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From the College of Natural Sciences
Cracking the Code: Why Flu Pandemics Come At the End of Flu Season

Cracking the Code: Why Flu Pandemics Come At the End of Flu Season

You might expect that the risk of a new flu pandemic — or worldwide disease outbreak — is greatest at the peak of the flu season in winter, when viruses are most abundant and most likely to spread. Instead, all six flu pandemics that have occurred since 1889 emerged in spring and summer months. And that got some University of Texas at Austin scientists wondering, why is that?

These Mathematical Techniques Could Help Design Shape-shifting Materials

These Mathematical Techniques Could Help Design Shape-shifting Materials

A snapdragon flower petal grown from a cylinder. In each state, the colors show the growth factors of the top (left) and bottom (right) layer, and the thin black lines indicate the direction of growth. The top layer is viewed from the front, and the bottom layer is viewed from the back, to highlight the complexity of the geometries. (Credit Harvard SEAS)

Nature has a way of making complex shapes from a set of simple growth rules. The curve of a petal, the swoop of a branch, even the contours of our face are shaped by these processes. What if we could unlock those rules and reverse engineer nature's ability to grow an infinitely diverse array of shapes?

Eyewitness to a Cosmic Car Wreck (Audio)

Eyewitness to a Cosmic Car Wreck (Audio)

Astronomers have long been able to watch the universe's blockbuster special effects unfold in dazzling 3D Technicolor. But until now, it's been like watching a silent movie. Today that all changes. Scientists announced this morning that they have for the first time ever detected both light and gravitational waves from a massive explosion in space caused by the collision of two super-dense neutron stars. On today's show, we talk to astrophysicist Pawan Kumar about what this breakthrough means for his field.

Chemists Receive $2 Million to Develop Inexpensive Home Test for Heart Failure

Chemists Receive $2 Million to Develop Inexpensive Home Test for Heart Failure

With the prick of a finger, the new sensor could indicate whether a person has elevated levels of a biomarker associated with heart failure. Credit: iStock.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a team led by Richard M. Crooks, a chemistry professor at The University of Texas at Austin, a $2 million grant to develop an inexpensive, at-home test for people diagnosed with heart failure.

Two Molecular Biologists Receive Early Career Research Awards

Two Molecular Biologists Receive Early Career Research Awards

​Two new UT Austin assistant professors in the Department of Molecular Biosciences have each been awarded highly competitive early career research awards.

UTMSI Community Rebuilds Town and Research

UTMSI Community Rebuilds Town and Research

More than a month after Hurricane Harvey's eyewall passed directly over the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) at Port Aransas, the Institute and its surrounding community are still recovering from the devastations brought by the Category 4 hurricane. UTMSI, the oldest marine research facility on the Texas coast, sustain...
How UT Scientists Contributed to Nobel-Winning Gravitational Wave Discovery

How UT Scientists Contributed to Nobel-Winning Gravitational Wave Discovery

​A day after celebrating the news that University of Texas at Austin alumnus Michael Young was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on circadian rhythms, we were thrilled to wake up this morning to the news that three scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of gravitational waves, work that was heavily in...
Mathematician Receives 2017 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award

Mathematician Receives 2017 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award

Mathematician Philip 'Uri' Treisman is one of seven University of Texas at Austin faculty members chosen to receive prestigious 2017 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards. The awards are the Board of Regents' highest honor and recognize faculty members who have demonstrated extraordinary classroom performance and innovation in undergraduate instruction.

UT Austin and Texas A&M Scientists Seek to Turn Plant Pests into Plant Doctors

UT Austin and Texas A&M Scientists Seek to Turn Plant Pests into Plant Doctors

Oleander aphid. Credit: Alex Wild

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University are investigating an innovative new way to protect crops from pathogens, thanks to a four-year cooperative agreement worth up to $5 million awarded through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Insect Allies Program.

University of Texas at Austin Alum Michael W. Young Awarded Nobel Prize

University of Texas at Austin Alum Michael W. Young Awarded Nobel Prize

After research at The University of Texas at Austin first had him studying genetics using fruit flies over 40 years ago, Michael W. Young has been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His pioneering research in the same insects led to the identification of a gene that determines living things' circadian rhythms.