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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…

The USC Shoah Foundation is incorporating testimonies into its Visual History Archive from Rwandan genocide survivors and will soon include testimonies from survivors of the Cambodian and Armenian genocides. This photo of a Rwandan child is displayed as part of a gallery of genocide victims in the Kigali Memorial Centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo by Jason Reed and courtesy of Reuters.

Understanding the Universal

January 18, 2013

Freddy Mutanguha was 18 years old when his parents and four sisters were macheted to death by Hutu soldiers during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Mutanguha, a member of the Tutsi minority ethnic group, didn’t see the…

Every person has perhaps billions of bytes of information stored in long-term memory. Babies develop long-term memories for past experiences beginning at the age of about six months or even earlier.

Mind Games

December 18, 2012

As a child, how many of you memorized the planet names and order with this little ditty: My very elegant mother just sat upon nine porcupines. Although the demotion of Pluto to a dwarf planet renders this particular mnemonic…

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…

G.K. Prakash, Professor and George A. and Judith A. Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry in USC Dornsife, who has spent decades researching flourine reagents is also working on a methanol economy concept. Here, he holds up a methanol fuel cell, which is powering a fan. Photo by Philip Channing.

One Man’s Trash, Another Man’s Treasure

December 11, 2012

A team of USC Dornsife chemists has developed a way to transform a hitherto useless ozone-destroying greenhouse gas that is the byproduct of Teflon manufacture into reagents for producing pharmaceuticals. The discovery was…

USC Dornsife's Susan Forsburg served as the corresponding author on a recent paper about mutated cells that continue to replicate their DNA even after treated with chemotherapy drugs. Photo by Eric O'Connell.

Mutant Cells Dig in Their Heels

November 20, 2012

Certain mutated cells keep trying to replicate their DNA — with disastrous results — even after medications rob them of the raw materials to do so, according to new research from USC. New imaging techniques…

USC Dornsife senior Alexander Fullman, a political science major, is the recipient of a coveted 2013 Marshall Scholarship to study in the United Kingdom. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

USC Dornsife Senior Named 2013 Marshall Scholar

November 20, 2012

USC Dornsife political science major Alexander Fullman has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship, one of the most coveted honors an American undergraduate can receive. He is planning to attend the University of Oxford next Fall…

In his latest book, <em>Planet Without Apes</em>, leading primatologist Craig Stanford of USC Dornsife demands that we consider whether we can live with the consequences of wiping our closest relatives off the face of the Earth. Portrait photo by Philip Channing.

Planet Without Apes?

November 16, 2012

Great apes could face extinction within our lifetime, biologist Craig Stanford of USC Dornsife warns in his new book Planet Without Apes (Harvard University Press). The four species of great apes — chimpanzees,…

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…