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Faculty Research News

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…

USC Dornsife Professor of History and Accounting Jacob Soll (left) and Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, assistant professor of history, are approaching their research in innovative ways. Soll photo by Geraldine Bruneel, Paris. Perl-Rosenthal photo by Ben Pack.

New Stars of Yore

January 22, 2013

One of the top-20 history departments in the nation just got stronger. USC Dornsife’s Department of History has recruited MacArthur Fellow Jacob Soll from Rutgers University, who is using his innovative talents to…

Macarena Gómez-Barris studies representations of politics and culture in the wake of Chile's dictatorship under Gen. Augusto Pinochet through the lens of memories. Photo by John Livzey.

Shadows & Symbols

January 9, 2013

At Villa Grimaldi in Santiago, Chile, the majority of buildings that stood on the grounds between 1974 and 1977 have been demolished. There are no known photographs or historical registers that capture what transpired during…

G. Alexander Moore, professor of anthropology in USC Dornsife, explains why so many people got the Mayan calendar wrong.

Disappointed the World Didn’t End?

January 2, 2013

USC Dornsife’s G. Alexander Moore wasn’t surprised to wake up on Dec. 22. The professor of anthropology knew better. An expert on Mayan civilization and mythology, Moore said the much-hyped alleged Mayan…

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…

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…

New Marine Microbiology Initiative Investigator Jed Fuhrman, McCulloch-Crosby Chair of Marine Biology in USC Dornsife, will hire full-time personnel needed to handle the expected avalanche of new data that will be generated. Photo by Philip Channing.

Marine Biologist Takes Risks

December 5, 2012

Jed Fuhrman, McCulloch-Crosby Chair of Marine Biology in USC Dornsife, has been honored with a prestigious Marine Microbiology Initiative Investigator Award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Fuhrman is one of 16…

Arieh Warshel, Distinguished Professor of USC Dornsife (left), receives his  2012 Soft Matter & Biophysical Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry's Faraday Division Council President Graham Hutchings during a recent three-day symposium in England. Photo courtesy of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Warshel Fêted by Royal Society of Chemistry

December 4, 2012

In 1963, a burning question kept invading the mind of a young kibbutznik studying chemistry at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa. Arieh Warshel had to know: just how do enzymes speed up chemical…

The 13 professors honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science bring the number of USC Dornsife AAAS fellows to 47.

Lucky Thirteen

November 30, 2012

Chosen by their peers in recognition of their research that significantly raises the bar of our understanding of science worldwide, an unprecedented 13 scientists from USC Dornsife have been elected fellows of the 2012…

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…