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Biological Sciences News

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…

Jan Amend, who is affiliated with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, housed in USC Dornsife, is leading a $6.7 million project to develop approaches for detecting and characterizing microbial life in the subsurface. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Life Underground

August 1, 2013

USC Dornsife researchers have embarked on a five-year project to look for microorganisms hundreds of meters below the surface — in deep mineshafts, boreholes and other sites — as part of the search for the limits…

Recent high school graduate David Zimmerman prepares cultures of <em>Shewanella onedensis</em> in USC Dornsife's Steven Finkel's laboratory. Zimmerman's research on the bacterium has earned him top prizes at local and international science fairs. Photo by Michelle Salzman Boston.

Fair Becomes Excellence

June 27, 2013

Recent high school graduate David Zimmerman stands at a bench in Steven Finkel’s laboratory preparing cultures of the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis — “Shewy” as he and others affectionately call…

Students recognized as outstanding undergraduates in biological sciences honors core courses display their awards with Albert Herrera, professor of biological sciences at USC Dornsife. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Scientific Superstars

June 10, 2013

Manan Shah has a passion for understanding how the brain works. Specifically, the USC Dornsife junior is interested in visual cognition — the complex process that interprets what we see into what we know. Shah studies…

The Fulbright Scholarship was established to increase the mutual understanding between the United States and other countries. USC Dornsife students and alumni who are 2013-14 Fulbright Scholars will study and teach throughout the world. Clockwise from top left is Joshua Rivkin, Italy; Travis Glynn, India; Megan Rilkoff, Laos; Andrew Ju, South Korea; Jonathan Truong, Vietnam; Molly Levine, Thailand; Jasneet Aulakh, India; Ana Lee, Portugal; Juan Espinoza, Mexico; and Abhishek Verma, Switzerland.

The Fabulous Fulbrights

May 10, 2013

Ten exceptional USC Dornsife students have been selected for the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship, which awards them for academic achievement and commitment to cultural engagement. USC has been recognized as one of the top 40…

Marine biologist David Caron examines data picked up by underwater robotic gliders: “Gliders help us wire the ocean, and with this constant surveillance, we are on the verge of being able to predict and mitigate [harmful] events." Photo by Max S. Gerber.

Robot Gliders Roam Seas

May 2, 2013

It was an unforgettable spring morning in 2011 when residents of King Harbor in Redondo Beach, Calif., awoke to find millions of dead anchovies, sardines and mackerel packed into the marina. The stench was strong enough to…

Arriving as a global health major at Keck School of Medicine of USC, Otana Jakpor decided to add a major in biological sciences in USC Dornsife after taking a Problems Without Passports (PWP) biology course at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Hard Work Meets Glamour

April 15, 2013

A Southern California native whose father is Nigerian, Otana Jakpor visited Nigeria for the first time last Christmas. In addition to spending time with cousins and extended family she didn’t before know existed, the…

Professor Hanna Reisler of chemistry presents her keynote address at the recent WiSE Research Horizons symposium held in her honor. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Hanna Reisler Celebrated

April 2, 2013

Speaking at a recent symposium held in her honor, USC Dornsife’s Hanna Reisler recalled the early days of USC’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program. At the time, women with tenured or tenure-track…

Ph.D. candidate in marine environmental biology in USC Dornsife Johanna Holm is collaborating on a digital application based on the children's picture book <em>Flotsam</em>. Here, the team has posted images and notes detailing how the "dynamic book" will evolve. Photo courtesy of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.

A Flotsam of Innovation

March 20, 2013

A scientific diver, USC Dornsife’s Johanna Holm, has become a “transmedia storyteller.” The Ph.D. candidate in marine environmental biology is helping transform the award-winning children’s book…

Researchers found atherosclerosis in 34 percent of the mummies studied, according to a recent study led by University Professor Caleb Finch, who has a joint appointment in USC Dornsife and the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Photo courtesy of <em>The Lancet</em>.

Lessons From Mummy

March 13, 2013

Like nearly 4.6 million Americans, ancient hunter-gatherers also suffered from clogged arteries, revealing that the plaque buildup causing blood clots, heart attacks and strokes is not just a result of fatty diets or couch…