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USC Dornsife Interim Dean Dani Byrd. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Meet USC Dornsife’s Interim Dean

December 1, 2015

Dani Byrd’s Trojan Family ties run deep. Not only has she served as a USC Dornsife faculty member for 17 years and a vice dean for more than eight years, she is also the parent of a USC freshman and the spouse of an…

The nuclear membrane previously was thought to be mostly just a protective bubble around the nuclear material. Illustration by Taeyhun Ryu, Brett Spatola, Laetitia Delebaere and Irene Chiolo.

Nuclear membrane repairs the ‘dark matter’ of DNA

November 30, 2015

Scientists have found a new function of the nuclear membrane, the envelope that encases and protects DNA in the nucleus of a cell — it fixes potentially fatal breaks in DNA strands. The nuclear membrane previously was…

A new master’s program at USC will train students from the disciplines of social sciences and computer science to navigate the fields of data analytics and spatial informatics.

New master’s in spatial sciences focuses on big data

November 30, 2015

It’s difficult to refute: Big data is revolutionizing all industries, from health care and security to environmental sustainability and transportation. As companies grapple with the challenges and anticipate the…

Scientists must reconcile the fundamental components of reality if humankind is ever to comprehend the cosmos.

The Universe As We Know It

November 25, 2015

Sitting in a small French bistro across from Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles, Clifford Johnson held the pumpkin-hued drinking straw parallel to the table. “Essentially, this straw has two dimensions to it. I can…

Interim Dean of USC Dornsife Dani Byrd, left, and USC Provost Michael Quick flank Arieh Warshel in this photo taken during Nobel laureate Warshel’s 75th birthday celebration at USC. Photos by Steve Cohn.

USC honors Nobel laureate Arieh Warshel on his 75th birthday

November 25, 2015

Distinguished scientists, including three Nobel laureates, from some of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions gathered this past weekend on USC’s University Park Campus to honor Arieh Warshel,…

National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis is a doctoral student at USC Dornsife. Photo by Amanda Schwengel, courtesy of Hampshire College.

USC Dornsife doctoral student wins the National Book Award

November 24, 2015

USC Dornsife doctoral candidate Robin Coste Lewis has won the National Book Award for Poetry, one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes. Lewis received the award for her debut book, Voyage of the Sable Venus…

While most obesity researchers avoid gathering data on major “food” holidays, for psychologist Donna Spruijt-Metz Thanksgiving offers an invaluable opportunity to monitor familial interactions and how they influence eating.

Thanksgiving offers data frenzy for obesity researchers

November 24, 2015

It’s Thanksgiving. The turkey is carved, potatoes are adequately mashed, and a buffet of pumpkin, pecan and apple pies lines the counter ready to be sliced as soon as the dinner plates have been cleared. You think to…

Undergraduate students from the environmental studies program at USC Dornsife take their first foray into grant writing and find success.

Students pen winning environmental grant proposals

November 23, 2015

Being that California is in the midst of a historic four-year drought, the impending El Niño is welcome news. Though it’s highly unlikely that the climate system will end the state’s water woes, this…

An image made by Aztec artists from the Codex Mendoza, an early cultural encyclopedia dating from ca. 1542 that traveled widely in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Scholars gain insight from the geographical and cultural movement of artifacts

November 19, 2015

When preserved specimens of birds of paradise — prized throughout 17th-century Europe for their vivid plumage, rarity and distant origins — were exported from their native Papua, New Guinea, by the Dutch, their…

USC Dornsife’s Moh El-Nagger is installed as the inaugural holder of the Robert D. Beyer (’81) Early Career Chair in Natural Sciences at a Nov. 10 ceremony. From left: USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay; Robert Beyer; Catherine Beyer (wife of Robert Beyer); Elizabeth Cochran (wife of Moh El-Naggar); Moh El-Naggar; Provost Michael Quick. Photo by Steve Cohn.

El-Naggar installed as first holder of Beyer Chair

November 18, 2015

USC Provost Michael Quick praised Moh El-Naggar, assistant professor of physics, biological sciences, and chemistry, as a “great contributor” to USC Dornsife for both his research and his teaching. The remarks came…

Alzheimer’s disease can affect men and women differently. Photo by Mark Spearman.

Men with Alzheimer’s gene at risk of brain bleeding

November 16, 2015

A common genetic variation that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease greatly raises the likelihood of tiny brain bleeds in some men, scientists have found. These “microbleeds” leave small points of damage…

Addressing Perception

Addressing Perception

November 16, 2015

A couple on the tiny Hebridean island of Colonsay in Scotland were planning their wedding earlier this year when the bride’s mother sent her daughter a photograph of the dress she planned to wear. When the bride showed…

Todd Fredson, upper right, with Sarah Vap, their three sons and family friend Boli Dje Bi Tra Simon, left. Photo courtesy of Todd Fredson.

Poetry and the aftermath of war in Africa

November 13, 2015

Imagine arriving with your partner and three young children at the Abidjan airport in Ivory Coast after 16 hours in flight. All of your possessions are squished into 10 suitcases limited to 50 pounds each. Now you have to…

In a Nov. 4 ceremony, Stephen Smith was installed as the inaugural holder of the Andrew J. and Erna Finci Viterbi USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Chair. From left, USC President C.L. Max Nikias, Smith and Andrew Viterbi. Photos by Steve Cohn.

Viterbi Chair Installed

November 10, 2015

USC President C. L. Max Nikias praised Stephen Smith, executive director of USC Shoah Foundation — the Institute for Visual History and Education, for his dedication to preserving memory of the past through testimony.…

<em>Eotiaris guadalupensis</em> fossil discovered by Jeffrey Thompson in the Smithsonian collections. Image courtesy of David Bottjer.

Oldest Urchin

November 9, 2015

Researchers have uncovered a sea urchin fossil that pushes back a fork in its family tree by 10 million years, according to a new study. A team from USC Dornsife found the fossil — Eotiaris guadalupensis — in…

James Moffett, professor of biological sciences and earth sciences, served as chief scientific officer for a recent ocean expedition that was the first to find dissolved iron as far as 2,500 miles from its source in hydrothermal vents. Photo by Darrin S. Joy.

Deep Sea Surprise

November 6, 2015

Iron is the single most abundant element on Earth. It’s also one of the most important for living organisms, which use it for myriad biological processes. An expedition in the South East Pacific Ocean may have found the…

Eighty young women from Los Angeles-area high schools attended the annual Young Women’s Political and Civic Leadership Conference on Oct. 31 at USC. Photos by Erika Maldonado.

Women as Leaders

November 6, 2015

If current poll results are any indication, Hillary Clinton is likely to become the first woman president of the United States. This despite a dearth of women politicians — they represent less than 20 percent of…

Alumnus Albert Lee draws parallels between teaching and consulting. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Modeling the Future

November 5, 2015

As an undergraduate majoring in mathematics and economics at USC Dornsife, Albert Lee tutored some of USC’s best known athletes, including Olympian volleyball players Nick Becker and Brian Ivie, and NFL quarterback Todd…

Morteza Dehghani and a team of psychology researchers and computer scientists at USC Dornsife have developed a new text analysis software program for social scientists.

A TACIT Understanding

November 3, 2015

According to a 2015 Global Web Index report, today’s average adult spends 6.15 hours a day online. More than a quarter of this time is spent on social networking sites. Life in the digital age means an abundance —…

Health care stereotype threat stemming from commonly held beliefs about unhealthy lifestyle choices can jeopardize care outcomes, according to a study by Cleopatra Abdou of psychology.

Health Care Stereotype Threat

October 30, 2015

Warning: Stereotypes may be harmful to patients’ health. A national study led by USC Dornsife’s Cleopatra Abdou found that people who encountered the threat of being judged by negative stereotypes related to…

According to psychology professor Donna Spruijt-Metz, who researches ways to combat childhood obesity, Halloween offers parents an opportunity to talk to their kids about healthful eating.

Tricky Treating on Halloween

October 30, 2015

When Donna Spruijt-Metz was young, her mother would sit down with her after trick-or-treating on Halloween and help her sort her candy. “We had a joke about how she loved the mini-Hershey bars, so she would negotiate…

Joshua Ramirez (fine arts ’15) cast his father’s hands in concrete to create the sculpture <em>Intuition</em> inspired by J.D. Salinger’s novel <em>The Catcher in the Rye</em>. Photos by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

A New Gallery Emerges

October 29, 2015

Delicately cut paper demonstrates an incredible feat as a tight rope walker leaps between the rooftops of New York City’s Twin Towers, taken from a scene in the novel Let the Great World Spin. Life-size concrete hands…

Confronted by odd moments of “cultural disinfluency,” people perform better on cognitive reasoning tests and are less likely to buy things. Photo: iStock.

Shocked into Clarity

October 29, 2015

Halloween-decorated plates at a Labor Day party. A bride in a green gown with her groom in a purple tuxedo and no wedding party. An obituary that declares of the deceased: “Regina had no hobbies, made no contribution to…

Earthquakes and other disasters — both natural and man-made — pose a significant threat to lives and economies around the Pacific Rim. Photo courtesy of Walter D. Mooney/USGS.

Pacific Preparedness

October 23, 2015

Not far from Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, an alarm pierces the air. At a nearby elementary school, hundreds of children drop to the floor, scramble beneath their desks and hold on for dear life. It’s March 9, 2012, two…

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