University of Texas at Austin

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Research Round Up: Fall 2010

Penguin fossil found in Peru showed surprising evidence of feathers and their colors.

Penguin fossil found in Peru showed surprising evidence of feathers and their colors.

During the fall semester of 2010, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin revealed:

An ancient penguin with surprising colors

Honey bees with a failure to communicate

Criminal virus spreaders using evolutionary forensics

An electron switch between molecules with cool battery potential

That as biological clock ticks down, libido rises

A dinosaur who thrived when its competition died

Ways the earth moves

That’s not all.

A team of students launched two satellites, which they built, into orbit.

Here are the stories:

Fossilized Giant Penguin Wore Unusual Colors

A team led by paleontologist Julia Clarke unearthed the first extinct penguin with preserved evidence of scales and feathers. The 36-million-year-old fossil from Peru shows the new giant penguin’s feathers were reddish brown and grey, distinct from the black tuxedoed look of living penguins.

Sleepless Honey Bees Miscommunicate, Too

“We found that sleep-deprived honey bees also experienced communication problems (as humans do),” said Dr. Barrett Klein, the lead researcher on the project. “They advertised the direction to a food site less precisely to their fellow bees.”

Scientists Reveal Criminal Virus Spreaders Using Evolutionary Forensics

The source of HIV infection in two separate criminal cases in which men were convicted of intentionally infecting their female sexual partners was confirmed by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor College of Medicine using evolutionary forensics.

This electron switch discovery could lead to lightweight energy storage devices.

This electron switch discovery could lead to lightweight energy storage devices.

Electron Interaction Between Molecules Points Way to New High-Powered Organic Batteries

Chemists discovered a new way to pass electrons back and forth between two molecules and that could brighten the path to development of new organic batteries — lightweight energy storage devices that work without the need for toxic heavy metals.

Ticking Biological Clock Revs Women’s Libido

As more women wait until their 30s and 40s to have children, they are more willing to engage in a variety of sexual activities to capitalize on their remaining childbearing years, according to psychologists. Such “reproduction expediting” includes one-night stands and adventurous bedroom behavior, the research shows.

Sarahsaurus, found in Arizona, had small, but powerful hands.

Sarahsaurus, found in Arizona, had small, but powerful hands.

New Fossil Suggests Dinosaurs Not So Fierce After All

A new species of dinosaur discovered in Arizona suggests dinosaurs did not spread throughout the world by overpowering other species, but by taking advantage of a natural catastrophe that wiped out their competitors. Sarahsaurus lived about 190 million years ago. It was 14 feet long and weighed about 250 pounds.

A cutaway look at the plate tectonic dynamics made the cover of Science.

A cutaway look at the plate tectonic dynamics made the cover of Science.

New Supercomputing Model Enables Breakthrough Findings in Plate Tectonics

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and California Institute of Technology developed a new supercomputer model that for the first time produces an unprecedented view of plate tectonics and the forces that drive it.

Tsunami Risk Higher in Los Angeles, Other Major Cities

Geologists studying the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake say the risk of destructive tsunamis is higher than expected in places such as Kingston, Istanbul and Los Angeles. These cities lie near a coast and near an active geologic feature where two tectonic plates slide past each other.

Engineering Students Launch Hand-Built Satellite

A team of students designed and built two satellites that were launched Nov. 19. It’s the first student-developed mission in which satellites will orbit and communicate with each other in real-time. Check the mission’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/fastracsats#!/fastracsats?v=wall

More from Texas research:

Plants ‘Remember’ Winter to Bloom in Spring With Help of Special Molecule

Strengthen Quality of Instruction, Opportunities for “Deep Learning” to Improve Community College Completion Rates, Study Says

What Mimicking One’s Language Style May Mean About the Relationship

Positive Changes in the Way Women Experience Menopause, University of Texas at Austin Multi-Ethnic Study Finds

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new Web pages.
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon

Post a comment

» Research Round Up: Fall 2010

(required)

(required)



Comments are moderated. They will be posted if they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. They will not be published if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity or spam.