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Biological Sciences News

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…

USC Dornsife senior and budding entrepreneur Sanjay Rajpoot is launching a company devoted to taking hydroponics mainstream with the goal of helping to end world hunger. Photo by Matt Stone.

Hydroponics Grows Up

December 19, 2013

Six years ago, then-16-year-old high school student Sanjay Rajpoot was channel surfing at his parents’ Santa Barbara, Calif., home when a documentary caught his attention. It was about hydroponics — the practice of…

Chi Mak, professor and chair of chemistry (left) and Myron Goodman, professor of biological sciences and chemistry, have collaborated on research published Oct. 11 in <em>The Journal of Biological Chemistry</em> selected by the journal as "paper of the week." Mak photo by Taylor Foust. Goodman photo by Philip Channing.

Unlocking Biology With Math

October 10, 2013

USC Dornsife scientists have created a mathematical model that explains and predicts the biological process that creates antibody diversity — the phenomenon that keeps us healthy by generating robust immune systems…

USC Dornsife’s Steven Finkel works in his laboratory with biological sciences senior Christopher Geiger. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Diversifying the Lab

September 23, 2013

For more than a decade, USC Dornsife’s Steven Finkel has been working to diversify the field of biological sciences. “It’s not a secret, academic research departments don’t look like America,”…

Edwin “Bud” M. Perkins Jr., sits on a lawn near USC University Park campus in the 1990s with his German shepherd, Weiss. Photo by Jeff Perkins.

In Memoriam: Edwin “Bud” M. Perkins Jr., 75

August 20, 2013

Edwin “Bud” M. Perkins Jr., a 34-year faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at USC Dornsife and an expert in histology, has died. He was 75. Perkins died of causes related to prostate cancer at…

Incoming USC Dornsife freshman Ashley Knight is considering involvement in USC Greek Life, intramural sports, a cappella groups, and the USC Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs. Photo by Lillian Insalata.

From Kansas to California

August 9, 2013

Initially attracted to USC because of its location and the Southern California weather, incoming freshman Ashley Knight decided to join the university after learning about pre-health programs at USC Dornsife. An aspiring…

A new study led by postdoctoral research associate Qinghua He of USC Dornsife's Brain and Creativity Institute and published in <em>The Journal of Neuroscience</em> suggests that people who have difficulty reading could benefit from targeted therapies for specific parts of the brain. Image courtesy of Qinghua He.

It Takes a Village of Neurons

August 8, 2013

A combination of brain scans and reading tests has revealed that several regions in the brain are responsible for allowing humans to read. The findings open up the possibility that individuals who have difficulty reading may…

One project in USC’s Regenerative Medicine Initiative will explore zebrafish cells in an effort to more effectively heal severe bone damage in humans. When zebrafish jaws are damaged, special cartilage cells transform themselves into bone-producing cells called osteoblasts, shown here. Image courtesy of Carl Zeiss Microscopy.

Regenerative Research

August 7, 2013

Three newly assembled disease teams within USC Stem Cell will take the early steps this year that might lead to future stem-cell based therapies for certain forms of deafness, bone defects and pediatric leukemia. The teams…

By examining whole genome sequencing data of living Europeans in more than 40 populations, USC Dornsife’s Peter Ralph has found that the genetics of all human beings are linked more closely than previously believed. Photo by Susan Bell.

We Are Family

August 7, 2013

New research by Peter Ralph of USC Dornsife has confirmed that everyone on Earth is related to everyone else on the planet. So the Trojan Family is not just a metaphor. Turns out, we’re also linked by genetics more…