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The clones for the library were taken from Arabidopsis, a flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard seen here. “You can think of <em>Arabidopsis</em> as the mouse of the botanical world,” USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay said. Photo by Dawn Nagel.

Kay Lab Creates First Vast Library of Master Genetic Switches in Plants

July 17, 2014

USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay and his researchers have created the first comprehensive library of genetic switches in plants, which will be available for scientists to use around the globe. The collection contains about 2,000…

USC Dornsife alumnus Augustus Vogel (left) meets members of the Ghana Navy aboard a U.S. vessel during Vogel’s work with U.S. Naval Forces Africa. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Campbell.

Alumnus Goes Full Speed Ahead

July 10, 2014

Augie Vogel came to USC Dornsife in the late 1990s with a bachelor’s degree in biology and three years of experience in the Peace Corps. He left USC Dornsife in 2006 with a Ph.D. in biology, a NOAA Sea Grant Knauss…

Students who participated in the Science of Sustainable Food Spring Break Program learned how to make compost out of food waste. In six to eight weeks the melon rinds, egg shells and paper napkins they combined will create a nutrient-rich soil for growing vegetables. Photo by Michelle Boston.

Food Revolution

April 7, 2014

As the sun shone against a clear blue sky on Catalina Island, 17  students gathered around a long, rectangular pit filled with dirt, garden clippings and bits of food — banana peels, lettuce leaves, waffles. Eleven…

USC Dornsife's Charles McKenna and Myron Goodman research crystal structures for the repair enzyme, DNA polymerase beta (seen here). The enzyme contains an inhibitor molecule (shown in yellow) which forms a complex with DNA. It is designed to selectively block polymerase beta DNA synthesis to kill cancer cells, while ensuring survival of normal cells. Image courtesy of Boris Kashemirov.

Killing Cancer

October 16, 2013

Chemotherapy offers cancer patients hope of a cure, or at least of remission. The problem with the treatment is that all too often a hard-won remission is only temporary. “A typical pattern is that people take the drug,…

Incoming freshmen receive instruction for a solid and strong transition during orientation at USC University Park campus. Photo by Lillian Insalata.

Class of 2017

July 17, 2013

The newest members of the Trojan Family hail from throughout the nation and world. The admitted USC freshman class, selected from a pool of 47,300 applicants, boasts SAT scores of 2040-2250. These freshmen bring a diversity of…

Founder of the Biological Imaging Center at Caltech, Scott Fraser joined the faculty in Summer 2012. The USC Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, and director of science initiatives has a joint appointment at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: Scott Fraser

May 7, 2013

Tiny brown eggs dotted with what looks like speckles of liquid dark chocolate rest atop nests, while fuzzy, baby quails chirp and waddle inside the glass incubator. Hanging above a laser-scanning confocal microscope, a poster…

The altruistic behavior of bees — social insects completely devoted to the queen and willing to surrender their lives to defend their hive in the face of predators, thereby allowing their species to become the most successful pollinators on the planet — was cited in the short movie <em>A Very Altruistic Christmas</em>, winner of the USC Science Film Competition. Photo by Kevin Frates.

Altruism Wins Out

February 8, 2013

Why should we adopt altruistic behavior rather than act out of self-interest? Filmed on the USC campus, A Very Altruistic Christmas answers this compelling moral question using the science of biological altruism by dramatizing…

Named Penelope by researchers, this elephant seal is one of many fitted with a GPS tracking tag. These devices can be used to monitor potential climate change indices such as temperature increases. The tags are temporarily attached with glue and do not hurt the seals. ©Nicole Teutschel, courtesy of Tagging of Pacific Predators or TOPP.

Climate Change Hits the Beach

October 15, 2012

“Climate change is already here,” warned Douglas Capone, William and Julie Wrigley Chair in Environmental Studies and professor of biological sciences in USC Dornsife. “And it’s going to affect…

USC Dornsife's Valter Longo's latest study published in <em>PLOS One</em> shows that short-term fasting in mice appears to improve the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy in treating gliomas. Here Longo works in his laboratory. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Fasting and Radiation Therapy

October 1, 2012

A new study from USC Dornsife researchers is the first to show that controlled fasting improves the effectiveness of radiation therapy in cancer treatments, extending life expectancy in mice with aggressive brain…

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…