Button to scroll to the top of the page.

News

From the College of Natural Sciences
An Experimental Anti-Cancer Drug Has an Unexpected Method of Attacking Cancer

An Experimental Anti-Cancer Drug Has an Unexpected Method of Attacking Cancer

Researchers were surprised to find that BET inhibitors have a second mechanism of attacking cancer cells, namely damaging the cell's DNA. Credit: iStock.

A widely used class of chemotherapy drugs, called topoisomerase inhibitors, come with some serious downsides: bone marrow damage, reduced blood cell production, diarrhea and heart damage. And some cancers can quickly develop resistance. A new discovery about a second class of drugs might lead to combination therapies that are just as effective, but with fewer downsides.

Urbain Weyemi Looks for the Unexpected to Better Understand Cancer

Urbain Weyemi Looks for the Unexpected to Better Understand Cancer

A noted researcher at the intersection of cancer biology, neurodegeneration and epigenetics, Urbain Weyemi is joining the Department of Molecular Biosciences with the help of a recruitment grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). We connected with Weyemi as he makes the move from Johns Hopkins University to The University of Texas at Austin.

Visualizing Science 2019: Revealing Hidden Splendor in College Research

Visualizing Science 2019: Revealing Hidden Splendor in College Research

Each year the College of Natural Sciences invites its faculty, staff and students to submit the most stunning and inspiring images from their scholarly research for our Visualizing Science competition. We ask for images that not only inform and educate, but also celebrate the beauty inherent within scientific discovery.

New Test for Thyroid Cancer Could Prevent Unnecessary Surgery

New Test for Thyroid Cancer Could Prevent Unnecessary Surgery

A new preoperative test for thyroid cancer that’s faster and more accurate than the diagnostic test that doctors use today could prevent thousands of unnecessary thyroid removals each year. Credit: iStock.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor College of Medicine have developed a new preoperative test for thyroid cancer that is faster and about two-thirds more accurate than the diagnostic tests doctors use today. Although more validation will be necessary before it can be used clinically, the new metabolic thyroid test shows promise for preventing thousands of unnecessary thyroid removals each year, such as the partial removal UT Austin grad student Amanda Helms had due to an inconclusive test.

Texas Organization Donates Millions to UT Austin Cancer-Fighting Research

Texas Organization Donates Millions to UT Austin Cancer-Fighting Research

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin will head into September, childhood cancer awareness month, with nearly $5 million in new cancer prevention funding from the State of Texas.

The Tool Maker: The Double Life of Everett Stone

The Tool Maker: The Double Life of Everett Stone

A story about how a blacksmith (Everett Stone) learned to forge new tools in the fight against cancer. Photo by Marsha Miller.

For Everett Stone, being a cancer researcher is not so different from being a blacksmith. "I feel like an overarching theme in my career is that I've made many, many tools. Some of them are good enough to be medicines," he says.

Scientists Coax Proteins to Form Synthetic Structures with Method that Mimics Nature

Scientists Coax Proteins to Form Synthetic Structures with Method that Mimics Nature

As a proof of concept, a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin built tiny structures that resemble two doughnuts stacked on top of each other by applying electrical charges to specific spots on naturally occurring proteins. Credit: University of Texas at Austin.

Scientists have long dreamed of creating synthetic structures out of the same raw material that nature uses in living systems — proteins — believing such an advance would allow for the development of transformative nanomachines, for example, molecular cages that precisely deliver chemotherapy drugs to tumors or photosynthetic systems for harvesting energy from light. Now a team of biologists from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan have invented a way to build synthetic structures from proteins, and just as in nature, the method is simple and could be used for a variety of purposes.

Bacteria Help Scientists Discover Human Cancer-Causing Proteins

Bacteria Help Scientists Discover Human Cancer-Causing Proteins

Researchers genetically modified E coli bacteria to fluoresce red when DNA was damaged. Then, they overexpressed each of the bacteria’s 4,000 genes individually and determined which proteins made bacteria glow red. With these bacterial proteins as a guide, they identified more than 100 analogous human proteins that are now implicated in DNA damage and initiation of cancer. Image credit: Jun Xia.

A team led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor College of Medicine has applied an unconventional approach involving bacteria to discover human proteins that can lead to DNA damage and promote cancer. This could lead to new tests to identify people who are likely to develop cancer. Reported in the journal Cell, the study also proposes biological mechanisms by which these proteins can damage DNA, opening possibilities for future cancer treatments.

7 Books for the Texas Science Reader in Your Life

7 Books for the Texas Science Reader in Your Life

Whether you're looking for a gift for a science enthusiast or proud Longhorn in your life, or you're just seeking your next relaxing read, this roundup of recent books by or featuring members of the Texas Science community will come in handy.

UT Austin Chemist Livia Eberlin Named a Moore Inventor Fellow

UT Austin Chemist Livia Eberlin Named a Moore Inventor Fellow

Livia Eberlin has been named a Moore Inventor Fellow. Photo courtesy of Moore Foundation.

A foundation that has set a goal this decade of identifying 50 inventors who will shape the next 50 years has added its second University of Texas at Austin faculty member to the list. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced Livia Eberlin, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, is one of this year's five Moore Inventor fellows.