News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Spring Events and Lectures Not to Miss

Spring Events and Lectures Not to Miss

The College and its departments and centers host a number of events that are free and open to the public each spring. ​Mark your calendar for upcoming public lectures, Explore UT, and more.

Scientists Estimate Memory Capacity Based on Sizes of Brain Synapses

Scientists Estimate Memory Capacity Based on Sizes of Brain Synapses

Neuroscientists from The University of Texas at Austin and the Salk Institute have discovered that connections between brain cells, called synapses, can be grouped into more discrete sizes than was previously thought, and these discrete sizes are thought to predict different functional states.

Alum Advances Beauty of Science

Alum Advances Beauty of Science

Artists draw inspiration from science, scientists produce artistic images in their lab, and people who appreciate beauty can find examples of both in the gallery of College of Natural Sciences alumna Hayley Gillespie (PhD, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, 2011).

Physicist Pushes Boundaries of Photonics and Electronics

Physicist Pushes Boundaries of Photonics and Electronics

​Much of what Dr. Xiaoqin "Elaine" Li researches is completely invisible to the human eye. She works with materials that are merely a few atoms thick and observes processes that occur within a trillionth of a second.

Sociable Chimps Harbor Richer Gut Microbiomes

Sociable Chimps Harbor Richer Gut Microbiomes

Two chimpanzees interact in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Photo by Steffen Foerster, Duke University

Spending time in close contact with others often means risking catching germs and getting sick. But being sociable may also help transmit beneficial microbes, finds a multi-institutional study of gut microbiomes in chimpanzees.

Center for Infectious Disease Named for Dr. John Ring LaMontagne

Center for Infectious Disease Named for Dr. John Ring LaMontagne

A research center at The University of Texas at Austin will be renamed for Dr. John Ring LaMontagne, a scientist who combated flu and other infectious diseases to improve public health around the globe. The renaming of the existing Center for Infectious Disease follows more than $7 million in contributions by the LaMontagne community of family, friends and colleagues in celebration of Dr. Montagne's work within the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Scientists Discover How We Play Memories in Fast Forward

Scientists Discover How We Play Memories in Fast Forward

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a mechanism that may explain how the brain can recall nearly all of what happened on a recent afternoon — or make a thorough plan for how to spend an upcoming afternoon — in a fraction of the time it takes to live out the experience. The breakthrough in understanding a previously unknown function in the brain has implications for research into schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer's disease and other disorders where real experiences and ones that exist only in the mind can become distorted.

When we think about past or future events, we use a special brain wave frequency that allows us to play them in fast forward, although at a lower resolution. Illustration by Juliette Pepperell
Textiles and Apparel Students Win Prestigious National Awards

Textiles and Apparel Students Win Prestigious National Awards

UT textiles and apparel faculty members Nancy Prideaux and Sara Stevens accompanied the scholarship winners to the YMA awards dinner in New York. Left to right: Nancy Prideaux, Debby Garcia, Avani Patel, Clare Moore, Tami Gumilar, Daeci Dinh, Sara Northcutt, and Sara Stevens.

​A student majoring in textiles and apparel at The University of Texas at Austin last night was announced to have won a prestigious national scholarship from a leading international fashion industry group. Avani Patel's innovative design idea, which combines 3D printing and 3D modeling to make custom-fit leather shoes, is one of a handful of concepts from UT Austin textiles and apparel students to have won national awards in recent weeks.

Ronny Hadani Comes in Loud and Clear

Ronny Hadani Comes in Loud and Clear

​Ronny Hadani, associate professor of mathematics in the College of Natural Sciences and co-founder of Cohere Technologies, is developing technologies to make wireless communications faster and more reliable.

Photo by Jeff Wilson
Why a Simple Law Governs Tropical Rainforest Trees

Why a Simple Law Governs Tropical Rainforest Trees

Tropical rainforests play a vital role in the well-being of our planet, soaking up carbon dioxide and helping stabilize the global climate. Around the world, tropical rainforests vary widely in climate and species composition, but when scientists plot out the numbers of trees by size, a puzzling consistency emerges: each rainforest follows the same pattern in the distribution of trees of different heights.