News: Research

Read the latest news from the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin


New Era of Exoplanet Discovery Begins with Images of ‘Jupiter’s Younger Sibling’

Astrometry uses the shift in a star’s position on the sky relative to other stars to infer the existence of orbiting planets.

In this side-by-side comparison of two telescope images, a white dot on a blue background changes position as it orbits around a central star symbol


‘We’re All Asgardians’: New Clues about the Origin of Complex Life

All complex life, a.k.a. eukaryotes, trace their roots to a common Asgard archaean ancestor.

An evolutionary tree shows how eukaryotes are related to Asgard archaea


New Material Transforms Light, Creating New Possibilities for Sensors

A group of scientists and engineers that includes researchers from The University of Texas at Austin has created a new class of materials that can...

A solar panel array with bright sunlight shining on it

McDonald Observatory

Giant Tails of Helium Observed Escaping Jupiter-Like Planet

Astronomers used the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at the McDonald Observatory to discover some of the longest tails of gas yet observed escaping a planet.

An orange swirl of light around a bright yellow star against a purple background


Vulnerable Neighborhoods Bore Brunt of Pandemic Well into its Second Year

A study in PLOS Computational Biology from University of Texas at Austin epidemiologists examined COVID infection and hospitalization rates by zip code.

A map of Travis County shows different Zip codes in different colors against a grid. Lines intersect higher and lower income areas.


New Imaging Tool Shines a Light on Role of GlycoRNAs in Cancer and Immunity

The previously unknown molecule was just discovered two years earlier and appears to play important roles in health.

Illustration of the ARPLA system detecting glycoRNAs


Nexus Point: Andrew Koepp

A man with blonde hair smiling and looking at the camera

Dell Medical School

Moving From Distressed Areas to Better-Resourced Neighborhoods Improves Kids’ Asthma

Roger Peng, a professor in the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences, contributed to a new study of childhood asthma in JAMA.

A family carries boxes into their new home


Depression in LGBTQ Youth Linked with Lack of Parental Support, Controlling Behavior

The study also found whether a young person was out to their parents mattered.

A pair of hands ties a rainbow ribbon on the wrist of another arm


New Model Could Yield Clues about Diseases Related to Chromosome Packing

The most accurate quantitative model yet for understanding the role of condensin during cell division is also visually stunning.

3D model depicting how the condensin molecules prompt the folding process