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A fast-growing bacterial strain found on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin in the 1950s might ultimately prove useful for carbon sequestration, biofuel production, biosynthesis of valuable chemicals and the search for novel pharmaceuticals, scientists announced in newly published paper.

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With the arrival of the spring semester, hundreds of first-year undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences will join one of 27 research streams in the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI), searching for answers to some of modern science's most pressing questions, and gathering important research experience along the way.

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The groundbreaking Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) program at The University of Texas at Austin helped a pair of students put a coveted feather in their cap quite early in their academic careers: the chance to say they’ve been published in a top-tier scientific journal from the prestigious Nature Publishing Group.

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The following excerpt is from an article and podcast by Jorge Salazar, published August 12, 2014 on the TACC website:

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This excerpt is from an article by Jenny Blair, published May 2, 2014 in The Alcalde:

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The fact that most humans have five digits on each hand and foot is due in part to a complex developmental pathway called Hedgehog. If something goes wrong in this process during development, say a mutation in a critical gene that affects its expression, a person might be born with extra fingers or toes, a condition known as polydactyly. New research shows that for at least one part of the pathway, there is a sort of failsafe mechanism that seems to make it harder for mistakes to happen.

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A common practice millions of Americans partake in to stay healthy is actually doing much more harm than good and may be contributing to the spread of drug-resistant disease.

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Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a protein produced by the influenza A virus helps it outwit one of our body's natural defense mechanisms. That makes the protein a potentially good target for antiviral drugs directed against the influenza A virus.

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Ribosomes are essential for life, generating all of the proteins required for cells to grow. Mutations in some of the proteins that make ribosomes cause disorders characterized by bone marrow failure and anemia early in life, followed by elevated cancer risk in middle age. These disorders are generally called “ribosomopathies.”

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Have you ever felt not completely like yourself? You’re not alone. In fact, you’re never really alone. No matter how hard you may try, you’re always in the company of 100 trillion microbial friends.

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In a set of two recent papers, Andy Ellington and his lab show how DNA can make pictures, but more importantly, that DNA circuits could someday be used to manufacture drugs or grow organs, such as a new heart.

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A team led by Chris Sullivan, a professor of molecular biosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, has provided the first positive evidence that RNA interference (RNAi), a biological process in which small RNA molecules prevent genes from being expressed, does not play a role as an antiviral in most body, or “somatic,” cells in mammals.

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Computer scientist Inderjit Dhillon and biochemist Edward Marcotte are combining forces to create the first "social network" for genes, with a focus on finding genes associated with human diseases.  

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Jeff Chen hopes to understand "hybrid vigor" in corn well enough to improve breeding.
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The problem with chronic wounds, and the solution, may lie in the war between two bacteria, says Marvin Whitely.