Skip to main content

Natural Sciences News

Two boys use LifeStraws, instant microbiological water purifiers, while drinking out of a lake in Africa. Photo courtesy of Water Solutions for Life.

The Worth of Water

September 21, 2009

In the United States, despite droughts, water is accessible and relatively clean. You can find it in water fountains, sink faucets and store shelves. But what if you had to walk miles for a sip of clean water? Six Gabrielino…

Pamela Bluestein (right) stands with her winning Sycamore Canyon Middle School seventh graders in Catalina Island. The students are, from left, Justin Tan, Erin Zisman, Remington Parker, Alex Vesling, Austin Mason and Jared Cummings. Photo credit Vanessa Knutson.

Edison Challenge Gets Students Charged Up

September 21, 2009

Seventh grader Jared Cummings was at his home about to throw away a few dead batteries when he began to wonder. Wouldn’t the chemicals in the batteries seep into the soil and harm the environment? “So I did some…

Lab technician and USC College graduate Morgan Hawkins works with Susan Forsburg, professor of molecular and computational biology. Photo credit Dietmar Quistorf.

Life Is Looking Up

September 18, 2009

The federal stimulus package came too late to help Morgan Hawkins -- his own strength of character had already set him back on his feet -- but a stimulus-funded research job will let him take the next step. The 23-year-old…

Center for Chinese Fossil Discoveries

Our Fascination with Dinosaurs and Other Fossils

September 15, 2009

Similar to the fossils they study, it took some time for David Bottjer, professor of earth and biological sciences in USC College, and Luis Chiappe, director and curator of the National History Museum, to establish the…

Parker Cunneen (back left) of Philadelphia, Penn. and Alex Eby of Denver, Colo., slice open a sheep's kidney in a lab exercise for a seminar taught by Albert Herrera, professor of biological sciences. Photo credit Liz Gill.

A Slice of College Life

August 31, 2009

Inside a science lab at USC, two high school students stared at a preserved sheep kidney on a tray. Looking like a giant chili bean, the organ is roughly the size of a computer mouse. Wearing blue rubber gloves, April Watts…

The <em>Dendrobium nobile</em> orchid as illustrated by John Nugent Fitch in <em>The Orchid Album</em> (1886).

Beauty & Good Taste

June 25, 2009

The origin of Joseph Arditti's orchid fascination is a simple one. It all began when he was an undergraduate and found a job helping a wealthy Bel Air resident cultivate his orchids. He repotted and did other tasks at first,…

The Younger Side of Microbiology

The Younger Side of Microbiology

June 10, 2009

According to the National Science Foundation, 80 percent of jobs in the future will require some math and science skills. "Math and science are the new foundational literacy for everyone," said Tom Luce, chief executive…

Bright Minds

Bright Minds

May 28, 2009

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected the University of Southern California as the site of an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC), and plans a five-year grant totaling $12.5 million. Researchers of the EFRC will…

Natasha Khan (left), Apollo Emeka, David Gibson and Michael Gibson

Pomp and Unusual Circumstance

May 15, 2009

Stationed in Tikrit, Iraq, Saddam Hussein's birthplace 87 miles northwest of Baghdad, Apollo Emeka served as an intelligence analyst for the Army National Guard. During his deployment, Emeka's base was bombed several times.…

Impending graduate and salutatorian Brenda Nuyen will enter medical school in the fall. Photo credit Dietmar Quistorf.

A White Coat is in Her Future

May 11, 2009

This summer, salutatorian Brenda Nuyen wants to learn how to surf. By recently mastering skateboarding, she feels up to the challenge. "I've been told this summer is my last free summer until retirement," said Nuyen, who…