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High school student and future USC Dornsife chemistry major Belen Espinoza, far left, asks senior Thomas Do a question about his research project. Photos by Susan Bell.

Symposium Synergy

April 29, 2015

Belen Espinoza listened intently as Thomas Do, a junior majoring in chemistry at USC Dornsife, explained his research into how a cobalt catalyst can be used to convert carbon dioxide into more useful derivatives. Practical…

Professor of Mathematics Aaron Lauda has won a 2016 Simons Fellowship in Mathematics. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Lauda Receives Simons Fellowship

April 14, 2015

If there’s one thing every researcher could benefit from, it’s time. And as a recipient of the 2015 Simons Foundation fellowship, that’s exactly what Professor of Mathematics Aaron Lauda is getting. The…

USC researchers have discovered that a rat’s brain has local area networks of neurons. Illustration by Holly Wilder.

Internet-like Networks Revealed

April 7, 2015

Researchers sketching out a wiring diagram for rat brains — a field known as “connectomics” — have discovered that its structure is organized like the Internet.

 For years, scientists looking for…

Their dependence on silica likely gave sea sponges an advantage in an age of climate change between the Triassic and Jurassic periods. Photo courtesy of the NOAA Ocean Explorer.

The Winner in Climate Change?

April 7, 2015

Global temperatures climb, acid levels in the Earth’s oceans spike and sea levels rise. Next come the dinosaurs. No, we are not talking about today’s climate change phenomena. Think back —way back…

First-year student Benjamin Sturgess talks with Larry Singer, professor of chemistry and faculty adviser for USC Dornsife’s Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program (PPP), at a mid-semester program meeting. Photo by Kelsey Rupp.

A Change of Heart

April 1, 2015

In 1996, John Michels’ dream came true. After graduating from USC Dornsife with a bachelor’s in religion, the former Trojans offensive tackle was a first-round NFL draft pick by the Green Bay Packers. During his…

Donal Manahan and his research group have created a more accurate picture of how the metabolism of a sea urchin changes under environmental stress.

Hidden Costs

March 30, 2015

Scientists have found a way to measure the unseen toll that environmental stress places on living creatures — showing that they can rev up their metabolism to work more than twice as hard as normal to cope with…

Artist's rendering of an exploding Buckyball. USC/Holly Wilder.

Bucky-Balls Become Buckybombs

March 27, 2015

1996, a trio of scientists won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of Buckminsterfullerene — soccer-ball-shaped spheres of 60 joined carbon atoms that exhibit special physical properties. Now, 20 years…

Ian Ehrenreich and Peter Ralph of biological sciences are recognized for their achievements in pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge.

Ehrenreich and Ralph Earn Sloan Fellowships

March 4, 2015

USC Dornsife faculty members Ian Ehrenreich and Peter Ralph have been selected as research fellows for 2015 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Ehrenreich and Ralph are among 126 researchers from the United States and Canada,…

Superconductivity is the ability to transmit electricity without resistance. Photo from <em>Mystery in Space</em>, #56.

Just Getting Warmed Up

March 3, 2015

A superconductor that works at room temperature was long thought impossible, but scientists at USC Dornsife may have discovered a family of materials that could make it reality. A team led by Vitaly Kresin, professor of…

Professor of Chemistry Vadim Cherezov and his team focused on a molecule that is structurally similar to the body’s natural ligands. Photo by Ryan Young.

Unlocking Pain Relief

February 20, 2015

“If you know how the binding physically works, you can design molecules to target the specific receptor sites and generate specific responses,” said Vadim Cherezov, professor of chemistry at USC Dornsife and…