Friday, April 17, 2015

Molecular Biology Seminar | "Landscape and ecological genomics of a California endemic oak, Quercus lobata"

Victoria Sork
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
College of Letters and Sciences
Dean of the Division of Life Sciences
Professor for the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Friday, April 17, 2015
12:00 PM
RRI 101
Host: Peter Ralph

Abstract: The evolution of local adaptation is a long-standing question in evolutionary biology.  The ability to survive and thrive in a given environment is particularly important for long lived non-mobile trees experiencing rapid climate change.  The study species is Quercus lobata, an endemic widespread oak in California now in serious jeopardy due to habitat loss and threat of global warming. This talk will explore the evidence of local adaption using genomic tools available for nonmodel systems.  We have analyzed samples from throughout the species range using reduced library sequencing, epigenetic markers, and transcriptomes.  We have also conducted gene expression studies of oak seedlings in a drought experiment. Overall, these findings show that the geographic structure of genes and genomes are shaped by climate and provide the opportunity for evolution of local adaptation.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Are scientists nearing a cure for baldness?

From USC News

By pulling 200 hairs in a precise pattern and density, researchers can induce up to 1,200 replacement follicles in a mouse

By Cristy Lytal - April 9, 2015

The team's regenerative process relies on the principle of "quorum sensing." (Photo/Randi Scott)

If there’s a cure for male pattern baldness, it might hurt a little.

A team led by USC Stem Cell Principal Investigator Cheng-Ming Chuong has demonstrated that by plucking 200 hairs in a specific pattern and density, they can induce up to 1,200 replacement hairs to grow in a mouse. The results are published in the April 9 edition of the journal Cell... Continue to article

Neurobiology Seminar | "Mechanisms of Experience-Dependent Synaptic Remodeling in Thalamus"

Chinfei Chen, MD, Ph.D.
Harvard University

Monday, April 20, 2015
12:00 PM 
HNB 100
Host: Dion Dickman & Judith Hirsch

Live webcast only!

Refreshments will be served at 11:50 AM in HNB 100 before the seminar.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Celebrating 20 Years of the USC Wrigley Institute

This event features Tony Michaels, inaugural director of the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, and current director Roberta Marinelli talking about how the institute has grown from a fledgling regional marine laboratory into a dynamic, cross-disciplinary research institute with global reach.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
The Los Angeles Yacht Club (off campus)
$15.00 per person

A conversation with Inaugural Director Dr. Tony Michaels and Current Director Dr. Roberta Marinelli In the twenty years since its establishment, the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies has grown from a fledgling, regional marine laboratory into a dynamic, cross-disciplinary research institute with global reach, poised for its next phase of trailblazing environmental solutions.

In an interactive discussion, Dr. Tony Michaels, who served for twelve years as the inaugural director, will reminisce upon the founding vision and formative years of the Institute. Building upon this success, current director Dr. Roberta Marinelli will highlight the remarkable accomplishments achieved in recent years and present her vision for the Institute’s future. Together, they will celebrate and share how the Wrigley Institute has become a world-class program in environmental research and education at USC over the last two decades, and is driving change with decision-makers in society, business and government.

To RSVP, click here.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Don’t miss the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, where you can meet your favorite authors, hear live music, see original works of art and photography, listen to poetry, and even taste culinary creations that reflect the diversity of the city of Los Angeles.

Date: Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19
Time: All Day
Location: USC's University Park Campus

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has evolved to include live bands, poetry readings, chef demos, cultural entertainment and artists creating their work on-site. There’s also a photography exhibit, film screenings followed by Q&A’s and discussion panels on some of today’s hottest topics.

General festival admission and all outdoor activities are free and do not require a ticket. Indoor Conversations require free tickets (service charge $1.00 per ticket). Additional festival special presentations within the festival weekend may require a paid ticket.

There are three ways to get tickets for indoor Conversations:

1. Festival Pass. The Festival Pass is the Festival of Books pre-sale program, allowing fans access to festival indoor events before the general on-sale. Check back soon for details on the 2015 Festival Pass program.

2. Advance Conversation Ticket. General advance reservations of Conversation tickets will open on Sunday, April 12 at 9 a.m. A link to the festival ticketing page will be available on the home page of this website at that time. $1.00 service fee applies to each ticket reserved.

3. On-site Conversation Tickets. A limited amount of tickets for each Conversation, while supplies last, will also be distributed on-site at the Festival of Books ticketing booth on the same day of the Conversation. No service charge will apply for tickets claimed on site at the festival. The festival ticketing booth will open at 9 a.m. on each day of the festival.

For more information, please click here.

*TODAY* Earth Day Fair | Sponsored by USC Staff Assembly

Staff Assembly is hosting two Earth Day events again this year, one at HSC and one at UPC.  The one for UPC is later this month, but the one for HSC is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 13, in Pappas Quad from 10:30am-1:30pm.  Please plan to stop by and visit vendors with earth-friendly products, samples, giveaways, and more.  We hope to see you out there!

David Donovan
President, USC Staff Assembly

Computational Biology Colloquium | “Detecting early-warning signals of complex diseases by dynamical network biomarkers”

Luonan Chen
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences
Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Tuesday April 14, 2015
2:00 pm
RRI 101
Host:  Jasmine Zhou

Abstract: Considerable evidence suggests that during the progression of complex diseases, the deteriorations are not necessarily smooth but are abrupt, and may cause a critical transition from one state to another at a tipping point. Here, we develop a model-free method to detect early-warning signals of such critical transitions, even with only a small number of samples. Specifically, we theoretically derive an index based on a dynamical network biomarker (DNB) that serves as a general early-warning signal indicating an imminent bifurcation or sudden deterioration before the critical transition of a disease occurs. Based on theoretical analyses, we show that predicting a sudden transition from small samples is achievable provided that there are a large number of measurements for each sample, e.g., high-throughput data. We employ microarray data of three diseases to demonstrate the effectiveness of our method. The relevance of DNBs with the diseases was also validated by related experimental data and functional analysis.