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From the College of Natural Sciences
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!

How do you move 100,000 bees from Connecticut to Texas in August?

How do you move 100,000 bees from Connecticut to Texas in August?

Nancy Moran and her students moved 100,000 bees from Connecticut to Texas in a minivan ... in August. To keep the bees from overheating, they kept the AC cranked to the max during the day and left the windows down at night. "It seemed unlikely that anyone would try to steal something from a van full of bees," says Moran. As part of the Behind the ...
UT Austin Evolutionary Ecologist Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

UT Austin Evolutionary Ecologist Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences announced this week the election of 204 new members, including Eric Pianka, an evolutionary ecologist in The University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences.

Grasshopper Mice Are Numb to the Pain of the Bark Scorpion Sting

Grasshopper Mice Are Numb to the Pain of the Bark Scorpion Sting

The painful, potentially deadly stings of bark scorpions are nothing more than a slight nuisance to grasshopper mice, which voraciously kill and consume their prey with ease. When stung, the mice briefly lick their paws and move in again for the kill.