News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Posts highlighting some of the many articles mentioning College of Natural Sciences faculty and students in the media.

Eel Genome Unlocks Mysteries of Electric Fish

Eel Genome Unlocks Mysteries of Electric Fish

Harold Zakon, professor of neuroscience and integrative biology, and his colleagues published new research demonstrating that the six electric fish lineages, all of which evolved independently, used essentially the same genes and developmental and cellular pathways to make an electricity-generating organ for defense, predation, navigation and ...
Sober Worms In The News

Sober Worms In The News

Apparently the media love the idea of worms that can't get drunk. The work by Scott Davis, Luisa Scott, Kevin Hu, and Jon Pierce-Shimomura, that was recently published in the The Journal of Neuroscience, has gone viral and is appearing all over the web. The worms were created using a mutation found by Scott Davis. You can read the original press re...
Op Ed: Self-driving cars are right around the corner; then what?

Op Ed: Self-driving cars are right around the corner; then what?

In an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman, professor Peter Stone states "When it comes to autonomous cars, the question is no longer 'If?' but 'When?'" He goes on to ponder the many unknowns as self-driving cars go from science fiction to commonplace in the very near future: Certain technologies go from being almost unimaginable to becoming co...
Backstage Pass to the Texas Pettawatt Laser

Backstage Pass to the Texas Pettawatt Laser

Science writer and UT Austin alumnus Joe Hanson (Ph.D. '13) takes us on a tour of the Texas Center for High Intensity Laser Science, home of the Texas Pettawatt Laser. Photos by Robert Schults evoke the awe and mystery of this fundamental research. Read the article in the July/August 2014 edition of the Alcalde: 1,000,000,000,000,000 Wat...
Novel Method for Isotope Enrichment

Novel Method for Isotope Enrichment

Mark Raizen and his colleagues have developed a new method for enriching stable isotopes, a group of the world’s most expensive chemical commodities which are vital to medical imaging and nuclear power. The work has attracted some attention from the science and medical world.

Turtles Go On Summer Vacation While Ponds Get Scrubbed Clean

Turtles Go On Summer Vacation While Ponds Get Scrubbed Clean

On June 9, 2014, UT biologists and students helped move about 140 turtles from UT Austin's beloved turtle pond to a temporary home for a long overdue cleaning of the lower pond.

Brain Control in a Flash of Light

Brain Control in a Flash of Light

One of the most exciting new tools to be developed in neuroscience in the past decade is called optogenetics. It allows researchers to turn individual neurons in the brain of a living human subject off and on without surgery or other invasive procedures. Researchers around the world are now using it in the hopes of unlocking countless mysteries of ...
How do you move 100,000 bees from Connecticut to Texas in August?

How do you move 100,000 bees from Connecticut to Texas in August?

Nancy Moran and her students moved 100,000 bees from Connecticut to Texas in a minivan ... in August. To keep the bees from overheating, they kept the AC cranked to the max during the day and left the windows down at night. "It seemed unlikely that anyone would try to steal something from a van full of bees," says Moran. As part of the Behind the ...
The Horn: Junk Food, Good Science

The Horn: Junk Food, Good Science

Think you’ll always pick chocolate over a bag of chips? Don’t be so sure. Researchers have found that if they can get people to pay more attention to a particular type of junk food, they will begin to prefer it—even weeks or months after the experiment. The finding suggests a new way to manipulate our decisions and perhaps even encourage us to pick...
Neurobiologist Studies His Own Brain

Neurobiologist Studies His Own Brain

Dr. Russell Poldrack, professor of neurobiology and psychology, discusses his findings of a 14 month study he conducted on his own brain."We are particularly interested in how communication between different parts of my brain changes in relation to psychological factors such as stress or mood, and how it relates to biological factors that will...
The Media Has Gone 'Crazy' for These Ants

The Media Has Gone 'Crazy' for These Ants

Ed LeBrun, a research associate with the Texas Invasive Species Research Program at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences, has discovered that the invasive crazy ant is able to outcompete fire ants by secreting a compound that neutralizes fire ant venom. This has brought the crazy ant back to the forefron...

Seahorse Heads and Their 'No Wake Zone' Make a Splash in the News

Research associate Brad Gemmell and professor Ed Buskey, both of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, have discovered that the shape of a sea horse's head is what allows it to catch its swift moving prey. The pair's research has received a large amount of media coverage. Here's a round up of a few of the stories: New York Times - Dec....

Media Roundup: Tiny 3-D Cages for Studying Bacteria

Chemistry professor Jason Shear and molecular biosciences professor Marvin Whiteley, along with a team including postdoc Jodi Connell, have found a way to use 3-D printing to create "cages" that can be used to isolate bacteria to see and study how they interact. The group has received a vast amount of media attention highlighting their research. P...

These Mice Sing to the Skies to Avoid Forest Confrontations

Postdoc Bret Pasch and his colleagues have discovered that two species of singing mice use their voices to claim territory. 

Ecuador Exposes Rain Forest and its Inhabitants to Oil Extraction Effort

The national park in Ecuador where neuroscientist Max Snodderly performs his research on monkeys is now being opened up for oil exploration.