Skip to main content

Research News

The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is the premier award for environmental sciences, environmental health and energy. It is administered annually by USC Dornsife.

Renewed Energy

April 30, 2015

Jane Lubchenco showed an animation of the world’s peak fishing areas as they were between 1951 and 1999. Darker spots — indicating areas of more concentrated fishing — were limited mainly to water near the…

High school student and future USC Dornsife chemistry major Belen Espinoza, far left, asks senior Thomas Do a question about his research project. Photos by Susan Bell.

Symposium Synergy

April 29, 2015

Belen Espinoza listened intently as Thomas Do, a junior majoring in chemistry at USC Dornsife, explained his research into how a cobalt catalyst can be used to convert carbon dioxide into more useful derivatives. Practical…

Professor Valery Fokin uses his innovative methodology as a chemist to assist biomedical researchers discover new diagnostics and treatments. Photo Courtesy of Valery Fokin.

USC Dornsife Recruits Leading ‘Click Chemist’

April 27, 2015

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences has recruited leading chemist Valery Fokin to join its faculty. He will begin in the Department of Chemistry this Fall. “I am thrilled to have yet another stellar…

Eric Webb, associate professor of biological sciences and corresponding author of a study on this finding. Photo courtesy of Eric Webb.

Enigmatic Organism

April 23, 2015

Scientists have found something they can’t quite explain in one of the most barren environments on Earth: a bacterium whose DNA sequence contains elements usually only found in a much higher organism. Trichodesmium is a…

<em>The Cat and the Coup</em>, a documentary video game in which gamers play the role of the cat of the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, exemplifies the relationship between Iranian culture and politics. Illustration by Kurosh ValaNejad.

New Horizons

April 16, 2015

Neda Maghbouleh began her presentation at the inaugural USC Dornsife-Farhang Foundation Iranian Studies Initiative Conference quoting an interview she had conducted with an Iranian American teenager named Soraya. “I…

Professor of Mathematics Aaron Lauda has won a 2016 Simons Fellowship in Mathematics. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Lauda Receives Simons Fellowship

April 14, 2015

If there’s one thing every researcher could benefit from, it’s time. And as a recipient of the 2015 Simons Foundation fellowship, that’s exactly what Professor of Mathematics Aaron Lauda is getting. The…

Assistant Professor of Psychology Henrike Moll, director of USC Dornsife’s Minds in Development Lab. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Understanding Suspense

April 9, 2015

Here’s a psychology experiment you can try at home: Watch a Hitchcock film with someone and observe how they respond as the story unfolds. Hitchcock’s plots are like the Swiss watches of suspense, designed to…

USC researchers have discovered that a rat’s brain has local area networks of neurons. Illustration by Holly Wilder.

Internet-like Networks Revealed

April 7, 2015

Researchers sketching out a wiring diagram for rat brains — a field known as “connectomics” — have discovered that its structure is organized like the Internet.

 For years, scientists looking for…

Their dependence on silica likely gave sea sponges an advantage in an age of climate change between the Triassic and Jurassic periods. Photo courtesy of the NOAA Ocean Explorer.

The Winner in Climate Change?

April 7, 2015

Global temperatures climb, acid levels in the Earth’s oceans spike and sea levels rise. Next come the dinosaurs. No, we are not talking about today’s climate change phenomena. Think back —way back…

Professor of Biological Sciences John Tower. Photo by Max Gerber.

New Finding May Compromise Aging Studies

April 7, 2015

Some studies on the genetic roots of aging will need a second look after the discovery that a common lab chemical can extend the life span of female fruit flies by 68 percent. For years, scientists have engineered fruit flies…