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From the College of Natural Sciences
Always and Forever: A Microscopic Love Story

Always and Forever: A Microscopic Love Story

In the world of living things, surely one of the oddest relationships is the one between certain insects and the bacteria they can't seem to live without. Such bacteria, called obligate symbionts live inside the host's cells. They're distinct organisms -- they have their own DNA separate from that of the host. And yet, if you try to remove the bacteria, the host dies. And vice versa.

Cyanobacterium Found in UT Algae Collection Holds Biotech Promise

Cyanobacterium Found in UT Algae Collection Holds Biotech Promise

A fast-growing bacterial strain found on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin in the 1950s might ultimately prove useful for carbon sequestration, biofuel production, biosynthesis of valuable chemicals and the search for novel pharmaceuticals, scientists announced in newly published paper.

Computer Scientists at UT Austin Crack Code for Redrawing Bird Family Tree

Computer Scientists at UT Austin Crack Code for Redrawing Bird Family Tree

A new computational technique developed at The University of Texas at Austin has enabled an international consortium to produce an avian tree of life that points to the origins of various bird species. A graduate student at the university is a leading author on papers describing the new technique and sharing the consortium’s findings about bird evolution in the journal Science.

Compared with Apes, People’s Gut Bacteria Lack Diversity, Study Finds

Compared with Apes, People’s Gut Bacteria Lack Diversity, Study Finds

image.jpgThe microbes living in people’s guts are much less diverse than those in humans' closest relatives, the African apes, an apparently long evolutionary trend that appears to be speeding up in more modern societies, with possible implications for human health, according to a new study.

New Statistical Method Helps Reveal Timing of Key Events in Plant Evolution

New Statistical Method Helps Reveal Timing of Key Events in Plant Evolution

543_Micrasterias_thomasiana.jpgUsing a host of methodologies, including a new statistical method developed at The University of Texas at Austin, an international collaboration of researchers have completed a large-scale DNA study that reveals important details about key transitions in the evolution of plant life on our planet.

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:

Florida Lizards Evolve Rapidly, Within 15 Years and 20 Generations

Florida Lizards Evolve Rapidly, Within 15 Years and 20 Generations

Acarolinensis LeftFoot Stuart G063 sm-300x275Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species — in as little as 15 years — as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba.

Eel Genome Unlocks Mysteries of Electric Fish

Eel Genome Unlocks Mysteries of Electric Fish

Harold Zakon, professor of neuroscience and integrative biology, and his colleagues published new research demonstrating that the six electric fish lineages, all of which evolved independently, used essentially the same genes and developmental and cellular pathways to make an electricity-generating organ for defense, predation, navigation and ...
How Electric Fish Evolved Their Shocking Skills Independently at Six Different Times

How Electric Fish Evolved Their Shocking Skills Independently at Six Different Times

New research demonstrates that the six electric fish lineages, all of which evolved independently, used essentially the same genes and developmental and cellular pathways to make an electricity-generating organ for defense, predation, navigation and communication.

Head Room: The UT Austin Greenhouses

Head Room: The UT Austin Greenhouses

Take a glimpse into two of UT's biggest and brightest (literally!) greenhouses. The BOT greenhouse holds a number of exotic plants for taxonomic study, while the Welch greenhouse hosts a variety of rich and important agricultural projects. As these horticulturalists make clear, no two greenhouses are ever the same!