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Chemistry News

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…

In USC's inaugural science-themed filmmaking competition, USC Dornsife's Kevin Le and USC School of Cinematic Arts' Edward Saavedra, sophomores, took top prize for their short movie, <em>Time</em>, which explains why times moves forward and never back. Shown here is Salvador Dali's 1931 melting clock painting, <em>The Persistence of Memory</em>. Image © 2007 Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Time Flies

February 17, 2012

To learn why time moves only forward one must first understand a fundamental law of physics: the increase of entropy. The law describes the tendency for systems to go from a state of higher organization to disorder. Consider…

Research associate Shayantani Mukherjee and USC Dornsife professor Arieh Warshel liken the rotation of F1-ATPase to that of a fan.

USC Scientists Build Working Model of Life’s Engine

January 27, 2012

Researchers at USC have built a theoretical working model of the cellular engine that powers all life. The model will allow scientists to better understand the forces of life at the molecular level and potentially replicate…

Richard Brutchey’s research at USC Dornsife focuses on the synthesis, surface chemistry and applications of inorganic nanocrystals for solar energy conversion and energy storage. In addition to being named a 2012 Emerging Investigator by <em>ChemComm</em>, he was recently presented with a Raubenheimer Junior Faculty Award, the highest award bestowed to faculty in USC Dornsife. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Nod to the Nanoscale

January 26, 2012

Richard Brutchey, assistant professor of chemistry, was recently lauded for his work as a researcher by ChemComm, a leading chemical sciences journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. ChemComm named Brutchey a 2012…

From left, corresponding authors Alain Goeppert, George Olah and G. K. Surya Prakash collaborated on the project with other USC researchers. Photo by Pamela J. Johnson.

Material Cleans Carbon Dioxide from the Air

January 19, 2012

A team of USC scientists has developed an easy-to-make material that can scrub large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air. One day in the future, large artificial trees made from the material could be used to lower the…

USC Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Sidney W. Benson served as a group leader for the Manhattan Project, then joined the Department of Chemistry in USC Dornsife in 1943. Here, he works in his laboratory in 1984. Photo by Wendy Rosin Malecki courtesy of USC University Archives.

In Memoriam: Sidney W. Benson, 93

January 4, 2012

USC Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Sidney W. Benson, who became scientific co-director of USC Dornsife’s Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute when it opened in 1977, has died. He was 93. Among the…

Daniel Lidar, a professor of chemistry in USC Dornsife with a joint appointment in USC Viterbi, serves as the scientific and technical director of the recently founded USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center. Photo by Ziva Santop/Steve Cohn Photography.

A Quantum Leap in Computing

January 3, 2012

When American physicist Richard Feynman in 1982 proposed creating a quantum computer that could solve complex problems, the idea was merely a theory scientists believed was far off in the future. A few decades later, USC…

Remo Rohs of USC Dornsife studies the different shapes of two Hox-DNA binding sites. Photo by Jie Gu.

The Shape of Things to Come

December 8, 2011

A USC Dornsife scientist has developed an innovative method of predicting the shape of DNA, for the first time making it expedient to do so on a genomic scale. “DNA can have variations in shape, which are read by…

The world's oil and gas reserves are expected to run dry this century. USC Dornsife's George Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash's methanol economy has emerged as an alternative.

Sun Sets on Oil Wells

November 9, 2011

For more than 20 years, George Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash have quietly and consistently worked toward saving the world. The USC Dornsife professors’ solutions were recently featured in the Journal of the American…

In USC’s first filmmaking competition centered on the sciences, Clifford Johnson and Anna Krylov of USC Dornsife envision entries on any kind of film genre imaginable. What if Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert were scientists in the classic romantic comedy <em>It Happened One Night</em>?

It Happened One Night (in the Lab)

September 20, 2011

Envision a romantic comedy with a science-based plot. The leading roles are biologists, let’s say, working in the same lab, using Schizoaccharomyces pombe to find a cure for cancer. Love ensues, followed by some…