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Faculty Research News

One project in USC’s Regenerative Medicine Initiative will explore zebrafish cells in an effort to more effectively heal severe bone damage in humans. When zebrafish jaws are damaged, special cartilage cells transform themselves into bone-producing cells called osteoblasts, shown here. Image courtesy of Carl Zeiss Microscopy.

Regenerative Research

August 7, 2013

Three newly assembled disease teams within USC Stem Cell will take the early steps this year that might lead to future stem-cell based therapies for certain forms of deafness, bone defects and pediatric leukemia. The teams…

By examining whole genome sequencing data of living Europeans in more than 40 populations, USC Dornsife’s Peter Ralph has found that the genetics of all human beings are linked more closely than previously believed. Photo by Susan Bell.

We Are Family

August 7, 2013

New research by Peter Ralph of USC Dornsife has confirmed that everyone on Earth is related to everyone else on the planet. So the Trojan Family is not just a metaphor. Turns out, we’re also linked by genetics more…

Jan Amend, who is affiliated with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, housed in USC Dornsife, is leading a $6.7 million project to develop approaches for detecting and characterizing microbial life in the subsurface. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Life Underground

August 1, 2013

USC Dornsife researchers have embarked on a five-year project to look for microorganisms hundreds of meters below the surface — in deep mineshafts, boreholes and other sites — as part of the search for the limits…

Named a <em>ChemComm</em> 2013 Emerging Investigator, USC Dornsife’s Matt Pratt received a Michael J. Fox Foundation grant for research into treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Photo by Susan Bell.

Emerging Investigator

July 24, 2013

USC Dornsife’s Matthew Pratt, assistant professor of chemistry and biological sciences, has been named a 2013 Emerging Investigator by ChemComm, a leading chemical sciences journal published by the Royal Society of…

<em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>, or fruit fly, on an apple. Fruit flies eat rotting fruit. The flies are used by Sergey Nuzhdin, professor of molecular biology, and his team to advance our understanding of whether behavior is determined by genetics or by social environment.

Lord of the Flies

July 3, 2013

A million tiny fruit flies live in the laboratory of Sergey Nuzhdin, professor of molecular biology at USC Dornsife. The flies are not (thankfully) buzzing around the room, but safely contained in small glass vials —…

Shown is a colony of Trichodesmium bacteria roughly the size of the head of a pin. David Hutchins and his team studied the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria as well as Crocosphaera. Photo by Eric Webb.

The Ocean of Tomorrow

July 3, 2013

Climate change may be weeding out the bacteria that form the base of the ocean’s food chain, selecting certain strains for survival, according to a new USC study. In climate change, as in everything, there are winners…

Scientists show that attributing every forgetful moment to getting older can actually worsen memory problems — and reveal a surprising twist. Photo by Rhoda Baer.

Aging Stereotypes and Memory

July 2, 2013

Of the many negative stereotypes that exist about older adults, perhaps the most common is that they are forgetful, senile and prone to so-called “senior moments.” In fact, while cognitive processes do decline with…

Down in the Amazonian floodplain, the rivers ran orange with rainforest soils, containing very fine particles called colloids, as well as entire tree trunks carried off by the high flows, said USC Dornsife's Sarah Feakins, referring to her recent research trip in Peru. Photo by Sarah Feakins.

Along the River Route

July 1, 2013

The following is a first-person account of a research trip to southeastern Peru courtesy of Sarah Feakins, assistant professor of earth sciences at USC Dornsife. While most tourists travel from Cusco along the Inca trail to…

A living neuron in culture: Green dots indicate excitatory synapses and red dots indicate inhibitory synapses. Photo courtesy of Don Arnold.

Memories Illuminated

June 19, 2013

Oscar Wilde called memory “the diary that we all carry about with us.” Now a team of USC Dornsife scientists has developed a way to see where and how that diary is written. Led by Don Arnold and Richard Roberts,…

DPMG works on projects throughout the world covering a plethora of issues, such as improving access to, quality and equity of education in developing countries. Here, a teacher instructs children in Mozambique, located in Southeast Africa. Photo by Eric Miller.

An Objective Analysis

June 19, 2013

The USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) has opened a new space in the building with USC Information Sciences Institute’s office in Arlington, Va. Opened May 28, the Development Portfolio…