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From the College of Natural Sciences
Researchers Say Spread of Coronavirus Extends Far Beyond China’s Quarantine Zone

Researchers Say Spread of Coronavirus Extends Far Beyond China’s Quarantine Zone

Infectious disease researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and other institutions in Hong Kong, mainland China and France have concluded there is a high probability that the deadly Wuhan coronavirus spread beyond Wuhan and other quarantined cities before Chinese officials were able to put a quarantine in place. At least 128 cities in China outside of the quarantine zone, including cities with no reported cases to date, had a greater than even risk of exposure, according to a paper currently in press with Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Auto Emissions Generate More Dangerous Ultrafine Particles Than Once Thought

Auto Emissions Generate More Dangerous Ultrafine Particles Than Once Thought

University of Texas at Austin undergraduate Annie Zhang was part of a research team that found auto emissions are responsible for more dangerous ultrafine particles than previously thought. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

An international team of researchers that includes undergraduate chemistry student Annie Zhang from The University of Texas at Austin has found that aromatic compounds from auto emissions play a key role in the creation of tiny airborne particles that pose a significant health problem in many urban areas of the world.

Bacteria Engineered to Protect Bees from Pests and Pathogens

Bacteria Engineered to Protect Bees from Pests and Pathogens

A Varroa mite, a common pest that can weaken bees and make them more susceptible to pathogens, feeds on a honey bee. Photo credit: Alex Wild/University of Texas at Austin.

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin report in the journal Science that they have developed a new strategy to protect honey bees from a deadly trend known as colony collapse: genetically engineered strains of bacteria.

The Next 50 Years: Building Ties and Tracking Early Experiences for a Longer Lifespan

The Next 50 Years: Building Ties and Tracking Early Experiences for a Longer Lifespan

​This semester, the College of Natural Sciences is checking in with faculty experts about developments, related to their fields of study, that may well affect how we live, work and interact with one another and the world around us over the next 50 years. For this installment, we hear from Professor Karen Fingerman, professor of human development and family sciences and co-director of the Texas Aging & Longevity Center, which this week celebrates one year in operation at UT Austin.

Texas Master’s in Nutritional Sciences Online Embarks on a New Partnership

Texas Master’s in Nutritional Sciences Online Embarks on a New Partnership

As The University of Texas at Austin's Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences Online prepares to accept applications for the next academic year, it does so with a new partnership under its belt. The Department of Nutritional Sciences has announced it will link up with online learning provider edX to make UT's nutritional sciences master's degree offerings available on the edX platform.

Discovering a Genetic Mechanism that Affects Birth Defects, Some Cancers

Discovering a Genetic Mechanism that Affects Birth Defects, Some Cancers

Scientists have understood for some time that proper embryonic development depends in large part on transcriptional repressors, proteins that prevent genes from being expressed at inappropriate times. Steven Vokes, associate professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, and his team focus on a set of proteins called GLI (glioma-associated oncogene) and how they control gene expression in response to what is known as the Hedgehog pathway.

5 Things UT Science Tells Us About Healthy Couples

5 Things UT Science Tells Us About Healthy Couples

In honor of National Spouses Day (January 26), we decided to check in with a UT scientist whose area of expertise covers the nature of healthy romantic relationships and marriages. Lisa Neff, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences who holds the Amy Johnson McLaughlin Centennial Professorship in Home Economics, has spent years studying what keeps relationships strong, couples happy and marriages intact. Neff has several tips for more perfect unions.

Improving Brain Imaging with Deep Learning

Improving Brain Imaging with Deep Learning

An image showing the side by side versions of electron microscope captures. Credit: Salk Institute

Textbook descriptions of brain cells make neurons look simple: a long spine-like central axon with branching dendrites. Taken individually, these might be easy to identify and map, but in an actual brain, they're more like a knotty pile of octopi, with hundreds of limbs intertwined. This makes understanding how they behave and interact a major challenge for neuroscientists.

Allan MacDonald Wins Wolf Prize in Physics

Allan MacDonald Wins Wolf Prize in Physics

Allan MacDonald, a professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin, has received the 2020 Wolf Prize in Physics for his groundbreaking work in a field known as twistronics, which holds extraordinary promise to "lead to an energy revolution," according to the Wolf Foundation announcement today.

Texas Astronomer Helps NASA Planet Hunter Find its First Earth-Sized, Habitable-Zone World

Texas Astronomer Helps NASA Planet Hunter Find its First Earth-Sized, Habitable-Zone World

Artist illustration of TOI 700 d, the first Earth-size habitable-zone world discovered by TESS. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered its first Earth-size planet in its star's habitable zone, the range of distances where conditions may be just right to allow the presence of liquid water on the surface. A team of scientists, including Andrew Vanderburg of The University of Texas at Austin, confirmed the find, called TOI 700 d, using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and have modeled the planet's potential environments to help inform future observations.