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USC Dornsife scientists created a mutant form of yeast that fails to completely duplicate its DNA before dividing, yet still survives.

Zombie Cells

August 6, 2015

When cells divide normally, they duplicate their DNA so that each of the two new cells has a full and complete copy of the original genetic message.  But some cells don’t play by the rules — and the results…

Material from landslides is filling up riverbeds with sediment. Photo by Greg Willis.

Quakes, Landslides, Now Floods?

July 28, 2015

For Nepal, the hits just keep coming. It started with a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in April, which led to aftershocks that are ongoing even now. All of the shaking triggered what are estimated to be more than 5,000 landslides,…

We spend a third of our lives in slumber — or we should — and USC researchers are studying the phenomenon and learning ways we can all improve our sleep habits.

Science of Sleep

July 24, 2015

In the classic fairy tale, Snow White bites into an apple and slips into a state ofsuspended animation. For her fellow figment of fiction, man-about-the-Catskills character Rip Van Winkle, a sip of moonshine affords the luxury…

Eleven postdoctoral fellows are joining USC as part of a collaboration with Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Mexico’s equivalent of the United States’ National Science Foundation.

Mexican Postdocs Welcomed

July 17, 2015

USC and the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) have announced the selection of 11 researchers from Mexico who will join USC this fall as part of a new initiative to jointly fund them as postdoctoral…

The tiny fossil sponge was just 1.2 millimeters in width, seen here in a high-resolution scanning electron microscope image. Photo courtesy of Zongjun Yin/Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology.

Fossil Upsets Evolutionary Model

July 7, 2015

Researchers have unearthed a fossil of a sponge, no bigger than a grain of sand, that existed 60 million years earlier than many expected. This is the first time paleontologists have found a convincing fossil sponge specimen…

Sharks may get all the attention, but there wouldn't be any without the microorganisms that USC Dornsife researchers study. USC photo illustration.

Shark Week Indebted to More Than Sharks

July 6, 2015

Between Shark Week on Discovery this week and SyFy’s upcoming Sharknado 3, sharks are getting plenty of love on TV this summer — but what about the little guys? “The small things are where it’s at in…

Individual populations of mosquitoes are likely to have evolved resistance to whatever local selection pressures are typical in their area. Photo by

Humans Push Mosquitoes to Adapt

June 25, 2015

Every time you put on bug spray this summer, you’re launching a strike in the ongoing war between humans and mosquitoes — one that is rapidly driving the evolution of the pests. Scientists studying mosquitoes in…

Valter Longo has previously shown how fasting can help starve out cancer cells while protecting immune and other cells from chemotherapy toxicity.

Fasting-type diet appears to slow aging

June 22, 2015

Want to lose abdominal fat, get smarter and live longer? New research led by USC’s Valter Longo shows that periodically adopting a diet that mimics the effects of fasting may yield a wide range of health benefits. In a…

Illustration by Bryan Christie Design for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

Layer By Layer

June 1, 2015

Part meticulous study, part eloquent homage, Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is considered not only a seminal work of art, but the very embodiment of the boundary-breaking, outward-looking curiosity of the Renaissance…

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Physics Howard Taylor teaching at USC in the mid-1970s. Photos courtesy of Leeza Taylor Reisig.

In Memoriam: Howard Taylor, 79

May 22, 2015

Howard Taylor, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Physics at USC Dornsife, has died. He was 79. Taylor died at home in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and family on May 17. “Howard Taylor was a brilliant…