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Gary Polakovic

Gary Polakovic

Gary Polakovic is the former manager of research communications at USC University Communications.

Stories by Gary Polakovic:

Little Foot
The Little Foot skeleton was discovered in the 1990s in a cave in South Africa and is the most intact ancient skeleton of any human ancestor. (Photo/Paul John Myburgh, courtesy of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Analysis of famous fossil helps unlock when humans and apes diverged

The USC-led study examined the shoulder assembly of Little Foot, an Australopithecus that lived more than 3 million years ago, and may have confirmed how our human ancestors used their arms.

kelp elevator biofuel growth USC research
A diver attaches seaweed to a prototype of a device called the “kelp elevator.” Raising and lowering the kelp on the elevator dramatically accelerates its growth, proving the potential for mass-produced seaweed to power vehicles with biofuel harvested from the ocean. (USC Photo/David Ginsburg)

USC scientists may have unlocked kelp’s potential as a major biofuel source

Using a “kelp elevator,” researchers at the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies were able to grow the biofuel crop in large quantities in the open ocean.

imaging insulin producing pancreatic cells
Different imaging approaches provide unique layers of information on cellular structure. Soft X-ray tomography provides a map of organelles within an intact cell, while cryo-electron tomography provides high-resolution windows into specific cellular neighborhoods within a cell. (Illustration/Katya Kadyshevskaya)

To better understand diabetes, scientists gaze inside insulin-producing pancreatic cells

A USC-led team has developed advanced imaging techniques that allow for a uniquely detailed glimpse inside the body’s insulin factories.