Stories by Robert Perkins:
New USC hires make an impact
A newly recruited team of biochemists is poised to disrupt the future of pharmaceutical development and advance personalized medicine.
Climate change will irreversibly force key ocean bacteria into overdrive
Scientists demonstrate that a key organism in the ocean’s food web will start reproducing at high speed as carbon dioxide levels rise, with no way to stop when nutrients become scarce.
10 years later, what have we learned from Hurricane Katrina?
USC experts look back at the disaster, and find we still have a long way to go.
A crusty mystery: Scientists dig into the origin of strange earthquakes
Currents of semi-liquid rock are the key to the frequency of quakes away from tectonic plate boundaries, USC study finds.
More rare chimps than expected found in unprotected landscape
USC study reveals that hundreds of eastern chimpanzees inhabit a region of rapidly shrinking forest fragments in Uganda.
New USC research center to examine causes of childhood obesity in low-income populations
Exposure to pollution and social stresses suspected to be among the key factors.
Here’s what science is learning about zombie cells
Mutant cells that can’t copy DNA somehow keep dividing when they shouldn’t.
From earthquakes to landslides and potential floods in Nepal
In hopes of providing hard data to manage recovery, a USC scientist studies the latest in a string of related disasters.
11 Mexican postdoctoral fellows coming to USC
Researchers are part of new collaboration between USC and Mexico’s Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología.
The sky’s the limit for rising scholar and teenage student following flight of a prehistoric dinosaur
Unlikely duo builds a there-dimensional model of an 85 million-year-old Pteranodon wing whose span can be six meters wide.
How scientists track the genetic arms race between humans and mosquitoes
Researchers studying mosquito populations show that strong evolutionary pressure drives the pests to adapt quickly to human influences on their local environment.
Diet that mimics fasting appears to slow aging
Benefits demonstrated in mice and yeast; three cycles of a similar diet given to humans.
With records at the box office, it’s a Jurassic World — but how real is the science?
Hit film has everybody talking about dinosaurs, and nobody knows them better than USC dino expert Mike Habib.
Portrait of an artist in exile
Art history professor Megan Luke’s book on Kurt Schwitters, a key figure in Dadaism, receives the Robert Motherwell Book Prize.
Earthquake experts weigh in: San Andreas a bit shaky
Would the ‘Big One’ live up to the Hollywood hype? Perhaps, but in different ways than the new movie suggests.
New portable device could test ‘squish’ factor of cancerous tumors
Squishiness has been associated with a tumor’s aggressiveness by researchers.
Internet search tool takes on human traffickers
Three-year project offers law enforcement a way to catch criminals and reach out to underaged victims.
If you want change, tell a culturally relevant story — not just facts
USC study shows that narratives targeted to specific ethnic groups are more effective at promoting healthy habits.
Zeroing in on a silent killer
An X-ray laser uncovers the mechanics behind a major regulator of blood pressure, giving drug manufacturers a blueprint to adjust it.
DNA of bacteria crucial to the ecosystem defies explanation
‘Sea sawdust’ makes harsh environments more habitable by turning nitrogen gas from the air into a nutrient that other organisms can use.
USC cancer experts lead launch of convergent science journal
The project mirrors increasing collaboration among researchers, marking a new direction for scientific publications.
Cerebral cortex in rats’ brains is set up like the Internet
A four-decade analysis of brain studies generates new insight, perhaps changing the way scientists view its structure.
‘Free’ apps may not be so free after all: They take a big toll on your phone
Apps with ads gobble up more energy, processing time and network data, leading to frustrated users.
Fasting and less-toxic cancer drug could be alternative to chemotherapy
In back-to-back studies, researchers show how fasting combined with a class of cancer-inhibiting drugs can starve colorectal, breast and lung cancer cells.