University of Texas at Austin

Archive for April, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rock Snot Genomics: The origin of common algae

Diatoms are one of the most common types of phytoplankton and a major group of algae. One species, Didymosphenia geminata, is responsible for creating thick blooms in mountain streams and ponds. It’s a menace to ocean-going vessels, where it causes drag, and in hospitals, where it can coat moist surfaces and promote bacteria.

For researchers in the lab of Edward Theriot at The University of Texas at Austin, diatoms (and their snot) are rich objects of biological research. Read the full
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Building a better battery

It’s been a rough ride lately for the lithium-ion battery. Though practically all of us carry one around — they power everything from cell phones to iPods — the lightweight cells have sparked some high-profile product failures.

It was bad enough when they caused laptop computers to burst into flames, leading to millions of recalled batteries since 2000. Their reputation took another hit in January, when battery fires in two of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner planes caused airlines to ground their
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