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From the College of Natural Sciences
A New Norm: Marriages Can Thrive with a Full Nest

A New Norm: Marriages Can Thrive with a Full Nest

There's a silver lining to the Great Recession: new research published in the Journal of Gerontology Psychological Sciences shows that the addition of an adult child to your home may no longer spell trouble for your marriage. The study compared marriage quality from 2013 to that from 2008, before the financial collapse.

Risks of Harm from Spanking Confirmed by Analysis of Five Decades of Research

Risks of Harm from Spanking Confirmed by Analysis of Five Decades of Research

The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties, according to a new meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking by experts at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan.

UT Austin Part of New Partnership for Innovations in Fibers, Fabrics

UT Austin Part of New Partnership for Innovations in Fibers, Fabrics

The University of Texas at Austin will participate in a new $317 million partnership to accelerate innovation in high-tech, U.S.-based manufacturing involving fibers and textiles, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced today.

Data About LGBT Students Could Help Address Harassment and Bullying

Data About LGBT Students Could Help Address Harassment and Bullying

​Collecting data about school discipline encounters involving LGBT students could help policymakers and educators create a safe learning environment for LGBT teens, suggests a new research brief co-authored by Stephen Russell, Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at UT Austin, in collaboration with the Equity Project at Indiana University. 

Researchers to Bring Gardens, Cooking Classes to Austin-Area Schools

Researchers to Bring Gardens, Cooking Classes to Austin-Area Schools

​Sixteen Austin-area elementary schools will participate in a study with University of Texas at Austin researchers thanks to a $3.85 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to learn whether growing fruits and vegetables and learning nutrition and cooking skills can improve health and reduce childhood obesity. The project — a first-of-its-kind controlled experiment in four area school districts — is breaking ground on its first school gardens in Central Texas this spring.

Textiles and Apparel Students Win Prestigious National Awards

Textiles and Apparel Students Win Prestigious National Awards

UT textiles and apparel faculty members Nancy Prideaux and Sara Stevens accompanied the scholarship winners to the YMA awards dinner in New York. Left to right: Nancy Prideaux, Debby Garcia, Avani Patel, Clare Moore, Tami Gumilar, Daeci Dinh, Sara Northcutt, and Sara Stevens.

​A student majoring in textiles and apparel at The University of Texas at Austin last night was announced to have won a prestigious national scholarship from a leading international fashion industry group. Avani Patel's innovative design idea, which combines 3D printing and 3D modeling to make custom-fit leather shoes, is one of a handful of concepts from UT Austin textiles and apparel students to have won national awards in recent weeks.

Weight Loss Programs Tailored to a Person's Genome May Be Coming Soon

Weight Loss Programs Tailored to a Person's Genome May Be Coming Soon

Some health experts predict that the next big advance in helping overweight people achieve a healthier weight will be to use an individual's genetic data to customize diets and physical activity plans, an approach known as "precision weight loss." A recent summary report on the genetics of weight loss, developed by some of the leading experts in this field, finds that the biggest challenge to realizing this dream is the need for better analytical tools for discovering the relationships between genetics, behavior and weight-related diseases

Photo credit: Bill Branson, NIH
Mixing Ages in Head Start Stunts Academic Progress

Mixing Ages in Head Start Stunts Academic Progress

Four-year-olds in the nation's largest preschool program fare worse with 3-year-olds in their classrooms, according to new research that shows a common practice in most Head Start programs may stunt children's learning.

Audio: The Case of the Missing Folate

Audio: The Case of the Missing Folate

When Richard Finnell first met her, Rachel was a nine-year-old girl with severe developmental delays. Her condition seemed to be caused by a deficiency in a critical B vitamin called folate. Yet she had plenty of folate circulating in her blood. Somehow it was vanishing before it got to her brain and spine. Eventually Finnell made a surprising discovery. He's now using new genetic tools like CRISPR to better understand her condition and test possible therapies.

Study Examines Seniors' Social Lives and Health

Study Examines Seniors' Social Lives and Health

The University of Texas at Austin will receive a $2.4 million grant over the next five years from the National Institute on Aging to study how social interactions improve the health of older adults. Participants will use wearable electronic devices and cellphone apps to monitor their physical activity and social interactions in real time for several days.

College Welcomes New Faculty in New Academic Year

College Welcomes New Faculty in New Academic Year

The College of Natural Sciences welcomes 11 new faculty this fall. Whether searching for evidence of exotic new physics, enabling the creation of personal robots, or addressing critical problems in cancer research, these industrious and innovative faculty members build on the college's reputation for pioneering research and research-based teaching.

Longer Acquaintance Levels the Romantic Playing Field

Longer Acquaintance Levels the Romantic Playing Field

NYT-Science-RaePartners who become romantically involved soon after meeting tend to be more similar in physical attractiveness than partners who get together after knowing each other for a while, a team at the University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University has found.

Public Health Program Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Public Health Program Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

As the College of Natural Sciences’ public health program celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, we visit with some of the people who know the program best.

Freshman Research Initiative Alum Spotlight: Elvira Marquez

Freshman Research Initiative Alum Spotlight: Elvira Marquez

As classes start back for the spring semester, hundreds of first-year students are embarking on hands-on research projects as part of the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI). Later this year, FRI will celebrate its 10th anniversary academic year. In honor of that milestone, we visit with some of the alumni of the FRI program, like Human Development and Family Sciences senior Elvira Marquez.

Overweight Children who Eat Vegetables are Healthier, Research Finds

Overweight Children who Eat Vegetables are Healthier, Research Finds

Getting children who are overweight to regularly eat even just a helping or two of the right vegetables each day could improve their health in critical ways, a new study reports.