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Study on prenatal alcohol exposure
The beautiful vineyards in Cape Town, South Africa, are home to the region‘s wine country, as well as a drinking culture that is linked to the world‘s highest prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. (Photo/iStock)

Study probes effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on brain development

Researchers have long known that babies born to mothers who drank heavily while pregnant have impairments. Now, an innovative study will test their sensory processing — in a community where drinking while pregnant is socially acceptable.

Health
Jamil Samaan wants to see more Syrian American doctors
After experiencing language barriers, economic disadvantage and lack of access to mentorship on his journey to becoming a doctor, Jamil Samaan created the Syrian American Association of Science and Health to help immigrants like himself. (Photo/Courtesy of Jamil Samaan)

Graduating medical student turns academic success into opportunity for Syrian Americans

For the Syrian-born Jamil Samaan, graduating Saturday from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, more Syrian Americans in science means better care within his community.

Health
USC scientists determine how melatonin works
The sleep-promoting hormone melatonin (shown as a constellation in the night sky) is synthesized from serotonin (shown as a kite) during night time. Melatonin then connects to the high-affinity receptors (shown at right). Illustration by Yekaterina Kadyshevsk

Unlocking melatonin’s role in the biological clock may mean more than a good night’s sleep

An international team of scientists — including researchers at USC — have created 3D models of melatonin receptors, opening the door to new drugs for health issues beyond sleep.

Health
CAR T-cell therapy
This colored scanning electron micrograph shows a T cell (red) attached to a cancer cell. CAR T-cell therapy involves harvesting T-cells from a patient, reengineering them in the lab to target a particular kind of cancer, then reinfusing them into the patient. (Image/Steve Gschmeissner, Science Source)

USC-led advance in groundbreaking cancer treatment eliminates severe side effects

Though the study was designed to assess safety, six out of 11 lymphoma patients who received a commonly used dose of the improved CAR T-cell therapy went into complete remission.