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From the College of Natural Sciences
Graduate Student Uncovers Mystery about Bar-Headed Geese

Graduate Student Uncovers Mystery about Bar-Headed Geese

Bar-headed geese have long been an interest of researchers for their unique ability to survive in a variety of altitudes in their annual migration patterns. In the span of 8 to 12 hours, bar-headed geese experience an elevation change of over 26,000 feet as they travel from the Himalayas to the Tibetan highlands in China and Mongolia.

Graduate Students Receive Department of Energy Fellowships

Graduate Students Receive Department of Energy Fellowships

Graduate students Albina Khasanova and Emily Raulerson received research fellowships from the Department of Energy.

Two graduate students from the University of Texas at Austin, Albina Khasanova and Emily Raulerson, received fellowships from the Department of Energy to carry out research in one of 12 DOE national laboratories.

New Test for Thyroid Cancer Could Prevent Unnecessary Surgery

New Test for Thyroid Cancer Could Prevent Unnecessary Surgery

A new preoperative test for thyroid cancer that’s faster and more accurate than the diagnostic test that doctors use today could prevent thousands of unnecessary thyroid removals each year. Credit: iStock.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor College of Medicine have developed a new preoperative test for thyroid cancer that is faster and about two-thirds more accurate than the diagnostic tests doctors use today. Although more validation will be necessary before it can be used clinically, the new metabolic thyroid test shows promise for preventing thousands of unnecessary thyroid removals each year, such as the partial removal UT Austin grad student Amanda Helms had due to an inconclusive test.

Natural Science Students and Faculty Win Graduate School Awards

Natural Science Students and Faculty Win Graduate School Awards

Lisa Piccirillo, Yang Huo and Aprile Benner

The University of Texas at Austin's Graduate School has announced the 2019 winners of its professional and student awards, which include two graduate students and one faculty member from the College of Natural Sciences. Generously underwritten by the University Co-op, the awards recognize excellence in graduate academics, teaching and professional services.

Bullying May Alter Teen Brains; Nostalgia Can Be Good For You

Bullying May Alter Teen Brains; Nostalgia Can Be Good For You

A faculty member and his Ph.D. student from the University of Texas at Austin's Human Development and Family Sciences Department were quoted in several recent news articles highlighting studies they contributed to. Stephen Russell, the department's chair and Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Child Development, contr...
Giant Flightless Birds Were Nocturnal and Possibly Blind

Giant Flightless Birds Were Nocturnal and Possibly Blind

A new analysis of the skulls of extinct elephant birds show they were nocturnal and possibly blind. Credit: John Maisano/University of Texas at Austin.

If you encountered an elephant bird today, it would be hard to miss. Measuring in at over 10 feet tall, the extinct avian is the largest bird known to science. However, while you looked up in awe, it's likely that the big bird would not be looking back.

New Protein Sequencing Method Could Transform Biological Research

New Protein Sequencing Method Could Transform Biological Research

An ultra-sensitive new method for identifying the series of amino acids in individual proteins (a.k.a. protein sequencing) can accelerate research on biomarkers for cancer and other diseases. Credit: David Steadman/University of Texas at Austin.

A team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin has demonstrated a new way to sequence proteins that is much more sensitive than existing technology, identifying individual protein molecules rather than requiring millions of molecules at a time. The advance could have a major impact in biomedical research, making it easier to reveal new biomarkers for the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases, as well as enhance our understanding of how healthy cells function.

Two Studies Shed Light on How Complex CRISPR Systems Work

Two Studies Shed Light on How Complex CRISPR Systems Work

In a pair of papers out this week, scientists at the University of Texas at Austin made new discoveries about a remarkable naturally occurring system known as CRISPR.

Math Graduate Students Place Top 10 in International Student Paper Competition

Math Graduate Students Place Top 10 in International Student Paper Competition

From left to right: Ioakeim Ampatzoglou, Nataša Pavlović, Matthew Rosenzweig

At a conference of the American Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Taipei, Taiwan in July, Matthew Rosenzweig was awarded second place and Ioakeim Ampatzoglou received an honorable mention in the Student Paper Competition, which named ten finalists. Both are graduate students of UT Austin mathematics professor Nataša Pavlović.

Scientists Discover Why Some Bacteria Turn Bad

Scientists Discover Why Some Bacteria Turn Bad

Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) bacteria approach intestinal epithelial cells during human infection. When in close proximity to the host epithelium ETEC senses oxygen seeping (blue) from intestinal epithelial cells to increase expression of adhesins and secreted toxins (magenta). Image Credit: Brad Gilleland

Every year, millions of people have vacations and business trips ruined when they succumb to "traveler's diarrhea" during their journeys. A major cause of traveler's diarrhea is bacteria called Enterotoxigenic E. coli, or ETEC. A joint effort between scientists at the University of Georgia and the University of Texas at Austin has discovered what triggers ETEC to produce dangerous toxins in the body. They are using this information in an effort to develop a preventive vaccine for travelers.