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From the College of Natural Sciences
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.

Audio: Pyramid Probe

Audio: Pyramid Probe

What would you do if you had Superman's x-ray vision? In today's episode of the Point of Discovery Podcast, we talk to a physicist about how he's using his superhuman powers to explore the insides of ancient Mayan pyramids without digging.

Weight Loss Programs Tailored to a Person's Genome May Be Coming Soon

Weight Loss Programs Tailored to a Person's Genome May Be Coming Soon

Some health experts predict that the next big advance in helping overweight people achieve a healthier weight will be to use an individual's genetic data to customize diets and physical activity plans, an approach known as "precision weight loss." A recent summary report on the genetics of weight loss, developed by some of the leading experts in this field, finds that the biggest challenge to realizing this dream is the need for better analytical tools for discovering the relationships between genetics, behavior and weight-related diseases

Photo credit: Bill Branson, NIH
Wine Detective Work Afoot in Chemist's Lab

Wine Detective Work Afoot in Chemist's Lab

Wine analysis research in the lab of Eric Anslyn can help prevent counterfeits and improve winemaking. Best of all, it's helping students learn the value of scientific research. As our Freshman Research Initiative celebrates its 10th anniversary, we visit the "SupraSensors" research stream.

Professors Named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Professors Named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

George Georgiou and Jonathan L. Sessler, professors in the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Happy Holidays from the College of Natural Sciences

Happy Holidays from the College of Natural Sciences

Each December, we select a scientific image to help convey the joy of science amid all of the other wonders of the season. This year's selection comes via the Texas Advanced Computing Center and physicist Wendell Horton.

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that natural selection drives some male prairie voles to be fully monogamous and others to seek more partners. The surprising contrasts in the animals' brains result from differences in their DNA.

UT Astronomer Solves Mystery of 'Born Again' Stars

UT Astronomer Solves Mystery of 'Born Again' Stars

Astronomer Natalie Gosnell has used Hubble Space Telescope to better understand why some stars aren't evolving as predicted. These so-called "blue stragglers" look hotter and bluer than they should for their advanced age. It's almost as if they were somehow reinvigorated to look much younger than they really are.

Five States to Join Math Project for College Students

Five States to Join Math Project for College Students

Leaders and policymakers in five states will develop state mathematics task forces and work to improve college student success through a new initiative from The University of Texas at Austin's Charles A. Dana Center. The three-year project is funded by a $2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Scientist to Chair Molecular Biosciences Department

Scientist to Chair Molecular Biosciences Department

A new chair has been selected for the Department of Molecular Biosciences. Dan Leahy, a structural biologist and Professor of Biophysics & Biophysical Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will assume the role in January.