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From the College of Natural Sciences
Doctors and Patients Have a New Tool to Aid in Conversations About Diet

Doctors and Patients Have a New Tool to Aid in Conversations About Diet

Talking with patients about nutrition can be delicate, and few medical doctors have training in nutritional science. But now, physicians will be able to get assistance from a new artificial intelligence system designed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

Shining a Light on How Bilingual Children Learn

Shining a Light on How Bilingual Children Learn

There's a cute little curly headed cherub in a yellow dress, and she is the star of the show. She's sitting on her mother's lap and her mother is talking to her in that gentle mother voice that says, despite all appearances, this is normal, you are safe and there will probably be a nice treat for you for cooperating. A scientist and her research assistant, neither of whom the child has met before, hover around her in a smallish room with a desk, some electronic equipment and a flat-screen TV.

Wearing a cap with instruments that map brain activity, a child completes various cognitive tasks related to learning. Photo credit: PBS/Otherwords/Spotzen.
7 Insights About Aging from College of Natural Sciences Researchers

7 Insights About Aging from College of Natural Sciences Researchers

In less than 15 years, the U.S. Census Bureau projects older adults (over 65) will outnumber children for the first time in history. Research on the relationships, health and well-being of the elderly has traditionally lagged behind research on children, adolescents and young adults. With its Center on Aging and Population Sciences (CAPS) and Texas Aging and Longevity Center (TALC) and its status in the Age-Friendly University (AFU) Global Network, The University of Texas at Austin is working to advance understanding about and support for older populations.

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Cognitive Impairment in Hispanic Adults Linked to Discrimination Experiences

Cognitive Impairment in Hispanic Adults Linked to Discrimination Experiences

Black and Latino people experience higher rates of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias than non-Hispanic white people, but scientists have never known why. Now a new study shows that experiences with discrimination may be playing a role in disproportionate experiences of cognitive decline.

Young Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adults Have Worse Mental Health than Older Ones

Young Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adults Have Worse Mental Health than Older Ones

A new study by The University of Texas at Austin and the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds younger LGBQ adults are physically healthier but have worse psychological health than older LGBQ people.

How to Best Support LGTBQ Youth, According to Science

How to Best Support LGTBQ Youth, According to Science

Pride Month is a time of celebration every June. This year's commemoration also comes at a time of heightened attention to the mental health concerns of young LGBTQ people. Recent research has shown these youth may be experiencing more concerns than older LGBTQ people.

Two Faculty Named Association for Psychological Science Rising Stars

Two Faculty Named Association for Psychological Science Rising Stars

Two faculty members in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, Liz Muñoz and Hannah Williamson, received Rising Star recognition.

Two early-career faculty members in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences have been named Rising Stars by the Association for Psychological Science, one of the top honors in the field.

Weight Gain in Pregnancy May Be Linked to Later Growth Patterns in Daughters

Weight Gain in Pregnancy May Be Linked to Later Growth Patterns in Daughters

Rapid weight gain in the first and final months of a pregnancy may play a key role in the development of excess fat tissue in children and adolescents – at least if those children are girls, according to a new study from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

How a Natural Disaster Can Bring Couples Closer

How a Natural Disaster Can Bring Couples Closer

Although natural disasters can cause horrific damage to homes and infrastructure, they can bring married couples closer together, at least temporarily. That's according to a first-of-its-kind study from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin that looked at couples in the Houston area before and after Hurricane Harvey.

Black Families Are Combating the Effects of Discrimination on Their Children Through Talks

Black Families Are Combating the Effects of Discrimination on Their Children Through Talks

Black parents in the U.S. who see others experience racial discrimination, such as news coverage involving violence against Black people, are more likely to talk with their children about race and discrimination, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found. Such conversations between parents and their children have been shown to improve young people's behavior and school outcomes.

Older Adults Are Happier When Space Matches Personality

Older Adults Are Happier When Space Matches Personality

The old saying, "Home is where the heart is," has some new science to back it up. A study has found photos of a person's living space can accurately point at personality traits and the mood of the people who live there, especially as a person gets older.

Natural Sciences Welcomes Two Visiting Harrington Faculty Fellows

Natural Sciences Welcomes Two Visiting Harrington Faculty Fellows

The College of Natural Sciences will welcome two members of the Harrington Faculty Fellows Program, which supports a group of visiting scholars each year.

Evidence Against Physically Punishing Kids Is Clear, Researchers Say

Evidence Against Physically Punishing Kids Is Clear, Researchers Say

A conclusive narrative review has found physical punishment of children is not effective in preventing child behavior problems or promoting positive outcomes and instead predicts increases in behavior problems and other poor outcomes over time. The study by an international group of scientists including a researcher from The University of Texas at Austin was published today in The Lancet.

Blaming the Pandemic for Stress Leaves Couples Happier

Blaming the Pandemic for Stress Leaves Couples Happier

Illustrations by Jenna Luecke

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit during the winter of 2020, locking down entire countries and leaving people isolated in their homes without outside contact for weeks at a time, many relationship experts wondered what that kind of stress would do to romantic couples. What they found was that when couples blamed the pandemic for their stress, they were happier in their relationships.

E-Cookbook Promotes Sustainable Food Sourcing and Raises Funds for Charity

E-Cookbook Promotes Sustainable Food Sourcing and Raises Funds for Charity

A team of 17 students from The University of Texas at Austin created a donation-based e-cookbook titled "A Taste of Austin Through the Lens of Sustainability" that showcases local restaurants and businesses focused on sustainability.