News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Lack of Key Enzyme in the Metabolism of Folic Acid Leads to Birth Defects

Lack of Key Enzyme in the Metabolism of Folic Acid Leads to Birth Defects

Scientists discover the clearest mechanistic link yet between folic acid and birth defects, which helps explain why folic acid dietary supplements don't prevent all neural tube defects.

Designer Bacteria May Lead to Better Vaccines

Designer Bacteria May Lead to Better Vaccines

61 new strains of genetically engineered bacteria may improve the efficacy of vaccines for diseases such as flu, pertussis, cholera and HPV.

Biologist Aims to Hunt Down and Destroy Viruses Where They Hide

Biologist Aims to Hunt Down and Destroy Viruses Where They Hide

Chris Sullivan is working to outwit the evolutionary strategies of viruses, like herpes and HIV, that form persistent lifelong infections.

Developing New Vaccines for Emerging Diseases is Focus of $6.5 Million Contract

The researchers will capitalize on a pioneering immunoprofiling technology recently developed at the university to develop a system that accelerates the process of development, testing and distribution of vaccines.

Systems Biologist Receives $2.5 Million Pioneer Award for Genome Research

Systems Biologist Receives $2.5 Million Pioneer Award for Genome Research

Marcotte’s project focuses on what he sees as the next step in “next-generation” genome sequencing technology.

Ancient Enzymes Function like Nanopistons to Unwind RNA

Ancient Enzymes Function like Nanopistons to Unwind RNA

Discovery marks a major step toward understanding the molecular mechanics for many steps in RNA biology.

Common Antifungal Drug Decreases Tumor Growth and Shows Promise as Cancer Therapy

Common Antifungal Drug Decreases Tumor Growth and Shows Promise as Cancer Therapy

An inexpensive antifungal drug, thiabendazole, slows tumor growth. Scientists in the College of Natural Sciences made this discovery by exploiting the evolutionary relatedness of yeast, frogs, mice and humans.

Video: Next Generation Sequencing

Video: Next Generation Sequencing

Next-generation genome analysis technology enables biologist Christopher Sullivan to study how viruses replicate and cause tumors in new ways.

50-Year Cholera Mystery Solved by Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin

50-Year Cholera Mystery Solved by Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin

The answers may help clear the way for a new class of antibiotics.
The Science of Soul Stealing

The Science of Soul Stealing

There's a scientific truth lurking behind vampire stories. We can be taken over, mind and body, by viruses.

Seed Size Is Controlled by Maternally Produced Small RNAs, Scientists Find

Seed Size Is Controlled by Maternally Produced Small RNAs, Scientists Find

New findings could enable scientists to develop biotechnological tools for improving seed production and crop yield.
Man’s Best Frenemy

Man’s Best Frenemy

Forget the bird flu. There may be an even more harmful virus hiding right inside man's best friend.

DNA-Targeting Molecule Has Potential to Help Treat Genetic Diseases and HIV

DNA-Targeting Molecule Has Potential to Help Treat Genetic Diseases and HIV

The molecule is an important step along the path to someday creating drugs that can go after rogue DNA directly.

U.T. Making a Big Bet on the Future of Algae

U.T. Making a Big Bet on the Future of Algae

The UTEX Culture Collection of Algae. Photo by Spencer Selvidge for the Texas Tribune.
Biologist Sara Sawyer Receives Early Career Award from White House

Biologist Sara Sawyer Receives Early Career Award from White House

Sawyer, assistant professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, is being recognized for her research on the evolution of DNA repair genes, providing insight on both the formation of cancers and susceptibility to viral infection.