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Biological Sciences News

Emily Liman, associate professor of neurobiology at USC College and senior author of the study. Photo credit Laurie Moore.

Sparkling Drinks Spark Pain Circuits

September 29, 2010

You may not think of the fizz in soda as spicy, but your body does. The carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks triggers the same pain sensors in the nasal cavity as mustard and horseradish, though at a lower intensity, according to…

Cool Science

Cool Science

August 12, 2010

At the bottom of the Earth — the planet's coldest, driest, windiest place — the sky radiates a lavender-yellow hue in the midnight sun.  Whiter than milk, the blanket of ice seems infinite. Amid the…

New Study Examines the Brain's Wiring

New Study Examines the Brain's Wiring

August 10, 2010

The brain has been mapped to the smallest fold for at least a century, but still no one knows how all the parts talk to each other. A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences answers that question for a small…

Sarah Bottjer, professor of biological sciences and psychology, discovered in her latest study that the basal ganglia pathway in zebra finches has two parallel circuits, rather than a single neural circuit as previously thought. Photo credit Eric O’Connell.

A Real Tweet

July 22, 2010

Loud and lively singers, some liken the sound of finches to toy trumpets -- ka-ching, beep-beep, oi, a-ha, or da-de-da! Both male and female zebra finches sound off in chattering trills and calls. However, it is only the male…

Lin Chen, professor of biological sciences and chemistry, aligns a protein crystal on an X-ray diffractometer. He uses X-ray crystallography to analyze the molecular details of key proteins and their complexes in physiological and disease processes. Photo credit Max S. Gerber.

Crystal Clear

July 16, 2010

Tuning out the noise of fellow passengers and the incessant hum of the turbojet engine, Lin Chen pored voraciously over the pages of James Watson's The Double Helix. The words and ideas flowed from the book's pages, drowning…

Of Plants, Flies & Men

Of Plants, Flies and Men

June 30, 2010

A torrent of fluorescent light rushes out onto the cement floor as Marie-Stanislas Remigereau opens the door to the growth chamber. Inside are hundreds of small plants precisely arranged in black trays that flank both walls up…

Larry Swanson, USC College professor and one of the nation’s leading neuroanatomists, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Photo credit Carin Baer.

Larry Swanson Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

April 28, 2010

Larry Swanson, the Milo Don and Lucille Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences in USC College, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his excellence in original scientific research. Membership in the…

Dave Caron, professor of biological sciences in USC College. Photo credit Max S. Gerber.

Exploring the In-Between

April 26, 2010

He’s been to the bottom of the ocean on the Alvin submarine and spent nearly three years of accumulated time on cruise expeditions. Yet, Dave Caron still has a visit to the Space Station to tick off on his life…

Katrina Edwards, professor of biological sciences and earth sciences in USC College, is leading a team to explore the subseafloor biosphere as a result of the establishment of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI). Photo credit Phil Channing.

The Power and Promise of the Ocean

April 26, 2010

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” These were the remarkable words spoken by President…

Photo courtesy of the Natural History Museum and Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging.

Fridays Are Happening

April 26, 2010

Combining science, music and a late night at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County might seem like a strange idea to some. But Michael Quick, executive vice dean in USC College and moderator of the museum’s…