News Releases

February 13th, 2018

Pregnant women deficient in vitamin D may give birth to obese children

Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women could preprogram babies to grow into obese children and adults, according to a Keck School of Medicine of USC-led study.

Researchers found that 6-year-olds born to mothers with very low vitamin D levels during their first trimester had bigger waists – about half an inch plumper on average – than peers whose mothers had enough vitamin D in early pregnancy. These kids also had 2 percent more body fat.

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February 13th, 2018

Tiny brain region sorts out stressful memories

A tiny part of the brain plays a big role in what we successfully remember during stressful or emotional situations, according to a new USC study.

Researchers at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology found that the locus coeruleus, a small region in the brainstem, is helping to select and form what are known as “adaptive memories,” which are important for survival.

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February 5th, 2018

Why nerve cells die in ALS and frontotemporal dementia

USC researchers discover a cellular mechanism responsible for at least 10 percent each of ALS and frontotemporal dementia cases.  Contact: Zen Vuong, (213) 300-1381 or zvuong@usc.edu Scientists have for the first time discovered a mechanism that limits the number of “cellular janitors” in the nervous system, leading to increased risk for two neurodegenerative diseases: amyotrophic […]

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February 5th, 2018

Half of all dementias start with damaged ‘gatekeeper cells’

Once the cells are compromised, the brain’s protective fort becomes leaky and allows blood toxins to trespass into the brain, damaging critical connections between brain areas, USC researchers say. Contact: Zen Vuong, (213) 300-1381 or zvuong@usc.edu USC research sheds new light on how a breakdown in the brain’s vascular system predates the accumulation of toxic plaques […]

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February 5th, 2018

Reducing the footprint of a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide

Scientists at USC have found a new catalyst that more efficiently converts methane to olefins. Contact: Ian Chaffee, (213) 810-8554 or ichaffee@usc.edu Image: The greenhouse gas methane is found in both our ground and air, with atmospheric emissions significantly escalating over the last 10 years. (Photo/Martin Shields) USC scientists have unlocked a new, more efficient pathway for […]

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