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From the College of Natural Sciences
Scientists Predict which Crops Will Thrive Under Stress

Scientists Predict which Crops Will Thrive Under Stress

With climate change and population growth putting stable food supplies at risk, finding crops that can thrive in increasingly harsh environments is critical. It's also a challenge, given the difficulty of identifying plants well suited to stressful conditions.

How Longhorns Got Their Long Horns

How Longhorns Got Their Long Horns

Evolutionary biologist David Hillis, a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, is featured in an in-depth Q-and-A piece in the New York Times

Partly Human Yeast Show A Common Ancestor’s Lasting Legacy

Partly Human Yeast Show A Common Ancestor’s Lasting Legacy

Humanized Yeast illustrationDespite a billion years of evolution separating humans from the baker’s yeast in their refrigerators, hundreds of genes from an ancestor that the two species have in common live on nearly unchanged in them both, say biologists at The University of Texas at Austin. The team created thriving strains of genetically engineered yeast using human genes and found that certain groups of genes are surprisingly stable over evolutionary time.

Genetic Road Map May Bring About Better Cotton Crops

Genetic Road Map May Bring About Better Cotton Crops

A University of Texas at Austin scientist, working with an international research team, has developed the most precise sequence map yet of U.S. cotton and will soon create an even more detailed map for navigating the complex cotton genome.

UT Austin Student Wins Goldwater Scholarship

UT Austin Student Wins Goldwater Scholarship

An undergraduate biochemistry major and Dean's Scholar Honors Program participant, Brendan Chou from Houston, has been awarded a Goldwater scholarship, the premier undergraduate award of its type in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Amphibians Join the Genomic Revolution

Amphibians Join the Genomic Revolution

The dramatic drop in cost and time needed to sequence the genomes of animals over the past decade has revolutionized the study of evolutionary relationships. But for scientists who study amphibians, it feels like the genomics revolution has passed them by. More than 100 complete vertebrate genomes have been sequenced and released—including about 40 mammals, 13 fish, 9 birds and 9 reptiles. But amphibians? Just one.

New Protein Booster May Lead to Better DNA Vaccines and Gene Therapy

New Protein Booster May Lead to Better DNA Vaccines and Gene Therapy

Scientists have discovered a new way to manipulate how cells function, a finding that might help advance an experimental approach to improving public health: DNA vaccines, which could be more efficient, less expensive and easier to store than traditional vaccines.

Supercomputing the Evolution of a Model Flower

Supercomputing the Evolution of a Model Flower

Following is an except from an article that originally appeared on the website of the Texas Advanced Computing Center on January 28, 2015:

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.

Freshman Research Initiative Students Published in Nature Genetics

Freshman Research Initiative Students Published in Nature Genetics

The groundbreaking Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) program at The University of Texas at Austin helped a pair of students put a coveted feather in their cap quite early in their academic careers: the chance to say they’ve been published in a top-tier scientific journal from the prestigious Nature Publishing Group.