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Biological Sciences News

Oxidative stress brought about by free radicals lends to the aging process, according to Kelvin Davies of biological sciences and gerontology.

Good Stress

October 1, 2015

Oxygen, while necessary for life, has a dark side. With every breath taken, free radicals form, and these damaging molecules can wreak havoc in the body. The process is called oxidative stress. Kelvin Davies, James E. Birren…

An octopus plays a key role in the research by two USC Dornsife investigators. Photo by Joe-Parks.

Octopus Video Aids Linguists

October 1, 2015

A linguist and marine biologist at USC Dornsife began an unlikely project two years ago to compare the movement of the human tongue with the manipulation of the arms of the octopus and the undulation of a small worm known as…

Scientific discoveries at The Bridge@USC by USC Dornsife researchers Raymond Stevens (left), Peter Kuhn and their colleagues are rapidly advancing the development of personalized therapies for a range of diseases. Photo by Max Gerber.

Disruptive Science

September 15, 2015

Though their future home remains under construction, a team of high-profile scientists recruited to USC has wasted no time since arriving on campus earlier this year, launching an ambitious campaign to address…

<em>Trichodesmium</em> is one of the few organisms in the ocean that can “fix” atmospheric nitrogen gas. Photo courtesy of Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Bacteria in Overdrive

September 8, 2015

Imagine being in a car with the gas pedal stuck to the floor, heading toward a cliff’s edge. Metaphorically speaking, that’s what climate change will do to the key group of ocean bacteria known as Trichodesmium,…

USC Dornsife scientists created a mutant form of yeast that fails to completely duplicate its DNA before dividing, yet still survives.

Zombie Cells

August 6, 2015

When cells divide normally, they duplicate their DNA so that each of the two new cells has a full and complete copy of the original genetic message.  But some cells don’t play by the rules — and the results…

We spend a third of our lives in slumber — or we should — and USC researchers are studying the phenomenon and learning ways we can all improve our sleep habits.

Science of Sleep

July 24, 2015

In the classic fairy tale, Snow White bites into an apple and slips into a state ofsuspended animation. For her fellow figment of fiction, man-about-the-Catskills character Rip Van Winkle, a sip of moonshine affords the luxury…

Graduate student Melina Butuci and Matthew Michael, professor of biological sciences, study genome instability in primordial germ cells using special fluorescent dyes to help them visualize damage to DNA. Photo courtesy of Melina Butuci.

Germ Cell Genomics Discovery

July 23, 2015

The environment within a cell is a paradoxical balance of order and chaos. Proteins, DNA and countless other biological molecules tumble together in a wildly turbulent system that somehow holds together to engender life. In…

Eleven postdoctoral fellows are joining USC as part of a collaboration with Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Mexico’s equivalent of the United States’ National Science Foundation.

Mexican Postdocs Welcomed

July 17, 2015

USC and the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) have announced the selection of 11 researchers from Mexico who will join USC this fall as part of a new initiative to jointly fund them as postdoctoral…

As a senior, Jamie Brisbin spent a semester doing a special program on Catalina Island, which helped solidify his love of sea diving. Photo courtesy of Jamie Brisbin.

A Rescue Mission

June 25, 2015

When the going gets tough, the tough… go to Superman School? That’s the informal name, at least, for the rigorous training required to become a pararescueman, or “PJ” (para-jumper). These U.S. Air…

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

May 12, 2015

This year’s valedictorian and salutatorian both have majors in USC Dornsife: Alexander Yuen of biological sciences and Carrie Ruth Moore of creative writing. Hailing from Sacramento, California, and Atlanta, Georgia,…