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Graduate Research News

Founder of the Biological Imaging Center at Caltech, Scott Fraser joined the faculty in Summer 2012. The USC Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, and director of science initiatives has a joint appointment at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: Scott Fraser

May 7, 2013

Tiny brown eggs dotted with what looks like speckles of liquid dark chocolate rest atop nests, while fuzzy, baby quails chirp and waddle inside the glass incubator. Hanging above a laser-scanning confocal microscope, a poster…

Marine biologist David Caron examines data picked up by underwater robotic gliders: “Gliders help us wire the ocean, and with this constant surveillance, we are on the verge of being able to predict and mitigate [harmful] events." Photo by Max S. Gerber.

Robot Gliders Roam Seas

May 2, 2013

It was an unforgettable spring morning in 2011 when residents of King Harbor in Redondo Beach, Calif., awoke to find millions of dead anchovies, sardines and mackerel packed into the marina. The stench was strong enough to…

Male athletes far outnumbered female athletes at the Olympics last summer, according to a new research report co-authored by Michele Donnelly, a postdoctoral fellow in sociology. “The perceptions of equality that led to London being called ‘The Women’s Olympics’ by some commentators are inaccurate,” Donnelly said. Photo courtesy of Diamond Catcher.

Play Fair

April 11, 2013

Some hailed it as “The Women’s Olympics,” as the 2012 London Games marked the first time in history that all participating nations allowed women to compete. But a new study co-authored by USC…

Ph.D. candidate in marine environmental biology in USC Dornsife Johanna Holm is collaborating on a digital application based on the children's picture book <em>Flotsam</em>. Here, the team has posted images and notes detailing how the "dynamic book" will evolve. Photo courtesy of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.

A Flotsam of Innovation

March 20, 2013

A scientific diver, USC Dornsife’s Johanna Holm, has become a “transmedia storyteller.” The Ph.D. candidate in marine environmental biology is helping transform the award-winning children’s book…

Susan Forsburg, professor of molecular biology in USC Dornsife (left), led a team in a study recently published in <em>Cell Reports</em>, that shed light on the centromere — the center of the “X” shape of a chromosome. Forsburg's former Ph.D. student, Pao-Chen Li (right), now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, was among the co-authors. Photo by Eric O’Connell.

The Synergistic Effect

March 11, 2013

USC Dornsife scientists have discovered how two different structural apparatuses collaborate to protect repetitive DNA when it is at its most vulnerable — while it is being unzipped for replication. The centromere…

USC Dornsife Nicos Petasis and his team explored the structure of resolvin D3 to better understand why and how it works to shut off inflammation. Image courtesy of Nicos Petasis.

Beyond Headache Relief

February 27, 2013

A team from USC Dornsife and Harvard University has uncovered a key biological mechanism that makes aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids effective at reducing inflammation. Doctors have long prescribed aspirin together with a diet…

The DNA double helix (shown here) is stabilized primarily by two forces: hydrogen bonds between nucleotides and base-stacking interactions among aromatic nucleobases.

Affordable DNA Sequencing

February 26, 2013

Two USC Dornsife scientists have developed an algorithm that could help make DNA sequencing affordable enough for clinics — and could be useful to researchers of all stripes. Andrew Smith, a computational biologist in…

The experience students will have in the new molecular genetics and biochemistry progressive degree program is similar to a first year Ph.D. program, said USC Dornsife's Susan Forsburg. Here Forsburg stands with Michael Getz at his commencement, whom she mentored in her laboratory. Photo courtesy of Susan Forsburg.

Year of Research = Master’s

February 21, 2013

The USC Dornsife Department of Biological Sciences has launched a new progressive master’s degree in molecular genetics and biochemistry. The program gives students an opportunity to earn a graduate degree and immerse…

USC Dornsife scientists lead efforts to protect marine life during climate change by combining marine and evolutionary biology in an emerging field that requires new scientific models. Photo © Kristian Taylor 2013.

Battling Oceanic Climate Change

February 15, 2013

Changes to the temperature and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere are causing fundamental changes to the ocean, too. The water is getting warmer and more acidic, and those changes may reconfigure the microbial communities that…

USC Dornsife assistant professor Sarah Feakins served as lead author of a study that recently appeared online in <em>Geology</em>. The study provides insights about the development of hominins and the landscape that herbivores (horses, hippos and antelopes) grazed many million years ago. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Bipedaling Toward Truth

January 31, 2013

What came first: the bipedal human ancestor or the grassland encroaching on the forest? A new analysis of vegetation change in the cradle of humanity over the past 12 million years is challenging long-held beliefs about the…