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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. 
Political Controversies about Marginalized Groups Increase Bullying in Youths

Political Controversies about Marginalized Groups Increase Bullying in Youths

Scientists have uncovered new evidence that heated political discourse over proposed laws involving marginalized groups, such as debates about the rights of LGBT people, can contribute to an increase in bullying linked to students' identity in schools. It is the largest study to date to examine the link.

Robyn Metcalfe Explores "Food Routes" in New Book

Robyn Metcalfe Explores "Food Routes" in New Book

​In "Food Routes," Robyn Metcalfe, School of Human Ecology lecturer and director of Food+City, explores the surprising places our foods come from and where they may come from in the future. 

How the Brain Fights Off Fears That Return to Haunt Us

How the Brain Fights Off Fears That Return to Haunt Us

AUSTIN, Texas – Neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a group of cells in the brain that are responsible when a frightening memory re-emerges unexpectedly, like Michael Myers in every "Halloween" movie. The finding could lead to new recommendations about when and how often certain therapies are deployed for the treatment of anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Advance is a Key Step Toward Treatment of Neurological Disorders

Advance is a Key Step Toward Treatment of Neurological Disorders

A technique neuroscientists use to view neurons in the brain and to turn them on and off with light, called optogenetics, is a promising strategy that could eventually treat a wide range of disorders, from chronic pain to conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease. However, scientists faced a major hurdle: It has not been possible to access specific groups of brain cells in animals that have not been genetically manipulated for testing purposes, limiting mammalian research primarily to mice. Until now.

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Nutritional Scientist Named to USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee

Nutritional Scientist Named to USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee

Heather Leidy, associate professor of nutritional sciences, will be among 20 scientific experts who will draft dietary guidelines for the United States.

Interacting With More People is Shown to Keep Older Adults More Active

Interacting With More People is Shown to Keep Older Adults More Active

It's been said that variety is the spice of life, and now scientists say variety in your social circle may help you live longer. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that older adults who spend more time interacting with a wide range of people were more likely to be physically active and had greater emotional well-being.

LGBTQ Youths Are Over-Represented, Have Poorer Outcomes in Child Welfare System

LGBTQ Youths Are Over-Represented, Have Poorer Outcomes in Child Welfare System

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youths are more likely to end up in foster care or unstable housing and suffer negative outcomes, such as substance abuse or mental health issues, while living in the child welfare system, according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin.

Want Healthier Eating Habits? Start with a Workout

Want Healthier Eating Habits? Start with a Workout

In the latest evidence that it's worth sticking to your health-focused New Year's resolutions, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have found that exercising regularly is linked to better eating habits.

Scientists Uncover RNA Silencing Technique to Change Seed Size in Plants

Scientists Uncover RNA Silencing Technique to Change Seed Size in Plants

In a development with promising implications for crop farmers in the U.S. and around the world, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have figured out how to get some plants to produce nearly one-third bigger seeds.

Bullying May Alter Teen Brains; Nostalgia Can Be Good For You

Bullying May Alter Teen Brains; Nostalgia Can Be Good For You

A faculty member and his Ph.D. student from the University of Texas at Austin's Human Development and Family Sciences Department were quoted in several recent news articles highlighting studies they contributed to. Stephen Russell, the department's chair and Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Child Development, contr...