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From the College of Natural Sciences
Scientists Discover Molecular Culprits Linked to Alcohol Use Disorders

Scientists Discover Molecular Culprits Linked to Alcohol Use Disorders

An unanswered question in alcoholism research has been what drives the transition from moderate alcohol consumption to alcohol dependence. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin set out to discover if a molecule that regulates gene expression in the brain called Lim-only 4 (Lmo4) could facilitate this transition. In doing so, they discovered a molecular mechanism in the brain that is critical to the development of alcoholism, providing potential new targets for treatment.

Mathematician and Neuroscientist Chosen for Texas Ten Recognition

Mathematician and Neuroscientist Chosen for Texas Ten Recognition

Every year, the Alcalde by the Texas Exes flips the script and gives alumni the chance to give their favorite professors an A+. Through nominations from former students, the Texas Ten honors professors who have made a difference in the lives of Longhorns.​ This year, two of the Texas Ten were chosen from the College of Natural Sciences.
As Remote School for Texas Kids Continues, Try These STEM Learning Resources

As Remote School for Texas Kids Continues, Try These STEM Learning Resources

With Texas' governor among those declaring that K-12 schools will remain closed through the end of the school year, many families and teachers are looking for resources to support learning from home. Several outreach programs in the College of Natural Sciences and at UT Austin support STEM learning from afar. Here are a few to check out.

Social Support Aids Recovery from Drug Addiction, Study Suggests

Social Support Aids Recovery from Drug Addiction, Study Suggests

Having an option to receive social support rather than use drugs is better at reducing relapse than cutting out drugs completely, and this behavior has its own control circuit in the brain, according to research co-authored by University of Texas neuroscientist Robert Messing. The research, done in partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides evidence supporting existing recovery offerings and has implications for developing new drug-addiction treatments.

Public Outreach Programs Suspended in Response to COVID-19

Public Outreach Programs Suspended in Response to COVID-19

​The University of Texas at Austin's public-facing programs on campus and at museums, schools and science centers are currently suspended to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the agent causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four Natural Sciences Faculty Receive President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Awards

Four Natural Sciences Faculty Receive President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Awards

2020 President's Associates Teaching Award winners Michael Drew, Janice Fischer, Marci Gleason and Vernita Gordon.

College of Natural Sciences faculty members Michael Drew, Janice Fischer, Marci Gleason and Vernita Gordon each received a 2020 President's Associate Teaching Excellence Award, among seven total recipients.

The Next 50 Years: Thinking Outside the Brain

The Next 50 Years: Thinking Outside the Brain

This semester, the College of Natural Sciences is checking in with faculty experts about developments related to their fields of study that may well affect how we live, work and interact with one another and the world around us over the next 50 years. For this installment, we hear from Professor Adron Harris, M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Chair in Molecular Biology, a professor of neuroscience, pharmacology and psychiatry, and the associate director of the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research.

What Neuroscience Suggests to Better Your Study Habits

What Neuroscience Suggests to Better Your Study Habits

Every student has their own style of studying for exams. Some hold marathon study sessions, others endlessly review their notes. But scientists right here on campus say there are right ways and wrong ways to study, according to neuroscience.

Alum Prem Mahendroo and the Research Bug

Alum Prem Mahendroo and the Research Bug

Prem Mahendroo at home in Arlington. Photos on this page by: Vivian Abagiu, Sloan Breeden, Tara Trujillo-Smith

As a young boy, Prem Mahendroo loved to fly kites near the Ganges River in his hometown of Haridwar, India. He has a vivid memory of climbing up the side of his house to free one that had been trapped. A fall could have been deadly, but he was determined to grasp what was just beyond reach.

That moment provides a glimpse of Mahendroo's life and work. Throughout his career as a physicist, he reached beyond. He would become a pioneer in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research and is admired by Nobel Prize winners in the field.

Improving Brain Imaging with Deep Learning

Improving Brain Imaging with Deep Learning

An image showing the side by side versions of electron microscope captures. Credit: Salk Institute

Textbook descriptions of brain cells make neurons look simple: a long spine-like central axon with branching dendrites. Taken individually, these might be easy to identify and map, but in an actual brain, they're more like a knotty pile of octopi, with hundreds of limbs intertwined. This makes understanding how they behave and interact a major challenge for neuroscientists.

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