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Graduate Research News

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…

Kate Flint, Provost Professor of English and Art History and chair of art history in USC Dornsife, arrived in 2011 from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. An expert on the art and culture of the Victorian era and the early 20th century, she has also taught at Bristol and Oxford universities. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

In Like Flint

January 30, 2013

Growing up in the United Kingdom, Kate Flint became fascinated with all things Victorian from an early age. For her, the inescapable presence of the Victorian world lived on in the country’s cities, buildings,…

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…