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Dna News

DNA was first identified in the late 1860s by Swiss chemist Friedrich Miescher, but nearly a century would pass before the famous three-dimensional double-helix structure would come to the fore. Fast forward another six decades to the present day, and science has laid bare the human genome in its entirety. Illustrations by Janice Kun.

Molecular You

May 24, 2016

Upbringing and circumstance — and the consequences of a lifetime of decisions — all shape us to varying degrees. And the environment undoubtedly plays some role. But, at the core of it all is our genetics, the…

The nuclear membrane previously was thought to be mostly just a protective bubble around the nuclear material. Illustration by Taeyhun Ryu, Brett Spatola, Laetitia Delebaere and Irene Chiolo.

Nuclear membrane repairs the ‘dark matter’ of DNA

November 30, 2015

Scientists have found a new function of the nuclear membrane, the envelope that encases and protects DNA in the nucleus of a cell — it fixes potentially fatal breaks in DNA strands. The nuclear membrane previously was…

Graduate student Melina Butuci and Matthew Michael, professor of biological sciences, study genome instability in primordial germ cells using special fluorescent dyes to help them visualize damage to DNA. Photo courtesy of Melina Butuci.

Germ Cell Genomics Discovery

July 23, 2015

The environment within a cell is a paradoxical balance of order and chaos. Proteins, DNA and countless other biological molecules tumble together in a wildly turbulent system that somehow holds together to engender life. In…

Remo Rohs, assistant professor of biological sciences, chemistry, physics and computer science, is a corresponding author of two recent papers published in <em>Cell</em> and <em>PNAS</em>. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Patterns and Shapes

April 2, 2015

Remo Rohs is looking for some deep connections. He is integrating genomics and structural biology to uncover some significant insights into how proteins recognize DNA. While genomics deciphers DNA by studying the sequences of…

By examining whole genome sequencing data of living Europeans in more than 40 populations, USC Dornsife’s Peter Ralph has found that the genetics of all human beings are linked more closely than previously believed. Photo by Susan Bell.

We Are Family

August 7, 2013

New research by Peter Ralph of USC Dornsife has confirmed that everyone on Earth is related to everyone else on the planet. So the Trojan Family is not just a metaphor. Turns out, we’re also linked by genetics more…

USC Dornsife's Remo Rohs (center) with Ph.D. candidates Carolina Dantas (holding a 3-D model of transcription factors bound to DNA) and Tianyin Zhou (holding a 3-D model of a nucleosome). Dantas and Zhou have each coauthored three of the papers that Rohs published in the last two months. Photo by Susan Bell.

1-D to 3-D Genomics

June 10, 2013

Since his recent selection as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, Remo Rohs continues to demonstrate the research and creativity necessary to become a leader in the scientific community. In April and May, the assistant…

Susan Forsburg, professor of molecular biology in USC Dornsife (left), led a team in a study recently published in <em>Cell Reports</em>, that shed light on the centromere — the center of the “X” shape of a chromosome. Forsburg's former Ph.D. student, Pao-Chen Li (right), now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, was among the co-authors. Photo by Eric O’Connell.

The Synergistic Effect

March 11, 2013

USC Dornsife scientists have discovered how two different structural apparatuses collaborate to protect repetitive DNA when it is at its most vulnerable — while it is being unzipped for replication. The centromere…

USC Dornsife's Susan Forsburg served as the corresponding author on a recent paper about mutated cells that continue to replicate their DNA even after treated with chemotherapy drugs. Photo by Eric O'Connell.

Mutant Cells Dig in Their Heels

November 20, 2012

Certain mutated cells keep trying to replicate their DNA — with disastrous results — even after medications rob them of the raw materials to do so, according to new research from USC. New imaging techniques…

Remo Rohs of USC Dornsife studies the different shapes of two Hox-DNA binding sites. Photo by Jie Gu.

The Shape of Things to Come

December 8, 2011

A USC Dornsife scientist has developed an innovative method of predicting the shape of DNA, for the first time making it expedient to do so on a genomic scale. “DNA can have variations in shape, which are read by…

Decoding Cancer: One Cell at a Time

Yeast Unleashed

July 21, 2010

There is good reason Susan Forsburg's laboratory smells of sourdough. The USC College biologist is among the most prominent fission yeast researchers in the country. Inside her lab are hundreds of petri dishes containing…