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From the College of Natural Sciences
Insight: May 2011

Insight: May 2011

In this issue of Insight, we explore diversity on campus, the science of spanking, the integration of technology into the classroom, and more.
Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Severely Impairs Reproduction In Atlantic Croaker, Researchers Find

Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Severely Impairs Reproduction In Atlantic Croaker, Researchers Find

Study, the first of its kind looking at fish reproduction across the large hypoxic region off the coast of Louisiana, shows that croaker produce fewer eggs and sperm.
Sodium Channels Evolved Before Animals’ Nervous Systems, Research Shows

Sodium Channels Evolved Before Animals’ Nervous Systems, Research Shows

An essential component of animal nervous systems—sodium channels—evolved prior to the evolution of those systems, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have discovered.

From Basic Science to the Fishing Line

Studying the basic science of redfish led to recovery of dwindling populations and better opportunities for Texas anglers.

In Poison Frogs, the More Toxic, the More Physically Fit

The most toxic, brightly colored members of the poison frog family may also be the best athletes, says a new study.

At Depth, the Hidden Cost of Oil?

Marine scientist Tracy Villareal on the search for deep water oil plumes in the Gulf of Mexico.

Think Globally, But Act Locally When Studying Plants, Animals, Global Warming, Researchers Advise

Global warming is clearly affecting plants and animals, but we should not try to tease apart the specific contribution of greenhouse gas driven climate change to extinctions or declines of species.

Texas Leafcutter Ants Aided, But Also Limited, By Cold Tolerant Fungus Crops, Research Shows

Texas leafcutter ants farm crops of fungus that evolved cold tolerance to Texas winters, just as northern farmers cultivate cold weather crops.

Fluorescent Color of Coral Larvae Predicts Whether They’ll Settle Or Swim

Young staghorn coral that fluoresce redder are less likely to settle and develop into coral polyps than their greener peers, a finding that could help scientists monitor coral adaptation to global warming.

Too Many Sisters Affect Male Sexuality

AUSTIN, Texas--Growing up with lots of sisters makes a man less sexy. For rats, anyway. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that the sex ratio of a male rat’s family when he’s growing up influences both his own sexual behavior and how female rats respond to him. David Crews...