News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Chemist Mahal Receives NIH New Innovator Award

AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Lara K. Mahal, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is one of 31 researchers nationally to receive a 2008 New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She will use the 5-year, $1.5 million grant to decode how sugar molecules on cell surfaces encode information such as cell type and health. This m...
Discovery Opens Door For Drugs To Fight Bird Flu, Influenza Epidemics

Discovery Opens Door For Drugs To Fight Bird Flu, Influenza Epidemics

AUSTIN, Texas—Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Rutgers University have reported a discovery that could help scientists develop drugs to fight avian flu and other virulent strains of influenza. The researchers have determined the three-dimensional structure of a site on an influenza A virus protein that binds to one of the human...

Network Fever

Edward Marcotte is using networks—like those that could be used to illustrate the connections among users of the Web sites MySpace and Facebook—to study life itself.

Genes Evolve to Minimize Protein Production Errors

AUSTIN, Texas--Genetic evolution is strongly shaped by genes’ efforts to prevent or tolerate errors in the production of proteins, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University have found. Their study also suggests that the cost of errors in protein production may lie in the malformed proteins themselves, rather than in th...

Microbiologist Receives Support for Studying Bacterial Communication and Disease

Dr. Marvin Whiteley, assistant professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, recently received a 2008 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease (PATH) award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund for his work to understand the interaction between human hosts and infectious bacteria. Whiteley will use the $500,000 PATH award for researc...

Paull Becomes HHMI Investigator

AUSTIN, Texas—Biologist Tanya Paull has become the first faculty member at The University of Texas at Austin to be named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator, joining 55 of the nation's most creative biomedical scientists in this year’s group. The institute commits more than $600 million to the 56 scientists over their first term...
New Source for Biofuels Discovered

New Source for Biofuels Discovered

AUSTIN, Texas--A newly created microbe produces cellulose that can be turned into ethanol and other biofuels, report scientists from The University of Texas at Austin who say the microbe could provide a significant portion of the nation’s transportation fuel if production can be scaled up. Along with cellulose, the cyanobacteria developed by Profe...
Saliva Can Help Diagnose Heart Attack

Saliva Can Help Diagnose Heart Attack

AUSTIN, Texas—Early diagnosis of a heart attack may now be possible using only a few drops of saliva and a new nano-bio-chip, a multi-institutional team led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin reported at a recent meeting of the American Association for Dental Research. The nano-bio-chip assay could some day be used to analyze a pa...

Visualizing Synapses

A 3-D reconstruction of a dendrite and its spines created by serial section transmission electron microscopy (ssTEM), a technique pioneered by Kristen Harris. Neurobiologist Kristen Harris recently joined the Center for Learning and Memory (CLM), and she brings with her a pioneering technique to study how neurons change and how the changes relat...A 3-D reconstruction of a dendrite and its spines created by serial section transmission electron microscopy (ssTEM), a technique pioneered by Kristen Harris.

Directing Evolution

Andy Ellington uses evolution to create new therapeutics, train the next generation and ask questions about the origin of life. When Andy Ellington looks at the living world, he sees what most of us do: giant trees of green, birds chirping, dogs walking and people smiling. He also, however, sees the world from the bottom up, as collections of mil...infectious_ellington2
Gene Discovery Made Easier

Gene Discovery Made Easier

AUSTIN, Texas—The identification of disease-causing genes will be much easier and faster using a powerful new gene-networking model developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. Edward Marcotte and his colleague, postdoctoral researcher Insuk Lee, used the gene network technique to identify new genes that regulate life span and ar...

Marcotte Honored As Outstanding Young Investigator

AUSTIN, Texas—In recognition of past contributions to and future promise in the field of functional genomics and bioinformatics, University of Texas at Austin Professor Edward Marcotte will receive a 2008 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST). The award honors outstanding young Tex...
Detecting Cancer With Saliva

Detecting Cancer With Saliva

HOUSTON, Texas—Biochemist John McDevitt’s lab-on-a-chip technology was used by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to identify and quantify specific protein markers in human saliva to provide an early, non-invasive diagnosis of breast cancer. The hope is that people may some day receive cancer screening simply a...

Scientists Find Missing Evolutionary Link Using Tiny Fungus Crystal

The crystal structure of a molecule from a primitive fungus has served as a time machine to show researchers more about the evolution of life from the simple to the complex.

Payne to Receive Prestigious Civitatis Award

AUSTIN, Texas-Professor Shelley Payne has been selected to receive the 2006-07 Civitatis Award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon members of the university. William Powers Jr., president of the university, will present the awards at a recognition ceremony on campus during the 2007-08 academic year. The Civitatis Award is presented to facult...