News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Cracking the Code: Why Flu Pandemics Come At the End of Flu Season

Cracking the Code: Why Flu Pandemics Come At the End of Flu Season

You might expect that the risk of a new flu pandemic — or worldwide disease outbreak — is greatest at the peak of the flu season in winter, when viruses are most abundant and most likely to spread. Instead, all six flu pandemics that have occurred since 1889 emerged in spring and summer months. And that got some University of Texas at Austin scientists wondering, why is that?

Inaugural Symposium Encourages Up and Coming Researchers

Inaugural Symposium Encourages Up and Coming Researchers

The College of Natural Sciences will be hosting the inaugural Symposium for Undergraduate Research Exploration (SURE in CNS) this fall to bring bright upper-division undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds to The University of Texas at Austin to share their research and explore options to pursue advanced degrees in the sciences.

First Step Taken Toward Epigenetically Modified Cotton

First Step Taken Toward Epigenetically Modified Cotton

A partly harvested cotton field. This photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Photo credit: Kimberly Vardeman.

With prices down and weather patterns unpredictable, these are tough times for America's cotton farmers, but new research led by Z. Jeffrey Chen at The University of Texas at Austin might offer a break for the industry. He and a team have taken the first step toward a new way of breeding heartier, more productive cotton through a process called epigenetic modification.

Do Stars Fall Quietly into Black Holes, or Crash into Something Utterly Unknown?

Do Stars Fall Quietly into Black Holes, or Crash into Something Utterly Unknown?

This artist's impression shows a star crossing the event horizon of a supermassive black hole located in the center of a galaxy. Illustration credit: Mark A. Garlick/CfA.

Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University have put a basic principle of black holes to the test, showing that matter completely vanishes when pulled in. Their results constitute another successful test for Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

Meet Oscar Madrid Padilla: First PhD Graduate from UT Austin’s Statistics Department

Meet Oscar Madrid Padilla: First PhD Graduate from UT Austin’s Statistics Department

Oscar Madrid Padilla. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

Oscar Madrid Padilla will become the first person to receive a PhD by the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Statistics and Data Sciences (SDS) this May. The department was formed in August 2014 and replaced the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation.

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
Graduate Student Helps Develop New Method for Carbon Capture

Graduate Student Helps Develop New Method for Carbon Capture

​Charles Seipp, a graduate student in chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has helped discover a new method for capturing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and releasing it into long term storage. Seipp, currently doing research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and his colleagues synthesized a simple chemical...
Sowing Seeds for a Life of Research

Sowing Seeds for a Life of Research

Image credit: Vivian Abagiu

Migration—within and between countries—can have profound effects on children and their families. It was economic migration in rural China and the impact on children separated from their parents that first piqued Yang Hou's research interest. Now a UT Austin human development and family sciences graduate student, she is studying the effect of social context on families from the two largest immigrant populations in the US—Asians and Latinos.

As Hunt for Sterile Neutrino Continues, Mystery Deepens

As Hunt for Sterile Neutrino Continues, Mystery Deepens

Physicists have hypothesized the existence of fundamental particles called sterile neutrinos for decades and a couple of experiments have even caught possible hints of them. However, according to new results from two major international consortia, the chances that these indications were right and that these particles actually exist are now much slimmer.

Marine Science Graduate Student Awarded Nationally Recognized Fellowship

Marine Science Graduate Student Awarded Nationally Recognized Fellowship

Arley Muth, a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Marine Science, was one of 52 graduate students nationwide who were recently awarded a Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).