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Infectious Disease News

How a CRISPR Protein Might Yield New Tests for Many Viruses In a first for the genetic toolset known as CRISPR, a recently discovered protein has been found to act as a kind of multipurpose self-destruct system for bacteria, capable of degrading single-stranded RNA, single-stranded DNA and double-stranded DNA. With its abilities to target so many types of genetic material, the discovery holds potential for...
Students Win Big at International Synthetic Biology Competition

A team of 12 undergraduate students at UT Austin received top awards at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition, including placing in the top 10 overall in the undergraduate category—the only team from the U.S. to do so.

NSF Award Paves Way for UT Center for Pandemic Decision Science Preparing the world to combat pandemic threats involves the use of sophisticated forecasting tools and detection of novel threats before they spread.

The National Science Foundation has selected The University of Texas at Austin for a pilot grant to establish the UT Center for Pandemic Decision Science (CPDS). The new interdisciplinary center will bring together scientists, engineers, clinicians and policymakers to tackle the grand challenge of preparing the world to combat future pandemic threats.

Texas Biologics to Bolster Research in Therapeutics Protein therapeutics research takes place at The University of Texas at Austin in numerous labs, including that of professor of molecular biosciences Jason McLellan with former graduate student Akaash Mishra.

Nearly two years after COVID-19 vaccines entered widespread use, featuring technology from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, the Cockrell School of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences have launched Texas Biologics, a cross-disciplinary effort made up of world-renowned faculty members and researchers working across all areas of therapeutics.

New Research Advances Fight Against Human Metapneumovirus

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV), a virus that infects the upper and lower respiratory systems—leading to bronchitis and pneumonia in some patients—could soon meet its medical match. A scientific team in Texas, in collaboration with biotech companies, has made recent breakthroughs in understanding the virus, and their efforts could lead to everything from the first-ever vaccines against hMPV to new, highly effective therapeutics.

New Era at UT Austin Begins for Famous Long-Term Evolution Experiment

The Long-Term Evolution Experiment began back when a dozen eggs cost 65 cents, the film Rain Man topped the box office and George Michael's song "Faith" ruled the pop charts. The bacteria central to this long-running experiment—descendants of E. coli that were plucked from the wild and have spent some 75,000 generations in captivity—now live on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

Jeff Barrick, director of the Long-Term Evolution Experiment, examines a dish of E.coli bacteria from the LTEE. Credit: Nolan Zunk/University of Texas at Austin.
Scientists Hijack Bacteria To Ease Drug Manufacturing

​For more affordable, sustainable drug options than we have today, the medication we take to treat high blood pressure, pain or memory loss may one day come from engineered bacteria, cultured in a vat like yogurt. And thanks to a new bacterial tool developed by scientists at The University of Texas at Austin, the process of improving drug manufacturing in bacterial cells may be coming sooner than we thought.

Jason McLellan Named Finalist for Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists

University of Texas at Austin molecular biosciences professor Jason McLellan was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.

Lauren Ehrlich Named among The Alcalde’s Texas 10

Lauren Ehrlich, associate professor of molecular biosciences, has been named one of the Texas 10 by The Alcalde, the University of Texas at Austin alumni magazine. Alumni nominate professors who inspired them and went above and beyond for their students.

Dried Bacteria Could Revolutionize Testing, Laboratory Science

When you think of the type of labs driving biomedical discoveries, you may envision beakers and test tubes filled with a rainbow of chemicals, where much of the magic of scientific experimentation takes place. However, those chemicals are expensive. Pure forms can be difficult to manufacture, ship and store, and they often have to be ordered in very large quantities, which creates barriers to scientific experimentation and advancement.