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From the College of Natural Sciences
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UT Researchers Aim to Change the Cancer Equation

UT Researchers Aim to Change the Cancer Equation

During the past 50 years, clinical advances have substantially reduced the mortality rate for people with cancer, but new breakthroughs often require years of trial and error in the lab. An innovative partnership between The University of Texas at Austin's Machine Learning Lab, Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences and Dell Medical School aims to speed up those discoveries, saving lives in the process.

Student Employee of the Year Helps Community Through Her Research

Student Employee of the Year Helps Community Through Her Research

Since her time as a freshman, biochemistry graduating senior Tanvi Ingle was focused on two activities that, at first, seemed unrelated: doing research and helping community members who were experiencing homelessness. When the pandemic caused the clinic where she was volunteering to close temporarily in 2020, she soon found a chance to do both at once.

When Good RNA Turns Bad

When Good RNA Turns Bad

RNAs are molecules that carry genetic information and control and regulate virtually all processes in our cells. Though RNA is vital, certain kinds can clump together in a way that is correlated with neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease. Biophysicist Dave Thirumalai, Collie-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, and his team now have developed a computer model that helps explain how this occurs.

Live Cell Imaging Reveals New Clues About Processes Linked to Birth Defects

Live Cell Imaging Reveals New Clues About Processes Linked to Birth Defects

John Wallingford, professor of molecular biosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, and his team used a process called live cell imaging to make observations about how a developing embryo transforms from its early ball shape into a more elongated shape with a distinct head and rear. Disruptions to this process in human embryos can lead to birth defects.

Professor Layla Parast Aims to Improve Healthcare Using Biostatistics

Professor Layla Parast Aims to Improve Healthcare Using Biostatistics

New faculty members in the College of Natural Sciences take on the important roles of mentor and researcher, always pushing the limits of science and inspiring their pupils. This academic year, we gained faculty members whose compelling character and work are worth learning about. Meet new statistics and data science professor, Layla Parast, whose work in biostatistics aims to improve medical treatments and trial outcomes.

New Vaccine Advances Could Help Against More Viral Illnesses

New Vaccine Advances Could Help Against More Viral Illnesses

Ching-Lin Hsieh and Jason McLellan are among the UT Austin scientists who have engineered a protein of the human metapneumovirus for use in vaccines. Credit: Vivian Abagiu

Some of the same researchers at The University of Texas at Austin who created a key to all coronavirus vaccines used in the U.S. have made a similar advance against the human metapneumovirus (hMPV), one of a handful of remaining respiratory viruses for which there is currently no vaccine.

Introducing a New Graduate Portfolio in Computational Medicine

Introducing a New Graduate Portfolio in Computational Medicine

A new Graduate Portfolio in Computational Medicine combines novel and existing courses from across the University of Texas at Austin to create a unique program in a rapidly expanding medical field.

Gene Editing Gets Safer Thanks to Redesigned Protein

Gene Editing Gets Safer Thanks to Redesigned Protein

UT Austin researchers were surprised to discover that when Cas9 encounters a mismatch in a certain part of the DNA (red and green), instead of giving up and moving on, it has a finger-like structure (cyan) that swoops in and holds on to the DNA, making it act as if it were the correct sequence. Credit: Jack Bravo/University of Texas at Austin.

One of the grand challenges with using CRISPR-based gene editing on humans is that the molecular machinery sometimes makes changes to the wrong section of a host's genome, creating the possibility that an attempt to repair a genetic mutation in one spot in the genome could accidentally create a dangerous new mutation in another.

A New Way to Disarm Antibiotic Resistance in Deadly Bacteria

A New Way to Disarm Antibiotic Resistance in Deadly Bacteria

An antibiotic resistant bacterium (Klebsiella pneumoniae) is treated solely with the last-resort antibiotic imipenem (left); and with a combination of imipenem and a DsbA inhibitor, causing it to rupture and die (right). Image credit: Nikol Kadeřábková.

Scientists think they may have uncovered a whole new approach to fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which, if successful, would help address a health crisis responsible for more deaths every year than either AIDS or malaria.

Weight Gain in Pregnancy May Be Linked to Later Growth Patterns in Daughters

Weight Gain in Pregnancy May Be Linked to Later Growth Patterns in Daughters

Rapid weight gain in the first and final months of a pregnancy may play a key role in the development of excess fat tissue in children and adolescents – at least if those children are girls, according to a new study from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.