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From the College of Natural Sciences
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Improved Method for Isotope Enrichment Could Secure a Vital Global Commodity

Improved Method for Isotope Enrichment Could Secure a Vital Global Commodity

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have devised a new method for enriching a group of the world’s most expensive chemical commodities, stable isotopes, which are vital to medical imaging and nuclear power, as reported this week in the journal Nature Physics.

Variety in Diet Can Hamper Microbial Diversity in the Gut

Variety in Diet Can Hamper Microbial Diversity in the Gut

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions have discovered that the more diverse the diet of a fish, the less diverse are the microbes living in its gut. If the effect is confirmed in humans, it could mean that the combinations of foods people eat can influence the diversity of their gut microbes.

Researchers Discover Possible New Target to Attack Flu Virus

Researchers Discover Possible New Target to Attack Flu Virus

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a protein produced by the influenza A virus helps it outwit one of our body's natural defense mechanisms. That makes the protein a potentially good target for antiviral drugs directed against the influenza A virus.

The Horn: Junk Food, Good Science

The Horn: Junk Food, Good Science

Think you’ll always pick chocolate over a bag of chips? Don’t be so sure. Researchers have found that if they can get people to pay more attention to a particular type of junk food, they will begin to prefer it—even weeks or months after the experiment. The finding suggests a new way to manipulate our decisions and perhaps even encourage us to pick...
Possible Explanation for Human Diseases Caused by Defective Ribosomes

Possible Explanation for Human Diseases Caused by Defective Ribosomes

Ribosomes are essential for life, generating all of the proteins required for cells to grow. Mutations in some of the proteins that make ribosomes cause disorders characterized by bone marrow failure and anemia early in life, followed by elevated cancer risk in middle age. These disorders are generally called “ribosomopathies.”

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Neurobiologist Studies His Own Brain

Neurobiologist Studies His Own Brain

Dr. Russell Poldrack, professor of neurobiology and psychology, discusses his findings of a 14 month study he conducted on his own brain."We are particularly interested in how communication between different parts of my brain changes in relation to psychological factors such as stress or mood, and how it relates to biological factors that will...
Brain Scans Show We Take Risks Because We Can't Stop Ourselves

Brain Scans Show We Take Risks Because We Can't Stop Ourselves

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A new study correlating brain activity with how people make decisions suggests that when individuals engage in risky behavior, such as drunk driving or unsafe sex, it's probably not because their brains' desire systems are too active, but because their self-control systems are not active enough.

You Are Your Microbiome

You Are Your Microbiome

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Have you ever felt not completely like yourself? You’re not alone. In fact, you’re never really alone. No matter how hard you may try, you’re always in the company of 100 trillion microbial friends.

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.

3-D Printed Microscopic Cages Confine Bacteria in Tiny Zoos for the Study of Infections

3-D Printed Microscopic Cages Confine Bacteria in Tiny Zoos for the Study of Infections

By caging bacteria in microscopic houses, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin are studying how communities of bacteria, such as those found in the human gut and lungs, interact and develop infections.