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Faculty Research News

New Study Examines the Brain's Wiring

New Study Examines the Brain's Wiring

August 10, 2010

The brain has been mapped to the smallest fold for at least a century, but still no one knows how all the parts talk to each other. A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences answers that question for a small…

Phytoplankton in mixed communities.

Microbes on the Menu

July 27, 2010

The functioning of marine ecosystems depends on the size and flavor of microbes at the base of the food chain. Changes to the Earth's atmosphere might rearrange that microscopic menu. Microbes that currently are the main…

Sarah Bottjer, professor of biological sciences and psychology, discovered in her latest study that the basal ganglia pathway in zebra finches has two parallel circuits, rather than a single neural circuit as previously thought. Photo credit Eric O’Connell.

A Real Tweet

July 22, 2010

Loud and lively singers, some liken the sound of finches to toy trumpets -- ka-ching, beep-beep, oi, a-ha, or da-de-da! Both male and female zebra finches sound off in chattering trills and calls. However, it is only the male…

Decoding Cancer: One Cell at a Time

Yeast Unleashed

July 21, 2010

There is good reason Susan Forsburg's laboratory smells of sourdough. The USC College biologist is among the most prominent fission yeast researchers in the country. Inside her lab are hundreds of petri dishes containing…

Lin Chen, professor of biological sciences and chemistry, aligns a protein crystal on an X-ray diffractometer. He uses X-ray crystallography to analyze the molecular details of key proteins and their complexes in physiological and disease processes. Photo credit Max S. Gerber.

Crystal Clear

July 16, 2010

Tuning out the noise of fellow passengers and the incessant hum of the turbojet engine, Lin Chen pored voraciously over the pages of James Watson's The Double Helix. The words and ideas flowed from the book's pages, drowning…

Scientists on the New Frontiers

Scientists on the New Frontiers

July 14, 2010

One scientist seeks a complete understanding of nanowire properties while another designs a solar cell that boosts high efficiency. This is just one example of how researchers in the basic and applied sciences at USC work…

Looking into the Sun

Seasons in the Sun

July 2, 2010

Behind the wheel of his Cadillac SRX, Edward Rhodes slows to a stop at Big Tujunga Canyon Road, where a crew works on asphalt leading to the Mt. Wilson Observatory. "We'll find out right about here whether they'll let us up…

Of Plants, Flies & Men

Of Plants, Flies and Men

June 30, 2010

A torrent of fluorescent light rushes out onto the cement floor as Marie-Stanislas Remigereau opens the door to the growth chamber. Inside are hundreds of small plants precisely arranged in black trays that flank both walls up…

Bruce Zuckerman, professor of religion and linguistics, with Dead Sea Scrolls fragments at St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Teaneck, N.J. Photo credit Kenneth Zuckerman.

Let There Be Light

June 24, 2010

We all know what New Jersey is famous for. The birthplace of Ol' Blue Eyes? Where Thomas Edison invented the light bulb? Heaven help us, Jersey Shore? Fuggedaboutit! The Garden State is home to one of the greatest…

Craig Stanford focuses on one of the most threatened species on Earth in his new book, <em>The Last Tortoise: A Tale of Extinction in Our Lifetime</em>. Stanford photo credit Phil Channing.

The 'Tortoise' and the Snare

June 16, 2010

The tortoise, long revered for its pace, good looks and mobile home, may be a victim of its own success as this living fossil is in danger of disappearing. "We are at great risk of losing them all, not within our …