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From the College of Natural Sciences
COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Therapy is Safe, With 76% of Patients Improving

COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Therapy is Safe, With 76% of Patients Improving

The country’s first peer-reviewed study of convalescent plasma transfusion therapy, which uses blood plasma donated by recovered patients to treat currently ill patients, shows 19 out of 25 patients with COVID-19 improving with the treatment. Photo: iStock.

The country's first peer-reviewed study of a COVID-19 treatment that transfuses blood plasma from recovered patients into critically ill patients shows 19 out of 25 patients improving, including 11 discharged from the hospital.

Texas Astronomer Uses His 25-year-old Hubble Data to Confirm Planet Proxima Centauri c

Texas Astronomer Uses His 25-year-old Hubble Data to Confirm Planet Proxima Centauri c

Fritz Benedict used data he collected from the Hubble Space Telescope to confirm the existence of Proxima c, the second known planet orbiting the star closest to our sun. Photo credit: NASA.

Fritz Benedict has used data he took over two decades ago with Hubble Space Telescope to confirm the existence of another planet around the Sun's nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri, and to pin down the planet's orbit and mass. Benedict, an emeritus Senior Research Scientist with McDonald Observatory at The University of Texas at Austin, will present his findings today in a scientific session and then in a press conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

New Online Master’s Degree in Data Science is a First for The University of Texas at Austin

New Online Master’s Degree in Data Science is a First for The University of Texas at Austin

In response to high demand for professionals with scientific and technical training to understand and work with massive amounts of data, The University of Texas at Austin is set to launch a new online master's degree program in data science. Pending final approval by UT System and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the new program will ...
COVID-19 Drug Development Could Benefit from Approach Used Against Flu

COVID-19 Drug Development Could Benefit from Approach Used Against Flu

A new study from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin has found that some antivirals are useful for more than helping sick people get better — they also can prevent thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of virus cases if used in the early stages of infection.

Standing Together in the College of Natural Sciences - Updated

Standing Together in the College of Natural Sciences - Updated

A message from Dean Paul Goldbart to the College of Natural Sciences community underscores the need to stand in solidarity and support one another. This post was updated on Tuesday, June 2 to include a statement from the CNS Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

For Each Day’s Delay in Social Distancing, a COVID-19 Outbreak Lasts Days Longer

For Each Day’s Delay in Social Distancing, a COVID-19 Outbreak Lasts Days Longer

A new analysis of COVID-19 outbreaks in 58 cities has found that places that took longer to begin implementing social distancing measures spent more time with the virus rapidly spreading than others that acted more quickly

University Welcomes New Center for Planetary Habitability

University Welcomes New Center for Planetary Habitability

Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Daniel Rutter

​Scientists from across The University of Texas at Austin are joining forces in the hunt for life on other planets. Astronomers, geoscientists, chemists, biologists and aerospace engineers have pooled resources to form the UT Center for Planetary Systems Habitability, a cross-campus, interdisciplinary research unit.

Researchers Design Evolutionary Algorithms for Neural Networks

Researchers Design Evolutionary Algorithms for Neural Networks

Texas Computer Science (TXCS) graduate students Garrett Bingham and William Macke, under the advisement of TXCS professor Risto Miikkulainen, are contributing to the improvement of AI with their research. Their paper, entitled "Evolutionary Optimization of Deep Learning Activation Functions" was accepted into the 2020 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. The work concerns the evolutionary optimization of activation functions as a potential means of improving neural networks, which may ultimately lead to the creation of smarter and more accurate AI.

Nobel Laureate, Web Stars, Drumming Dean Cheer on 2020 Graduates

Nobel Laureate, Web Stars, Drumming Dean Cheer on 2020 Graduates

​At the end of each May, the College of Natural Sciences celebrates another year's graduates, their impact at UT and the positive change they'll bring the world. This year's graduates were extraordinary, making countless contributions on the Forty Acres and in their communities. For them, the College of Natural Sciences missed having a live event this spring but instead held our first virtual commencement celebration. High-profile scientists, friends and faculty, as well as students themselves, joined in a day especially for recognizing and honoring our newest graduates.

Meet the 30 Dean's Honored Graduates for this Year

Meet the 30 Dean's Honored Graduates for this Year

Each year, the College of Natural Sciences bestows its highest honors for graduating seniors on a select group of students. These students, known as Dean's Honored Graduates demonstrate excellence across multiple domains, achieving not only academically but in scientific research, independent intellectual pursuits, leadership, service, entrepreneurship and community building. Below are biographies of the 30 outstanding students selected by a committee of College of Natural Sciences faculty for this distinction in 2020.