News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Heart of an Exploded Star Observed in 3-D

Heart of an Exploded Star Observed in 3-D

Supernovas — the violent endings of the brief yet brilliant lives of massive stars — are among the most cataclysmic events in the cosmos. Though supernovas mark the death of stars, they also trigger the birth of new elements and the formation of new molecules. In February of 1987, astronomers witnessed one of these events unfold inside the Large Magellanic Cloud, a tiny dwarf galaxy located approximately 160,000 light-years from Earth.

Drinking Rates Differ for LGB Youth, Study Finds

Drinking Rates Differ for LGB Youth, Study Finds

Despite increased acceptance of same-sex marriage and workplace equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people many LGB youth continue to have higher-than-heterosexual rates of drinking, according to a new paper published today in Addiction.

Frogs Illustrate the Creative Destruction of Mass Extinctions

Frogs Illustrate the Creative Destruction of Mass Extinctions

A tree frog (genus Boophis) found on Madagascar and Mayotte Island, off the Southeast coast of Africa. Credit: Brian Freiermuth/Univ. of Florida

Until now, biologists have struggled to reconstruct an accurate family tree for frogs. Based on fossils and limited genetic data, it appeared that most modern frog species popped up at a slow and steady pace from about 150 million to 66 million years ago. New research shows that a mass extinction 66 million years ago sparked an explosion of new frog species.

UT Austin Offers Its First Online Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences

UT Austin Offers Its First Online Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences

The College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin has launched its first master's program offered completely online, a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences. The program, open to qualified applicants for enrollment in the fall 2017 semester, is designed to provide a rigorous education to working professionals in nutrition or health education as they seek to advance in careers in dietetics that increasingly require a master's degree.

New Technique Enables Safer Gene-Editing Therapy Using CRISPR

New Technique Enables Safer Gene-Editing Therapy Using CRISPR

A CRISPR protein targets specific sections of DNA and cuts them. Scientists have turned this natural defense mechanism in bacteria into a tool for gene editing. Illustration: Jenna Luecke and David Steadman/Univ. of Texas at Austin.

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin took an important step toward safer gene-editing cures for life-threatening disorders, from cancer to HIV to Huntington's disease, by developing a technique that can spot editing mistakes a popular tool known as CRISPR makes to an individual's genome. The research appears today in the journal Cell.

Bullying and Bias Can Cost Schools Millions in Lost Funding

Bullying and Bias Can Cost Schools Millions in Lost Funding

When children avoid school to avoid bullying, many states' schools can lose tens of millions of dollars in funding, and California alone loses an estimated $276 million each year because children feel unsafe.

Biologist Earns Career Award from Humboldt Foundation

Biologist Earns Career Award from Humboldt Foundation

The Humboldt Foundation has chosen UT Austin professor of integrative biology Mathew Leibold to receive the Humboldt Research Award in recognition of his lifetime achievements in research. The award is valued at around $70,000.

Spying on Fish Love Calls Could Help Protect Them from Overfishing

Spying on Fish Love Calls Could Help Protect Them from Overfishing

Marine scientists have discovered a way to use the incredibly loud, distinctive sounds that fish make when they gather to spawn--not to catch them but to protect them. Illustration credit: Jenna Luecke/Univ. of Texas at Austin.

About a third of the world's fish stocks are being overfished, meaning they're being harvested faster than they can reproduce, and species that spawn seasonally in large groups are especially vulnerable, easy for fishers to locate and plucked from the water often before they've seeded the next generation.

Chemist Searches for Less Toxic Compound to Preserve Organs

Chemist Searches for Less Toxic Compound to Preserve Organs

A computer simulation shows how DMSO molecules (red, white and yellow) form hydrogen bonds with water molecules (red and white). Credit: Carlos Baiz.

About a third of all deaths in the U.S. could be prevented or substantially delayed by organ transplantation, according to a 2015 report from the U.S. military. The main bottleneck is that there is no practical way to preserve organs for more than a few hours. If you try to freeze a whole organ, water within and between cells forms ice crystals that cause the cells to rupture.

Starving Prostate Cancer With What You Eat for Dinner

Starving Prostate Cancer With What You Eat for Dinner

Curcumin has anti-cancer properties when combined with other nutrients. Photo credit: Steven Jackson; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

When you dine on curry and baked apples, enjoy the fact that you are eating something that could play a role starving — or even preventing — cancer.