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Natural Sciences News

Break in Curveball Too Good to be True

Breaking Curveball Too Good to Be True

October 15, 2010

Curveballs curve and fastballs go really fast, but new research suggests that no pitcher can make a curveball "break" or a fastball "rise." Led by Arthur Shapiro of American University and Zhong-Lin Lu of USC College, the…

Based in USC College, the statistics minor is open to undergraduates university-wide and can enhance any major. Classes begin in the spring. Image courtesy of Amstat News and the American Statistical Association.

Turning Data into Information

October 13, 2010

For Today's Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics. That headline in The New York Times says it best. Internet-age statisticians are finding themselves increasingly in demand, the recent article purports, even cool. “I…

Methanol: An Alternative Energy Source

Methanol, a Fuel for the Future

October 12, 2010

Tapped by USC in 1977 during the world oil crisis to start a hydrocarbon institute from the ground floor, George Olah headed west, where he was more than up for the challenge. Olah, the Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and…

Emily Liman, associate professor of neurobiology at USC College and senior author of the study. Photo credit Laurie Moore.

Sparkling Drinks Spark Pain Circuits

September 29, 2010

You may not think of the fizz in soda as spicy, but your body does. The carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks triggers the same pain sensors in the nasal cavity as mustard and horseradish, though at a lower intensity, according to…

Antonio Damasio, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute in USC College, is the recipient of this year’s Honda Prize for his pioneering efforts and remarkable contributions in the world of neuroscience. Photo credit Phil Channing.

Antonio Damasio Wins Honda Prize

September 21, 2010

The Honda Foundation of Japan has announced that its annual Honda Prize, one of the most important international awards for scientific achievement, will go to Antonio Damasio, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and…

Chimpanzees are found from Western Africa across the continent to East Africa. At one time, there were 50,000 or more chimps in Uganda. Now there are about 5,000 as a result of logging, the encroachment of villages, trapping, snare devices and other reasons. Photo credit Craig Stanford.

Chasing Chimps

September 16, 2010

Roaming a Myrtle green swath of forest in the Pearl of Africa, Maureen McCarthy attaches what looks like an oversized electric-yellow iPhone to a long stick and extends it skyward in a tiny clearing among a canopy of…

Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello to a composition by Bruce Adolphe based on a poem by Antonio Damasio. In the background is brain activity imagery produced in Hanna Damasio’s laboratory. Photo credit Hiroyuki Ito/The New York Times/Redux.

Brains and Beauty

August 27, 2010

Mind first bloomed quietly And no one knows when, Although we know where: Within a brain that lived within a body. Sound heady? It should. This is the introduction to a poem written by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio of USC…

Susan Friedlander, professor of mathematics, is the director of the USC Center for Applied Mathematical Sciences (CAMS). Photo credit Laurie Moore.

USC Center for Applied Mathematical Sciences Turns 20

August 25, 2010

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the USC Center for Applied Mathematical Sciences (CAMS), a research unit housed in USC College's Department of Mathematics. Susan Friedlander, professor of mathematics and CAMS' fourth…

Nick Warner, professor of physics and astronomy, and mathematics at USC College, shares his love of science with students in his general education astronomy class and with fans of the ABC series <em>Lost</em>. Photo credit Max S. Gerber.

Explosives, Black Holes and Dr. Who

August 17, 2010

Nick Warner leans forward in his desk chair, his arms outstretched, hands cupping the air in front of him as if protecting a small flame. "When I was 15, I had something explode right here," he says.  For Warner, USC…

Cool Science

Cool Science

August 12, 2010

At the bottom of the Earth — the planet's coldest, driest, windiest place — the sky radiates a lavender-yellow hue in the midnight sun.  Whiter than milk, the blanket of ice seems infinite. Amid the…