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Researchers Discover First Sensor of Earth’s Magnetic Field in an Animal

Researchers Discover First Sensor of Earth’s Magnetic Field in an Animal

A team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has identified the first sensor of the Earth’s magnetic field in an animal, finding in the brain of a tiny worm a big clue to a long-held mystery about how animals’ internal compasses work.

5 Discoveries to Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

5 Discoveries to Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Were still at the beginning of 2015, but this is when its hardest for a lot of people to stick to to their New Years resolutions. The good news is recent work by UT Austin researchers studying human development, biology, nutrition, and the brain can help you make the scientific case for following through on plans you made to change this year. 

Leaping Lizards: Scientists Catch Evolution in Action

Leaping Lizards: Scientists Catch Evolution in Action

Thanks to an invasive lizard from Cuba, scientists have documented green anoles rapidly evolving better gripping feet. Yoel Stuart was lead author on the study appearing in the journal Science. For more, read our press release or check out these reports in the media from Oct. 23-24:

Staying on the Grid: Placing a Nobel-prize Winning Neuroscience Discovery in a UT Austin Context

Staying on the Grid: Placing a Nobel-prize Winning Neuroscience Discovery in a UT Austin Context

Yesterday, three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of two types of brain cells involved in keeping track of where we are when moving around. Called place cells and grid cells, they may hold the key to understanding aspects of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. Laura Colgin, who did research with two of the prize-winning scientists awarded this year’s Nobel Prize, is now an associate professor of neuroscience in the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Natural Sciences who continues to investigate the role of place cells in spacial memory tasks and more.

Is Corporal Punishment Abuse?

Is Corporal Punishment Abuse?

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was recently indicted on charges of child abuse for hitting his son with a tree branch. Elizabeth Gershoff, a professor of human development and family sciences in the School of Human Ecology who has studied corporal punishment for 15 years, was interviewed -- and her research referenced -- extensively in the media to provide context for the Peterson story from September 16 to 25.

Exposure to Toxins Makes Great Granddaughters More Susceptible to Stress

Exposure to Toxins Makes Great Granddaughters More Susceptible to Stress

b2ap3_thumbnail_sleepypups-ADJUST.jpgScientists have known that toxic effects of substances known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), found in both natural and human-made materials, can pass from one generation to the next, but new research shows that females with ancestral exposure to EDC may show especially adverse reactions to stress.

Brain Scans Show We Take Risks Because We Can't Stop Ourselves

Brain Scans Show We Take Risks Because We Can't Stop Ourselves

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A new study correlating brain activity with how people make decisions suggests that when individuals engage in risky behavior, such as drunk driving or unsafe sex, it's probably not because their brains' desire systems are too active, but because their self-control systems are not active enough.

Bats Use Water Ripples to Hunt Frogs

Bats Use Water Ripples to Hunt Frogs

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As the male túngara frog serenades female frogs from a pond, he creates watery ripples that make him easier to target by rivals and predators such as bats, according to researchers from The University of Texas at Austin, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Leiden University and Salisbury University.

Every Fish Wants to Be a Macho Fish

Every Fish Wants to Be a Macho Fish

For the male African cichlid fish, everyday can be a battle to gain rights to prime real estate and girls. Though the aquariums in Hans Hofmann’s lab in Patterson Hall are not like the fight-to-the-death arena of “The Hunger Games,” they are still the scenes of epic competition and showmanship.

Seahorse Heads Have a 'No Wake Zone' That’s Made for Catching Prey

Seahorse Heads Have a 'No Wake Zone' That’s Made for Catching Prey

Seahorses are slow, docile creatures, but their heads are perfectly shaped to sneak up and quickly snatch prey, according to marine scientists from The University of Texas at Austin.