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Research News

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…

Singapore served as the host country for a recent conference on economics.

Behavioral Economics in Singapore

July 23, 2015

Members of the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) are in a long-distance relationship with Singapore. This summer on the island nation, the center and several other organizations held “Frontiers…

Graduate student Melina Butuci and Matthew Michael, professor of biological sciences, study genome instability in primordial germ cells using special fluorescent dyes to help them visualize damage to DNA. Photo courtesy of Melina Butuci.

Germ Cell Genomics Discovery

July 23, 2015

The environment within a cell is a paradoxical balance of order and chaos. Proteins, DNA and countless other biological molecules tumble together in a wildly turbulent system that somehow holds together to engender life. In…

Eleven postdoctoral fellows are joining USC as part of a collaboration with Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Mexico’s equivalent of the United States’ National Science Foundation.

Mexican Postdocs Welcomed

July 17, 2015

USC and the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) have announced the selection of 11 researchers from Mexico who will join USC this fall as part of a new initiative to jointly fund them as postdoctoral…

Sharks may get all the attention, but there wouldn't be any without the microorganisms that USC Dornsife researchers study. USC photo illustration.

Shark Week Indebted to More Than Sharks

July 6, 2015

Between Shark Week on Discovery this week and SyFy’s upcoming Sharknado 3, sharks are getting plenty of love on TV this summer — but what about the little guys? “The small things are where it’s at in…

Research by Norbert Schwarz has found that a fishy smell can boost our critical thinking. Photo courtesy of Norbert Schwarz.

The Smell of Suspicion

June 30, 2015

Around the world, from Lithuania to Lesotho, when anyone wants to describe something as suspicious they use a metaphor linked to smell.  And not a pleasant smell. In the English-speaking world we use the expression…

Individual populations of mosquitoes are likely to have evolved resistance to whatever local selection pressures are typical in their area. Photo by Vectorbase.org.

Humans Push Mosquitoes to Adapt

June 25, 2015

Every time you put on bug spray this summer, you’re launching a strike in the ongoing war between humans and mosquitoes — one that is rapidly driving the evolution of the pests. Scientists studying mosquitoes in…

The stress of frequent exposure to family conflict takes a toll on the teenage brain, according to researchers in USC Dornsife's psychology department.

Parents’ yelling takes heavy toll on teens

June 22, 2015

Parents’ yelling is a turnoff for teens, but don’t mistake their emotional shutdown as a sign of ennui. It may be a sign of aggression. In a recent study, researchers at USC Dornsife explored how the stress of…

Valter Longo has previously shown how fasting can help starve out cancer cells while protecting immune and other cells from chemotherapy toxicity.

Fasting-type diet appears to slow aging

June 22, 2015

Want to lose abdominal fat, get smarter and live longer? New research led by USC’s Valter Longo shows that periodically adopting a diet that mimics the effects of fasting may yield a wide range of health benefits. In a…

Image of a retina produced by the OCT-angiography process, which screens for diabetic retinopathy. Photo courtesy of the Translational Imaging Center.

A Better Way to Prevent Blindness

June 12, 2015

More than 7.7 Americans suffer from diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in American adults, according to the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health. However, current diagnostic methods are…