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Scientists Discover How We Play Memories in Fast Forward

Scientists Discover How We Play Memories in Fast Forward

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a mechanism that may explain how the brain can recall nearly all of what happened on a recent afternoon — or make a thorough plan for how to spend an upcoming afternoon — in a fraction of the time it takes to live out the experience. The breakthrough in understanding a previously unknown function in the brain has implications for research into schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer's disease and other disorders where real experiences and ones that exist only in the mind can become distorted.

When we think about past or future events, we use a special brain wave frequency that allows us to play them in fast forward, although at a lower resolution. Illustration by Juliette Pepperell
What you probably don’t know about holiday weight gain

What you probably don’t know about holiday weight gain

Molly Bray, chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, penned a Texas Perspectives piece in late December warning of the dangers of overeating during the holiday season that was picked up by several Texas newspapers:Dallas Morning NewsFort Worth Star-TelegramAustin American Statesman
Promising New Target in War Against Flu

Promising New Target in War Against Flu

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a protein produced by the influenza A virus, which causes flu, can overcome one of our body's natural defense mechanisms. That makes this flu protein a potentially good target for antiviral drugs directed against the flu virus

The Case of the Missing Folate (Audio)

The Case of the Missing Folate (Audio)

When Richard Finnell first met her, Rachel was a nine-year-old girl with severe developmental delays. Her condition seemed to be caused by a deficiency in a critical B vitamin called folate. Yet she had plenty of folate circulating in her blood. Somehow it was vanishing before it got to her brain and spine. Eventually Finnell made a surprising discovery. He's now using new genetic tools like CRISPR to better understand her condition and test possible therapies.

Study Examines Seniors' Social Lives and Health

Study Examines Seniors' Social Lives and Health

The University of Texas at Austin will receive a $2.4 million grant over the next five years from the National Institute on Aging to study how social interactions improve the health of older adults. Participants will use wearable electronic devices and cellphone apps to monitor their physical activity and social interactions in real time for several days.

Three of a Kind: Triplets Tackle Pre-Health Degrees Together

Three of a Kind: Triplets Tackle Pre-Health Degrees Together

Amira, Amier, and Layla Haidar do everything together. These triplets, all new students in the College of Natural Sciences, are all majoring in biochemistry. They also all live together, cook together, have the same class schedules and flag football team, and are close with each other's friends.

New Approach May Spot Counterfeit Olive Oil, Help Pre-Diabetics

New Approach May Spot Counterfeit Olive Oil, Help Pre-Diabetics

Just days after new dietary guidelines came out telling Americans to pay more attention to the types of fats, not the amounts, that they eat, scientists announced they've found a new, better and faster way to detect distinctions in the fats found in food.

Medication May Help Stop Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Medication May Help Stop Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have successfully stopped cocaine and alcohol addiction in experiments using a drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat high blood pressure. If the treatment is proven effective in humans, it would be the first of its kind — one that could help prevent relapses by erasing the unconscious memories that underlie addiction.

Public Health Program Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Public Health Program Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

As the College of Natural Sciences’ public health program celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, we visit with some of the people who know the program best.

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.