University of Texas at Austin

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Evolutionary research connections here and there

Edward Marcotte

Edward Marcotte

John Wallingford

John Wallingford

Research conducted by University of Texas at Austin professors Edward Marcotte and John Wallingford is featured in this week’s edition (April 27, 2010) of Science Times in the New York Times.

Marcotte, in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Wallingford, in the Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, found genes in the genomes of organisms as diverse as plants, worms and yeast that are responsible for causing human diseases such as cancer and deafness.

In yeast, for example, they
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Friday, February 5, 2010

What colors are your dinosaur?

Julia Clarke, paleontologist

Julia Clarke, paleontologist

Julia Clarke, a paleontologist in the Jackson School of Geosciences, was a member of a team of researchers that, for the first time, filled in the colors of a dinosaur.

The research is reported in the Feb. 4, 2010 edition of Science. The Jackson School Web site has the story of Clarke’s role in the research.

Find links to articles about the research and depictions of the dinosaur, Anchiornis huxleyi, at the Jackson School site.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reseach film festival: Part II

Steven Weinberg

Steven Weinberg

Physicist Steven Weinberg, the Jack S. Josey-Welch Foundation Chair in Science and Regental Professor, is featured in the PBS program, “The Elegant Universe.” The program is based on the book of the same title by physicist Brian Greene. It’s about string theory.

Find the “Elegant Universe” at and the transcript at

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Read the PTSD story, watch the PTSD lecture

Michael Telch's lecture at CASW.

Michael Telch’s lecture at CASW.

Prof. Michael Telch’s project on post traumatic stress disorder is the subject of the story on The University of Texas at Austin home page.

Telch went into more detail about the project in a lecture at the meeting of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. The meeting was held on campus in October.

The lecture can be seen at

Other lectures from the conference are at

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mayan expert explains 2012

David Stuart

David Stuart

If the world does end in 2012, do not blame it on the ancient Mayans.

The current disaster movie “2012″ apparently says the world ends in 2012 because that’s when the Mayan calendar ends. Other 2012-end-of-the-world scenarios also bring the Mayan calendar into it.

David Stuart, a Mayan expert at The University of Texas at Austin, has worked with the Mayan text that some say heralds the end of the world. And he says it’s not so.

In a Q and A
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Pianka goes Nova. Super!

Eric Pianka and Gisela Kaufmann--Photo by Carsten Orlt

Eric Pianka and Gisela Kaufmann–Photo by Carsten Orlt

Sometimes it pays to read those old magazines gathering dust in doctors’ offices. That turned out to be Eric Pianka’s version of being discovered by a talent scout.

Pianka, a biologist who holds the Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professorship at the University of Texas at Austin, is the expert guide in “Lizard Kings,” a part of the Nova series on PBS. It will be shown on KUT at 7 p.m. Oct. 20, 2009.

And it’s
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

More on the nano test tube experiment

Here’s the video of the nano test tube experiment conducted in the lab of Brian Korgel, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

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The video shows gold moving up the length of a germanium nanowire, which was encased in a carbon nano test tube, at high temperature. The image has been magnified 100,000 times and the video’s speed has been greatly increased.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Battery included

John Goodenough

John Goodenough

John Goodenough, whose work led to the lithium ion battery off of which your laptop is running right now if it’s not plugged in, was interviewed by Eric Berger, who covers science for the Houston Chronicle.

Goodenough, a professor of mechanical engineering, recently won the Enrico Fermi Prize.

Check out the Q&A at Berger’s SciGuy blog.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Evolution at its finest

Tanya Paull

Tanya Paull

What is an example of evolution at its finest, when an elegant efficiency is selected over time, that you’ve come across in your research?

That’s the question The Bulletin of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute posed to four of its investigators. One of them is Tanya Paull, an associate professor in the Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.

Here’s her answer:

“I think the perfect microcosm of efficient evolution is the virus.

A virus uses every nucleotide of its nucleic acid, sometimes many times over,
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Monday, August 17, 2009

The GRACE connection

Whenever I see a scientific study about water on Earth, I check to see if it involves the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).

GRACE is a NASA mission run by The University of Texas at Austin and the German Aerospace Center. Byron Tapley, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, is GRACE’s principal investigator.

Since the start of GRACE in 2002, data it has collected have generated scores of papers about the Earth’s climate and water resources.

The latest projects
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