News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Fear: The Bioterrorist's Best Friend

Biochemist Andy Ellington muses on how our (exaggerated) fear of bioterrorism might be far more dangerous than any virus a terrorist could actually engineer and spread.

The Nanoparticle Kid

In the lab of computational chemist Graeme Henkelman, senior chemistry major Matt Welborn combines experimental X-ray diffraction data and electronic structure theory to quantify the disorder at the surface of 140-atom platinum nanoparticles. Knowing about the disorder at the surface, Wellborn says, is critical for understanding reactions that occu...

Students Selected to Present Posters on Capitol Hill

Jae Seo Pi (left) and Vincent Au (far right) are heading to D.C. to present their research and represent the College of Natural Sciences. College of Natural Sciences sophomores Vincent Au and Jae Seo Pi have been selected to present their research in Washington, DC at “Posters on the Hill.” This event, which is sponsored by the national organizat...Vincent Au and Jae Seo Pi

The Texas Shaman

Dr. Dionicio Siegel, Texas Shaman Congrats to Dio Siegel for winning a 2011 Dreyfus Special Grant in Chemical Sciences. His proposal was titled “Texas Shamans, a Study of Chemistry and Conservation of Native Texas Plants” and the 2-year award also comes with matching funds from UT Austin. I wrote about Siegel and his shamanic tendencies twice in ...

Fueled by the Sun: Mimicking Plants

Chemist Allen Bard looks to harness the power of sunlight to produce fuels that can substitute for oil.

Muscle Movies

Chemist Ron Elber explains how he and his colleagues use the powerful computing resources of the Texas Advanced Computing Center to build time-accurate 3-D models that illustrate how muscles convert chemical energy into mechanical push and pull.

Electron Switch Between Molecules Points Way To New High-Powered Organic Batteries

Electron Switch Between Molecules Points Way To New High-Powered Organic Batteries

The development of new organic batteries—lightweight energy storage devices that work without the need for toxic heavy metals—has a brighter future now that chemists have discovered a new way to pass electrons back and forth between two molecules.

Highly Efficient Solar Cells Could Result from Quantum Dot Research

Highly Efficient Solar Cells Could Result from Quantum Dot Research

Conventional solar cell efficiency could be increased from the current limit of 30 percent to more than 60 percent, suggests new research on quantum dots led by chemist Xiaoyang Zhu.

Where Schrödinger Dared Tread

When Devin Matthews first walked into professor John Stanton’s office, Stanton appraised him as a pretty typical first-year student. Matthews had a scruffy beard, a self-effacing manner, and a high school transcript that placed him somewhere in the middle of the pack of his Tulsa, Oklahoma high school class. Matthews had wanted to meet with Stant...

Next-Gen Solar Cells

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) are working to develop more efficient solar cells based on organic semiconductors. Their research will make solar cells much easier and cheaper to produce. The team published an article in the Journal of Physical Chemistry aimed at increasing understanding of ...

Chemistry Undergrad Awarded Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Energy

Chemistry major Devin A. Matthews has been awarded the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship from the United States Department of Energy. Matthews, who's been doing research in the lab of Dr. John Stanton since his first year at The University of Texas at Austin, works on extending the equation-of-motion coupled cluster method to biradicals....

Danke schön, Deutschland

Tara Saad on holiday in Salzburg, Austria Tara Saad knew two things when she began planning her study abroad experience. Germany had to be the destination, and laboratory research had to be the main purpose. Beyond that, though, Saad had to get creative. “I individually emailed more than a hundred professors at various German universities with...
Professor Receives Grant to Develop More Rapid Technology For Screening Blood Samples

Professor Receives Grant to Develop More Rapid Technology For Screening Blood Samples

Dr. Jennifer Brodbelt has received a $734,068 grant from the NIH to develop a new method for rapidly screening blood samples for biomarkers.

Shining a Light on Nanotech

Chemist David Vanden Bout uses self-assembling nanotubes to better understand how to capture and channel the light of the sun.

Discovery of Enzyme Structure Points Way To Creating Less Toxic Anti-HIV Drugs

By discovering the atomic structure of a key human enzyme, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have pointed the way toward designing anti-HIV drugs with far less toxic side effects.