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Biological Sciences News

Freshman Newal Osman shows off her scarf collection. Photos by David Sprague.

Islamic Faith Gives Her Heart

August 26, 2014

USC Dornsife freshman Newal Osman wraps a colorful hijab on her head, steps back and considers her reflection in the mirror. She likes what she sees. “Hijab goes beyond the head scarf,” she said. “You become…

Incoming psychology freshman Jessica Wynn (left) gives her younger sister, Jada Combs, who traveled from their home in Washington, D.C., to help her move in, a squeeze. Photo by Pamela J. Johnson.

Never Routine — Class of ’18

August 22, 2014

Smoothing a hand over the comforter and propping up a few pillows, Shermayne Hughes stood back. The bed was made. Her only child was officially moved into her new home at Fluor Tower. “I can’t believe my…

Marine biologist Gerald Bakus undertook 24 expeditions and cruises throughout the globe to study coral reefs and Komodo dragons. Photo by Irene Fertik, courtesy of USC University Archives.

In Memoriam: Gerald Bakus, 79

August 21, 2014

Professor of Marine Biology Gerald “Jerry” Bakus, an expert on the ecology of coral reefs and their natural products chemistry  who taught at USC Dornsife’s Department of Biological Sciences for 51…

“I have never been happier about being wrong,” said El-Naggar, corresponding author of a new study in the <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</em> that shows the key feature in bacterial nanowires are not hair-like features, or pili. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Bacterial Nanowires Not Pili

August 20, 2014

For the past 10 years, scientists have been fascinated by a type of “electric bacteria” that shoots out long tendrils like electric wires, using them to power themselves and transfer electricity to a variety of…

USC Dornsife's Donal Manahan (left), who served as chief scientist for many research expeditions to the Antarctic, has been awarded an honorary fellowship by Bangor University in Wales. Here, he stands with Bangor University Vice Chancellor John Hughes during the ceremony. Photo courtesy of Bangor University.

Manahan Named Honorary Fellow

July 22, 2014

Donal Manahan, professor of biological sciences and vice dean for students at USC Dornsife, has been appointed an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University in Wales. Manahan was honored for his contributions to science and in…

USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay, Hashem Pesaran, Kenneth Nealson and Ray Stevens are among those deemed by Thomson Reuters to have the most scientifically influential minds in the world.

World’s Most Influential Scientists

July 17, 2014

Four researchers at USC Dornsife have been named by Thomson Reuters as having “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” for 2014. Based in New York City, the multinational media and information firm…

The Moore Foundation study includes computational expert Zhenfeng "Jay" Liu (left), who joined the project after earning his Ph.D. from Penn State, and USC Dornsife postdoctoral researcher Ramon Terrado, a Ph.D. from Université Laval (Québec, Canada). Photo by Richard Hoops.

Venus Flytrap of the Sea

June 19, 2014

A team of USC Dornsife biologists affiliated with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies is working on a $1.2 million study of marine organisms that are the microscopic equivalent of the Venus…

Tackling health issues from dental disease to cancer, faculty and students connect with people throughout the world. Illustrations by Richard Mia for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

A Wealth of Health

June 19, 2014

After a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripped through Haiti in 2010, crews posted signs warning against drinking contaminated river water. But since most of the population could not read, the caution went largely…

Artist Julie Selan’s reconstruction of Zanda fauna from the Pliocene epoch. Image courtesy of Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Arctic Fox, Woolly Rhino and Three-toed Horse

June 17, 2014

For the past 2.5 million years, the Earth has experienced millennia-long cold and warm cycles that collectively have become known as the Ice Age. During cold periods, continental-scale ice sheets blanketed large tracts of the…

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,” said Valter Longo, corresponding author of a recent study in <em>Cell Stem Cell</em>. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

The Benefits of Fasting

June 10, 2014

In the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system, a study in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against…