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From the College of Natural Sciences
What’s the Buzz: Reflecting on a Life's Work Inspired by Pollinators

What’s the Buzz: Reflecting on a Life's Work Inspired by Pollinators

An assistant professor reflects on a life's work inspired by pollinators and plants. 

New Coral Research Exposes Genomic Underpinnings of Adaptation

New Coral Research Exposes Genomic Underpinnings of Adaptation

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have observed for the first time that separate populations of the same species — in this case, coral — can diverge in their capacity to regulate genes when adapting to their local environment. The research, published today in Nature Ecology and Evolution, reveals a new way for populations to adapt that may help predict how they will fare under climate change.

Searching Genomes for New Chemotherapies

Searching Genomes for New Chemotherapies

A new hunting ground for medically important compounds may be the genome of a stressed-out, poisonous evergreen shrub. Rhazya stricta is a relative of a plant currently mined for chemotherapies and holds promise for future cancer therapies, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin, King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Saudi Arabia and two institutions in Canada, University of Ottawa and Université de Montréal.

Bats Use Second Sense to Hunt Prey in Noisy Environments

Bats Use Second Sense to Hunt Prey in Noisy Environments

Like many predators, the fringe-lipped bat primarily uses its hearing to find its prey, but with human-generated noise on the rise, scientists are examining how bats and other animals might adapt to find their next meal. According to a new study, when noise masks the mating calls of the bat's prey, túngara frogs, the bat shifts to another sensory mode—echolocation.

Creative Research Collaborations to Start with “Pop-Up Institutes”

Creative Research Collaborations to Start with “Pop-Up Institutes”

Faculty members in the College of Natural Sciences are leading new Pop-Up Institutes as part of a new interdisciplinary research initiative at The University of Texas at Austin. Three Pop-Up Institutes were announced this week, with two originating in Natural Sciences. These research efforts will assemble fresh collaborations to address the influence of individual variation on the health and fitness of populations and the impact of discrimination on health outcomes.

Some Bacteria Have Lived in the Human Gut Since Before We Were Human

Some Bacteria Have Lived in the Human Gut Since Before We Were Human

Some of the bacteria in our guts were passed down over millions of years, since before we were human, suggesting that evolution plays a larger role than previously known in people's intestinal-microbe makeup, according to a new study in the journal Science.

Two Rare Orchids Discovered at Brackenridge Field Lab

Two Rare Orchids Discovered at Brackenridge Field Lab

Last week Robert Deans, a University of Texas at Austin graduate student in ecology, evolution and behavior, discovered an extremely rare orchid in an unexpected place—at an urban biological field station in the heart of Austin, Texas.

Rare, Blind Catfish Never Before Found in U.S. Discovered in Texas

Rare, Blind Catfish Never Before Found in U.S. Discovered in Texas

An extremely rare eyeless catfish species previously known to exist only in Mexico has been discovered in a National Recreation Area in Texas.

Supporting Pollinators Could Have Big Payoff for Texas Cotton Farmers

Supporting Pollinators Could Have Big Payoff for Texas Cotton Farmers

According to a new study by The University of Texas at Austin, increasing the diversity of pollinator species, including bees, flies and butterflies, can dramatically increase cotton production. The researchers estimate that in South Texas, the region they studied, increasing the diversity of pollinators could boost cotton production by up to 18 percent, yielding an increase in annual revenue of more than $1.1 million.

Evolutionary Biologist James Bull Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Evolutionary Biologist James Bull Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Evolutionary biologist James Bull of The University of Texas at Austin has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

See 22 Ways UT Researchers Apply DNA, Genomics to Understanding Life

See 22 Ways UT Researchers Apply DNA, Genomics to Understanding Life

In honor of National DNA Day, we take a look at the myriad ways that researchers in the College of Natural Sciences use deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and genomic information to fight disease, improve agriculture and illuminate the wonders of the natural world.

Biology Professor Nancy Moran Receives Lifetime Contribution Award

Biology Professor Nancy Moran Receives Lifetime Contribution Award

Evolutionary biologist Nancy Moran, a professor in the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, has been chosen as the inaugural winner of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution's Lifetime Contribution Award.

Global Spread of Zika Linked to Types of Mosquitos that Transmit It

Global Spread of Zika Linked to Types of Mosquitos that Transmit It

More cities than previously assumed could soon grapple with the Zika virus if two species of mosquitos are found to be equally effective carriers of the disease, a University of Texas at Austin disease ecologist and his colleagues argue in the current edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Graduate Students Ensure Science Under the Stars Shines Bright

Graduate Students Ensure Science Under the Stars Shines Bright

A young visitor to Science Under the Stars views ants through a microscope. Photo by Vivian Abigiu.

Starlight twinkles through the trees and crickets serenade in the distance as families, students and others with a thirst for knowledge gather outside at The University of Texas at Austin's Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) for another evening of Science Under the Stars.

Biologist Gary Garrett Named Distinguished Texas Scientist by Texas Academy of Science

Biologist Gary Garrett Named Distinguished Texas Scientist by Texas Academy of Science

Gary P Garrett has been named a Distinguished Texas Scientist by the Texas Academy of Science for work in the conservation of Texas aquatic natural resources. The award honors researchers who have spent a significant portion of their career in Texas and whose publications have garnered national or international recognition.