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Molecular Biology News

In a story published recently in <em>PLOS Genetics</em>, Matthew Taylor, Ph.D. student in molecular and computational biology (left), and Ian Ehrenreich, assistant professor of molecular biology, found that genetic variants can collectively affect physical characteristics. Photos by Erica Christianson.

Breaking the Genetic Code

May 7, 2014

Scientists at USC Dornsife have definitively demonstrated that large sets of variations in the genetic code that do not individually appear to have much effect can collectively produce significant changes in an…

<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 —…

Amanda Jensen, a molecular biology graduate student, holds her baby Anders, and stands next to her husband, Heath. Photo by Lindsay Root.

Trojan Families

June 25, 2013

For Amanda Jensen, a graduate student in molecular biology, the challenge of juggling parenting and academics came three years into her doctoral studies at USC Dornsife. She initially found it challenging to get back into the…

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…

Don Arnold, associate professor of molecular and computational biology in USC Dornsife, was a lead researcher on a recent article appearing in <em>Cell Reports</em> about a new imaging technique. Photo by Jie Gu.

Video Illuminates a Brain Cell

August 27, 2012

Using bioluminescent proteins from a jellyfish, a team of scientists has lit up the inside of a neuron, capturing video footage that shows the movement of proteins throughout the cell. The video offers a rare peek at how…

Understanding the structure of the human genome is critical to understanding its function as a whole, according to USC Dornsife’s Lin Chen.

Scientists Create First 3-D Map of Human Genome

January 3, 2012

For the first time, scientists have developed a method for generating accurate three-dimensional models of the entire DNA strand of a cell, known as a genome. The genome plays a central role in the functions of almost all…

Senior author Kelvin J. A. Davies, the James E. Birren Chair in Gerontology and professor of gerontology and biological sciences, holds a joint appointment in USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and USC Dornsife.

Natural Anti-Oxidant Deserts Aging Body

September 1, 2011

When the body fights oxidative damage, it calls up a reservist enzyme that protects cells — but only if those cells are relatively young, a study has found. Biologists at USC discovered major declines in the…

Ronda Bransteitter, a postdoctoral researcher in molecular biology in USC Dornsife, enjoys playing the piano located in the Ray R. Irani Hall interaction lounge. The upright was a gift from  Patrick and Cindy Haden in 2005. Photo by Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody.

Moonlight Sonata for Scientists

May 23, 2011

When classes let out for the day and buildings around USC campus close for the night, piano tunes from Bach to Coldplay echo through the hallways at Ray R. Irani Hall. The soft sound of fingers dancing across piano keys is a…

Sergey Nuzhdin and his co-researchers focused on Arabidopsis Lyrata in their paper about how plants survive in marginal soil environments. Photo credit William Cullina, <a href="http://www.williamcullina.com/"> www.williamcullina.com</a>.

Surviving Serpentine Soil

January 25, 2010

Recently published in Nature Genetics, a paper by Sergey Nuzhdin, alumnus Tom Turner, and their co-researchers reveals how plants survive in marginal soil environments. Nuzhdin, professor of molecular biology in USC College,…

A stimulus grant awarded to USC College molecular biology professor Sergey Nuzhdin will enable the purchase of a genome sequencer and allow experimentalists to analyze data produced with their custom techniques.

Sergey Nuzhdin Awarded Stimulus Grant

September 28, 2009

Sergey Nuzhdin, professor of molecular biology at USC College, has been awarded a $563,000 stimulus grant to purchase an Illumina/Solexa Genome Sequencer. The money also will cover the salaries of technical and bioinformatics…