News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Scientists Discover How We Play Memories in Fast Forward

Scientists Discover How We Play Memories in Fast Forward

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a mechanism that may explain how the brain can recall nearly all of what happened on a recent afternoon — or make a thorough plan for how to spend an upcoming afternoon — in a fraction of the time it takes to live out the experience. The breakthrough in understanding a previously unknown function in the brain has implications for research into schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer's disease and other disorders where real experiences and ones that exist only in the mind can become distorted.

When we think about past or future events, we use a special brain wave frequency that allows us to play them in fast forward, although at a lower resolution. Illustration by Juliette Pepperell
Textiles and Apparel Students Win Prestigious National Awards

Textiles and Apparel Students Win Prestigious National Awards

UT textiles and apparel faculty members Nancy Prideaux and Sara Stevens accompanied the scholarship winners to the YMA awards dinner in New York. Left to right: Nancy Prideaux, Debby Garcia, Avani Patel, Clare Moore, Tami Gumilar, Daeci Dinh, Sara Northcutt, and Sara Stevens.

​A student majoring in textiles and apparel at The University of Texas at Austin last night was announced to have won a prestigious national scholarship from a leading international fashion industry group. Avani Patel's innovative design idea, which combines 3D printing and 3D modeling to make custom-fit leather shoes, is one of a handful of concepts from UT Austin textiles and apparel students to have won national awards in recent weeks.

Ronny Hadani Comes in Loud and Clear

Ronny Hadani Comes in Loud and Clear

​Ronny Hadani, associate professor of mathematics in the College of Natural Sciences and co-founder of Cohere Technologies, is developing technologies to make wireless communications faster and more reliable.

Photo by Jeff Wilson
Why a Simple Law Governs Tropical Rainforest Trees

Why a Simple Law Governs Tropical Rainforest Trees

Tropical rainforests play a vital role in the well-being of our planet, soaking up carbon dioxide and helping stabilize the global climate. Around the world, tropical rainforests vary widely in climate and species composition, but when scientists plot out the numbers of trees by size, a puzzling consistency emerges: each rainforest follows the same pattern in the distribution of trees of different heights.

Audio: Pyramid Probe

Audio: Pyramid Probe

What would you do if you had Superman's x-ray vision? In today's episode of the Point of Discovery Podcast, we talk to a physicist about how he's using his superhuman powers to explore the insides of ancient Mayan pyramids without digging.

Weight Loss Programs Tailored to a Person's Genome May Be Coming Soon

Weight Loss Programs Tailored to a Person's Genome May Be Coming Soon

Some health experts predict that the next big advance in helping overweight people achieve a healthier weight will be to use an individual's genetic data to customize diets and physical activity plans, an approach known as "precision weight loss." A recent summary report on the genetics of weight loss, developed by some of the leading experts in this field, finds that the biggest challenge to realizing this dream is the need for better analytical tools for discovering the relationships between genetics, behavior and weight-related diseases

Photo credit: Bill Branson, NIH
Wine Detective Work Afoot in Chemist's Lab

Wine Detective Work Afoot in Chemist's Lab

Wine analysis research in the lab of Eric Anslyn can help prevent counterfeits and improve winemaking. Best of all, it's helping students learn the value of scientific research. As our Freshman Research Initiative celebrates its 10th anniversary, we visit with one alum of the "Supramolecular Sensors" stream, now a graduate student who works with freshmen in the very same stream. We also debut an animation that explains wine forensics at UT.

Professors Named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Professors Named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

George Georgiou and Jonathan L. Sessler, professors in the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Happy Holidays from the College of Natural Sciences

Happy Holidays from the College of Natural Sciences

Each December, we select a scientific image to help convey the joy of science amid all of the other wonders of the season. This year's selection comes via the Texas Advanced Computing Center and physicist Wendell Horton.

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that natural selection drives some male prairie voles to be fully monogamous and others to seek more partners. The surprising contrasts in the animals' brains result from differences in their DNA.