Marc G Airhart

Marc G Airhart

Marc Airhart is the Communications Coordinator for the College of Natural Sciences. A long time member of the National Association of Science Writers, he has written for national publications including Scientific American, Mercury, The Earth Scientist, Environmental Engineer & Scientist, and StarDate Magazine. He also spent 11 years as a writer and producer for the Earth & Sky radio series.
Featured New Device Bends Light at Sharp Angles
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Most modern computers and communications devices use electrons to transmit and process information. But when they're crammed onto smaller and smaller devices, electrons become unruly, generating a lot of heat. Scientists have long dreamed of replacing electrons with particles of light called photons. Because photons don't generate much heat and move at light speed, computer chips could theoretically be made much smaller and faster than current chips.

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As traditional electronics begin to reach their physical limits of compactness and speed, scientists and engineers are looking for new ways to stay on track with Moore's Law. One possible solution is to develop spintronics, devices that use a property of electrons known as spin to represent the 0's and 1's in computers. A class of materials called topological insulators (TIs) might have the right properties for spintronics, but since they were discovered less than a decade ago, scientists still know little about their properties.

Featured Medication May Help Stop Drug and Alcohol Addiction
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Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have successfully stopped cocaine and alcohol addiction in experiments using a drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat high blood pressure. If the treatment is proven effective in humans, it would be the first of its kind — one that could help prevent relapses by erasing the unconscious memories that underlie addiction.

Featured 2015 Summer Blockbusters: Meet Our Science Truth Detector
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With summer movie season in full swing, cinema-goers are leaving theaters with one big question in mind: “Wait, could that really happen?”

Featured Researchers Discover First Sensor of Earth’s Magnetic Field in an Animal
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A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has identified the first sensor of the Earth’s magnetic field in an animal, finding in the brain of a tiny worm a big clue to a long-held mystery about how animals’ internal compasses work.

Featured Researchers Build World's Thinnest Light Bulb from Graphene
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A team of scientists and engineers from Columbia University, Seoul National University (SNU), Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) and The University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated — for the first time — a visible light source using graphene, an atomically thin form of carbon. This new type of light source could form the basis of faster communications devices and computer displays that are thin, flexible and transparent.

Featured Partly Human Yeast Show A Common Ancestor’s Lasting Legacy
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Despite a billion years of evolution separating humans from the baker’s yeast in their refrigerators, hundreds of genes from an ancestor that the two species have in common live on nearly unchanged in them both, say biologists at The University of Texas at Austin. The team created thriving strains of genetically engineered yeast using human genes and found that certain groups of genes are surprisingly stable over evolutionary time.

Featured Bacteria Suppress Their Antibiotic-Resistant Cousins
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Researchers studying a dangerous type of bacteria have discovered that the bacteria have the ability to block both their own growth and the growth of their antibiotic-resistant mutants. The discovery might lead to better ways to fight a class of bacteria that have contributed to a growing public health crisis by becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatments.

Featured 6 Tips for Staying Sharp
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This time of year, students cram information into the dark, neglected corners of their brains just long enough to survive those dreaded final exams and later in life, many of us come up against similar challenges with learning and memory. I asked experts across The University of Texas at Austin—including neuroscientists, psychologists, a nutritionist and a physical education expert—for their best, research-based advice for staying mentally sharp throughout life.

Featured Chemists Develop Technique to Detect Single Viruses
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Chemists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a laboratory technique that can detect single viruses floating in a solution of water. A version of the technique had previously been demonstrated for metals and other inorganic materials, but this is the first time it's been demonstrated on biological samples.