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From the College of Natural Sciences
Why Some Cancers May Respond Poorly to Key Drugs Discovered

Why Some Cancers May Respond Poorly to Key Drugs Discovered

Patients with BRCA1/2 mutations are at higher risk for breast, ovarian and prostate cancers that can be aggressive when they develop – and, in many cases, resistant to lifesaving drugs. Now scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Ajou University in South Korea have identified a driver of the drug resistance that can make a life or death difference for patients with these cancers.

Major NSF Grant Accelerates Development for the Giant Magellan Telescope

Major NSF Grant Accelerates Development for the Giant Magellan Telescope

The GMTO Corporation has received a $17.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to accelerate the prototyping and testing of some of the most powerful optical and infrared technologies ever engineered. These crucial advancements for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), of which The University of Texas at Austin is a founding partner, will allow astronomers to see farther into space with more detail than any other optical telescope before.

Planet Hugging a White Dwarf May Be a Survivor of Star’s Death Throes

Planet Hugging a White Dwarf May Be a Survivor of Star’s Death Throes

In this illustration, WD 1856 b, a potential Jupiter-size planet, orbits its dim white dwarf star every day and a half. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

An international team of astronomers has used NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and retired Spitzer Space Telescope to discover what may be the first intact planet found closely orbiting a white dwarf, the dense leftover of a sun-like star only 40% larger than Earth. The work, led by Andrew Vanderburg of The University of Texas at Austin, included follow-up observations with the 10-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope at the university's McDonald Observatory.

New Dashboards Launched to Track COVID-19 Across Texas Communities

New Dashboards Launched to Track COVID-19 Across Texas Communities

The University of Texas at Austin's COVID-19 Modeling Consortium has launched a new online dashboard to track the spread and impact of the virus, including in hospitals across Texas, with detailed information for 22 areas.

Antibody Test Developed for COVID-19 That is Sensitive, Specific and Scalable

Antibody Test Developed for COVID-19 That is Sensitive, Specific and Scalable

An antibody test for the virus that causes COVID-19, developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with Houston Methodist and other institutions, is more accurate and can handle a much larger number of donor samples at lower overall cost than standard antibody tests currently in use. In the near term, the test can be used to accurately identify the best donors for convalescent plasma therapy and measure how well candidate vaccines and other therapies elicit an immune response.

Celebrating Eon, a New Art Installation in Welch Hall

Celebrating Eon, a New Art Installation in Welch Hall

Landmarks today unveiled its newest commission in the recently renovated Welch Hall, a 37.7 x 8.93 foot video installation by Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Steinkamp, titled Eonwhich takes its inspiration from the symbiosis. At a celebration with the artist and curatorial contributor Rudolf Frieling of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Dean Goldbart spoke about the digital work and its significance for the scientific community. 

Breakthrough Prize Awarded to UT Physicist Steven Weinberg

Breakthrough Prize Awarded to UT Physicist Steven Weinberg

An elite prize among scientists worldwide is being given to Steven Weinberg, a professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin, for his "continuous leadership in fundamental physics, with broad impact across particle physics, gravity and cosmology, and for communicating science to a wider audience."

Researchers Discover Key Mechanism Cells Use to Harness Energy

Researchers Discover Key Mechanism Cells Use to Harness Energy

Scientists have known for some time that NAD+ (oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), a key molecule involved in the function of all cellular life, is needed to help cells harness energy. What scientists didn't fully understand until now is how human cells compartmentalized intracellular NAD+ or that – as a new paper out today in the journal Nature suggests – the process may be able to be controlled to help address aging and diseases, from neurodegeneration to cancer.

Matching CRISPR to the Job Improves the Safety, Efficiency of the Gene-Editing Tool

Matching CRISPR to the Job Improves the Safety, Efficiency of the Gene-Editing Tool

One of the biggest scientific advances of the last decade is getting better thanks to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin; the University of California, Berkeley; and Korea University. The team has developed a new tool to help scientists choose the best available gene-editing option for a given job, making the technology called CRISPR safer, cheaper and more efficient. The tool is outlined in a paper out today in Nature Biotechnology.

UT Austin Abuzz about Bee Campus USA Certification

UT Austin Abuzz about Bee Campus USA Certification

Credit: Kathryn Gatliff

The University of Texas at Austin is now certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators. UT Austin joins many other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.