The Daily Texan

All content by Sarah Bloodworth
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Science editor converts from rock-and-roll writer to writing about rocks

December 10, 2018

When I started in journalism, I was dedicated to my vision of being a no-nonsense, rock-and-roll reporter for Rolling Stone. But then I took a class on rocks and ironically, some “rolling stones”...

Ancient near-mammalian fossil gives insight to brain evolution

September 7, 2018

Imagine if the average human gave birth to over 30 babies at a time. Ouch, right? According to a hypothesis in a study from the journal Evolution, mammals bear smaller litters because somewhere down...

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Study: Narcissism linked to mental toughness

August 9, 2018

Narcissism is typically associated with negative behavior such as exaggerating talents, hogging conversations and having a close relationship with any reflective surface. However, a collaborative research...

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Electric, self-driving buses coming to Austin

August 8, 2018

According to Capital Metro, the largest public automated-bus pilot in the country will take place this fall in Austin. Cap Metro has already begun testing a fleet of six electric, self-driving buses, which...

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Gender gap in STEM persists despite increased representation of women

August 7, 2018

Last year, UT ranked in the top 10 of U.S. universities for scientific research by the Nature Index database. Along with this came a litany of reports, such as the Elsevier global research group’s...

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New research projects higher sea-level rise

July 13, 2018

Humans have never lived with levels of carbon dioxide as high as they are today, and these increasing greenhouse gases are contributing to sea-level rise, according to a 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on...

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Jackson School of Geosciences challenges perceptions about T. rex

July 10, 2018

The Tyrannosaurus rex, whose name translates to king of the tyrant lizards, is the aggressive poster child of dinosaurs. The proclaimed king of the dinosaurs reigns over our books, museums and most recently,...

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The science behind ‘Black Panther’s’ vibranium suit

June 28, 2018

Vibranium, a fictional metal that can store and transform more energy than any known substance, is pretty super. It’s so super that it composes Black Panther’s suit and Captain America’s...

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Environment leaders talk about future of Texas resources

December 1, 2017

The population in Texas is expected to nearly double by 2070, according to Texas’ 2017 State Water Plan, and that means a not so excellent future for a state with already strained resources and vulnerability...

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Distrust of clowns rooted in fear of the unknown

October 24, 2017

Fear of clowns, or coulrophobia, is no laughing matter. According to a 2016 study called “On the Nature of Creepiness” by psychologist Francis McAndrew, participants said the most cringe-worthy...

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Professor pokes holes in biology of SpongeBob SquarePants

October 2, 2017

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Sea sponges certainly don’t. Although SpongeBob SquarePants, the beloved childhood cartoon and meme sensation, isn’t an accurate depiction of sea sponges,...

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Climate change: connected to but not the cause of Hurricane Harvey

September 7, 2017

Hurricane Harvey unleashed record-breaking amounts of rain on Texas, followed by a whirlwind of debates about climate change.  While most scientists agree that climate change induces severe weather...

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Invasive zebra mussel species discovered in Lake Austin

August 28, 2017

Lake Austin is positive for Dreissena polymorpha, otherwise known as zebra mussels. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, zebra mussels are invasive freshwater mussels that reproduce quickly...

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UT professor used a butterfly to verify climate change

May 5, 2017

UT geology professor Camille Parmesan studies the endangered Edith’s Checkerspot butterfly, which serves as a living warning of climate change in North America. Parmesan recently began working...

Sci-Fact Column: Rick, Morty and the multiverse

May 3, 2017

“Rick and Morty,” a critically acclaimed animated science fiction TV show on Adult Swim, stars Rick, an alcoholic mad scientist, and his grandson Morty, an anxious high schooler, who is easily...

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UT researchers discover method to better predict glacial melting

April 28, 2017

Using glacial data and lots of geometry, UT researchers discovered what makes some glaciers more susceptible to melting. Researchers at UT’s Institute for Geophysics, or UTIG, led the study, which...

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Bureau of Economic Geology Project Reveals the “Realities Under our Feet”

April 26, 2017

So much goes on above the earth’s surface, that it’s easy for people to overlook what’s under their feet. The Texas GeoSign Project, launched last June, places signs to educate the public...

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Research reveals sweet appeal of e-cigarettes

April 24, 2017

UT researchers recently found that some people pick up electronic cigarettes not for the nicotine, but to satisfy their sweet tooth.  Researchers at UT’s Health Science Center in Houston,...

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UT celebrating Earth Week through dinners, demonstrations and more

April 19, 2017

This April, UT has gone green. Along with billions of people worldwide, the Longhorn community celebrates environmental awareness through a series of eco-friendly events leading up to Earth Day this Saturday....

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UT Arlington and the Botanical Research Institute sign new research partnership

April 12, 2017

UT Arlington and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, or BRIT, are blossoming in their new research collaboration. During an opening ceremony at BRIT in January, research officials said the program...

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Stanford paleontologist to forewarn upcoming mass extinction

April 12, 2017

Five mass extinctions across Earth’s history wiped out large amounts of life on land and in the ocean. According to John Payne, the planet is on track for a sixth. Payne, a geological sciences...

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Sugars in American diets increase breast cancer risk

April 10, 2017

The truth isn’t so sweet: UT researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center recently found that consuming sugar increases risk of cancerous growths in the lungs and breast cancer. The average...

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Sci-Fact column: Fact checking “Cucumber” claims

April 5, 2017

Veganism went viral in March when Macka B, a 56-year-old reggae musician from England and Jamaica, posted his latest healthful hit, “Cucumber.” Macka B, a vegan social media personality,...

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Energy research organization testing new waters

March 29, 2017

Some Austinites are testing new tech to monitor their water use through Pecan Street, a clean energy research organization headquartered at UT. Pecan Street uses a smart-grid system, an electricity...

Austin sees decrease in carbon dioxide emissions despite population increase

March 28, 2017

In 2015, Austin’s carbon dioxide emissions from city operations decreased five percent from 2014 and 32 percent from 2010. Emissions from 2015 were equivalent in weight to a large cruise ship. Ten...

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Kappelman explains Lucy’s life through death

March 27, 2017

UT anthropology professor John Kappelman’s talk, “Solving a 3.2-Million-Year-Old Mystery: How Lucy Died” packed every seat in Welch Hall and detailed his team’s conclusion that...

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UT researchers possibly provide earlier Alzheimer’s diagnoses

March 24, 2017

Neuroscience professor Laura Colgin and her lab have potentially found a way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier. More than five million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s, but little...

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World’s most famous tigress gives insight into human-animal conservation relationships

March 22, 2017

A famous tigress named Machli captured the hearts of animal-lovers all over the world — but ensuring her health into old age raises questions about elevating animals to “celebrity” status. Geography...

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Science organization pushes public speaking preparation

March 10, 2017

Many STEM students would rather spend hours solving equations than speaking in front of a crowd, but members of the UT Sciences Toastmasters organization challenge themselves every week to improve their...

SXSW Interactive panel pitches music as medicine

March 8, 2017

One SXSW interactive panel will discuss bringing music to an unexpected place: hospitals. The “Music as Medicine: Therapeutic Benefits of Music” panel on March 13 will address the role of...

Cosmologist connects God to galaxies

March 2, 2017

Luke Barnes is a cosmologist who believes our universe is the result of creation, not chance. Barnes, a postdoctoral researcher at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy and fellow professor Geraint Lewis...

UT geologists prepare to drill for potential energy resource

February 28, 2017

A potential new energy source looks like ice, burns when lit and is found thousands of feet beneath the Gulf of Mexico. This substance is called methane hydrate, a solid composed of water and methane that...

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UT scientists recognized for drug research

February 22, 2017

Last month, the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences honored two UT researchers for their work to enhance the effectiveness of drugs in the body. The researchers, Robert Williams III, head of the UT Division...

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Five million dollar grant expands computer science education

February 20, 2017

UT’s WeTeach_CS program is working not only to make computer science classes more available to students but to diversify the field as well. Only one in 10 high schools offer computer science nationwide,...

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Dell Children’s Medical Center to receive New Mental Health Unit

February 20, 2017

Seton’s Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and UT are trying to make mental health care more accessible to children.  One in five children, aged 13 to 18, live with mental...

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What we know about March for Science Austin

February 8, 2017

Austin protesters are trading out their pink hats for volumetric flasks. Shortly after the global women’s march in January, protesters started planning another large scale protest: the science...

Climate Scientist Identifies Ways to Talk Climate Change

February 6, 2017

On Friday night, around 1,200 people heard Katharine Hayhoe, a nationally-acclaimed climate scientist, speak about the taboo topics of our time: politics, money, God and climate change.  Hayhoe’s...

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Split’s depiction of mental illness divides movie fans

February 1, 2017

“Split,” a movie depicting a man with multiple personalities, sparked debate among both mental health advocacy groups and film societies after premiering this month.  The movie, starring...

Event preview: Climate scientist to reveal secret to talking about climate change

February 1, 2017

According to climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, the key to discussing climate change involves talking about everything but the science.  Hayhoe, who directs the Climate Science Center at Texas...

U.S. introduces program to certify more organic farmers

January 23, 2017

In response to the growing demand for organic food, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently created a program that makes it easier for farmers to sell organic goods.  The number of organic...

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What Texas Hill Country Water Threats Mean for Wildlife

January 17, 2017

This month marks one year since the publication of a UT study cautioning the Texas Hill Country community about rapid population growth and decreasing water resources. The study forecasts not only issues...