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From the College of Natural Sciences

When Sperm Meets Egg, Zinc 'Fireworks' on Display

When Sperm Meets Egg, Zinc 'Fireworks' on Display

Sparks literally fly when a sperm and an egg hit it off. Chemists helped detect how the fertilized mammalian egg releases from its surface billions of zinc atoms in "zinc sparks," one wave after another.

7 Research Breakthroughs This Year You May Have Missed

7 Research Breakthroughs This Year You May Have Missed
It's that time of year again. No, I don't mean the time for mistletoe, reindeer and maxed-out credit cards. It's time for the annual "best of" lists. You can find lists of the year's best movies, books, songs, hairstyles, cars, wines … there are even lists of best of lists. Here at the University of Texas at Austin, we are complete geeks for scien...

For a Big Impact, Go Small: An Introduction to CNS Cornerstones

For a Big Impact, Go Small: An Introduction to CNS Cornerstones

Every week, as Sneha Patel stood in front of the roughly 20 freshmen she mentored and gave tips on how to navigate college, she would see a lot of heads nodding—but not in the back of the room. There sat one girl, always with her headphones on, not participating. Patel was surprised when the student signed up for one of the individual sessions she offered to each of her mentees. She probably won't even show up, Patel thought. When the student did arrive for her meeting, she was very quiet at first. Then something shifted.

Computer Scientists at UT Austin Crack Code for Redrawing Bird Family Tree

Computer Scientists at UT Austin Crack Code for Redrawing Bird Family Tree

A new computational technique developed at The University of Texas at Austin has enabled an international consortium to produce an avian tree of life that points to the origins of various bird species. A graduate student at the university is a leading author on papers describing the new technique and sharing the consortium’s findings about bird evolution in the journal Science.

Brackenridge Field Lab Shines in National Report

Brackenridge Field Lab Shines in National Report

Jacob Heiling (BS '13) was already interested in biology when he started working as a greenhouse assistant at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) as an undergraduate. The time he spent watching butterflies interact in the greenhouse sparked his interest in studying species interactions, and that led to an independent research project on the chemical ecology of bird-dispersed fruits.

UTeach Featured at White House College Opportunity Day

UTeach Featured at White House College Opportunity Day

Uteach-balloon.jpgPhysics professor and UTeach executive director Dr. Michael Marder joined President Obama, the First Lady and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders today to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

Alcohol Abuse Linked to Newly Identified Gene Network

Alcohol Abuse Linked to Newly Identified Gene Network

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have identified a network of genes that appear to work together in determining alcohol dependence. The findings, which could lead to future treatments and therapies for alcoholics and possibly help doctors screen for alcoholism, are being published this week in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

DNA Reveals Local Adoption of New Technologies, Not Migration, Caused Cultural Changes in Ancient Illinois

DNA Reveals Local Adoption of New Technologies, Not Migration, Caused Cultural Changes in Ancient Illinois

DNA samples from North Americans who lived more 1,000 years ago in Illinois reveal that rapid cultural changes came from acceptance of new practices rather than from a population influx into the region, according to a new study from The University of Texas at Austin and Indiana University.

Two Natural Sciences Faculty Elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Two Natural Sciences Faculty Elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

A neuroscientist and a molecular biologist are among five faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin who have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Consortium Awarded $9.2 Million for Gulf Oil Spill Research

Consortium Awarded $9.2 Million for Gulf Oil Spill Research

A University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI)-led consortium of seven institutions was awarded $9.2 million to continue research on the impact of oil spills and dispersants on the Gulf of Mexico and public health.