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Biological Sciences News

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,…

Standard of Excellence

May 11, 2015

Alexander Yuen — Valedictorian When Alexander Yuen steps to the podium on Friday to give his valedictory address at USC’s 132nd commencement, it’ll be with a sense of trepidation and déjà…

Professor of Biological Sciences John Tower. Photo by Max Gerber.

New Finding May Compromise Aging Studies

April 7, 2015

Some studies on the genetic roots of aging will need a second look after the discovery that a common lab chemical can extend the life span of female fruit flies by 68 percent. For years, scientists have engineered fruit flies…

Ian Ehrenreich and Peter Ralph of biological sciences are recognized for their achievements in pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge.

Ehrenreich and Ralph Earn Sloan Fellowships

March 4, 2015

USC Dornsife faculty members Ian Ehrenreich and Peter Ralph have been selected as research fellows for 2015 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Ehrenreich and Ralph are among 126 researchers from the United States and Canada,…

Peter Kuhn presented his “no cell left behind” approach to detecting and characterizing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood during a Dean's Special Lecture on Jan. 26. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Better Cures, Better Care

February 5, 2015

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., USC Dornsife’s Peter Kuhn was sitting in a restaurant when a server walked up to him and said simply, “Thank you for saving my mother’s life,” before walking…