Research Roundup(s): different forms of liquid water, cataloging ancient cities and gene guns

ASU's research and State Press reports from the last week and the week of Spring Break

This week (and last week) in ASU research news:

ASU to finish the cataloging of ancient city 

Michael E. Smith, director of ASU’s Teotihuacan Research Laboratory, will undertake the project of cataloging more than 20,000 boxes of artifacts from the ancient Mexican city Teotihuacan. The mapping of the city was one of the most advanced archeological projects of the 1970s, but the work has been largely ignored since René Millon finished mapping the city in 1973. Along with catalogs, Smith’s team will fundraise for more lab space in Mexico and promote more research into the current collections. 

The shape of water

For years, researchers have theorized about a form of liquid water that comes from super-cooling under specific conditions. Until recently, however, the theory has been difficult to observe because the water will crystalize before it changes. The phase transition of water, into a glassy liquid form of water, was observed for the first time by ASU chemist C. Austen Angell and scientists from the University of Amsterdam. The results, published on March 9 in Science, provide evidence of liquid to liquid transition.

Using ‘gene guns’ to build better vaccines 

Debra Hansen, a researcher at ASU, and her colleagues have created a new strategy for using gene guns, a technology co-developed by professor Stephen A. Johnston. The new strategy produces membrane proteins that are vital in health and disease studies inside of a host, rather than extracting them from the host. The research will help in the study of membrane proteins interactions with drugs and vaccinations. 

The last two weeks from the Science and Tech desk:

STIR | Courtesy

ASU alumna Shannon Conley works as an "embedded humanist" in a reproductive genetics laboratory in Vancouver, Canada in 2009.  

Interdisciplinary program attempts to 'STIR' up how research is conducted

Relevant quote: “The goal is to empower scientists and engineers to think more reflexively, more socially and more ethically about how their work can benefit society,” said Erik Fisher, associate professor in ASU's School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

Courtney Beesch

Photo illustration published on Monday, March 5, 2018. Webpage credit of original reporting on sexual harassment allegations against ASU professor Lawrence Krauss by Buzzfeed News

ASU professor Lawrence Krauss on paid leave amid allegations of sexual misconduct

ASU Origins anniversary event cancelled amid Krauss investigation

ASU professor Lawrence Krauss disputes sexual misconduct allegations

Relevant quotes: 

“What we know is that we have no reports, not a single report, of misconduct from any person associated with ASU made to the University. None. What we have is a BuzzFeed article. … So now we have launched a full scale investigation of Professor Krauss,” said ASU President Michael Crow, in a March 2 meeting with The State Press.

“I am particularly saddened to think that people I might have once inspired and helped may now feel betrayed or jaded, and that others who might one day be inspired by my contributions may no longer be open to such a possibility. But I am not going to let a libelous article stop me from trying to continue my work, and to maximize my positive impacts,” said Lawrence Krauss, in a nine page statement tweeted on March 7.


Reach the reporter at maatenci@asu.edu or follow @mitchellatencio on Twitter.

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