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From the College of Natural Sciences
Alumna Talks Science, Whiskey and Advice for Students

Alumna Talks Science, Whiskey and Advice for Students

Amanda Swift graduated in 2007 from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior.​ We sat down with her and her husband Nick to hear how they're doing and what they've been up to since graduation. They say it all started over dinner, that is, their plan to create the best single malt whiskey ever tasted, a pursuit for which a science education turns out to come in handy. In 2012, they launched Swift Distillery and have "searched the world over" for barrels in order to bring their dream to Central Texas. 

Researchers Develop New Tool for Green Chemistry

Researchers Develop New Tool for Green Chemistry

Chemists from The University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University have developed an environmentally friendly method for creating chemical structures with complex shapes like those found in living things. The results have implications for reducing toxic waste in chemical manufacturing and research, understanding basic biological processes and developing more effective medical therapies.

Mixing Ages in Head Start Stunts Academic Progress

Mixing Ages in Head Start Stunts Academic Progress

Four-year-olds in the nation's largest preschool program fare worse with 3-year-olds in their classrooms, according to new research that shows a common practice in most Head Start programs may stunt children's learning.

UT Austin Physicist Wins Award at Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

UT Austin Physicist Wins Award at Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

Raphael Flauger, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, has won a prestigious award for early career achievement for his outstanding contributions to theoretical cosmology. At last night's Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony, sometimes called "The Oscars of Science," Flauger received the New Horizons in Physics Prize as a young scientist who has already produced important work in fundamental physics.

Nomadic Computing Speeds Up Big Data Analytics

Nomadic Computing Speeds Up Big Data Analytics

How do Netflix or Facebook know which movies you might like or who you might want to be friends with?

Here's a hint: It starts with a few trillion data points and involves some complicated math and a lot of smart computer programming.

Researchers Win $2 Million Grant to Develop Atomically Thin Semiconductors

Researchers Win $2 Million Grant to Develop Atomically Thin Semiconductors

A research team led by Xiaoqin Elaine Li, an associate professor in the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a grant of $2 million over the next four years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research and develop thin, flexible semiconductors that might eventually lead to bendable computer screens and wearable electronics.

Chemistry in Mold Reveals Important Clue for Pharmaceuticals

Chemistry in Mold Reveals Important Clue for Pharmaceuticals

​In a discovery that holds promise for future drug development, scientists have detected for the first time how nature performs an impressive trick to produce key chemicals similar to those in drugs that fight malaria, bacterial infections and cancer.

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Sees First Light

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Sees First Light

After several years and a massive team effort, one of the world's largest telescopes has opened its giant eye again. The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory has completed a $25 million upgrade and, now using more of its primary mirror, has achieved "first light" as the world's third-largest optical telescope.

The dome of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope sits in front of a backdrop of blue sky. Photo by Ethan Tweedie Photography.
Researchers Build Nanoscale Autonomous Walking Machine from DNA

Researchers Build Nanoscale Autonomous Walking Machine from DNA

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a nanoscale machine made of DNA that can randomly walk in any direction across bumpy surfaces. Future applications of such a DNA walker might include a cancer detector that could roam the human body searching for cancerous cells and tagging them for medical imaging or drug targeting.

Illustration: Jenna Luecke
Much in the Works at the Physics Machine Shop

Much in the Works at the Physics Machine Shop

Pieces of detectors for particle colliders and neuroscience research line the shelves in the UT Austin Physics Machine Shop. The air constantly hums with the noise of advanced machines at work.