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From the College of Natural Sciences
Crowdfunding Science

Crowdfunding Science

Scientists reportedly are up against one of the toughest environments for research support in generations.

Cyanobacterium Found in UT Algae Collection Holds Biotech Promise

Cyanobacterium Found in UT Algae Collection Holds Biotech Promise

A fast-growing bacterial strain found on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin in the 1950s might ultimately prove useful for carbon sequestration, biofuel production, biosynthesis of valuable chemicals and the search for novel pharmaceuticals, scientists announced in newly published paper.

Graduate Student Leads Field Trip into the Infamous Darien Gap

Graduate Student Leads Field Trip into the Infamous Darien Gap

Kidnappings. Guerillas. Impenetrable jungle. The Darien Gap is famous for many things. This 60-mile-wide swath of rainforest straddling the Panama-Colombia border has long been the stomping ground of drug traffickers and guerillas, most notably the left-wing FARC, who until 10 years ago were still conducting high-profile kidnappings of foreign travellers seeking to tackle this notoriously dangerous part of the world. Flash forward a decade and scientists working just outside the gap discovered that, while there were still occasional reports of violence, things were now relatively peaceful in the gap.

New Statistical Method Helps Reveal Timing of Key Events in Plant Evolution

New Statistical Method Helps Reveal Timing of Key Events in Plant Evolution

543_Micrasterias_thomasiana.jpgUsing a host of methodologies, including a new statistical method developed at The University of Texas at Austin, an international collaboration of researchers have completed a large-scale DNA study that reveals important details about key transitions in the evolution of plant life on our planet.

Leaping Lizards: Scientists Catch Evolution in Action

Leaping Lizards: Scientists Catch Evolution in Action

Thanks to an invasive lizard from Cuba, scientists have documented green anoles rapidly evolving better gripping feet. Yoel Stuart was lead author on the study appearing in the journal Science. For more, read our press release or check out these reports in the media from Oct. 23-24:

Diet Affects Men's and Women's Gut Microbes Differently

Diet Affects Men's and Women's Gut Microbes Differently

gut_microbes-Rectangle700x420.jpgThe microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published this week in the journal Nature Communications. These results suggest that therapies designed to improve human health and treat diseases through nutrition might need to be tailored for each sex.

Sober Worms In The News

Sober Worms In The News

Apparently the media love the idea of worms that can't get drunk. The work by Scott Davis, Luisa Scott, Kevin Hu, and Jon Pierce-Shimomura, that was recently published in the The Journal of Neuroscience, has gone viral and is appearing all over the web. The worms were created using a mutation found by Scott Davis. You can read the original press re...
Mutation Stops Worms From Getting Drunk

Mutation Stops Worms From Getting Drunk

drunk-sober-worms-humans.jpgNeuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin have generated mutant worms that do not get intoxicated by alcohol, a result that could lead to new drugs to treat the symptoms of people going through alcohol withdrawal.

Turtles Go On Summer Vacation While Ponds Get Scrubbed Clean

Turtles Go On Summer Vacation While Ponds Get Scrubbed Clean

On June 9, 2014, UT biologists and students helped move about 140 turtles from UT Austin's beloved turtle pond to a temporary home for a long overdue cleaning of the lower pond.

How Electric Fish Evolved Their Shocking Skills Independently at Six Different Times

How Electric Fish Evolved Their Shocking Skills Independently at Six Different Times

New research demonstrates that the six electric fish lineages, all of which evolved independently, used essentially the same genes and developmental and cellular pathways to make an electricity-generating organ for defense, predation, navigation and communication.