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News

From the College of Natural Sciences

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. Contact me

Researchers Tackle the Dark Side of Moore's Law

Researchers Tackle the Dark Side of Moore's Law

This month marks the 50th Anniversary of Moore's Law, an observation that every couple of years, computer chip manufacturers manage to squeeze twice as many transistors onto a computer chip. Because transistors are the tiny on-off switches that perform calculations and temporarily store information, Moore’s Law also embodies the exponential increase in raw computing power that has unleashed a blizzard of tech innovations.

UT Austin Student Wins Goldwater Scholarship

UT Austin Student Wins Goldwater Scholarship

An undergraduate biochemistry major and Dean's Scholar Honors Program participant, Brendan Chou from Houston, has been awarded a Goldwater scholarship, the premier undergraduate award of its type in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Graduate Education 2.0

Graduate Education 2.0

In the College of Natural Sciences’ student community, about one in every 10 learners is here to pursue a graduate degree.

Neuroscientists Receive $1M Grant to Study Sensory Adaptation

Neuroscientists Receive $1M Grant to Study Sensory Adaptation

Nicholas Priebe, an associate professor of neuroscience in The University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences, and three colleagues have been awarded a Human Frontier Science Program research grant worth $1.05 million over three years to study how our sensory systems change as the environment changes.

Hooray for Pi Day

Hooray for Pi Day

Pi Day, celebrated every year on March 14, corresponds with the first three digits of pi (3.14 also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday). Pi pops up anytime you want to mathematically describe a circle, curve or sphere. Here at The University of Texas at Austin, our scientists and mathematicians have reasons to celebrate pi year-round. 

Amphibians Join the Genomic Revolution

Amphibians Join the Genomic Revolution

The dramatic drop in cost and time needed to sequence the genomes of animals over the past decade has revolutionized the study of evolutionary relationships. But for scientists who study amphibians, it feels like the genomics revolution has passed them by. More than 100 complete vertebrate genomes have been sequenced and released—including about 40 mammals, 13 fish, 9 birds and 9 reptiles. But amphibians? Just one.

New Protein Booster May Lead to Better DNA Vaccines and Gene Therapy

New Protein Booster May Lead to Better DNA Vaccines and Gene Therapy

Scientists have discovered a new way to manipulate how cells function, a finding that might help advance an experimental approach to improving public health: DNA vaccines, which could be more efficient, less expensive and easier to store than traditional vaccines.

Always and Forever: A Microscopic Love Story

Always and Forever: A Microscopic Love Story

In the world of living things, surely one of the oddest relationships is the one between certain insects and the bacteria they can't seem to live without. Such bacteria, called obligate symbionts live inside the host's cells. They're distinct organisms -- they have their own DNA separate from that of the host. And yet, if you try to remove the bacteria, the host dies. And vice versa.

Texas Students Win IBM Watson Competition With App Expanding Access to Social Services

Texas Students Win IBM Watson Competition With App Expanding Access to Social Services

Students from The University of Texas at Austin won $100,000 in seed funding for developing an idea for a smart phone app that would use artificial intelligence to help Texas residents get information about health care, food assistance and other social services in partnership with the United Way for Greater Austin’s 2-1-1 Navigation Center.

New Research Points Way to Less Vulnerable Computer Memory

New Research Points Way to Less Vulnerable Computer Memory

Have you ever been working on a document on your computer and it suddenly crashes? Maybe the power goes out or there's a software glitch that causes it to freeze and you lose everything you've been working on for the past hour. New research published today in the journal Nature Communications might eventually lead to computers and other electronic devices that don't have this vulnerability.