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DNA Repair Findings Shed Light on Pathways Affecting Cancer Progression

DNA Repair Findings Shed Light on Pathways Affecting Cancer Progression

For healthy cells to become cancerous cells, they have to lose several systems that regulate healthy function such as cell growth and division and DNA repair. New findings from University of Texas at Austin researchers about how one such regulatory system works could aid in efforts to develop personalized treatments for cancer.

Flu Vaccine’s Effectiveness Can Be Improved, New Findings Suggest

Flu Vaccine’s Effectiveness Can Be Improved, New Findings Suggest

A team of engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin is reporting new findings on how the influenza vaccine produces antibodies that protect against disease, research that suggests that the conventional flu vaccine can be improved. The findings were reported in the journal Nature Medicine on Nov. 7.

A Trio of Flu Studies Point the Way to Better Treatment and Prevention

A Trio of Flu Studies Point the Way to Better Treatment and Prevention

As we head into flu season, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin are announcing the results of three flu studies: One suggests a possible new target for drugs to combat the flu; another study forecasts how effective this year's flu vaccine might be; and a third looks at ways to improve the process of identifying flu strains in the wild and thus improve how strains are selected for inclusion in each year's vaccine.

Cancer-Fighting Alum and Faculty Make Key Strides for Patients

Cancer-Fighting Alum and Faculty Make Key Strides for Patients

Department of Molecular Biosciences Chair Dan Leahy recounted recently the scientific back-story behind one game-changing discovery – and the role that alumna Gail Dianne Lewis (BS, Microbiology, '78) played in it. Leahy, himself a cancer researcher, was speaking about the aggressive form of breast cancer known as "HER2-positive" cance...
New Faculty, New Technology to Strengthen Disease Research at UT Austin

New Faculty, New Technology to Strengthen Disease Research at UT Austin

​Update, October 2017: ​The 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to three researchers who developed cryo-electron microscopy, a method that allows biochemists to "freeze biomolecules mid-movement and visualize processes they have never previously seen." This fall, UT Austin has opened its own cryo-EM facility, where researchers are beginning to explore new insights into the chemistry of life. Read on to learn about one of the faculty members involved with the new Sauer Laboratory for Structural Biology, and work planned within the College of Natural Sciences. 

Mastering Science through Games and Everyday Art

Mastering Science through Games and Everyday Art

This week, the College of Natural Sciences celebrates Discovery Education Week, which focuses on teaching, curriculum and science communication at UT Austin. In this post, Yan Jessie Zhang, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, and Tyler Stack, a biochemistry graduate student, reflect on ways to "instill passion and mastery" in science students.

A Peek Into the Minds of Award-Winning Educators

A Peek Into the Minds of Award-Winning Educators

The College of Natural Sciences is currently celebrating Discovery Education Week to promote and discuss science education throughout the college.

Bacteria Show Capacity for Rapid, Beneficial Mutations

Bacteria Show Capacity for Rapid, Beneficial Mutations

Scientists studying how microbes evolve have long assumed that nearly all new genetic mutations get passed down at a predictable pace and usually without either helping or hurting the microbe in adapting to its environment. In a new study published in the journal Nature, an international team of researchers studying tens of thousands of generations of E. coli bacteria report that most new genetic mutations that were passed down were actually beneficial and occurred at much more variable rates than previously thought.

Cross-respiration Between Oral Bacteria Leads to Worse Infections

Cross-respiration Between Oral Bacteria Leads to Worse Infections

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere have determined that two bacterial species commonly found in the human mouth and in abscesses, cooperate to make the pathogenic bacterium, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, more infectious. Key to the cooperation is that the harmless partner provides the pathogen with an oxygen-rich environment that helps it flourish.

Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error Could Dramatically Improve Genetic Sequencing

Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error Could Dramatically Improve Genetic Sequencing

Visual representation of laboratory manipulation RNA in water droplets; Jared Ellefson

For 3 billion years, one of the major carriers of information needed for life, RNA, has had a glitch that creates errors when making copies of genetic information. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a fix that allows RNA to accurately proofread for the first time.