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Biological Sciences News

In recent years in southern California, there has been an increase of shellfish including clams pictured here becoming poisoned due to toxin events in the ocean. USC researchers are working on early detection of harmful algal blooms.

Curtailing Poisonous Shellfish

December 8, 2011

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has granted $4 million to a team including USC scientists for a five-year project to investigate early detection of potentially deadly algal blooms — known as…

USC Dornsife professsor Katrina Edwards spent two months in the Mid-Atlantic. Photo by Phil Channing.

From Deep Sea to Dry Dock

November 23, 2011

This week a USC scientist who spent 65 days at sea in search of life hidden beneath the seafloor returns from a successful expedition, which she chronicled in regular blog posts from her ship. Katrina Edwards of USC Dornsife…

USC Dornsife professor Kenneth Nealson is working on an atmospheric monitor that will search for signs of life on Mars. Photo by Phil Channing.

Is the 'Dead Planet' Full of Life?

November 22, 2011

David Bowie asked it best in his 1971 song “Life on Mars?” But when it comes to the question of whether there’s currently life on the Red Planet, USC Dornsife professor Kenneth Nealson is fairly confident…

Dennis Hedgecock's 1986 article in <em>Bulletin of Marine Science</em> was one of the most cited articles in the journal's 60-year history. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Academic Journal Honors USC Professor's Contributions

November 9, 2011

Early in his career, USC marine biologist Dennis Hedgecock explored a pair of hypotheses that since have significantly influenced science’s understanding of how marine animals pass genes on to future generations. In…

Illustration by Joel Kimmel

First-Year Investigations: Tienju Wang

November 3, 2011

Tienju WangDallas, TexasBiological Sciences It took nine hours of studying for an advanced placement biology exam and a touch of delirium for Tienju “Nikky” Wang to make up her mind. At a young age she aspired to…

Illustration by Joel Kimmel

First-Year Investigations: Justin Farshidi

November 3, 2011

Justin Farshidi San Marino, California Undecided Justin Farshidi openly admits he can’t envision himself in a specific career. With interests from biology to business, the incoming student is searching for his…

Researchers will use statistical and computational tools to analyze vast quantities of genetic data and establish a network of disease connections.

A Digital Landscape of Diseases

October 18, 2011

USC Dornsife scientists and their colleagues have been awarded a $5.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study disease connections as part of a collective of research centers. Jasmine Zhou,…

USC Dornsife's David Bottjer is searching for clues to the future by examining the past. Photo by Philip Channing.

And the Microbes Shall Inherit the Earth

October 12, 2011

Global warming is not a novel phenomenon, and by studying what happened to the planet during a period of global warming about 250 million years ago, one USC Dornsife scientist hopes to discover what could happen to us this…

A team of researchers led by Chien-Ping Ko, professor of biological sciences in USC Dornsife, has generated the first extensive study of severe denervation occurring in specific muscles affected by Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the leading genetic cause of infant mortality.

USC Scientist Targets Genetic Cause of Infant Mortality

October 12, 2011

The disease is heartbreaking. It turns babies into ragdolls and extinguishes lives just as they are getting started. But one USC Dornsife scientist is working to unravel the mystery behind the leading genetic cause of infant…

Inset: <em>Alexandrium catenella</em> algae, which USC Dornsife biologist David Caron and his colleagues are studying. Photo courtesy of David Caron. Image: Red tide caused by dinoflagellates off the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Pier in La Jolla, Calif., in 2005. Photo by Alejandro Díaz.

Toxic Red Tides: USC Scientist Tracks Neurotoxin-Producing Algae

September 30, 2011

With toxic algal blooms — which can increase the amount of harmful toxins in the shellfish that California residents consume — ramping up in frequency and severity locally, scientists in USC Dornsife have…