For Hans Hofmann, the quest for the genetic building blocks of human behavior begins with a small fish. Consider this scene: A subordinate male cichlid fish decides he’s ready to challenge a dominant male for territory and for the favor of fertile females. They fight. The subordinate male wins. And just like that, they switch.… » Continue Reading
During the last century, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin played a large role in eliminating the nutritional deficiency diseases that were devastating to children’s development with discoveries of vitamins like B5 and B6 and folic acid. Today, a multi-disciplinary group of university researchers from the College of Pharmacy and College of Natural… » Continue Reading
Camille Parmesan’s new, big idea in conservation biology–the “assisted colonization” of species threatened by climate change–is a product, in roughly equal parts, of cynicism, experience and hope. Parmesan, an associate professor of integrative biology, wasn’t cynical at all when she first got involved, in the mid-1990s, with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change… » Continue Reading
The day may not be far off when a routine blood test at the doctor’s office will be able to detect not only whether you suffer from heart disease or diabetes, but also whether you suffer from an addiction to alcohol. Dr. R. Adron Harris is director of the university’s Waggoner Center for Alcoholism and… » Continue Reading
Taking Aim at Addiction: The work of a group of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin revolves around a central question: “Why can drugs hijack the brain to such an extent that people ruin their lives, lose everything they have simply to get more of the drug?” That’s the question posed by R. Adron Harris, an alcoholism researcher and the director of the Waggoner Center for Addiction and Alcohol Abuse.
Mathematicians’ computer models on vaccine distribution, human behavior help decision-makers fight H1N1 flu
The new H1N1 flu is spreading like a wildfire across the globe. It’s the first flu pandemic the world has seen since 1968, and many people are holding their breath. Whether or not swine flu will leave a massive amount of destruction in its wake or smolder along like a typical seasonal flu is a… » Continue Reading
Texas alum had vision for the Internet that changed the world It was the mystery of the human brain that first sparked Bob Taylor’s interest in computers nearly a half century ago. Bob Taylor earned his master’s degree in experimental psychology at The University of Texas at Austin in 1964. Before Taylor initiated the ARPAnet… » Continue Reading
Really Extreme Science:
Green, Texas: Texans like to think of themselves as the best. Over the past decade, environmentalists have rated the state No. 1, but not in a good way: number one for per capita energy consumption, major environmental complaints and emission of air pollution and greenhouse gases. What if the state could add a new ranking: No. 1 in green energy. Sound far fetched? It’s not, according to Michael Webber, an energy specialist at The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering and Jackson School of Geosciences, where he is associate director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy.
Resistance Fighter: When Grace Eckhoff went to Afghanistan last summer to study multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) infection rates, it was a kind of return to her childhood. Eckhoff, who’s now a third-year biology major, grew up in Haiti, where her parents were doctors at a small hospital. While her parents were working, she’d often pass the time playing with the kids in the chronic illness ward, most of whom had tuberculosis. They were being treated there, rather than at home, precisely to preempt the development of drug resistant strains of tuberculosis.