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Graduate Research News

Humans and songbirds are both matching their own early vocalizations to the neural representation of vocal auditory memory. This encoding and integration process is very likely to be disrupted in people with disordered speech and we can begin to understand this by studying the songbird brain.

A Little Bird Told Me

November 9, 2012

Although less than half the size of a walnut and weighing one gram, the brain of a songbird is fully capable of generating complex learned behaviors. Songbirds are one of the few groups of animals other than humans that…

Colored rendering showing feather extent in <em>Microraptor gui</em>. Drawing by David Krentz.

Look! Up in the Sky!

November 2, 2012

The mystery of how dinosaurs first began to fly may have finally been cracked by a USC Dornsife-led team of scientists whose groundbreaking study has been honored by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP). The…

George Sanchez, USC Dornsife’s vice dean for diversity, (middle) stands with past and present USC Dornsife students at a recent Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference in Seattle, Wash. Everett Salas is far left, Cynthia Joseph is in the back row far right and Yadira Ibarra stands in the front row second from the right. Photo courtesy of Yadira Ibarra.

Supporting Diversity in Science

October 31, 2012

As a first-generation college student pursuing a degree in geological sciences, Yadira Ibarra felt like the proverbial stranger in a strange land. At Brown University, there were few women studying earth sciences. And even…

For a National Science Foundation competition, USC Dornsife doctoral student Candy Hwang and her team have created a 90-second video-animated presentation of their research on nitrogen.

Jumping Off the Page

October 29, 2012

Candy Hwang, a second-year doctoral candidate in chemistry and National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow, has swapped the written page for animation. Hwang of USC Dornsife entered “Creating the…

During a recent symposium honoring USC Distinguished Professor of Chemistry George Olah of USC Dornsife (right) and the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, USC President C. L. Max Nikias praises Olah as "USC's golden treasure." Photo by Rich Schmitt.

Loker Institute, Olah Celebrated

October 23, 2012

Nearly 300 of USC Dornsife Distinguished Professor George Olah’s colleagues and former students arrived from throughout the world to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and…

Named Penelope by researchers, this elephant seal is one of many fitted with a GPS tracking tag. These devices can be used to monitor potential climate change indices such as temperature increases. The tags are temporarily attached with glue and do not hurt the seals. ©Nicole Teutschel, courtesy of Tagging of Pacific Predators or TOPP.

Climate Change Hits the Beach

October 15, 2012

“Climate change is already here,” warned Douglas Capone, William and Julie Wrigley Chair in Environmental Studies and professor of biological sciences in USC Dornsife. “And it’s going to affect…

Nicos Petasis, Harold and Lillian Moulton Chair in Chemistry and professor of chemistry in USC Dornsife, collaborated with researchers in many disciplines in a published study unveiling a new drug to combat ovarian cancer. Photo by Alexandra Bissonnette.

Hope Against Ovarian Cancer

October 11, 2012

Scientists at USC have discovered a new type of drug for the treatment of ovarian cancer that works in a way that should not only decrease the number of doses that patients need to take, but also may make it effective for…

USC Dornsife researchers found that watching someone we dislike in motion affects brain activity leading to "differential processing" -- for example, thinking the person is moving more slowly than he or she actually is.

Do You Like Me Now?

October 9, 2012

Hate the Lakers? Do the Celtics make you want to hurl? Whether you like someone can affect how your brain processes their actions, according to new research from the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI), housed in USC…

Chimpanzees are found from Western Africa across the continent to East Africa. At one time, there were 50,000 or more chimps in Uganda. Now there are about 5,000 as a result of logging, the encroachment of villages, trapping, snare devices and other reasons. Photo by Craig Stanford.

Into the Forest

October 8, 2012

In late September, USC Dornsife Ph.D. student Maureen McCarthy traveled 9,000 miles from Los Angeles to Hoima, Uganda, to begin a year devoted to collecting chimpanzee poop. While that may seem like an unusual way to spend a…

USC Dornsife's Laura Pulido stands near the gravesite of Owen Brown in the hills of Altadena, Calif., one of the sites in her new guidebook, <em>A People's Guide to Los Angeles</em>. Photo by Laura Paisley.

L.A.’s Vernacular Landscapes

October 8, 2012

There is a tendency among my friends in Chicago, where I lived for the past eight years, to not see a Los Angeles beyond the Hollywood glitz and the tales of horrible traffic and bodily artificiality. And before making L.A.…