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From the College of Natural Sciences
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Cancer Drug with Better Staying Power and Reduced Toxicity Shows Preclinical Promise

Cancer Drug with Better Staying Power and Reduced Toxicity Shows Preclinical Promise

The drug candidate, called OxaliTEX, is made of two parts: a star-shaped molecule (blue) called texaphyrin that acts like a kind of delivery truck and a modified version of a platinum drug (red) that acts like a toxic package for cancer cells. Illustration credit: iQ Group Global.

​A drug candidate has been found in preclinical trials to stop tumor growth entirely, deliver more cancer-busting power than many commonly used chemotherapy drugs and do so with fewer toxic side effects and more ability to overcome resistance.

New Method Could Transform Vaccine Distribution to Remote, Developing Areas

New Method Could Transform Vaccine Distribution to Remote, Developing Areas

Access to vaccines around the world could get easier thanks to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin who have developed an inexpensive and innovative vaccine delivery method that preserves live viruses, bacteria, antibodies and enzymes without refrigeration.

The Next 50 Years: Thinking Outside the Brain

The Next 50 Years: Thinking Outside the Brain

This semester, the College of Natural Sciences is checking in with faculty experts about developments related to their fields of study that may well affect how we live, work and interact with one another and the world around us over the next 50 years. For this installment, we hear from Professor Adron Harris, M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Chair in Molecular Biology, a professor of neuroscience, pharmacology and psychiatry, and the associate director of the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research.

Breakthrough in Coronavirus Research Results in New Map to Support Vaccine Design

Breakthrough in Coronavirus Research Results in New Map to Support Vaccine Design

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and the National Institutes of Health have made a critical breakthrough toward developing a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus by creating the first 3D atomic scale map of the part of the virus that attaches to and infects human cells.

The Next 50 Years: Your Perfect Meal and Exercise Plan (Audio)

The Next 50 Years: Your Perfect Meal and Exercise Plan (Audio)

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to follow a specific diet or exercise plan and others fail? The answer might have to do with factors unique to each person, like their microbiomes and genetics.

Obesity in Pregnant Moms Linked to Lag in Their Sons’ Development and IQ

Obesity in Pregnant Moms Linked to Lag in Their Sons’ Development and IQ

New research finds a link between obesity in pregnancy and cognitive outcomes in boys.

A mother's obesity in pregnancy can affect her child's development years down the road, according to researchers who found impaired motor skills in preschoolers and lower IQ in middle childhood for boys whose mothers were severely overweight while expecting them. A team of nutrition and environmental health researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Columbia University found that the differences are comparable to the impact of lead exposure in early childhood.

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.

Explaining the Science: The Potential of Bacteriophages in a Post-Antibiotics World

Explaining the Science: The Potential of Bacteriophages in a Post-Antibiotics World

As antibiotic-resistant bacteria, like MRSA and resistant strains of tuberculosis and gonorrhea, become more prevalent, health officials are wondering how long antibiotics will be able to hold up against their bacterial foes. And what comes next?

Chemist Receives NIH Outstanding Investigator Award

Chemist Receives NIH Outstanding Investigator Award

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Carlos Baiz, assistant professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, an Outstanding Investigator Award. The award comes with $1 million over five years to fund basic research that could, among other things, help scientists better understand how our brains encode memories and reveal the causes of some neurological and cardiovascular diseases.

A Squishy Rubik’s Cube® that Chemists Built from Polymers Holds Promise for Data Storage

A Squishy Rubik’s Cube® that Chemists Built from Polymers Holds Promise for Data Storage

A new Rubik's Cube-like structure made of a self-healing hydrogel might inspire new ways to store information and possibly help patients monitor their medical conditions. Image courtesy of Xiaofan Ji.

A team of chemists from the U.S. and China have constructed a cube of colored, hydrogel blocks, which looks and acts much like a Rubik's Cube®. The researchers say their work is more than just fun to play with: it might inspire new ways to store and detect information, and possibly even help patients monitor their medical conditions.