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From the College of Natural Sciences
New Model Reveals How Chromosomes Get Packed Up

New Model Reveals How Chromosomes Get Packed Up

To scrunch a chromosome (green), a condensin molecule opens and closes like a pair of fingers (light blue) connected by a hinge (dark blue).

One of the most astounding feats of nature is happening right now in cells throughout your body: noodle-like molecules called chromosomes, which carry part of your genetic blueprints and are about two inches (5 centimeters) long when fully stretched out, get stuffed into the cell's nucleus, which is at least 5,000 times smaller, with plenty of room for a bunch of other chromosomes. 

Electrochemistry Pioneer and Texas Science Legend Allen Bard Retires

Electrochemistry Pioneer and Texas Science Legend Allen Bard Retires

Allen J. Bard, a professor holding the Norman Hackerman – Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry and known around the world as "the father of modern electrochemistry," is stepping down in the Department of Chemistry after a 63-year career at The University of Texas at Austin.

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Chemists’ New Effort Aims to Optimize Materials by Exploiting their Defects

Chemists’ New Effort Aims to Optimize Materials by Exploiting their Defects

A multi-university team involving Sean Roberts of The University of Texas at Austin will receive National Science Foundation support to establish the NSF Phase 1 Center for Adapting Flaws into Features (CAFF) at Rice University. The Center's goal is to exploit chemical defects that show the potential for unique reactivity to optimize the structural and electronic properties of materials.

MasSpec Pen Shows Promise in Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

MasSpec Pen Shows Promise in Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

Jialing Zhang demonstrates using the MasSpec Pen on a human tissue sample. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu/Univ. of Texas at Austin.

A diagnostic tool called the MasSpec Pen has been tested for the first time in pancreatic cancer patients during surgery. The device is shown to accurately identify tissues and surgical margins directly in patients and differentiate healthy and cancerous tissue from banked pancreas samples.

Carlos Baiz and Shelley Payne Earn Prestigious Teaching Awards

Carlos Baiz and Shelley Payne Earn Prestigious Teaching Awards

Two College of Natural Sciences faculty members were named the winners of prestigious national and state teaching awards this spring.

Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Has a Glowing New Weapon

Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Has a Glowing New Weapon

In the perpetual arms races between bacteria and human-made antibiotics, there is a new tool to give human medicine the edge, in part by revealing bacterial weaknesses and potentially by leading to more targeted or new treatments for bacterial infections.

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Honoring the Life of Marye Anne Fox, Former VP for Research at UT Austin

Honoring the Life of Marye Anne Fox, Former VP for Research at UT Austin

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the National Medal of Science, Marye Anne Fox, former chemistry professor and Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin, died at her home in Austin on Sunday, May 9 following a long illness.

Jonathan Sessler Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Jonathan Sessler Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Chemist Jonathan L. Sessler of The University of Texas at Austin has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The academy is the country's most prestigious scientific organization, and election to it is one of the highest honors for American researchers.

UT Chemistry Researchers Encode Jane Austen Quote in a Polymer

UT Chemistry Researchers Encode Jane Austen Quote in a Polymer

A quote from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park written in oligourethanes. Image credit: Sarah Moor.

Using a novel molecular data-storage technique, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin encoded a quote from Jane Austen's Mansfield Park in a series of short polymers, which a third party could read back without prior knowledge of the structures that encoded the passage. Polymers are molecules made of repeating subunits strung together like beads on a string, such as synthetic plastics.

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Two Natural Sciences Undergraduates Selected as Goldwater Scholars

Two Natural Sciences Undergraduates Selected as Goldwater Scholars

Two University of Texas at Austin undergraduate students, Briana Syed and Teddy Hsieh, have earned the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, which honors outstanding students in STEM majors.

Four Natural Sciences Faculty Receive Sloan Research Fellowships

Four Natural Sciences Faculty Receive Sloan Research Fellowships

​​Four faculty members from the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences have received 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships, which honor outstanding early-career scientists in eight fields.

Undergraduate Research Aims to Harness the Power of Mealworms to Degrade Plastic

Undergraduate Research Aims to Harness the Power of Mealworms to Degrade Plastic

Interior of a bin with polyethylene and mealworms. Photo courtesy of Emily Samson.

​In search of a way to reduce the amount of plastic pollution an individual creates, a team of undergraduates in the UT Austin Inventors Program are exploring how mealworms, and the microbes in their guts, can naturally degrade household plastics.

Chemist Receives Young Investigator Award

Chemist Receives Young Investigator Award

Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, an assistant professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has been chosen to receive the 2020 Eli Lilly Young Investigator Award in Analytical Chemistry. Given by Eli Lilly's Analytical Chemistry Academic Contacts Committee, the award recognizes her exceptional research and publication record, as well as her impact on the field of analytical chemistry.

New Grant Enables Creation of Polymer-Based Data Storage System

New Grant Enables Creation of Polymer-Based Data Storage System

Imagine a new type of security system that, rather than storing data or an encryption key on a USB drive, encodes information into a small piece of plastic that can be unlocked only via a chemical reaction using a specific type of substance. And the devices that can read this information think like human brains and have the ability to communicate seamlessly with today's electronics.

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3D Printing with Visible Light Gets a Speed Boost

3D Printing with Visible Light Gets a Speed Boost

3D printed objects made (from left) with blue, green and red light. Photo courtesy Lynn Stevens.

A team of University of Texas at Austin researchers led by chemistry assistant professor Zachariah Page demonstrated a fast and precise way to 3D print using visible light.