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Biological Sciences News

Caleb Smith, a 16-year-old local high school student, won the opportunity to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, or ISEF. He developed his research working in the laboratory of USC Dornsife’s John Tower. Photo by Misty Mercier.

Encouraging Young Scientists

June 6, 2014

As Caleb Smith watched the video of a Sudanese land mine victim using a prosthetic arm to eat unassisted for the first time in seven years, he was struck by the ability of science to fundamentally change a human life. Smith,…

USC Dornsife's Douglas Capone and Linda Duguay, both of biological sciences, traveled to Saudi Arabia to spearhead a collaborative research project with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Here they are pictured aboard a KAUST research vessel. Photos courtesy of Doug Capone and Linda Duguay.

Plugging into the Red Sea

May 22, 2014

Sailing across the Red Sea, USC Dornsife’s Douglas Capone and Linda Duguay hoped to get an up-close view of the reddish blooms created by cyanobacteria, which give the water its distinctive, eponymous hue. “The…

Doug Capone's research looks at the role and importance of marine microbes in major biogeochemical cycles, particularly those of nitrogen and carbon. In particular, he has shown nitrogen fixation — the process by which nitrogen is converted to ammonia — to be a key biogeochemical process in several marine ecosystems. Photo by by Taylor Faust.

Capone to Receive Top Biosciences Award

May 5, 2014

Doug Capone, William and Julie Wrigley Chair in Environmental Studies and professor and chair of biological sciences, has been honored with the 2014 DuPont Industrial Biosciences Award in Applied and Environmental…

An inspirational teacher who touched many lives during his 47 years at USC Dornsife, Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences Arnold Dunn is pictured here in his laboratory in 1987. Photo courtesy of USC University Archives.

In Memoriam: Arnold Dunn, 85

April 23, 2014

Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences Arnold Dunn, who taught at USC Dornsife for 47 years and served as president of the USC Faculty Senate and as associate dean of the USC Graduate School, has died. He was 85. Dunn died…

From left: Casey Donovan, professor of biological sciences; post-doctoral scholars and lead authors MaryAnn Bohland-Matveyenko and Anne Jokiaho; and Alan Watts, professor of neurobiology. The research team's work on how the body detects hypoglycemia could have far reaching implications for the development of insulin therapies to treat diabetes. Photo courtesy of Casey Donovan.

The Diabetes Detectives

April 17, 2014

To the casual observer, the 14-year-old kicking a ball around in the park with his friends looked like he had energy to burn. But the boy has Type 1 diabetes, a chronic debilitating autoimmune disorder that commonly manifests…

USC Dornsife's Susan Forsburg, who conducts cancer research using fission yeast cells, earns a fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM). Photo by Eric O’Connell.

Forsburg Earns New Fellowship

April 15, 2014

Susan Forsburg, professor of biological sciences at USC Dornsife, has been elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) for her scientific achievement and outstanding and original contributions to the…

Like many residents of Molochio, a small Italian town which has one of the highest prevalences of centenarians in the world, Salvatore Caruso, 108, maintained a low-protein plant-based diet for the majority of his life.

Hamburger Blues

March 11, 2014

That chicken wing you’re eating could be as deadly as a cigarette. In a new study that tracked a large sample of adults for nearly two decades, researchers have found that eating a diet rich in animal proteins during…

Marc Green, research lab technician at the USC Center for Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis (CEMMA), offers training sessions for new users of the GE DeltaVision OMX Blaze. Photo by Robert Perkins.

Mind-Bending Microscope

February 21, 2014

Thanks to an interdisciplinary, cross-campus effort, USC Dornsife is now home to one of the most advanced microscopes in the world — a device that pushes beyond what was once believed to be the boundary of visible light…

During presentations at the California Science Center, USC Dornsife students found simple ways to demonstrate complex concepts such as propulsion in a space shuttle like the Atlantis liftoff in 2010 shown here.

Dissolving Away Confusion

January 9, 2014

USC Dornsife senior Vahak Bairamian dropped an Alka-Seltzer tablet into a small plastic container filled with water and closed the lid. The container was encased in a long, vertical tube. The audience at the California…

Valter Longo, professor of biological sciences at USC Dornsife with a joint appointment at the USC Davis School of Gerontology, researches genes that control aging. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Rock of Ages

January 8, 2014

Growing up in Genoa, Italy, Valter Longo spent countless hours emulating the guitar style of Jimi Hendrix. At 16, he moved to Chicago to take jazz guitar lessons before heading to the University of North Texas to continue his…