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From the College of Natural Sciences
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.

Drug Engineered at UT Austin to Treat Anthrax Gains FDA Approval

Drug Engineered at UT Austin to Treat Anthrax Gains FDA Approval

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin successfully culminated years of work when a drug they engineered for the treatment and prevention of inhalational anthrax — the anthrax antitoxin obiltoxaximab — received approval March 21 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Podcast: Jekyll and Hyde Bacteria

Podcast: Jekyll and Hyde Bacteria

To study diseases, biologists often make models, for example, a rat with a disorder similar to Alzheimer's. With a good model, they can tinker with different variables and see if anything halts the disease, without the ethical limits of experimenting on actual humans. But scientists studying an especially nasty bacterium that tends to invade and breed out of control in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis (CF) kept hitting dead ends in their search for a good model.

Scientists Study How DNA Repairs Itself Through Single Molecule Imaging

Scientists Study How DNA Repairs Itself Through Single Molecule Imaging

​A group of scientists from UT Austin's Finkelstein Laboratory, headed by assistant professor in Molecular Biosciences Ilya Finkelstein, have imaged proteins which repair DNA and gained new insights into how the body regulates DNA repair. The research, which uses novel single-molecule imaging techniques partially developed by Finkelstein, could lead to a better understanding of how cancerous cells repair their DNA.

Bacteria Take "RNA Mug Shots" of Threatening Viruses

Bacteria Take "RNA Mug Shots" of Threatening Viruses

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin, the Stanford University School of Medicine and two other institutions have discovered that bacteria have a system that can recognize and disrupt dangerous viruses using a newly identified mechanism involving ribonucleic acid (RNA). It is similar to the CRISPR/Cas system that captures foreign DNA. The discovery might lead to better ways to thwart viruses that kill agricultural crops and interfere with the production of dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.

Award from Cancer Agency Supports Bringing Researcher to UT Austin

Award from Cancer Agency Supports Bringing Researcher to UT Austin

A $6 million award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) will underwrite The University of Texas at Austin's hiring of a leading cancer researcher from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to serve as chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences.

Scientists Find Leukemia’s Surroundings Key to its Growth

Scientists Find Leukemia’s Surroundings Key to its Growth

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a type of cancer found primarily in children can grow only when signaled to do so by other nearby cells that are noncancerous.

Scientist to Chair Molecular Biosciences Department

Scientist to Chair Molecular Biosciences Department

A new chair has been selected for the Department of Molecular Biosciences. Dan Leahy, a structural biologist and Professor of Biophysics & Biophysical Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will assume the role in January.

Chemistry in Mold Reveals Important Clue for Pharmaceuticals

Chemistry in Mold Reveals Important Clue for Pharmaceuticals

​In a discovery that holds promise for future drug development, scientists have detected for the first time how nature performs an impressive trick to produce key chemicals similar to those in drugs that fight malaria, bacterial infections and cancer.

Researchers Build Nanoscale Autonomous Walking Machine from DNA

Researchers Build Nanoscale Autonomous Walking Machine from DNA

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a nanoscale machine made of DNA that can randomly walk in any direction across bumpy surfaces. Future applications of such a DNA walker might include a cancer detector that could roam the human body searching for cancerous cells and tagging them for medical imaging or drug targeting.

Illustration: Jenna Luecke
Promising New Target in War Against Flu

Promising New Target in War Against Flu

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a protein produced by the influenza A virus, which causes flu, can overcome one of our body's natural defense mechanisms. That makes this flu protein a potentially good target for antiviral drugs directed against the flu virus

Image credit: Pixabay, via Creative Commons CC0 license.
Alum Recognized for Cancer Research Breakthrough

Alum Recognized for Cancer Research Breakthrough

Jim Allison, a College of Natural Sciences alumnus and cancer researcher, has been named the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Lasker Award for clinical medical research.

Study Shows Common Molecular Tool Kit Organisms Share Across Tree of Life

Study Shows Common Molecular Tool Kit Organisms Share Across Tree of Life

Researchers created the world’s largest protein map, identifying nearly 1,000 protein complexes that are shared across the tree of life. This image shows a small portion of that map.

In one of the largest and most detailed studies of animal molecular biology ever undertaken, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Toronto discovered the assembly instructions for nearly 1,000 protein complexes shared by most kinds of animals, revealing their deep evolutionary relationships. Those instructions offer a powerful new tool for studying the causes of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cancer.

Graduate Student Selected for International Research Fellowship

Graduate Student Selected for International Research Fellowship

Yoori Kim

Biochemistry graduate student Yoori Kim is one of two students from The University of Texas at Austin selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to receive a prestigious international research fellowship.

Freshman Researchers Receive Grand Challenges Explorations Grant

Freshman Researchers Receive Grand Challenges Explorations Grant

University of Texas at Austin freshmen, working to develop do-it-yourself health care diagnostics, make up a research group that was announced today as a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, through an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.