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From the College of Natural Sciences
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.

Alum Recognized for Cancer Research Breakthrough

Alum Recognized for Cancer Research Breakthrough

Jim Allison, a College of Natural Sciences alumnus and cancer researcher, has been named the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Lasker Award for clinical medical research.

Chink Found in Armor of Invasive Crazy Ant

Chink Found in Armor of Invasive Crazy Ant

Tawny crazy ants are taking hold in the United States, swarming in explosive numbers and displacing other wildlife. But scientists from the University of Texas at Austin recently discovered a chink in the insect's armor that could help control the spread of this invasive species.

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.

Chemists Develop Technique to Detect Single Viruses

Chemists Develop Technique to Detect Single Viruses

Chemists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a laboratory technique that can detect single viruses floating in a solution of water. A version of the technique had previously been demonstrated for metals and other inorganic materials, but this is the first time it's been demonstrated on biological samples.

UT Austin Student Wins Goldwater Scholarship

UT Austin Student Wins Goldwater Scholarship

An undergraduate biochemistry major and Dean's Scholar Honors Program participant, Brendan Chou from Houston, has been awarded a Goldwater scholarship, the premier undergraduate award of its type in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Freshmen Fight Cyber Attacks and Other Societal Threats

Freshmen Fight Cyber Attacks and Other Societal Threats

Students at The University of Texas at Austin are learning ways to fight cyber crime where these threats increasingly take place: phones, cars and other devices in the "Internet of Things."

Always and Forever: A Microscopic Love Story

Always and Forever: A Microscopic Love Story

In the world of living things, surely one of the oddest relationships is the one between certain insects and the bacteria they can't seem to live without. Such bacteria, called obligate symbionts live inside the host's cells. They're distinct organisms -- they have their own DNA separate from that of the host. And yet, if you try to remove the bacteria, the host dies. And vice versa.

Compared with Apes, People’s Gut Bacteria Lack Diversity, Study Finds

Compared with Apes, People’s Gut Bacteria Lack Diversity, Study Finds

image.jpgThe microbes living in people’s guts are much less diverse than those in humans' closest relatives, the African apes, an apparently long evolutionary trend that appears to be speeding up in more modern societies, with possible implications for human health, according to a new study.

As Ebola Kills Some, It May Be Quietly Immunizing Others

As Ebola Kills Some, It May Be Quietly Immunizing Others

Ebola virus

As Ebola continues to spread in West Africa, it may be silently immunizing large numbers of people who never fall ill or infect others, yet become protected from future infection. If such immunity is confirmed, it would have significant ramifications on projections of how widespread the disease will be and could help determine strategies that health workers use to contain the disease, according to a letter published Tuesday in the Lancet medical journal.