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From the College of Natural Sciences
Esther is an Austin native who spent more than 12 years as a newspaper journalist with publications like the Austin American-Statesman and the Charlotte Observer. When she's not writing, she likes to travel, read and knit. 
Researchers Create Largest Ever Map of Plant Proteins and Their Assemblies

Researchers Create Largest Ever Map of Plant Proteins and Their Assemblies

In a paper published this month in Cell, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin offer the largest survey to date of proteins in plants, examining 13 different species across 1.1 billion years of plant evolution. Their findings could have practical applications such as increasing crop yields, understanding disease and stress resistance in plants and informing biofuel production.

UT Researchers Leading Charge Against Invasive Moth

UT Researchers Leading Charge Against Invasive Moth

Efforts by University of Texas at Austin researchers to learn more about an invasive species of moth that destroys prickly pear cactus have received media coverage this year.

Cactoblastis cactorum moth. Image courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture.
Coronavirus Spreads Quickly and Sometimes Before People Have Symptoms, Study Finds

Coronavirus Spreads Quickly and Sometimes Before People Have Symptoms, Study Finds

Infectious disease researchers at The University of Texas at Austin studying the novel coronavirus were able to identify how quickly the virus can spread, a factor that may help public health officials in their efforts at containment. They found that time between cases in a chain of transmission is less than a week and that more than 10% of patients are infected by somebody who has the virus but does not yet have symptoms.

Demographics Linked to Choice Not to Vaccinate Children in Texas, Study Finds

Demographics Linked to Choice Not to Vaccinate Children in Texas, Study Finds

Texans who are college-educated, live in suburban or urban areas, have higher median incomes and are ethnically white are less likely to vaccinate their children, according to analysis by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. The findings could help public health officials identify pockets of low vaccination rates where communities with...
How Chromosomes Organize and Genes Interact Needs Rethinking, Study Finds

How Chromosomes Organize and Genes Interact Needs Rethinking, Study Finds

The organization of genetic information in most bacteria – long thought to occur in a single ordered, segmented ring – turns out to more closely mimic a spaghetti noodle: shifting, balling up and twisting in ways scientists previously had not grasped. The finding by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, appears today in Cell, with implications for cancer and bacterial infectious disease research, as well as our most basic understanding about the structure of all living cells.

Researchers Say Spread of Coronavirus Extends Far Beyond China’s Quarantine Zone

Researchers Say Spread of Coronavirus Extends Far Beyond China’s Quarantine Zone

Infectious disease researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and other institutions in Hong Kong, mainland China and France have concluded there is a high probability that the deadly Wuhan coronavirus spread beyond Wuhan and other quarantined cities before Chinese officials were able to put a quarantine in place. At least 128 cities in China outside of the quarantine zone, including cities with no reported cases to date, had a greater than even risk of exposure, according to a paper currently in press with Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Discovering a Genetic Mechanism that Affects Birth Defects, Some Cancers

Discovering a Genetic Mechanism that Affects Birth Defects, Some Cancers

Scientists have understood for some time that proper embryonic development depends in large part on transcriptional repressors, proteins that prevent genes from being expressed at inappropriate times. Steven Vokes, associate professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, and his team focus on a set of proteins called GLI (glioma-associated oncogene) and how they control gene expression in response to what is known as the Hedgehog pathway.

5 Things UT Science Tells Us About Healthy Couples

5 Things UT Science Tells Us About Healthy Couples

In honor of National Spouses Day (January 26), we decided to check in with a UT scientist whose area of expertise covers the nature of healthy romantic relationships and marriages. Lisa Neff, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences who holds the Amy Johnson McLaughlin Centennial Professorship in Home Economics, has spent years studying what keeps relationships strong, couples happy and marriages intact. Neff has several tips for more perfect unions.

Top Texas Science Stories and Discoveries of 2019

Top Texas Science Stories and Discoveries of 2019

As we look back on 2019, it's been a year filled with fascinating discoveries and big developments in the College of Natural Sciences and beyond. Read on to see some of the highlights from this year in Texas Science.

Meet the New Faculty Members in Natural Sciences

Meet the New Faculty Members in Natural Sciences

As the year draws to a close, we're looking back on highlights of 2019, including the arrival and hiring of dozens of new tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the College of Natural Sciences. Below are some of the stellar scientists and mathematicians new to our college community.