Skip to main content

Natural Sciences News

As a research assistant in Matthew Dean’s lab, Amanda Johnston performs polymerase chain reactions to analyze rodent DNA and determine their genotypes.

Cracking the Code

April 22, 2012

    Student researcher: Amanda Johnston Major: Biological sciences Minor: Spanish Year: Senior Student funding sources: Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR), Summer Undergraduate Research…

Still images and videos of arsenic sulfide nanofibers growing under a microscope help Ian McFarlane and Julia Lazzari-Dean to better understand the microbes’ properties and potential applications. These materials could hold the key to creating new nanomaterials that do jobs not yet imagined.

Energy in a Bottle

April 22, 2012

    Undergraduate researcher: Julia Lazzari-Dean Major: Chemistry Year: Sophomore Student funding sources: Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship and Women in Science and…

Perfect Vision

Perfect Vision

April 22, 2012

At the Cold War’s dusk, history graduate Wolf Gruner swung a hammer at the Berlin Wall. For years, the East Berliner had been involved in a cultural underground movement against the communist regime. Now Gruner’s…

Participants at a recent symposium celebrating 30 years of computational biology at USC Dornsife, and the birthdays of Michael Waterman (right center) and Simon Tavaré (left center), pioneers in the field who developed the program in USC Dornsife. Photo by Pamela J. Johnson.

Computational Biology Turns 30 at USC Dornsife

April 18, 2012

This year marks three decades of research in computational biology at USC Dornsife. The year 1982 is also when Michael Waterman arrived at USC. The USC Associates Chair in Natural Sciences and University Professor of…

Benjamin Kay, science teacher at Santa Monica High School (center), is surrounded by members of two teams from his school that participated in the 2012 QuikSCience Challenge. Some are members of the team that placed first in the competition this year for their project, "Reducing Carbon Emissions." Photo by DJ Kast.

Students Take on the QuikSCience Challenge

April 17, 2012

USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies staff members are busy escorting several hundred students from middle and high schools to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island as part of their reward for…

Kelvin Davies is the James E. Birren Chair in Gerontology and professor of gerontology and biological sciences. Photo by Christine O'Donnell.

Scientists Identify Major Source of Cells’ Defense Against Oxidative Stress

April 12, 2012

Both radiation and many forms of chemotherapy try to kill tumors by causing oxidative stress in cancer cells. New research from USC on a protein that protects cancer and other cells from these stresses could one day help…

The diamond in the center measures 1 mm X 1 mm. Photo courtesy of Delft University of Technolgy/UC Santa Barbara.

Quantum Computer Built Inside a Diamond

April 5, 2012

Diamonds are forever — or, at least, the effects of this diamond on quantum computing may be. A team that includes scientists from USC has built a quantum computer in a diamond, the first of its kind to include…

Anna Krylov is professor of chemistry in USC Dornsife and the paper's co-corresponding author. Photo by Phil Channing.

A Paradigm Shift in Understanding Chemical Reactions

March 22, 2012

Scientists at USC and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have discovered a new route by which a proton (a hydrogen atom that lost its electron) can move from one molecule to another — a basic component of countless …

Ray Irani was appointed the Judge Widney Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. He was named to the National Academy of Engineering in February.

Ray Irani Named Judge Widney Professor

March 22, 2012

Trustee Ray R. Irani Ph.D. ’57, executive chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corp. and namesake of the university’s Ray R. Irani Hall, was appointed the Judge Widney Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry…

Researchers in Jed Fuhrman’s lab collect water samples at the San Pedro Ocean Time Series (SPOT) site, midway between Los Angeles and Catalina Island. Photo by Elizabeth Teel.

NSF Support for Probe of Microbes

March 19, 2012

Researchers with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, housed in USC Dornsife, have received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the composition and complexity of marine…