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The Hebgen Lake earthquake, magnitude 7.1-7.3, struck southwestern Montana in August 1959, causing significant damage. Photo courtesy of USGS.

Strange Earthquakes

August 31, 2015

It’s not a huge mystery why Los Angeles experiences earthquakes. The city is right along a boundary between two tectonic plates — they shift, we shake. But what about places that aren’t along tectonic plate…

Maureen McCarthy, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in integrative and evolutionary biology at USC Dornsife, found endangered chimpanzees in Uganda are adapting to life in fragmented forest patches. Photo courtesy of Jenny via Flickr.

Rare Chimps

August 31, 2015

Two years spent collecting and analyzing eastern chimpanzee fecal samples from an unprotected region in Uganda has revealed a far larger population of the primates than previous estimates suggested for the area. In the…

Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged New Orleans in 2005, was the most expensive natural disaster — and one of the five deadliest hurricanes — in the history of the United States.

Op-ed: Faith and Disaster

August 28, 2015

On the 10th anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the nation reflects on the events and the lessons learned in hopes of preventing future tragedy. Following is an op-ed from Brie Loskota and Peter Gudaitis of the…

Failure can be a rewarding experience if the brain is allowed to learn from mistakes. Photo by istock.

Rewards of Failure

August 26, 2015

Many political leaders, scientists, educators and parents believe that failure is the best teacher. Scientists have long understood that the brain has two ways of learning. One is avoidance learning, which is a punishing,…

Abigail Gregg (left) and Laura Wang, the first USC students to receive Fulbright-Clinton Fellowships, are both graduates of USC Dornsife. Photos courtesy of Abigail Gregg and Laura Wang.

Toward a Better World

August 24, 2015

USC Dornsife alumnae Abigail Gregg and Laura Wang are the first USC graduates to receive Fulbright-Clinton Fellowships. Wang, a Trustee Scholar who graduated from USC Dornsife in 2012 with bachelor’s and master’s…

USC Shoah Foundation and FAFG, a Guatemalan forensics organization, are working together to collect video testimonies of survivors of the Guatemalan Genocide. Photo courtesy of USC Shoah Foundation.

Shining Light Into Dark Corners

August 21, 2015

USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education has teamed with La Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala (FAFG), a Guatemalan forensics organization, to collect video testimonies of…

Detail of the stamp honoring Arieh Warshel and his fellow 2013 Nobel Prize laureates in chemistry, which will be released Oct. 10. Courtesy of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Stamp of Approval

August 6, 2015

On a recent trip to accept an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Nobel Laureate Arieh Warshel was also honored with a commemorative Israeli postage stamp. The imprint, which…

USC Dornsife scientists created a mutant form of yeast that fails to completely duplicate its DNA before dividing, yet still survives.

Zombie Cells

August 6, 2015

When cells divide normally, they duplicate their DNA so that each of the two new cells has a full and complete copy of the original genetic message.  But some cells don’t play by the rules — and the results…

The USC Wrigley Marine Science Center debuts its new, high-tech greenhouse during its 50th-anniversary celebration. Photo by Ann Close.

High-tech Greenhouse

August 5, 2015

Established in 1965, the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island has grown to become a fully equipped research and education center. This summer, the institute unveils a new, advanced facility, just in time for…

We spend a third of our lives in slumber — or we should — and USC researchers are studying the phenomenon and learning ways we can all improve our sleep habits.

Science of Sleep

July 24, 2015

In the classic fairy tale, Snow White bites into an apple and slips into a state ofsuspended animation. For her fellow figment of fiction, man-about-the-Catskills character Rip Van Winkle, a sip of moonshine affords the luxury…