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Research News

Imagine if you never felt cold. USC Dornsife's David McKemy made that happen in lab models, eliminating the nerve cells responsible for chilly sensations while keeping the ability to feel heat and touch. Ultimately, their findings might lead to ways to control pain without numbing all sensations. Photo by Alexandra Bissonnette.

Chilling Discovery

February 14, 2013

USC Dornsife neuroscientists have isolated chills at a cellular level, identifying the sensory network of neurons in the skin that relays the sensation of cold. David McKemy, associate professor of neurobiology in USC…

From left, Lauren Jennings, Bryan Roberts, Julianne Werlin, Bradford Bouley, Julia Lee, USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett, Anastasia Kayiatos, Gaoheng Zhang, Anri Yasuda and Associate Provost Mark Todd. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Postdoc Program Progresses

February 6, 2013

Fellows of the Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars in the Humanities Program are thriving in USC Dornsife. The program, which brings in a new cohort of scholars each Fall, is now in its second year. “The 2012 cohort,…

This woman in her early 20s was trafficked into a blue jean sweatshop in Thailand, where she and others were locked in and made to work 20 hours a day, sleeping on the floor, with little to eat and no pay. She managed to escape and was brought to the government-run Baan Kredtrakarn shelter in Bangkok. After telling her story to the director, the police were informed and they raided the sweatshop, freeing 38 young women, ages 14 to 26. Photo by Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

Prosecution to Empowerment

February 6, 2013

Emblematic of the shallow level of dialogue taking place concerning human trafficking is the “celebritization” of the global crisis, panelists said during a recent international conference organized by USC…

USC Dornsife's Solomon Golomb listens to a message from President Obama during a White House ceremony Feb. 1 in which Golomb was awarded the National Medal of Science. His medal awaits him on the right. Photo by Ryan K. Morris/National Science & Technology Medals Foundation.

President Obama Awards Two USC Dornsife Pioneers

February 1, 2013

One of USC’s most decorated faculty members has received the highest honor bestowed by the United States for scientific innovation. President Barack Obama presented Solomon Golomb, University and Distinguished Professor…

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…

Image of the Maya sun god as shark man, one of his several guises found on the frieze of the Temple of the Night Sun at El Zotz, Guatemala. Photo by Edwin Román, reproduced courtesy of Proyecto Arqueologico El Zotz.

Digging for Knowledge

January 30, 2013

Evening is falling on the ancient Maya kingdom of El Zotz deep in the dense undergrowth of the Guatemalan jungle. A dark tide of bats flows out of a large cave in the nearby mountainside as the last rays of the setting sun…

Participants including USC Dornsife students researching last summer in an excavation at Ostia Antica, the port town of ancient Rome. Photo courtesy of John Pollini.

Summering in Rome

January 29, 2013

This past summer, John Pollini of USC Dornsife led 10 students on an excavation at Ostia Antica, the port town of ancient Rome. Students interested in taking the excavation course this summer must apply by Feb. 15. Offered in…

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…

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang of the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) in USC Dornsife discusses the science behind emotional aptitude during a recent conference about what kind of students to look for in the college admissions process. Photo by Elizabeth Mercer.

Beyond High GPAs and SATs

January 24, 2013

Her audience was admissions officers and counselors from the most elite universities and high schools in the country, all familiar with dissecting GPA and SAT scores to judge the merit of a student who plans to enter…