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Natural Sciences News

Sergio SaƱudo-Wilhelmy, left, and Douglas Capone received a National Science Foundation grant to study the nutrient cycle of three lakes in California and Nevada. Photo credit Taylor Foust.

Lake Research That Isn't All Wet

October 2, 2009

The federal government may not have been able to save California from massive budget cuts, but at least a stimulus research grant will help scientists understand the biology of western lakes. USC College biologists Douglas…

Life-long lover of science and USC College professor of physics and astronomy Clifford Johnson considers it his duty to make science accessible both inside and outside of the classroom. To learn more about Professor Johnson's work in physics and astronomy, <a href="/videos/research/91/clifford-johnson/">view our video</a>. Photo credit Mira Zimet.

Bring Back the Science

September 29, 2009

You've seen him in the blogosphere, you've seen him on TV. He's no reality star or guitar god, but he plays with both stars and strings. Clifford Johnson is not only a USC College professor of physics and astronomy and a…

Can We Save Los Angeles?

Can We Save Los Angeles?

September 24, 2009

USC students will face an enormous challenge during the next few years: help Los Angeles and other cities survive or risk losing them. This is an urgent — and local — call to action. According to U.S. Secretary…

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…