Skip to main content

Natural Sciences News

A recent paper in the journal <em>Brain Pathology</em> led by USC Dornsife psychologist Margaret Gatz provides more evidence that there may not be a single smoking-gun cause of Alzheimer’s, but rather a range of potential causes to which we may be susceptible largely depending on our genetics.

Twin Pathologies

February 26, 2014

Despite widespread use of a single term, Alzheimer’s disease is actually a diverse collection of diseases, symptoms and pathological changes. What’s happening in the brain often varies widely from patient to…

USC Dornsife Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Edward K. Blum, who taught at USC Dornsife for more than 40 years, was an important force in interdisciplinary research at USC. Photo courtesy of Amy Blum-Herkenhoff.

In Memoriam: Edward Blum, 90

February 25, 2014

USC Dornsife Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Edward Blum, a specialist in scientific computation, parallel computing and numerical analysis who taught at USC Dornsife for more than 40 years, has died. He was 90. Blum died…

Marc Green, research lab technician at the USC Center for Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis (CEMMA), offers training sessions for new users of the GE DeltaVision OMX Blaze. Photo by Robert Perkins.

Mind-Bending Microscope

February 21, 2014

Thanks to an interdisciplinary, cross-campus effort, USC Dornsife is now home to one of the most advanced microscopes in the world — a device that pushes beyond what was once believed to be the boundary of visible light…

Selected as research fellows for 2014 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, USC Dornsife faculty members Christoph Haselwandter (left) and Dion Dickman are tapped to become leaders in the scientific community. Haselwandter photo courtesy of Haselwandter. Dickman photo by Erica Christianson.

Haselwandter, Dickman Earn Sloan Fellowships

February 20, 2014

USC Dornsife faculty members Christoph Haselwandter and Dion Dickman have been selected as research fellows for 2014 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Haselwandter and Dickman are among 126 researchers from the United States…

Associate Professor of Psychology and Linguistics Jason Zevin studies how people learn to read and speak, specifically how the brain’s architecture responds to what language is being learned. His recent research focuses on the similarities and differences between English and Chinese speakers. Photo by Michelle Boston.

Mind Your Language

February 18, 2014

Most teachers and parents will tell you that certain words prove more challenging to pronounce for a child learning to read. Jason Zevin explains why. Take the word pint. If young Scarlet is familiar with the words…

"Sustainability means something different within each discipline, but there's a common understanding of the bigger issues we face," says Provost Professor of Psychology and Business Wendy Wood, who is among those leading the USC Dornsife Sustainability Task Force.

The Task at Land (and Sea and Air)

February 7, 2014

It’s 5 p.m. so you grab your keys and cell phone and head home. As you hear the click of your office door lock shut, you realize you’ve neglected to turn off the light and your computer. But there’s no…

Luis Chiappe is lead investigator of the research team on the ancient bird study; curator and director of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum; and adjunct professor at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of the Natural History Museum.

When Dinosaurs Flew

February 4, 2014

A team of paleontologists affiliated with USC Dornsife and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has determined that birds were capable of modern flight patterns much earlier than previously suspected — at…

USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay (center) with University of Bristol's Alistair Hetherington, Melville Wills Chair in Botany, and the university's chancellor The Right Honourable the Baroness Hale of Richmond. Photo by Ede and Ravenscroft Photography Ltd.

USC Dornsife Dean Receives Honorary Degree

January 30, 2014

A native of the British island of Jersey located off the coast of France, USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay remembers arriving at the University of Bristol on the United Kingdom’s mainland as a wide-eyed 17-year-old. Devoting…

Sean Curran and Shanshan Pang studied <em>C. elegans</em>, a one-millimeter-long worm that scientists have used as a model organism since the 1970s. Image by Alexander Lopez.

You Are as Old as You Eat

January 29, 2014

Your best friend swears by the Paleo Diet. Your boss loves Atkins. Your sister is gluten-free, and your roommate is an acolyte of Michael Pollan. So who’s right? Maybe all four. In new research published this month in…

The breakthrough research of USC Dornsife’s Moh El-Naggar has earned him the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stage of their careers. Photo by Matt Meindl.

A Presidential Honoree

January 28, 2014

USC Dornsife’s Moh El-Naggar first got an inkling he was being considered for a presidential award several months ago when he received an email requesting his permission to authorize an FBI background check. But it…