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Edwin Hill, assistant professor of French and Italian, found inspiration for <em>Black Soundscapes White Stages</em> (cover on right) during his travels throughout the United States, France and the French Antilles. Meeting people of color from around the world motivated him to examine the ways race is constructed on a global stage. Photo of Edwin Hill by Michelle Boston.

Black Soundscapes White Stages

October 25, 2013

For Edwin Hill, the key to understanding the black Atlantic diaspora in the years between World Wars I and II is to listen. On a Parisian stage, a band beat their drums to the Caribbean rhythm of the beguine, a musical genre…

The new USC Dornsife study examined activity in the so-called “pain matrix” of the brain, a network that includes the insula cortex, the anterior cingulate and the somatosensory cortices — regions known to activate when an individual watches another person suffer.

I Feel Your Pain

October 23, 2013

Counterintuitive findings from a new USC Dornsife study show that the part of the brain that is associated with empathizing with the pain of others is activated more strongly by watching the suffering of hateful people as…

The 12-year-old inner-city child who took this photograph said it symbolized both a way out of life on the wrong side of the tracks and a life path choice between light and darkness. Photo courtesy of Elaine Kaplan.

Children of the Shadow & Light

September 11, 2013

If you look closely at the photographs, there is a reflection of hope. Clear examples are the images taken by USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) students during the time they spent on the USC campus. Those photos show…

Jennifer Achiro, a neuroscience doctoral student in Bottjer’s laboratory, is first author in the study examining the activity of neurons in songbirds’ brains using electrodes to record the activity of individual neurons. Photo by Amy Garrison.

Worth Crowing About

September 6, 2013

USC Dornsife scientists have discovered a population of neurons in the brains of juvenile songbirds that are necessary for allowing the birds to recognize the vocal sounds they are learning to imitate. These neurons encode a…

William Berelson, chair of the Department of Earth Sciences at USC Dornsife, collaborates at the high-vacuum line in his laboratory with Maria Prokopenko, who was lead author of a recent paper appearing in <em>Nature</em>. Photo by Erica Christianson.

The Nitrogen Cycle Intensified

August 14, 2013

In a discovery that further demonstrates just how unexpected and unusual nature can be, scientists have found two strains of bacteria whose symbiotic relationship is unlike anything seen before. Working with William Berelson,…

Experts warn that if current trends continue, one in three Americans will suffer from Type 2 diabetes by 2050. Marcia Abbott, who earned a Ph.D. at USC Dornsife in 2010, investigates how a high fat diet affects insulin resistance in skeletal muscles — known to be a precursor of Type 2 diabetes. Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

Taking Aim at Diabetes

July 25, 2013

As rates of obesity-linked Type 2 diabetes soar worldwide, scientific research advancing our understanding of this potentially fatal disease is crucial. Experts warn that if current trends continue, one in three Americans will…

<em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>, or fruit fly, on an apple. Fruit flies eat rotting fruit. The flies are used by Sergey Nuzhdin, professor of molecular biology, and his team to advance our understanding of whether behavior is determined by genetics or by social environment.

Lord of the Flies

July 3, 2013

A million tiny fruit flies live in the laboratory of Sergey Nuzhdin, professor of molecular biology at USC Dornsife. The flies are not (thankfully) buzzing around the room, but safely contained in small glass vials —…

Shown is a colony of Trichodesmium bacteria roughly the size of the head of a pin. David Hutchins and his team studied the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria as well as Crocosphaera. Photo by Eric Webb.

The Ocean of Tomorrow

July 3, 2013

Climate change may be weeding out the bacteria that form the base of the ocean’s food chain, selecting certain strains for survival, according to a new USC study. In climate change, as in everything, there are winners…

Scientists show that attributing every forgetful moment to getting older can actually worsen memory problems — and reveal a surprising twist. Photo by Rhoda Baer.

Aging Stereotypes and Memory

July 2, 2013

Of the many negative stereotypes that exist about older adults, perhaps the most common is that they are forgetful, senile and prone to so-called “senior moments.” In fact, while cognitive processes do decline with…

A living neuron in culture: Green dots indicate excitatory synapses and red dots indicate inhibitory synapses. Photo courtesy of Don Arnold.

Memories Illuminated

June 19, 2013

Oscar Wilde called memory “the diary that we all carry about with us.” Now a team of USC Dornsife scientists has developed a way to see where and how that diary is written. Led by Don Arnold and Richard Roberts,…