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Biological Sciences News

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…

USC Dornsife professor Katrina Edwards will lead the two-month trip to a site known as the North Pond.

A Search for Life at the Earth’s Extremes

September 16, 2011

A USC scientist will take a research expedition this month into the heart of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean to explore the very limits of life on Earth. Katrina Edwards of USC Dornsife and Wolfgang Bach of Bremen University will…

Kwasi Connor: Sampling Mussels off Catalina Island

The Importance of Life's Day/Night Cycle

September 14, 2011

USC researchers were surprised recently to discover just how much the rising and setting of the sun drives life on Earth — even in unexpected places. The findings, which appear this month in the Proceedings of the…

Senior author Kelvin J. A. Davies, the James E. Birren Chair in Gerontology and professor of gerontology and biological sciences, holds a joint appointment in USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and USC Dornsife.

Natural Anti-Oxidant Deserts Aging Body

September 1, 2011

When the body fights oxidative damage, it calls up a reservist enzyme that protects cells — but only if those cells are relatively young, a study has found. Biologists at USC discovered major declines in the…

USC Dornsife professors Michael Waterman and Margaret Gatz have been awarded honorary degrees.

USC Dornsife Professors Receive Honorary Degrees

July 29, 2011

Waterman Presented Honorary Doctorate by Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody Michael Waterman, widely regarded as the founding father of computational biology, openly admits he has never taken a biology course. There was however a…