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USC Dornsife's Charles McKenna and Myron Goodman research crystal structures for the repair enzyme, DNA polymerase beta (seen here). The enzyme contains an inhibitor molecule (shown in yellow) which forms a complex with DNA. It is designed to selectively block polymerase beta DNA synthesis to kill cancer cells, while ensuring survival of normal cells. Image courtesy of Boris Kashemirov.

Killing Cancer

October 16, 2013

Chemotherapy offers cancer patients hope of a cure, or at least of remission. The problem with the treatment is that all too often a hard-won remission is only temporary. “A typical pattern is that people take the drug,…

Chi Mak, professor and chair of chemistry (left) and Myron Goodman, professor of biological sciences and chemistry, have collaborated on research published Oct. 11 in <em>The Journal of Biological Chemistry</em> selected by the journal as "paper of the week." Mak photo by Taylor Foust. Goodman photo by Philip Channing.

Unlocking Biology With Math

October 10, 2013

USC Dornsife scientists have created a mathematical model that explains and predicts the biological process that creates antibody diversity — the phenomenon that keeps us healthy by generating robust immune systems…

Arieh Warshel

Arieh Warshel Wins Nobel Prize

October 9, 2013

Arieh Warshel, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, has earned a new title: Nobel Laureate. The Royal Swedish Academy…

University Professor Michael Waterman with Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai who awarded him the People's Republic of China Friendship Award at a ceremony held Sept. 29 in the Great Hall of the People at Tiananmen Square. The award is the Chinese government's highest honor for foreigners. Photo courtesy of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) of China.

Hands Across the Water

October 4, 2013

Michael Waterman, University Professor and USC Associates Chair in Natural Sciences, is a 2013 recipient of the People’s Republic of China Friendship Award — the Chinese government’s highest honor for…

USC Dornsife doctoral student Amy Garrison presents her research at a Sept. 28 regional conference hosted at USC and focused on the study of hearing and vocal communication. Photos by Erica Christianson.

Sounds of Science

October 2, 2013

Working in Sarah Bottjer’s laboratory, USC Dornsife doctoral student Amy Garrison researches the inter-hemispheric connections between vocal-control regions and the amygdala in the brains of songbirds. As with humans,…

To participate in the third annual science film competition, students must register by Oct. 16 at sciencefilm.usc.edu.

Cerebral Cinema

September 27, 2013

The deadline is fast approaching to sign up for the third annual USC Science Film Competition. To participate, students must register by Oct. 16 — registration details can be found online at sciencefilm.usc.edu. The…

Undergraduates in the Problems Without Passports research trip to Oxford, England, contemplated the lavender beardtongues (<em>Penstemon cobaeo</em>), yellow coneflower (<em>Echinacea paradoxa</em>) and tall red Scarlet bugler (<em>Penstemon barbatus subsp. coccineus</em>) at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, and learned about medicinal values of plants and flowers. Photo courtesy of Oxford Botanic Garden.

Planting Thoughts on Global Health

September 24, 2013

Strolling among the lavender, bell-like beardtongues and enchanting weeping willows, Erin Walker got more than eye candy at one of the world’s oldest scientific gardens. During her visit to the University of Oxford…

USC Dornsife’s Steven Finkel works in his laboratory with biological sciences senior Christopher Geiger. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Diversifying the Lab

September 23, 2013

For more than a decade, USC Dornsife’s Steven Finkel has been working to diversify the field of biological sciences. “It’s not a secret, academic research departments don’t look like America,”…

During the recent USC Dornsife 2020 retreat at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island, doctoral students presented their research and had an opportunity to enjoy the brilliant night sky. Photo by Corey Arnold.

Brainwaves by the Sea

September 17, 2013

Every student knows how vitally important it is to remember information for a final exam. However, trying to memorize your class notes in the library can be challenging. Distractions — the person next to you whispering…

Jennifer Achiro, a neuroscience doctoral student in Bottjer’s laboratory, is first author in the study examining the activity of neurons in songbirds’ brains using electrodes to record the activity of individual neurons. Photo by Amy Garrison.

Worth Crowing About

September 6, 2013

USC Dornsife scientists have discovered a population of neurons in the brains of juvenile songbirds that are necessary for allowing the birds to recognize the vocal sounds they are learning to imitate. These neurons encode a…