA, the floor plan of all earthly life.Inventive researchers have used the same base-pairing properties that bond two strands of DNA into the familiar double helix to build innumerable useful structures at the nanometer scale.
January 3, 2019
Inspiring sustainability action through virtual field trips
Arizona State University sustainability scientists Rimjhim Aggarwal and Ariel Anbar were recently awarded a Grand Challenges Explorations grant, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This grant enables the professors to pilot a project that will train students to create virtual field trips as a way to narrate their own place-based stories regarding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and share with peers globally to motivate youth action.
Researchers across the country are looking for ways to successfully find the pieces to the biological puzzle of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, as the demand for precise diagnosis and treatment options grow. Research in the field of single-cell proteomics is advancing quickly to try to meet those demands. At Arizona State University, Assistant Professor Jia Guo with the School of Molecular Sciences is one of several scientists looking at ways proteomics can help us understand disease development and specifically differentiation in stem cells.
December 13, 2018
Peter Buseck awarded 2019 Roebling Medal
The 2019 Roebling Medal, the highest award of the Mineralogical Society of America for outstanding original research in mineralogy, is being awarded to Arizona State University Regents’ Professor Peter Buseck, who holds joint faculty appointments in the School of Molecular Sciences and the School of Earth and Space Exploration.
Arizona State University researchers Joshua LaBaer and Nathan Newman have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, the organization announced Monday. Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and welfare of society.
On Tuesday, December 10, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will recognize its highest achieving students from the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities at the 2018 convocation ceremony. Each department and school within the college has selected a phenomenal student who has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to academic excellence during their time at ASU. Alexis Ramirez, a biochemistry major, is selected as the Fall 2018 Dean’s Medalist for SMS.
November 30, 2018
A new light on significantly faster computer memory devices
In an article published online on November 30 in Science Advances, a team of scientists from Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences and Germany offer an explanation of how a particular phase-change memory (PCM) material can work a thousand times faster than current flash computer memory, while being significantly more durable with respect to the number of daily read-writes.
November 15, 2018
Regents' Professor receives Otto Shott Research Award
Arizona State University School of Molecular Sciences Regents’ Professor of chemistry and biochemistry C. Austen Angell has received the Otto Schott Research Award and an endowment with a unanimous vote from the board of trustees for his impressive work on dynamics and processes in liquids.
November 13, 2018
ASU professor wins grants to elucidate the magic of proteins
For Arizona State University’s Dmitry Matyushov, professor in the School of Molecular Sciences (SMS) and the Department of Physics, years of studying how electrons make their way through some important protein molecules has been recently rewarded with two major grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE).
November 7, 2018
ASU geoscientists discover an overlooked source for Earth's water
Where did Earth's global ocean come from? A team of Arizona State University geoscientists led by Peter Buseck, Regents' Professor in ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences and School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) has found an answer in a previously neglected source. The team has also discovered that our planet contains considerably more hydrogen, a proxy for water, than scientists previously thought.
November 6, 2018
Tying the knot: New DNA nanostructures
In new research appearing in the journal Nature Communications, Hao Yan, a researcher at Arizona State University, and his colleagues Fei Zhang and Xiaodong Qi and others describe a method for coaxing segments of single-stranded DNA into complex 2D and 3D knotted structures.
November 1, 2018
Alexandra Ros receives Innovation Award
Arizona State University's Alexandra Ros has received the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies Innovation Award for her paper and presentation, “Electrically Triggered Water-in-Oil Droplets for Serial Femtosecond Crystallography.”
October 30, 2018
Tempe Town Lake sends message in a bottle
With over 1,200 samples of water, SMS Professor Hilairy Hartnett's work with the Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Program hopes to better understand what it takes to maintain the ecological health of a man-made lake in one of the hottest regions of the United States.
October 22, 2018
ASU team unravels key mysteries of spider silk
Scientists at Arizona State University are celebrating their recent success on the path to understanding what makes the fiber that spiders spin — weight for weight — at least five times as strong as steel. One of the fundamental mysteries of spider silk that has limited scientists’ ability to produce artificial silks of the quality of natural silks has just been explained by researchers in ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences in collaboration with a team from San Diego State University and Northwestern University.
October 2, 2018
Nick Stephanopoulos receives 2018 NIH New Innovator Award
ASU Professors Nicholas Stephanopoulos, assistant professor in the School of Molecular Sciences, and Rizal Hariadi, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, both researchers in the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, were announced as recipients of the 2018 NIH New Innovator Award.
An international collaboration led by the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron, or DESY, with participation from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery, the Department of Physics and the School of Molecular Sciences, has announced the results of the first scientific experiments at Europe's new X-ray free-electron laser, the European XFEL.
September 27, 2018
ASU scientists explore carbon’s next frontier with Keck Foundation funding
Recently, Jones and her team of Peter Buseck, Scott Sayres, Tim Steimle and Tara Pilarisetty received a $1 million award from the Keck Foundation together with additional ASU matching funds to lead an ASU effort to further explore carbon’s potential.
September 19, 2018
Professor Michael O’Keeffe wins Aminoff Prize in crystallography
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has announced that ASU Emeritus Regents' Professor O’Keeffe and Yaghi, of the University of California, Berkeley, have won the prestigious Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography for 2019, “for their fundamental contributions to the development of reticular chemistry."
September 14, 2018
Innovative in-person lab provides unique opportunity for ASU Online students
The School of Molecular Sciences launched a fully online biochemistry bachelor's degree program in fall 2017, the very first in the U.S.. This summer, the first cohort of online B.S. Biochemistry degree students came to the Arizona State campus to take part in a new, innovative in-person accelerated laboratory course. This laboratory gave the online students the same hands-on experience and benefits that the on-campus students receive.
September 7, 2018
Shock honored with prestigious award from the American Chemical Society
Professor Everett Shock was awarded the 2019 Geochemistry Division Medal from the American Chemical Society (ACS). The unanimous decision was based on his outstanding scientific accompishments and leadership.
The work of Abhishek Singharoy, assistant professor in Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences and member of the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Applied Structural Discovery, is featured in a recent article published by the Department of Energy on renewable biofuels.
July 19, 2018
Nick Stephanopoulos receives NSF CAREER Award
Nick Stephanopoulos, assistant professor in Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences and member of the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, has been named as a recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award.
Using segments of DNA, researchers at ASU have constructed a pair of tweezers, measuring 100,000 times tinier than the width of a human hair. A brief burst of ultraviolet light causes the jaws of the tweezers to switch from their closed to open position in seconds.
July 16, 2018
Single-celled architects inspire new nanotechnology
In a new study, Arizona State University scientists led by Professor Hao Yan and his colleagues have designed a range of diatom-like nanostructures using pieces of DNA.
In new research, Arizona State University Professor Hao Yan and his colleagues describe an innovative DNA walker, capable of rapidly traversing a prepared track. Rather than slow, tentative steps across a surface, the new DNA acrobat cartwheels head over heels, covering ground 10 to 100 times faster than previous devices.