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Natural Sciences News

Students at Leichty Middle School transplant seedlings into their new aquaponics system. Photo by Linda Chilton.

USC Wrigley Institute introduces aquaponics to local K-12 students

April 21, 2016

Although the term “aquaponics” was coined in the ’70s, the practice of cultivating food by using the by-products of one aquatic species as fertilizer for another has been used for almost a millennium. In…

While environmental scientists and geologists play a key role in addressing issues like climate change, USC Dornsife scholars emphasize that understanding our natural environment crosses virtually every field of study.

Dornsife scholars discuss how research in the social sciences and humanities helps address global environmental challenges

April 15, 2016

With climate change in the news every day, many students entering college feel passionate about making their mark on creating a more sustainable future. But is it possible to be an environmentalist without majoring in geology…

The destructive power of volcanoes was captured by William Morgan in 1840 in a hand-colored lithograph. Ancient volcanic activity could serve as a model for modern-day climate change studies. Image courtesy of the USC Libraries Special Collections.

Ancient volcanoes could be key to predicting the impact of climate change

April 14, 2016

Just over 200 million years ago, long before the demise of the dinosaurs, a cataclysm killed off a significant chunk of the planet’s animal life. The leading theory implicates massive volcanic eruptions, triggered when…

A newly installed, 23kW solar energy system became active on March 17 and now delivers about 98 kilowatt hours of electricity per day to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. Photo by Karl Huggins.

Solar energy system up and running at USC’s Catalina Island facility

April 11, 2016

At its Catalina Island home 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center basks in bright sunshine for more than two-thirds of the year on average. The center — a focal point for…

Researchers labeled sensory neurons that are found in the skin. Green indicates protein receptors involved in cold sensation, those involved with pain are in red, and GFRα3, involved in heightening cold sensitization, is marked by blue. Photomicrograph courtesy of David McKemy.

Biology researchers find single gatekeeper guarding path to cold-induced pain

April 8, 2016

Cold can hurt. The onset of inflammation following an injury or as a result of disease can heighten pain response to cold, just as it can for pressure and heat sensitivity. Researchers at USC Dornsife have found that…

Clay Wang and Kasthuri Venkateswaran will launch fungi into space to potentially develop new medicine for use both in space and on Earth. Photo by Gus Ruelas.

USC scientists to send fungi into orbit in quest to develop space meds

April 5, 2016

Researchers at USC and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory say they will be the first team in the world to launch fungi into space for the purpose of potentially developing new medicine for use both in space and on…

‘Viewpoint’ gives voice to USC Dornsife faculty thought leaders

‘Viewpoint’ gives voice to USC Dornsife faculty thought leaders

March 29, 2016

We’re living in a world with a 24-hour news cycle, and USC Dornsife faculty members have much to contribute to the conversation. With that in mind, the USC Dornsife Office of the Dean and Office of Communication have…

Functional MRI scanners provide maps of signals in the brain, but scientists know these maps may be slightly inaccurate. Photo by Janne Moren.

Rare eye condition gives scientists a chance to improve brain scan studies

March 3, 2016

There is an elephant in the room each time scientists conduct a brain scan study. Functional MRI scans provide colorful maps of signals in the brain, but scientists know these maps may be slightly inaccurate. That’s…

Frontline Scholar: Sophie

Frontline Scholar: Sophie

March 1, 2016

Sophie Wix ’18 knew from an early age that she wanted to be on the cutting edge of cancer research. Working toward that goal, she took advantage of the opportunity to perform research at The Bridge@USC, where she…

John Tower and his colleagues found that treating flies with a steroid hormone decreased egg production in females while increasing longevity. Photo by Gus Ruelas.

Some aging treatments have opposite effects on males and females

February 19, 2016

What helps her live longer might be harmful to him, according to a new study that may shed light on how and why organisms age. Analyzing years of previous research on dietary and pharmaceutical tests on flies and mice,…