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Natural Sciences News

Looking into the Sun

Seasons in the Sun

July 2, 2010

Behind the wheel of his Cadillac SRX, Edward Rhodes slows to a stop at Big Tujunga Canyon Road, where a crew works on asphalt leading to the Mt. Wilson Observatory. "We'll find out right about here whether they'll let us up…

Of Plants, Flies & Men

Of Plants, Flies and Men

June 30, 2010

A torrent of fluorescent light rushes out onto the cement floor as Marie-Stanislas Remigereau opens the door to the growth chamber. Inside are hundreds of small plants precisely arranged in black trays that flank both walls up…

Craig Stanford focuses on one of the most threatened species on Earth in his new book, <em>The Last Tortoise: A Tale of Extinction in Our Lifetime</em>. Stanford photo credit Phil Channing.

The 'Tortoise' and the Snare

June 16, 2010

The tortoise, long revered for its pace, good looks and mobile home, may be a victim of its own success as this living fossil is in danger of disappearing. "We are at great risk of losing them all, not within our …

An artist's impression depicts the Planck telescope against a background image of the large-scale structure in the Milky Way. Photo copyright European Space Agency.

Space Probe Peers Into Dark Cosmos

June 10, 2010

Imagine watching the birth of the universe — the Big Bang — from the outside. What would you have seen? At that moment and for the next 380,000 years, a Big Nothing, as photons and particles clung to each other…

Members of a student team from Santa Monica High School that participated in the 2010 QuikSCience Challenge. Photo credit Ben Kay.

Science Students Earn Trip to Catalina

June 7, 2010

Environmental educators at USC have been showing the university's research facilities on Catalina Island to hundreds of students from middle schools and high schools since the conclusion of the 2010 QuikSCience Challenge, a…

Winner of a Partner University Fund (PUF) award, Charles McKenna of USC College and his team will develop a new type of male contraceptive drug with researchers in France. Photo credit Philip Channing.

Une Collaboration Parfaite

May 28, 2010

Charles McKenna, professor and chair of chemistry in USC College, has received a Partner University Fund (PUF) award enabling him to develop a new type of male contraceptive drug with researchers in France. Of 78 proposals,…

Exceptional USC College graduates Isabel Duenas, Brian Tenenbaum and Evan Marcus. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

A Touch of Class

May 14, 2010

After Manuel Arts: Isabel Duenas The youngest of three children, Isabel Duenas was in fifth grade when her brother joined a gang, started doing drugs and having run-ins with the law. "I saw what this was doing to my…

USC College Commencement

USC College Commencement

May 11, 2010

USC President Steven B. Sample, set to step down in August, will address graduates at the university's 127th commencement. Approximately 40,000 parents, family and friends attend the commencement ceremony each…

USC College Ph.D. candidates Mihaela Ignatova of mathematics (left) and Whitney Behr of earth sciences have earned 2010-11 USC Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Merit Fellowship awards. Photo credit Pamela J. Johnson.

Closing the Gender Gap

May 7, 2010

Nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs) are difficult mathematical problems to study. Notice it didn’t say "solve." Ph.D. students researching nonlinear PDEs aren't looking for solutions. They're analyzing the…

Scott Paterson, professor of earth sciences in USC College, shows a student how to use a Brunton compass to measure rocks that have aligned minerals or layering, during a recent trip in Yosemite National Park. Photo courtesy of Scott Paterson.

Rock 'n' Research

May 6, 2010

Hang around the Department of Earth Sciences in USC College in the spring and you might notice posters on the walls asking pointed questions. "Enjoy hiking, climbing, and traveling to exotic spots?" one asks. "Curious about…