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From the College of Natural Sciences
Discovery of New Planet Reveals Distant Solar System to Rival Our Own

Discovery of New Planet Reveals Distant Solar System to Rival Our Own

With the discovery of an eighth planet, the Kepler-90 system is the first to tie with our solar system in number of planets. (Click to expand) Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel.

The discovery of an eighth planet circling the distant star Kepler-90 by University of Texas at Austin astronomer Andrew Vanderburg and Google's Christopher Shallue overturns our solar system's status as having the highest number of known planets. We're now in a tie.

16 Inspiring and Eye-Opening Texas Science Stories of 2017

16 Inspiring and Eye-Opening Texas Science Stories of 2017

It's been a busy year for scientists and researchers at the College of Natural Sciences. Discoveries, findings, advancements and technology developed right here made news around the world. Here are just a few of the top science stories of 2017.

Scientists Named HHMI Professors for Innovation in Undergraduate Education

Scientists Named HHMI Professors for Innovation in Undergraduate Education

Eric Anslyn, Andrew Ellington and Julia Clarke (not pictured) have been named HHMI Professors.

Three University of Texas at Austin professors have been chosen by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to join the ranks of a select group of world-class scientist educators known as HHMI Professors. They will receive a combined $2.5 million to support their ongoing efforts to improve undergraduate education. UT Austin is the only institution to have three awardees among this year's 14 winners, selected from more than 200 applicants across the country.

UT Austin Researcher Xiaoqin Elaine Li Recognized for Quantum Materials Research

UT Austin Researcher Xiaoqin Elaine Li Recognized for Quantum Materials Research

Xiaoqin Elaine Li, associate professor in the Department of Physics, is one of two UT Austin recipients of the 2018 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Science from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).

Artificial Intelligence and Supercomputers to Help Alleviate Urban Traffic Problems

Artificial Intelligence and Supercomputers to Help Alleviate Urban Traffic Problems

A new tool uses artificial intelligence to recognize objects from City of Austin raw traffic camera footage and characterize how those objects move and interact. Image by Texas Advanced Computing Center/Center for Transportation Research

Look above the traffic light at a busy intersection in your city and you will probably see a camera. These devices may have been installed to monitor traffic conditions and provide visuals in the case of a collision. But can they do more? Can they help planners optimize traffic flow or identify sites that are most likely to have accidents? And can they do so without requiring individuals to slog through hours of footage?

Experience that Counts

Experience that Counts

Carla Cos teaches cooking to HeadStart preschoolers.

Victoria Luera, a nutrition major at The University of Texas at Austin, has jumped into so many internship opportunities as an undergraduate that her resumé is already overflowing. She has operated the kitchen at Burnet Middle School, worked in several hospitals and clinics assessing patient nutrition, created nutrient handouts and classes for seniors, counseled patients with diabetes in clinics and created interventions for foster youth.

Gut Microbiome Influenced Heavily by Social Circles in Lemurs, UT Study Says

Gut Microbiome Influenced Heavily by Social Circles in Lemurs, UT Study Says

Social group membership is the most important factor influencing the composition of a lemur's gut microbiome, according to research at The University of Texas at Austin.

Bully-Proofing the Teen Years

Bully-Proofing the Teen Years

Our picture of the classic bullies and their victims – the pale wallflower perched on a gym bench at a school dance or a gangly bookworm hovering at the edge of a basketball game – is due for an update. According to Stephen Russell, chair of The University of Texas at Austin's Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, "Leave It to Beaver-style bullying" isn't the main problem for today's kids. Instead, most social isolation is linked to characteristics like race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability. 

Texas Astronomers Will Lead Early Studies with $8 Billion James Webb Space Telescope

Texas Astronomers Will Lead Early Studies with $8 Billion James Webb Space Telescope

A full-sized model of the James Webb Space Telescope is seen in Austin during the South by Southwest festival in 2013.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is expected to launch in 2019 after decades of development. Now the agency has announced the scientists who will use the $8 billion telescope first, testing its instruments to prove it's in good working order. Steven Finkelstein, an associate professor of astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin, leads one of the chosen Early Release Science projects as principal investigator.

UT in NYC: Help Support TXA Students' Journey to the Big Apple

UT in NYC: Help Support TXA Students' Journey to the Big Apple

​Students from the Division of Textiles and Apparel head to New York City as part of an experiential learning program that takes discovery from the classroom to the Big Apple.

UT in NYC, a program designed to bring students together for an integrated look at the fashion industry with an entrepreneurial focus, is unparalleled, partnering with world-renowned fashion icon, entrepreneur and visiting professor Iris Apfel.