Tag Archive: School of Biological Sciences RSS

With the help of supercomputing power, researchers explore the health risks of wireless devices through virtual body models and advanced algorithms

With the help of supercomputing power, researchers explore the health risks of wireless devices through virtual body models and advanced algorithms

VIDEO Every moment, we’re swimming in a sea of electromagnetic radiation. Appliances, power lines, cellphones, Wi-Fi and a slew of other modern technologies emit microwaves that pass through, and interact with, our bodies. As wireless technology continues to proliferate in our daily lives, anxiety builds about its dangers.  Do cellphones cause cancer? Impact fertility? Affect…   » Continue Reading

Look back at some of the stories that showed the university’s impact in 2010

Look back at some of the stories that showed the university’s impact in 2010

Look back at some of the stories that showed the university’s impact in 2010.

Explore Texas biodiversity past, present and future at campus natural science center

Explore Texas biodiversity past, present and future at campus natural science center

A Q&A with Dr. Ed Theriot, professor, diatom wrangler and director of the Texas Natural Science Center. Why should people visit the Texas Memorial Museum? Whether they like dinosaurs and fossils or gems and minerals, or are curious about evolution or Texas wildlife, everybody finds a “wow,” a personal connection. One example: looking at the…   » Continue Reading

Scientists depend on advanced computing to better understand evolution, drug discovery and genetics

Scientists depend on advanced computing to better understand evolution, drug discovery and genetics

Today’s medical technology can recognize tumors smaller than a fingernail, decode your DNA to predict future illness and even read a person’s mind by identifying electronic patterns in the brain. “Medical advances seem like wizardry,” said Harold Varmus, former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “But pull back the curtain, and sitting at…   » Continue Reading

Biologist searches for the genetic building blocks of social behavior across species

Biologist searches for the genetic building blocks of social behavior across species

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

Some species threatened by climate change could be moved to new ecosystems, says biologist

Some species threatened by climate change could be moved to new ecosystems, says biologist

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

Researchers attack complex disorder from many angles, from basic biology to impact on society

Researchers attack complex disorder from many angles, from basic biology to impact on society

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

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

Scientists map the evolutionary relationships for all life on the planet

Scientists map the evolutionary relationships for all life on the planet

In the beginning Ed Theriot’s contributions to the Assembling the Tree of Life (AToL) project—“the story of life on Earth, in a nutshell”—often begin pretty humbly. “Sometimes we go down to Waller Creek, right on campus, with a turkey baster and a toothbrush, and we suck up algae from the water and scrub it off…   » Continue Reading

University of Texas at Austin professor chips in to determine how genes work with each other

Scores of scientists from dozens of institutions gave one percent of the human genome a thorough going over as the start of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project. The headlines from the results, published in June in Nature, were that there’s a lot more going on in the genome that had been thought. It’s…   » Continue Reading