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News

From the College of Natural Sciences

You Are What Your Father Ate

Environmental influences experienced by a father can be passed down to the next generation, “reprogramming” how genes function in offspring, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have discovered.

Scientists Reveal Criminal Virus Spreaders Using Evolutionary Forensics

The source of HIV infection in two separate criminal cases in which men were convicted of intentionally infecting their female sexual partners was confirmed by David Hillis and colleagues using evolutionary forensics.

Improving Cotton the Goal of $3.8 Million Grant to Plant Geneticist

Jeff Chen will use next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to study the genomics of fiber production in cotton with a $3.8 million grant from the NSF.

Research of Cell Movements in Developing Frogs Reveals New Twists in Human Genetic Disease

Mutations in a gene known as “Fritz” may be responsible for causing human genetic disorders such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome, University of Texas at Austin developmental biologist John Wallingford and Duke University human geneticist and cell biologist Nicholas Katsanis have found.

Scientists Find More Influences on Inherited Traits

Researchers have looked deeper into the makeup of DNA to get clues about why people might have different colors of hair or eyes, why some are taller or heavier and why some are more susceptible to certain diseases.

Most Extensive Genetic Resource For Reef-Building Coral Created

Most Extensive Genetic Resource For Reef-Building Coral Created

AUSTIN, Texas — A nearly complete collection of genes for a species of reef-building coral has been assembled by a team led by biologists from The University of Texas at Austin. The scientists will use the genetic data to understand natural variations in corals from around the world and how they respond, at the genetic level, to rising water tempe...
Why Hybrids Grow Bigger

Why Hybrids Grow Bigger

AUSTIN, Texas—Hybrid plants, like corn, grow bigger and better than their parents because many of their genes for photosynthesis and starch metabolism are more active during the day, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin in a new study published in the journal Nature. Their research has relevance in many areas of agriculture, a...

Model for Angelman Syndrome Developed

AUSTIN, Texas—A model for studying the genetics of Angelman syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes mental retardation and other symptoms in one out of 15,000 births, has been developed by biologists at The University of Texas at Austin. Their research demonstrates that when a particular fruit fly gene, dube3a, is altered, the mutant flies s...

Genes Evolve to Minimize Protein Production Errors

AUSTIN, Texas--Genetic evolution is strongly shaped by genes’ efforts to prevent or tolerate errors in the production of proteins, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University have found. Their study also suggests that the cost of errors in protein production may lie in the malformed proteins themselves, rather than in th...
Natural Selection May Not Produce the Best Organisms

Natural Selection May Not Produce the Best Organisms

AUSTIN, Texas—Natural selection may favor the fittest organisms around, but it doesn’t always lead to the evolution of the most optimal organisms, says a team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. Drs. Matthew Cowperthwaite and Lauren Ancel Meyers led a team that developed a new theory suggesting that traits that are easy to evolve ...