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From the College of Natural Sciences
UT Researchers Leading Charge Against Invasive Moth

UT Researchers Leading Charge Against Invasive Moth

Efforts by University of Texas at Austin researchers to learn more about an invasive species of moth that destroys prickly pear cactus have received media coverage this year.

Cactoblastis cactorum moth. Image courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture.
Coronavirus Spreads Quickly and Sometimes Before People Have Symptoms, Study Finds

Coronavirus Spreads Quickly and Sometimes Before People Have Symptoms, Study Finds

Infectious disease researchers at The University of Texas at Austin studying the novel coronavirus were able to identify how quickly the virus can spread, a factor that may help public health officials in their efforts at containment. They found that time between cases in a chain of transmission is less than a week and that more than 10% of patients are infected by somebody who has the virus but does not yet have symptoms.

Researchers Say Spread of Coronavirus Extends Far Beyond China’s Quarantine Zone

Researchers Say Spread of Coronavirus Extends Far Beyond China’s Quarantine Zone

Infectious disease researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and other institutions in Hong Kong, mainland China and France have concluded there is a high probability that the deadly Wuhan coronavirus spread beyond Wuhan and other quarantined cities before Chinese officials were able to put a quarantine in place. At least 128 cities in China outside of the quarantine zone, including cities with no reported cases to date, had a greater than even risk of exposure, according to a paper currently in press with Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bacteria Engineered to Protect Bees from Pests and Pathogens

Bacteria Engineered to Protect Bees from Pests and Pathogens

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin report in the journal Science that they have developed a new strategy to protect honey bees from a deadly trend known as colony collapse: genetically engineered strains of bacteria. An increasing number of honey bee colonies in the U.S. have seen the dwindling of their adult bees. According to a na...
The Next 50 Years: A Global Census of Life (Audio)

The Next 50 Years: A Global Census of Life (Audio)

We know absolutely nothing about roughly 80 percent of the different types of life on Earth. Biologist David Hillis aims to discover all those missing species—by some estimates 5 to 10 million—possibly in the next few decades. Sound impossible? He shares his vision for how this would work in this first episode of our new miniseries, The Next 50 Years.

Top Texas Science Stories and Discoveries of 2019

Top Texas Science Stories and Discoveries of 2019

As we look back on 2019, it's been a year filled with fascinating discoveries and big developments in the College of Natural Sciences and beyond. Read on to see some of the highlights from this year in Texas Science.

Scientists Identify Genes that Help Protect Plant Genomes

Scientists Identify Genes that Help Protect Plant Genomes

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere have identified genes in plants that help maintain protective caps on the ends of their DNA. Because the genes have analogs in the human genome, the findings may hold important implications for our understanding of age-related disorders and cancers in humans.

The Joy of Bug-Microbe Partnerships

The Joy of Bug-Microbe Partnerships

Nancy Moran keeps honey bees on a rooftop on the University of Texas at Austin campus so she can study their microbiomes. Photo credit: Julia Robinson

Nancy Moran, an evolutionary biologist at UT Austin, has built a career on groundbreaking findings about symbiotic relationships between insects and their internal bacteria. Among her many honors and awards, she is a National Academy of Sciences member, an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow and a MacArthur "Genius" fellow. She was recently profiled in the journal Science.

Meet the New Faculty Members in Natural Sciences

Meet the New Faculty Members in Natural Sciences

As the year draws to a close, we're looking back on highlights of 2019, including the arrival and hiring of dozens of new tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the College of Natural Sciences. Below are some of the stellar scientists and mathematicians new to our college community.

Melissa Kemp Combines Art and Science in Study of Lizards

Melissa Kemp Combines Art and Science in Study of Lizards

Melissa Kemp, an assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, studies how extinction, biological diversification and colonization are shaped by environmental upheavals. She joined the faculty as a new hire in 2018, and this fall was announced as the winner of the Environmental Science Institute's Billy Carr Distinguished Teaching Fellowship.