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From the College of Natural Sciences
Scientists Hijack Bacteria To Ease Drug Manufacturing

Scientists Hijack Bacteria To Ease Drug Manufacturing

For more affordable, sustainable drug options than we have today, the medication we take to treat high blood pressure, pain or memory loss may one day come from engineered bacteria, cultured in a vat like yogurt. And thanks to a new bacterial tool developed by scientists at The University of Texas at Austin, the process of improving drug manufacturing in bacterial cells may be coming sooner than we thought.

Worlds of Possibility: Gift Helps Unlock Secrets of the Universe

Worlds of Possibility: Gift Helps Unlock Secrets of the Universe

What starts here reveals the universe. A world-changing gift of $10 million from visionary philanthropist David Booth increases UT's access to the Giant Magellan Telescope, which will help students in the College of Natural Sciences peer far into the universe.

Virus Discovery Offers Clues About Origins of Complex Life

Virus Discovery Offers Clues About Origins of Complex Life

Eukaryotic cells. Credit: iStock.

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin report in Nature Microbiology the first discovery of viruses infecting a group of microbes that may include the ancestors of all complex life. The discovery offers tantalizing clues about the origins of complex life and suggests new directions for exploring the hypothesis that viruses were essential to the evolution of humans and other complex life forms.

Nielsen Named One of Five National Academies Early-Career Research Fellows

Nielsen Named One of Five National Academies Early-Career Research Fellows

Kristin Nielsen, assistant professor at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute

PORT ARANSAS - As one of the five scientists who have been selected for the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine's Early-Career Research Fellowship in Human Health and Community Resilience, Kristin Nielsen, assistant professor at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute, will use her expertise to investigate how climate change is altering the potential for dietary contaminant exposure in remote Alaskan communities.

How to Best Support LGTBQ Youth, According to Science

How to Best Support LGTBQ Youth, According to Science

Pride Month is a time of celebration every June. This year's commemoration also comes at a time of heightened attention to the mental health concerns of young LGBTQ people. Recent research has shown these youth may be experiencing more concerns than older LGBTQ people.

Holy Bat Memory! Frog-Eating Bats Remember Ringtones Years Later

Holy Bat Memory! Frog-Eating Bats Remember Ringtones Years Later

Frog-eating bat (Trachops cirrhosus). Credit: Marcos Guerra.

Frog-eating bats trained by researchers to associate a phone ringtone with a tasty treat were able to remember what they learned for up to four years in the wild, according to a new study published in Current Biology.

Mathematician Awarded Distinguished Researcher Award

Mathematician Awarded Distinguished Researcher Award

Math professor Rachel Ward holds the W. A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr. Distinguished Professorship in Computational Engineering and Sciences.
Natural Sciences Graduates Win Mitchell Awards

Natural Sciences Graduates Win Mitchell Awards

Students and recent graduates in the College of Natural Sciences were awarded the George H. Mitchell Award for Academic Excellence this spring. These awards honor students in STEM and other categories, with generous support provided by the University Co-op. The University of Texas at Austin recognized 12 undergraduate students this year for superior scholarly and creative achievements, highlighting the unparalleled dedication and achievement the students showed in their fields of study. 

Devleena Samanta Invents Ways to Detect Molecules in Living Cells

Devleena Samanta Invents Ways to Detect Molecules in Living Cells

Devleena Samanta joined the Department of Chemistry in fall 2021 as an assistant professor. She designs and synthesizes nanoscale materials to address challenges in biology and medicine, and she's passionate about teaching students from a variety of backgrounds. She received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. We recently spoke with her to learn more.

Legacy of Colonialism Influences Science in the Caribbean

Legacy of Colonialism Influences Science in the Caribbean

Map of the Caribbean region. Generated using ArcGIS Pro online.

With the retreat of sprawling empires after the Second World War, one might think the colonial mindset of taking from smaller countries to support large nations would likewise be relegated to the past. But a new paper in The American Naturalist by an international collaboration of researchers shows how the legacy of colonialism remains deeply entrenched within scientific practice across the Caribbean archipelago.