University of Texas at Austin

Posts Tagged ‘university of texas at austin’


Friday, April 3, 2009

Fear not the trip from lab to clinic

Marie Monfils

Marie Monfils

Marie Monfils studies a basic emotion, fear, in a basic model system, rodents.

But the assistant professor of psychology hopes her research will lead to effective therapies for complex phobias and anxiety disorders that affect people.

“To me that’s a big deal,” she said. “I’m always cautious in saying what I do has direct translational relevance, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

The “it” she referred to is her paper published April 2 in Science Express. She reported that
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Monday, March 30, 2009

With the stickleback, its lake can be a lab

Dan Bolnick

Dan Bolnick

The threespine stickleback is a fish biologists use as a model organism and have for about a century.

Dan Bolnick, an assistant professor in the Section of Integrative Biology, is a stickleback scientist who’s starting to use the fish in a new way to research relationships between organisms and parasites.

Bolnick’s work earned him selection as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Early Career Scientist. John Wallingford, an associate professor of molecular cell and developmental biology, also was selected.

They are among 50
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Follow data, find frogs

Dendrobates mysteriosus is from the transition between the Andes Mountains to Amazonia in northeastern Perus.

Dendrobates mysteriosus is from the transition between the Andes Mountains to Amazonia in northeastern Perus.

Detectives follow the evidence. Reporters follow the money. Scientists follow the data.

They might not know where these things will lead, but, one way or another, it should be the truth—or at least as close to it as they can get.

Juan Santos, a Ph.D. student in integrative biology, followed the data from the Amazon River basin up into the Andes Mountains and back to the Amazon to
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Friday, March 6, 2009

Clarifying a climate debate

LeeAnn Kahlor

LeeAnn Kahlor

Those tracking the Earth’s temperatures might want to make a notation of a heat spike in February 2009.

That’s when newspaper columnist George Will wrote about his skepticism on global warming and the role of humans. He cited scientific data that he said supported his conclusions. Others said that Will misread, misinterpreted and mischaracterized the data, not least of all the scientists who compiled that data. More about the ruckus can be found at http://ksjtracker.mit.edu/?p=8707.

Argument, some of it heated, ensued in newspapers
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lucy in the Scanner

From the left, Ron Harvey, conservator; Alemu Admassu, curator; John Kappelman, anthropologist; and Richard Ketcham, geologist and CT Lab director.

Team Lucy CT: From the left, Ron Harvey, conservator; Alemu Admassu, curator; John Kappelman, anthropologist; and Richard Ketcham, geologist and CT Lab director.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with the Ethiopian government, have completed the first high-resolution CT scan of the world’s most famous fossil, Lucy, an ancient human ancestor who lived 3.2 million years ago.

Video on the CT Lab from NPR's Science Friday

John Kappelman, professor of anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts, led the
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Going to a star party

The stars at night are big and bright deep … in West Texas, where McDonald Observatory sits in the Davis Mountains.

My wife and I topped off a trip to Big Bend National Park by attending a Star Party at the observatory on Nov. 8. We had a quick dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Fort Davis and drove the 17 winding miles to the observatory. We knew we were getting close when we saw two white telescope domes basking in the moonlight.

We
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Notes on NASA and UT, 50 years and counting

I was walking down the hall of the administration building at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., when I saw an oil portrait of what appeared to be a familiar face. I looked more closely at the face and then at the identification and it was, indeed, Hans Mark, current professor of engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

Mark was the director of the NASA-Ames from 1969-1977 and chancellor of the University of Texas System from 1984-1992.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

An ancient ant

Christian Rabeling was facing the deadline for finishing the fieldwork for his master’s thesis.

As part of his work, Rabeling mapped entrances to ant nests in a Brazilian rain forest. And to find an entrance, you follow an ant. The ants he was studying weren’t helping.

“A. they’re small and B. they’re slow,” he said.

Breathe on a leaf near an ant and it will freeze in its tracks. It takes a while for them to get going again. “It requires a
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