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A cell showing the enzyme BirA*G3, which tags the proteins of the "secretome" (Image courtesy of the McMahon Lab)

This mouse can’t keep a secret about the “secretome”

The “secretome” refers to proteins that are secreted by a cell, a tissue or an organism. In a new study published in Open Biology, USC Stem Cell scientist Andy McMahon and his …

From left, Albert Almada and Miller Huang

The Baxter Foundation celebrates promising research in muscle loss and pediatric cancer

For more than 60 years, the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation has supported innovative biomedical research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, each year granting $100,000 awards to …

A zebrafish showing the skeleton and jaw (magenta), the eye (green circle on the left), and gill-like pseudobranch and gills (green structures on the right). (Image by Mathi Thiruppathy/Crump Lab)

How did vertebrates first evolve jaws?

Five-hundred million years ago, it was relatively safe to go back in the water. That’s because creatures of the deep had not yet evolved jaws. In a new pair of studies in …

After surgical rib resection (top), a cartilage and bone bridge form (second from top) and then resolve (third from top) and remodel to regenerate the missing tissue in the gap (bottom). Blue shows cartilage matrix; red shows mineralized matrix. (Images by Stephanie Kuwahara and Max Serowoky/ Mariani Lab)

For large bone injuries, it’s Sonic hedgehog to the rescue

A USC Stem Cell study in NPJ Regenerative Medicine presents intriguing evidence that large bone injuries might trigger a repair strategy in adults that recapitulates elements of skeletal formation in utero. Key …

Nelson Poliran, Jr.

Where are they now? Stem cell master’s program alumnus Nelson Poliran, Jr., a dentist in rural New Mexico

In this series of alumni profiles, we highlight graduates of USC’s master of science program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Our accomplished alumni have pursued many different paths—ranging from a …

Clockwise from top left, Miao Cui, Yulia Shwartz, Olena Zhulyn, and Kyle McCracken

Stem cell scientists explore the mysteries of regeneration at the Junior Faculty Candidate Seminar and Symposium

How can we regenerate tissues that are damaged, lost or diseased in the human body? This was the central question driving the four scientists who presented their research at the Junior Faculty …

Spine from a healthy mouse (left) and a mouse with genetically disrupted cartilage progenitor cells (Image by Dawei Geng and Tea Jashashvili)

Arthritis-related gene also regenerates cartilage in joints and growth plates

The IL-6 family of proteins has a bad reputation: it can promote inflammation, arthritis, autoimmune disease and even cancer. However, a new USC-led study published in Communications Biology reveals the importance of …

Confocal microscopy image of an adult zebrafish head with neural crest-derived cells in red. The Crump lab has used single-cell sequencing to understand how these cells build and repair the head skeleton, with implications for understanding human craniofacial birth defects and improving repair of skeletal tissues. (Image by Hung-Jhen Chen/Crump Lab)

A crowning achievement in understanding head development

Cranial neural crest cells, or CNCCs, contribute to many more body parts than their humble name suggests. These remarkable stem cells not only form most of the skull and facial skeleton in …

Frank Petrigliano, MD, and Denis Evseenko, MD, PhD, have been collaborating on medical innovations to help heal and even regenerate damaged joints. (Photo/Ricardo Carrasco III)

Stopping arthritis before it starts

A novel off-the-shelf bio-implant containing embryonic stem cells has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of cartilage injuries More than a million Americans undergo knee and hip replacements each year. It’s a …

Image courtesy of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

USC collaboration helps FaceBase reach 1,000-dataset milestone

The data repository allows craniofacial scientists to share data, which could ultimately lead to improved care for patients with craniofacial developmental disorders. Rapid technological development in the past decade has allowed scientists …

Impromptu McMahon lab meeting

USC Stem Cell: An incubator for medicine of the 21st century

Just over a decade ago, USC was a university with a few scattered stem cell biologists, and a vision for total transformation. The university was committed to designing a unique “incubator” for …

Illustration by Jonathan Haase

Cycles of a fasting-mimicking diet help mice live longer, healthier

While many diets have been studied for effectiveness in preventing obesity and heart disease in both mice and humans, research on the effects and benefits of short, periodic cycles of fasting on obesity and heart health are lacking. In a new USC study on the health effects of a low-calorie diet that mimics …

mourning gecko

Aided by stem cells, a lizard regenerates a perfect tail for the first time in 250 million years

Lizards can regrow severed tails, making them the closest relative to humans that can regenerate a lost appendage. But in lieu of the original tail that includes a spinal column and nerves, …

Bérénice Benayoun (Photo courtesy of the USC Davis School of Gerontology)

Bérénice Benayoun receives prestigious investigator-focused grant

The Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award directly supports scientists, providing stability, flexibility and more opportunities for breakthroughs. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has awarded an R35 Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) …

Neurons and muscle

Skeletal muscle grown in a dish offers new insight for neuromuscular diseases

Neuromuscular diseases are debilitating and mostly incurable, affecting 160 out of every 100,000 people worldwide. Disorders such as ALS and multiple sclerosis impact the function of muscles, causing muscle wastage and loss …

The coronal suture contains stem cells (green).

Study of skull birth defect takes it from the top

Contrary to the popular song, the neck bone is actually connected to one of 22 separate head bones that make up the human skull. These plate-like bones intersect at specialized joints called …

LA smog (Image courtesy of the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC)

Jian Xu investigates environmental pollution’s contribution to birth defects

Jian Xu hopes to better understand the mechanisms behind environmental toxins increasing the occurrence of birth defects in order to develop new treatments or even prevent craniofacial birth defects. Nearly 120,000 babies …

(Image courtesy of iStock)

Top scientists and research institutions propose improvements to cell- and gene-based therapy development

Led by a USC cell and gene therapy researcher, an international coalition calls for more transparency and reproducibility in research and development of breakthrough treatments.   Scientists around the world are achieving significant …

Scott Fraser by Noe Montes

USC Professor Scott E. Fraser redefines impossible problems

USC Professor Scott E. Fraser is known for inventing new microscopes and other tools to observe living, developing embryos. But one of his lab’s most important pieces of technology filters coffee instead …

Megan McCain and family

USC Professor Megan McCain crafts an approach to tissue engineering

Megan McCain has always liked using her hands to create things, ranging from art projects to human heart cells that grow on silicon chips. “I’ve always loved building things and doing crafts, …