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Graduate Research News

A paper appearing online recently in <em>NeuroImage</em> indicates that the brain works overtime to comprehend and empathize with people who have physical abnormalities. The lead author was Sook-Lei Liew who conducted the research while at USC Dornsife's Brain and Creativity Institute.

Is The Bachelor on the Right Track?

January 25, 2013

A new USC Dornsife study has found evidence suggesting that the brain works hard to understand those who have different bodies when watching them in action. According to the study’s lead author, the finding supports…

Great Apes such as chimpanzees share remarkable similarities with humans. Their complex patterns of communication are one example. "These skills underscore the importance of conserving this endangered species before it is too late,” says USC Dornsife Ph.D. student Maureen McCarthy. Photo by Craig Stanford.

Hey, I’m Talking to You!

January 24, 2013

A team led by USC Dornsife Ph.D. student Maureen McCarthy found evidence that chimpanzees are aware of the attention and responsiveness of the chimp they’re communicating with, modifying their method of communication to…

Candy Hwang, chemistry doctoral student in USC Dornsife, is depicted in a video she created with USC School of Cinematic Arts animators, which picked up two awards in a recent National Science Foundation competition. Titled, <em>The Secrets of Nitrogenase</em>, the video breaks down the complex science behind the nitrogenase enzyme.

The Little Enzyme That Could

December 12, 2012

The cute kiddie cartoon shows an animated Candy Hwang wearing a white lab coat jotting down data on her clipboard. But the 90-second video is not child’s play. Called The Secrets of Nitrogenase, it clearly and concisely…

For his thesis determining Los Angeles' city center, USC Dornsife alumnus Samuel Krueger has been named first place winner of the UNIGIS 2012 Academic Excellence Prize and of the North American Regional Science Council's 2012 Graduate Student-Author Paper Competition. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

L.A. Has a Heart

November 20, 2012

Writer Dorothy Parker once haughtily dismissed Los Angeles as “72 suburbs in search of a city.” But USC Dornsife alumnus Samuel Krueger’s research shows that the City of Angels actually does have a focal…

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…