Button to scroll to the top of the page.

News

From the College of Natural Sciences
This tag contain 1 private blog which isn't listed here.
How Amphibious Plants Rewired a Gas Exchange Pathway to Survive in Water

How Amphibious Plants Rewired a Gas Exchange Pathway to Survive in Water

Just as humans cannot breathe underwater, the tiny pores of plants can't exchange air underwater.

When grown on land, the amphibious plant Rorippa aquatica produces pores called stomata (left); but grown in water, it does not. Credit: Shuka Ikematsu.
McLellan Wins Major Awards from Welch Foundation, National Academy

McLellan Wins Major Awards from Welch Foundation, National Academy

Jason McLellan, a structural biologist at The University of Texas at Austin, is being honored today with the announcement of two highly prestigious awards—the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Award in Molecular Biology and the Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research from the Welch Foundation.

How a CRISPR Protein Might Yield New Tests for Many Viruses

How a CRISPR Protein Might Yield New Tests for Many Viruses

In this illustration based on cryo-electron microscope images, a Cas12a2 protein unzips a DNA double helix, allowing it to cut the single strands of DNA (blue and green). Credit: Jack Bravo/University of Texas at Austin

In a first for the genetic toolset known as CRISPR, a recently discovered protein has been found to act as a kind of multipurpose self-destruct system for bacteria, capable of degrading single-stranded RNA, single-stranded DNA and double-stranded DNA. With its abilities to target so many types of genetic material, the discovery holds potential for the development of new inexpensive and highly sensitive at-home diagnostic tests for a wide range of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, influenza, Ebola and Zika, according to the authors of a new study in the journal Nature.

Dense Bacterial Populations Create Mutant Breeding Grounds for Antibiotic Resistance

Dense Bacterial Populations Create Mutant Breeding Grounds for Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a global health threat and killed an estimated 1.27 million people in 2019. The overuse of antibiotic medication is often blamed for creating these deadly pathogens, but now scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have found a new contributor: bacterial swarms that create ideal breeding grounds to evolve antibiotic resistance, even in the absence of antibiotics. The scientists' findings suggest a potential chink in bacteria's armor that could offer new ways of reducing antibiotic-resistant infections by using a combination of already existing drugs.

Students Win Big at International Synthetic Biology Competition

Students Win Big at International Synthetic Biology Competition

A team of 12 undergraduate students at UT Austin received top awards at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition, including placing in the top 10 overall in the undergraduate category—the only team from the U.S. to do so.

Ten Faculty Members Honored With College Teaching Excellence Award

Ten Faculty Members Honored With College Teaching Excellence Award

​The Teaching Excellence Award in the College of Natural Sciences seeks to promote and recognize outstanding teaching in the college by honoring faculty members who have had a positive influence on the educational experience of our students. 

Texas Biologics to Bolster Research in Therapeutics

Texas Biologics to Bolster Research in Therapeutics

Protein therapeutics research takes place at The University of Texas at Austin in numerous labs, including that of professor of molecular biosciences Jason McLellan with former graduate student Akaash Mishra.

Nearly two years after COVID-19 vaccines entered widespread use, featuring technology from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, the Cockrell School of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences have launched Texas Biologics, a cross-disciplinary effort made up of world-renowned faculty members and researchers working across all areas of therapeutics.

Visualizing Science 2022: Illuminating the Intrinsic Beauty in Academic Research

Visualizing Science 2022: Illuminating the Intrinsic Beauty in Academic Research

This past spring, the College of Natural Sciences invited our University of Texas at Austin faculty, staff and students to send in the top images from their research for our Visualizing Science competition. The images they produced nourish both the mind and the soul, offering not only food for thought but a feast for the eyes as well.

New Research Advances Fight Against Human Metapneumovirus

New Research Advances Fight Against Human Metapneumovirus

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV), a virus that infects the upper and lower respiratory systems—leading to bronchitis and pneumonia in some patients—could soon meet its medical match. A scientific team in Texas, in collaboration with biotech companies, has made recent breakthroughs in understanding the virus, and their efforts could lead to everything from the first-ever vaccines against hMPV to new, highly effective therapeutics.

Potential New Drug Target Could Boost Effectiveness of Chemotherapy Drugs

Potential New Drug Target Could Boost Effectiveness of Chemotherapy Drugs

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a large family of reverse transcriptases (RTs)—enzymes that are found in all organisms and have been extensively studied for more than 50 years—have the previously unsuspected ability to repair DNA damage. The discovery makes them a potential new drug target that might be exploited to block cancer cells from developing resistance to radiation and chemotherapy drugs. The findings were published today in the journal Cell.

Enzymes in a large family called group II intron-like RTs have 3D structures that are remarkably similar, which suggests they share the ability to help repair double-strand DNA breaks. This image is a superposition of two of these enzymes: G2L4 and GsI-IIC RT. Their shared (or conserved) structures are in alternating green and gray. Credit: University of Texas at Austin.