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Natural Sciences News

Frontline Scholar: Sophie

Frontline Scholar: Sophie

March 1, 2016

Sophie Wix ’18 knew from an early age that she wanted to be on the cutting edge of cancer research. Working toward that goal, she took advantage of the opportunity to perform research at The Bridge@USC, where she…

John Tower and his colleagues found that treating flies with a steroid hormone decreased egg production in females while increasing longevity. Photo by Gus Ruelas.

Some aging treatments have opposite effects on males and females

February 19, 2016

What helps her live longer might be harmful to him, according to a new study that may shed light on how and why organisms age. Analyzing years of previous research on dietary and pharmaceutical tests on flies and mice,…

Blue indicates the location of the tiny locus coeruleus within the brainstem. Photo from Shutterstock.com.

Researchers pinpoint brain region as ‘ground zero’ of Alzheimer’s disease

February 17, 2016

A critical but vulnerable region in the brain appears to be the first place affected by late onset Alzheimer’s disease and may be more important for maintaining cognitive function in later life than previously…

Robert Douglas pictured at his office on the University Park campus in 1982. Photo courtesy of USC University Archives.

In Memoriam: Robert Douglas, 78

February 10, 2016

Robert Guy Douglas, Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, has died. He was 78. Douglas died at home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Jan. 26 after a long battle with cancer. Dean of natural sciences and mathematics at USC…

Assistant Professor (Research) of Spatial Sciences Yao-Yi Chiang combines his skills in computer programming and the spatial sciences to unlock information in historical maps. Photo courtesy of Yao-Yi Chiang.

Spatial scientist’s digital mapping software opens a window into history

February 5, 2016

There are myriad online platforms that allow you to search the history of a used car before you purchase it or the quality of a hotel before you book a room. But what if you wanted to find out the history of your property…

The carbon dioxide-to-methanol process. Illustration courtesy of Surya Prakash.

Turning air into fuel: USC chemists convert carbon dioxide into methanol

February 1, 2016

They’re making fuel from thin air at the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. For the first time, researchers there have directly converted carbon dioxide from the air into methanol at relatively low…

USC Joint Educational Project (JEP) manager DJ Kast watching the Northern Lights during a trip to Iceland in December. Photo by Roee Fung.

One of Forbes’ ‘30 under 30,’ Dieuwertje Kast is educating next-gen STEM leaders.

January 25, 2016

Resplendent in a dress patterned with the periodic table of elements, there can be no doubt that Dieuwertje “DJ” Kast is passionate about her subject. Recently recognized as one of Forbes’ 2016 “30…

Archaeology at El Zotz

USC Dornsife archaeologist discovers Maya royal burial

January 7, 2016

Thomas Garrison was four hours away from camp down a bumpy jungle road — headed into the city to get treated for poisonwood exposure — when he got the call from his co-director Edwin Román. “You need…

Our Top 10 stories from 2015

Our Top 10 stories from 2015

December 29, 2015

   10 — A rescue mission Alumnus Jamie Brisbin, a participant in the USC Wrigley Institute’s “Catalina Semester” program, today works as a pararescueman for the U.S. Air Force Special…

This Leiopathes coral is estimated to be more than 4,200 years old.

Oceanic fossils suggest current climate models misrepresent El Niño

December 17, 2015

An analysis of fossil corals and mollusk shells from the Pacific Ocean reveals there is no link between the strength of seasonal differences and El Niño, a complex but irregular climate pattern with large impacts on…