Button to scroll to the top of the page.

Updates

Campus health and safety are our top priorities. Get the latest from UT on COVID-19.

Get help with Zoom and more.

News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Genetic Signatures Reveal Environment Where Bacteria Evolved

Genetic Signatures Reveal Environment Where Bacteria Evolved

Just as the fossil record reveals clues about the conditions in which prehistoric animals and plants once lived, newly discovered genetic signatures in bacterial evolution may one day allow hospitals, doctors and scientists to know more about the environment where a bacterial infection originated.

Experts Testify on Evolution Curriculum

Experts Testify on Evolution Curriculum

Some UT Austin graduate students and faculty testified in front of the Texas State Board of Education as board members deliberated about language in high school science curriculum pertaining to evolution.

Tags:
Discovery of New Microbes Sheds Light on How Complex Life Arose

Discovery of New Microbes Sheds Light on How Complex Life Arose

An international team of scientists, including researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere, discovered several new microbes carrying genes that until now were thought to be unique to a group of more complex life forms including humans. This finding supports a decades-old hypothesis that complex life first arose from the merger of two simpler life forms.

Learning About Evolution from a Lizard That Reproduces Without Males

Learning About Evolution from a Lizard That Reproduces Without Males

The latest issue of the Nautilus takes an in-depth look at decades of work by David Crews, a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, who has been studying species of whiptail lizards that are entirely female.

Bacteria Show Capacity for Rapid, Beneficial Mutations

Bacteria Show Capacity for Rapid, Beneficial Mutations

Scientists studying how microbes evolve have long assumed that nearly all new genetic mutations get passed down at a predictable pace and usually without either helping or hurting the microbe in adapting to its environment. In a new study published in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers studying tens of thousands of generations of E. coli bacteria report that most new genetic mutations that were passed down were actually beneficial and occurred at much more variable rates than previously thought.

Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error Could Dramatically Improve Genetic Sequencing

Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error Could Dramatically Improve Genetic Sequencing

Visual representation of laboratory manipulation RNA in water droplets; Jared Ellefson

For 3 billion years, one of the major carriers of information needed for life, RNA, has had a glitch that creates errors when making copies of genetic information. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a fix that allows RNA to accurately proofread for the first time.

Scientists Unveil the Most Comprehensive Genomic Tree of Life

Scientists Unveil the Most Comprehensive Genomic Tree of Life

An international team of researchers, including Brett Baker from The University of Texas Marine Science Institute, has made the most comprehensive tree of life based on genomes, greatly expanding our view of the diversity of life on the planet. Using genetic data collected in recent years, the researchers found a group of bacteria that are so diverse genetically that they represent half of all the diversity of bacteria on the planet.

6 Research Stories to Revisit this Darwin Day

6 Research Stories to Revisit this Darwin Day

In honor of Darwin Day, we round up six popular College of Natural Sciences stories that showcase concepts in evolution. 

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that natural selection drives some male prairie voles to be fully monogamous and others to seek more partners. The surprising contrasts in the animals' brains result from differences in their DNA.

Fish Skin Provides Invisibility in Open Ocean

Fish Skin Provides Invisibility in Open Ocean

Simulated view of how the lookdown fish would appear in polarized light with mirrored skin (left) versus skin that reflects polarized light (right). Images are from simulations created by the Cummings lab.

Scientists have solved a longstanding mystery about how some fish seem to disappear from predators in the open waters of the ocean, a discovery that could help materials scientists and military technologists create more effective methods of ocean camouflage.