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From the College of Natural Sciences
Common Colds at School a Primary Driver of Asthma Hospitalizations for Children

Common Colds at School a Primary Driver of Asthma Hospitalizations for Children

The most dangerous times of year for children with asthma are soon after their schools reopen after a break, and a new study finds that cold viruses are largely to blame.

Sociable Chimps Harbor Richer Gut Microbiomes

Sociable Chimps Harbor Richer Gut Microbiomes

Two chimpanzees interact in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Photo by Steffen Foerster, Duke University

Spending time in close contact with others often means risking catching germs and getting sick. But being sociable may also help transmit beneficial microbes, finds a multi-institutional study of gut microbiomes in chimpanzees.

Why a Simple Law Governs Tropical Rainforest Trees

Why a Simple Law Governs Tropical Rainforest Trees

Tropical rainforests play a vital role in the well-being of our planet, soaking up carbon dioxide and helping stabilize the global climate. Around the world, tropical rainforests vary widely in climate and species composition, but when scientists plot out the numbers of trees by size, a puzzling consistency emerges: each rainforest follows the same pattern in the distribution of trees of different heights.

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that natural selection drives some male prairie voles to be fully monogamous and others to seek more partners. The surprising contrasts in the animals' brains result from differences in their DNA.

Fish Skin Provides Invisibility in Open Ocean

Fish Skin Provides Invisibility in Open Ocean

Simulated view of how the lookdown fish would appear in polarized light with mirrored skin (left) versus skin that reflects polarized light (right). Images are from simulations created by the Cummings lab.

Scientists have solved a longstanding mystery about how some fish seem to disappear from predators in the open waters of the ocean, a discovery that could help materials scientists and military technologists create more effective methods of ocean camouflage.

Harnessing the Power of Science and Community

Harnessing the Power of Science and Community

Science, once cloistered away in distant labs and rarefied academic journals, these days is connecting with the masses. One important way is through new crowdfunding initiatives that allow UT Austin community members to invest in facilities and research in new ways.

Researchers Receive $15 Million for Biofuel Crop Study

Researchers Receive $15 Million for Biofuel Crop Study

A researcher at The University of Texas at Austin will receive two grants totaling $15 million to study a native prairie grass, including how it can become a sustainable source of bioenergy amid global climate change.

Engineering Bacterial Communities Improves Plant Growth

Engineering Bacterial Communities Improves Plant Growth

University of Texas at Austin scientists say there's a simple way for home gardeners and small farmers to give plants a pesticide-free boost: by harnessing the power of often helpful bacterial communities known as the microbiomes of plants.

Partnerships in the Natural World

Partnerships in the Natural World

Evolutionary biologist Nancy Moran, professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, was featured in a detailed Q&A in Quanta Magazine. She explains her research on the relationships between bees and the bacteria that live inside of them.

Froggy Went a Courtin'

Froggy Went a Courtin'

Two male túngara frogs make mating calls to attract females. Image by Amanda Lea.

Marketers and used car salesmen have long exploited a vulnerability in the way we make decisions, called the decoy effect, to get us to buy a certain product, even if our gut instinct is to buy another. Now a graduate student and her advisor in the Department of Integrative Biology have discovered that female frogs are prone to this same kind of irrational behavior when it comes to choosing a mate.