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Natural Sciences News

Biodiversity Targets for the Future

Biodiversity Targets for the Future

October 22, 2010

In Sichuan province, China, there is an abundance of orchards but no bees. "Thousands of people are hired to climb fruit trees and hand-pollinate the flowers with small brushes, because natural pollinators like bees have been…

Emily Smail, a doctoral candidate in the USC College marine environmental biology program, stands near a water sampling system on the deck of the research vessel Kilo Moana near Hawaii. Photo credit Eric Webb.

Essential Vitamins in the Marine Environment

October 21, 2010

Two USC College biologists have received support from the National Science Foundation to examine the conditions that lead to the synthesis of B vitamins in the marine environment and the influence of those vitamins on marine…

The Great California ShakeOut

Los Angeles' 8.8 Wake-Up Call

October 15, 2010

"We live in earthquake country and every day is earthquake season." This is Tom Jordan's mantra. The director of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) based in USC College notes that while residents elsewhere in…

President C. L. Max Nikias speaks about the future of USC at his inauguration ceremony on Friday, Oct. 15. Photo credit Laurie Moore.

Inauguration of C. L. Max Nikias

October 15, 2010

In a momentous celebration that drew 7,500 members of the Trojan Family and local community, C. L. Max Nikias was inaugurated as USC’s 11th president on Oct. 15. The former USC executive vice president and provost…

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…