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From the College of Natural Sciences
Ancient Enzyme Could Boost Power of Liquid Biopsies to Detect and Profile Cancers

Ancient Enzyme Could Boost Power of Liquid Biopsies to Detect and Profile Cancers

Scientists are developing a set of medical tests called liquid biopsies that can rapidly detect the presence of cancers, infectious diseases and other conditions from only a small blood sample. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin are developing a new tool for liquid biopsy that could soon provide doctors with a more complete picture of an individual's disease, improving their chances of finding the best treatment, while also sparing patients the pain, inconvenience and long wait times associated with surgical biopsies.

Scientists: New Device Accurately Identifies Cancer in Seconds (Updated)

Scientists: New Device Accurately Identifies Cancer in Seconds (Updated)

A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has invented a powerful tool that rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds—more than 150 times as fast as existing technology. The MasSpec Pen is an innovative handheld instrument that gives surgeons precise diagnostic information about what tissue to cut or preserve, helping improve treatment and reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

New Technique Enables Safer Gene-Editing Therapy Using CRISPR

New Technique Enables Safer Gene-Editing Therapy Using CRISPR

A CRISPR protein targets specific sections of DNA and cuts them. Scientists have turned this natural defense mechanism in bacteria into a tool for gene editing. Illustration: Jenna Luecke and David Steadman/Univ. of Texas at Austin.

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin took an important step toward safer gene-editing cures for life-threatening disorders, from cancer to HIV to Huntington's disease, by developing a technique that can spot editing mistakes a popular tool known as CRISPR makes to an individual's genome. The research appears today in the journal Cell.

Starving Prostate Cancer With What You Eat for Dinner

Starving Prostate Cancer With What You Eat for Dinner

Curcumin has anti-cancer properties when combined with other nutrients. Photo credit: Steven Jackson; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

When you dine on curry and baked apples, enjoy the fact that you are eating something that could play a role starving — or even preventing — cancer.

Chemist Sessler Offers Inspiring Story of Persistence

Chemist Sessler Offers Inspiring Story of Persistence

A profile of UT Austin chemist and professor Jonathan Sessler is inspiring scientists to share their stories about what drives them in their work.

5 Tips from UT Researchers for Making Every Bite Count

5 Tips from UT Researchers for Making Every Bite Count

March is National Nutrition Month, an annual campaign by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that highlights positive food choices and a healthy lifestyle.

Fight Cancer, She Must

Fight Cancer, She Must

Robed in tie-dye lab coat, graduate student Norah Ashoura meticulously guides her pipette while explaining what Star Wars has to do with the innovative research into cancer treatments coming from the George Georgiou lab group.

Image and video credits: Christian Benavides
12 UT Austin-Linked Developments in the Fight Against Cancer

12 UT Austin-Linked Developments in the Fight Against Cancer

Earlier this year, the nation launched what's been called the Cancer Moonshot initiative—a monumental new effort to boost cancer research in pursuit of a cure. In the months leading up to this new initiative—and in the months since—faculty scientists, alumni and students brought many causes for hope to the fight against cancer.

Enzyme Safely Starves Cancer Cells in Preclinical Study

Enzyme Safely Starves Cancer Cells in Preclinical Study

A research team led by scientists at The University of Texas Austin has engineered an enzyme that safely treats prostate and breast cancer in animals and also lengthens the lifespan of models that develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The new treatment and results from preclinical trials are described in a paper published in the Nov. 21 issue of Nature Medicine.

DNA Repair Findings Shed Light on Pathways Affecting Cancer Progression

DNA Repair Findings Shed Light on Pathways Affecting Cancer Progression

For healthy cells to become cancerous cells, they have to lose several systems that regulate healthy function such as cell growth and division and DNA repair. New findings from University of Texas at Austin researchers about how one such regulatory system works could aid in efforts to develop personalized treatments for cancer.