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Faculty Research News

Viet Thanh Nguyen escaped Saigon with his family in 1975, arriving in the U.S. when he was four years old. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Voices from Vietnam

April 14, 2015

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a South Vietnamese army general is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of…

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…

Greek and Armenian refugee children near Athens, Greece, in 1923, following their expulsion from Turkey. Photo courtesy of USC Shoah Foundation.

A Century of Voices

April 7, 2015

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in April, USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education will debut a month-long series of testimony clips from survivors and witnesses…

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…

Remo Rohs, assistant professor of biological sciences, chemistry, physics and computer science, is a corresponding author of two recent papers published in <em>Cell</em> and <em>PNAS</em>. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Patterns and Shapes

April 2, 2015

Remo Rohs is looking for some deep connections. He is integrating genomics and structural biology to uncover some significant insights into how proteins recognize DNA. While genomics deciphers DNA by studying the sequences of…

Donal Manahan and his research group have created a more accurate picture of how the metabolism of a sea urchin changes under environmental stress.

Hidden Costs

March 30, 2015

Scientists have found a way to measure the unseen toll that environmental stress places on living creatures — showing that they can rev up their metabolism to work more than twice as hard as normal to cope with…

Known for his acerbic wit, Geoff Dyer is a writer of remarkable range. Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Dyer has made Venice, California, his new home. Photos courtesy of Geoff Dyer.

Dyer Joins English Department

March 27, 2015

USC Dornsife has recruited award-winning British author Geoff Dyer to join its English department faculty as a writer in residence beginning this Fall. Dyer is the author of seven genre-defying works of nonfiction and four…