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Natural Sciences News

Their dependence on silica likely gave sea sponges an advantage in an age of climate change between the Triassic and Jurassic periods. Photo courtesy of the NOAA Ocean Explorer.

The Winner in Climate Change?

April 7, 2015

Global temperatures climb, acid levels in the Earth’s oceans spike and sea levels rise. Next come the dinosaurs. No, we are not talking about today’s climate change phenomena. Think back —way back…

First-year student Benjamin Sturgess talks with Larry Singer, professor of chemistry and faculty adviser for USC Dornsife’s Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program (PPP), at a mid-semester program meeting. Photo by Kelsey Rupp.

A Change of Heart

April 1, 2015

In 1996, John Michels’ dream came true. After graduating from USC Dornsife with a bachelor’s in religion, the former Trojans offensive tackle was a first-round NFL draft pick by the Green Bay Packers. During his…

Donal Manahan and his research group have created a more accurate picture of how the metabolism of a sea urchin changes under environmental stress.

Hidden Costs

March 30, 2015

Scientists have found a way to measure the unseen toll that environmental stress places on living creatures — showing that they can rev up their metabolism to work more than twice as hard as normal to cope with…

Artist's rendering of an exploding Buckyball. USC/Holly Wilder.

Bucky-Balls Become Buckybombs

March 27, 2015

1996, a trio of scientists won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of Buckminsterfullerene — soccer-ball-shaped spheres of 60 joined carbon atoms that exhibit special physical properties. Now, 20 years…

Ian Ehrenreich and Peter Ralph of biological sciences are recognized for their achievements in pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge.

Ehrenreich and Ralph Earn Sloan Fellowships

March 4, 2015

USC Dornsife faculty members Ian Ehrenreich and Peter Ralph have been selected as research fellows for 2015 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Ehrenreich and Ralph are among 126 researchers from the United States and Canada,…

Superconductivity is the ability to transmit electricity without resistance. Photo from <em>Mystery in Space</em>, #56.

Just Getting Warmed Up

March 3, 2015

A superconductor that works at room temperature was long thought impossible, but scientists at USC Dornsife may have discovered a family of materials that could make it reality. A team led by Vitaly Kresin, professor of…

Professor of Chemistry Vadim Cherezov and his team focused on a molecule that is structurally similar to the body’s natural ligands. Photo by Ryan Young.

Unlocking Pain Relief

February 20, 2015

“If you know how the binding physically works, you can design molecules to target the specific receptor sites and generate specific responses,” said Vadim Cherezov, professor of chemistry at USC Dornsife and…

USC hosts a “Health and Wellbeing” conference to honor the opening of Dr. Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall, an interdisciplinary social sciences building on the University Park campus.

On Our Best Behavior

February 20, 2015

Doctors may be more likely to prescribe antibiotics inappropriately right before lunch, when they are hungry — or just before the end of the day, when they are tired, said Jason Doctor, associate professor of clinical…

University Professor Michael Waterman’s pioneering convergent approach to computational biology has won him international recognition. Photo courtesy of Michael Waterman.

Waterman Awarded Prestigious Dan David Prize

February 11, 2015

USC Dornsife’s Michael Waterman has been awarded the internationally renowned Dan David Prize, it was announced on Feb. 10. Widely regarded as the founding father of computational biology, Waterman, University Professor…

Peter Kuhn presented his “no cell left behind” approach to detecting and characterizing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood during a Dean's Special Lecture on Jan. 26. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Better Cures, Better Care

February 5, 2015

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., USC Dornsife’s Peter Kuhn was sitting in a restaurant when a server walked up to him and said simply, “Thank you for saving my mother’s life,” before walking…