From the College of Natural Sciences
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...

Lab on a Chip for Oral Cancer Shows Promise

Finding out whether that unusual sore in your mouth is cancerous should become a lot faster and easier in the years ahead.  Scientists supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institutes of Health, have engineered the first fully automated, all-in-one test, or lab on a chip, that can be p...

Rasika Harshey Elected to the American Academy of Microbiology

AUSTIN, Texas--Dr. Rasika Harshey, professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, has been elected a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology. Harshey has made seminal contributions to two important areas of microbiology. Her work on phage Mu has elucidated difficult to decipher DNA transposition mechanisms, both in vivo and in vitro. Har...

Cheaper disease treatments expected from faster approach to developing therapeutic antibodies

AUSTIN, Texas--A method of mass-producing disease-fighting antibodies entirely within bacteria has been developed by a research group at The University of Texas at Austin. The group led by Dr. George Georgiou developed the new antibody-production approach to improve upon processes used previously to identify new drugs.  Drug companies have used th...

Texas Researchers Aim to Use Saliva To Diagnose Health and Disease

AUSTIN, Texas—Innovative saliva-based health diagnostic tools will be developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin through a $6 million, multi-institutional grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Saliva—with its slimy mix of proteins, hormones and antibodies—can tell a lot about a person’s health, and it is much easie...

Biologist receives $450,000 grant to contribute to asthma research

AUSTIN, Texas—A developmental biologist at The University of Texas at Austin has received a $450,000 grant from the Sandler Program for Asthma Research given to innovative scientists willing to step away from their area of research and tackle the riddle of asthma. Dr. John Wallingford, developmental biologist who will be studying asthma using t...John Wallingford

Cancer Fighter: Professor's Personal Battle Leads to Development of New Cancer Drug

Jonathan Sessler wanted to ignore the pain. After all, his senior year at the University of California at Berkeley gave him plenty of things to take his mind off the persistent aching he felt under his arm. There were exams to study for, chemistry labs to finish and grad school applications to worry about. But Sessler’s older brother Dan, a first-...Jonathan Sessler, Rowland Petitt Centennial Professor of Chemistry, is a “molecular engineer” who designs new molecules that could have drug and medical diagnostic applications.