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December 18, 2016
Novel technique helps ID elusive molecules
Stuart Lindsey of the School of Molecular Sciences and Director of the Biodesign Center for Single Molecule Biophysics, has reported a method for identifying individual sugar and carbohydrate molecules using a nanopore sequencing method, which was originally developed in the Lindsay lab for sequencing amino and nucleic acids. This new technique could open the door to a new generation of analytic tools for carbohydrates that can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
December 19, 2016
Gary Moore Receives NSF CAREER Award
Gary Moore has received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award to study the assembly of molecular redox catalysts on (semi)conducting substrates using polymeric interfaces, with the goal of improving fundamental understanding of photoactivated catalysis in complex environments, and developing methodologies to control nanoscale devices at the molecular level.
December 9, 2016
Havell Markus Awarded Fall 2016 CLAS Dean's Medal
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has awarded the Dean's Medal for the School of Molecular Sciences to Havell Markus. Havell has found success in all aspects of his academic career, being ranked at the top of all of his chemistry and biochemistry classes and in research performed as a Helios scholar on blood DNA extraction, bioinformatics and genomics at T-Gen.
December 8, 2016
Can nature regain control of the global carbon cycle?
Tom Moore was recently invited to contribute a Ted type talk at a symposium on "The environmental problem from pharmacy and chemistry : Ethics and aesthetics as fundamental tools", part of a series on "Dialogues on Human Ecology" at the The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Using evidence from current research and trends in policy, social, economic and science issues relevant to sustainability, Tom gives a highly personalized but fascinating account of how mankind can help nature regain control of the global carbon cycle.
Kate Spencer is graduating this month with a major in biochemistry from the School of Molecular Sciences. Through her senior honor’s thesis research in the Archaeological Chemistry Laboratory, she combined both archaeology and biogeochemistry to better understand how the environment, particularly altitude, affects different isotope systems.
December 1, 2016
Mayo Clinic-ASU seed grant program funds new research projects
Jia Guo has received a grant from the Mayo Clinic-ASU seed grant program, which is a part of the new Mayo Clinic/ASU Alliance for Health Care. The program funds promising new research collaborations between ASU faculty and Mayo Clinic researchers. Jia will collaborate with Nancy Lee of the Mayo Clinic to study “Imaging of functional distinct eosinophil subtypes within lung biopsies.” “This year’s Mayo-ASU Seed awardees represent some of the strongest collaborative work being done by the most promising teams across the two institutions,” said Cheryl Conrad, assistant vice president of research development at ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development.
November 11, 2016
ASU protein pioneer honored as innovator at governor’s celebration
School of Molecular Sciences researcher and Regents’ Professor Petra Fromme was recently honored as the Academic Innovator of the Year at the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation, the annual awards gala that honors technology leaders and innovators from across the state that is sponsored by the Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority. Fromme, who is director of the Center for Applied Structural Discovery, leads a team of chemists, physicists and biologists who are studying membrane proteins, finding answers to disease and clean energy
November 4, 2016
Nobel Laureate Professor Tom Cech delivers 50th Eyring Lecture
The Eyring Lecture Series in the School of Molecular Sciences is an interdisciplinary distinguished lecture series dedicated to stimulating discussion by renowned scientists who are at the cutting edge of their respective fields. Each series consists of a lead-off presentation to help communicate the excitement and the challenge of this central science to the university and community. Past lecturers have included Nobel Laureates Ahmed Zewail, Jean-Marie Lehn, Harry Gray, Richard Smalley and Yuan T. Lee.
Professor Cech delivered the general lecture on November 3rd 2016 entitled "The Long Road to Precision Medicine: How Mutations Activate an "Immortality Gene" and Help Drive Cancer". He is Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, Director at University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute, and Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Cech's work has been recognized by many national and international awards and prizes, including the Heineken Prize of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (1988), the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award (1988), the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1989), and the National Medal of Science (1995). In 1987 Dr. Cech was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and also awarded a lifetime professorship by the American Cancer Society.
September 23, 2016
Grant to Explore an Efficient Way to Capture & Transfer Solar Energy
September 16, 2016
Cleanest Confirmation of Marcus Law
Spotlight on a Recent Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) Publication…
Dmitry Matyushov and co-workers from The School of Molecular Sciences and the Department of Physics at Arizona State University have recently reported a straightforward verification of Marcus (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 1992) theory.
September 12, 2016
Protein complexes connected to Cystic Fibrosis characterized
In a recent paper in Science Advances, Wade Van Horn of the School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Center for Personalized Diagnostics, together with colleagues from Vanderbilt and Northwestern Universities, have characterized the protein complex responsible for ion transport across membranes, and the mechanisms underlying its dysfunction in patients who suffer from cystic fibrosis.
June 14, 2016
A Linear Allotrope of Carbon?
Carbyne, an allotrope of carbon that has a linear chain of carbon atoms with alternating single and triple bonds, remains elusive. Theoretical work by Pilarisetty Tarakeshwar and Peter Busek together with the late Harold Kroto of Florida State University shows that a recent report claiming the production of carbyne missed the presence of gold atoms in the crystal structure. The metal stabilizes the carbon chains, and although not carbyne, metal stabilized carbynes could be an interesting class of materials says Busek.
In collaboration with researchers at MIT and the Baylor College of Medicine, Hao Yan and graduate student Fei Zhang have demonstrated an important new variant on the DNA origami method of forming complex DNA architectures that starts with the desired 3D shape and then generates the required DNA base sequence and folding pattern using a computer algorithm. This "top down" approach avoids the need to forward-design the complex Watson-Crick base-pairing manually and reduces human input into the details of DNA strand folding paths.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has recognized Sahba Zaare as the highest achieving student in the School of Molecular Sciences at the spring convocation ceremony. Sabha who majored in biochemistry, was a previous recipient of the Merck Index Award and the Hypercube Award. Sabha performed research in the labs of both Chad Borges and also Kevin Redding.
Alexander Green and graduate student Duo Ma co-author a study describing a practical and low-cost diagnostic test for the Zika virus, based on toehold switch gene technology. The method uses toehold switch gene technology, also developed by Green and colleagues, where formation of a reporter protein via translation is blocked until exposed to RNA present in blood samples containing Zika.
February 16, 2016
Buseck and Anbar to study the origin of water on Earth
Arizona State University has received a $1.5 million award from the W.M. Keck Foundation’s Science and Engineering Research Grant Program to study the origin of Earth’s water and hydrogen. The project, entitled " Water from the Heavens: The Origins of Earth’s Hydrogen," will be headed by Principal Investigator and Regents’ Professor Peter Buseck, of the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the School of Molecular Sciences.
February 10, 2016
Chemical cages: New technique advances synthetic biology
In a recent publication in Nature Communications, Hao Yan and co-workers describe novel method for enhancing the reactivity of the critical biological catalysts enzymes. The technique involves the design of specialized, nanometer-scale cages, which self-assemble from lengths of DNA. The cages hold enzyme and substrate in close proximity, considerably accelerating the rate of reactions and shielding them from degradation.
Paul V Galvin Professor Petra Fromme has joined the ranks of the highest faculty honor at the university, as Regents’ Professor. Fromme, a world expert on proteins, is a pioneer in using new technology to research their molecular structure and dynamics. As director of the new Center for Applied Structural Discovery at the Biodesign Institute, she leads 12 faculty and their students from different disciplines studying the structure and dynamics of proteins, potentially leading to improved manmade technologies.
Assistant Professor Nick Stephanopoulos is one of three ASU faculty, more than from any other university in the nation, to receive awards from the Air Forces Young Investigator Research Program. The award, “Peptide-DNA Tiles as Building Blocks for Complex Nanostructures” will support his work as part of the Biodesign Institute Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics.
ASU scientists, in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, have identified the mechanism of action of the important membrane-integral kinase enzyme diacylgylcerol. Diacylgylcerolis plays a role in bacterial wall synthesis by catalyzing conversion of diacylglycerol to phosphatidic acid. It's mechanism has been considered mysterious because its lipid substrates are hydrophobic and its co-substrate is the water soluble ATP. A detailed crystal structure analysis now supports a mechanism for direct transphosphorylation by this diminutive kinase.
November 20, 2015
Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere began in fits and starts
Earth's oxygen-rich atmosphere emerged as transient “whiffs” in shallow oceans around 2.5 billion years ago, according to new research involving ASU scientists. “One of the questions we ask is: ‘Did the evolution of photosynthesis lead directly to an oxygen-rich atmosphere? Or did the transition to today's world happen in fits and starts?" said Ariel Anbar, President’s Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the School of Molecular Sciences. “How and why Earth developed an oxygenated atmosphere is one of the most profound puzzles in understanding the history of our planet.”
October 20, 2015
ASU forms the new School of Molecular Sciences
In reponse to the evolution and maturation of the traditional disciplines of chemistry and biochemistry, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Arizona State University has reorganized into the new School of Molecular Sciences. The School aims to define a new approach to research and academics in the molecular sciences and to creat a use-inspired environment in which to train a new generation of undergraduate and graduate students.
Bacteria's ability to become resistant to antibiotics is a growing issue in health care. One way to combat this is to determine bacteria's antibiotic resistance in a given patient, but that often takes days. Professor Mark Hayes and his group scientists have developed a technique that can sort antibiotic-resistant from "susceptible" bacteria in a matter of minutes using novel microfluidic technology.
July 20 , 2015
Novel structures built from DNA emerge
DNA origami allows endlxessly varied molecular forms to be constructed in multiple dimensions. In a new study in Nature Nanotechnology from the Hao Yan and Yan Liu research groups, complex nano-forms displaying arbitrary wireframe architectures were created using new design rules. "Earlier design methods used strategies including parallel arrangement of DNA helices to approximate arbitrary shapes, but precise fine-tuning of DNA wireframe architectures that connect vertices in 3D space has required a new approach," Yan says.
ASU Engineering Professor Paul Westerhoff and School of Molecular Sciences Professor Pierre Herckes have identified the carcinogenic N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), found in drinking water supplies, to be a degradation product of methadone. The work, featured in the PBS program Newshour, is significant not only because NDMA is a potent carcinogen, but because it uncovers a new ponential danger in the water supply. "If you live downstream from any population, then you're likely drinking someone's wastewater", says Westerhoff.
April 23, 2015
Key blood pressure drug seen in startling new detail
New work has revealed the fine details of how an experimental drug works to regulate blood pressure. The interdisciplinary team includes Paul V Galvin Professor Petra Fromme. “Uncovering the structure of the angiotensin receptor is a real breakthrough in the development of better drugs to regulate blood pressure,” Fromme says. It has been unraveled by a new technique called femtosecond crystallography, pioneered by researchers at ASU and their collaborators.
Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries for portable electronics, with a high energy density, no memory effect and only a slow loss of charge when not in use. Now, researchers at ASU are exploring new energy storage technology that could give the battery an even longer life cycle. Led by School of Molecular Sciences Professor Dan Buttry, he research also involves former undergraduate researcher Jarred Olsen and current graduate student Tylan Watkins.
February 16, 2015
ASU Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Facility
School of Molecular Sciences Professor Peter Williams together with colleagues from the School of Earth and Space Exploration have recieved a $1 million grant to operate their joint SIMS laboratories. SIMS is an analytical tool permitting measurements of elemental concentration and isotope ratios on extremely tiny areas, so that chemical and isotopic variability on scales from a few micrometers down to several nanometers can be determined.