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Biological Sciences News

Steve A. Kay currently serves as dean of biological sciences at the University of California, San Diego. Photo courtesy of the University of California, San Diego.

Kay Named New Dean of USC Dornsife

May 1, 2012

Steve A. Kay has been appointed the 21st dean of USC Dornsife, the university announced today. He will lead USC Dornsife starting this Fall. Kay, who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), currently serves as…

As a research assistant in Matthew Dean’s lab, Amanda Johnston performs polymerase chain reactions to analyze rodent DNA and determine their genotypes.

Cracking the Code

April 22, 2012

    Student researcher: Amanda Johnston Major: Biological sciences Minor: Spanish Year: Senior Student funding sources: Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR), Summer Undergraduate Research…

Photos by Brad Wilson.

Being Human

April 22, 2012

We humans are unique animals. Each of us may define what it means to be human differently. We place value in memory, form cultures, innovate, question the purpose of life, and dream of the future. Since the beginning of our…

Perfect Vision

Perfect Vision

April 22, 2012

At the Cold War’s dusk, history graduate Wolf Gruner swung a hammer at the Berlin Wall. For years, the East Berliner had been involved in a cultural underground movement against the communist regime. Now Gruner’s…

Participants at a recent symposium celebrating 30 years of computational biology at USC Dornsife, and the birthdays of Michael Waterman (right center) and Simon Tavaré (left center), pioneers in the field who developed the program in USC Dornsife. Photo by Pamela J. Johnson.

Computational Biology Turns 30 at USC Dornsife

April 18, 2012

This year marks three decades of research in computational biology at USC Dornsife. The year 1982 is also when Michael Waterman arrived at USC. The USC Associates Chair in Natural Sciences and University Professor of…

Benjamin Kay, science teacher at Santa Monica High School (center), is surrounded by members of two teams from his school that participated in the 2012 QuikSCience Challenge. Some are members of the team that placed first in the competition this year for their project, "Reducing Carbon Emissions." Photo by DJ Kast.

Students Take on the QuikSCience Challenge

April 17, 2012

USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies staff members are busy escorting several hundred students from middle and high schools to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island as part of their reward for…

Kelvin Davies is the James E. Birren Chair in Gerontology and professor of gerontology and biological sciences. Photo by Christine O'Donnell.

Scientists Identify Major Source of Cells’ Defense Against Oxidative Stress

April 12, 2012

Both radiation and many forms of chemotherapy try to kill tumors by causing oxidative stress in cancer cells. New research from USC on a protein that protects cancer and other cells from these stresses could one day help…

Researchers in Jed Fuhrman’s lab collect water samples at the San Pedro Ocean Time Series (SPOT) site, midway between Los Angeles and Catalina Island. Photo by Elizabeth Teel.

NSF Support for Probe of Microbes

March 19, 2012

Researchers with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, housed in USC Dornsife, have received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the composition and complexity of marine…

USC Dornsife alumna Sarah Greene, who earned a Ph.D. in geological studies in 2011, and Rowan Martindale, a doctoral candidate in earth sciences, contributed to a recent study that looks at geological records for evidence that mass extinction events may have been caused by ocean acidification.

Earth's Past Is Warning for the Future

March 6, 2012

When the Earth’s carbon dioxide level increased at a rapid rate during the Triassic-Jurassic period 200 million years ago, nearly half the ocean’s marine life became extinct. USC Dornsife geologists contributed to…

Professor Ada Yonath discusses the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum at a USC event. Photo by Dennis Martinez.

Nobel Laureate Visits USC, Inspires Students

March 2, 2012

Ada Yonath, one of just four women ever to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, told USC students last month what it takes to be a successful scientist: curiosity, passion and perseverance. Yonath, professor of structural…