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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. 
5 Ways UT Science is Fighting Back on Microplastics

5 Ways UT Science is Fighting Back on Microplastics

On a clear day on the beach in Port Aransas, Jace Tunnell noticed clear and multi-colored pellets collecting on the sand at the high tide line. On closer inspection, he discovered the pellets were tiny, round bits of plastic. And there looked to be millions of them.

Texas Organization Donates Millions to UT Austin Cancer-Fighting Research

Texas Organization Donates Millions to UT Austin Cancer-Fighting Research

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin will head into September, childhood cancer awareness month, with nearly $5 million in new cancer prevention funding from the State of Texas.

Explaining the Science: The Potential of Bacteriophages in a Post-Antibiotics World

Explaining the Science: The Potential of Bacteriophages in a Post-Antibiotics World

As antibiotic-resistant bacteria, like MRSA and resistant strains of tuberculosis and gonorrhea, become more prevalent, health officials are wondering how long antibiotics will be able to hold up against their bacterial foes. And what comes next?

Gershoff Named President of Psychology Society, Earns National Award

Gershoff Named President of Psychology Society, Earns National Award

​Elizabeth Gershoff, professor of human development and family sciences in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Texas at Austin, has been named the winner of a national award recognizing the outstanding work of psychologists in the field of child advocacy and policy.

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.