science

Science
12:26 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

UT Scientists Measure Most Massive Black Hole Yet

Image of lenticular galaxy NGC 1277 taken with Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA/ESA/Andrew C. Fabian

Scientists at the University of Texas say they’ve discovered the most massive black hole ever identified.

It sits in the center of a galaxy called NGC 1277. It has a mass equivalent to about 17 billion suns.

Doctor Karl Gebhardt is an astrophysicist at UT, and a member of the team that made the discovery. He says their finding could help us better understand the way galaxies are formed.

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Health
8:49 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Texas Researchers Developing New HIV Vaccine

A single-dose vaccine against HIV is being patented by a Texas group.
Amanda Mills, Centers for Disease Control

The San Antonio-based Texas Biomedical Research Institute has applied for a patent for a new genetically engineered HIV vaccine. This new vaccine would provide lifelong protection from the disease with a single dose.

The vaccine is designed to target the cells that line the body’s surface structures. which are the point of entry into the body in approximately 90 percent of HIV cases. Once HIV enters the body through these cells, it quickly spreads to the lymph nodes and other organs, where it replicates throughout the body. The new vaccine would stimulate the body’s outer layers and cells to generate cells that produce antibodies to HIV. 

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Science
9:40 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Video: A Skydive From the Edge of Space

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria and technical project director Art Thompson celebrate after Baumgartner completed a skydive from the stratosphere Sunday.
Joerg Mitter AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:51 am

In case you missed it this weekend, here is harrowing video of the Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner stepping off a capsule at the edge space. He then plummets toward Earth at :

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Environment
3:43 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

A 'Crazy' Ant Invasion?

Rasberry crazy ants can cause problems because they multiply very quickly.
Tom Rasberry, rasberrycrazyants.com

The Texas AgriLife Extension Office is tracking an insect new to Central Texas – a type of ant. It doesn’t sting like the fire ant but it can cause its own set of problems.

It's called the Rasberry crazy ant.

No, it doesn't like raspberries. The breed was actually discovered by a guy whose last name is Rasberry. And the "crazy" part? Well the reddish-brown, eighth-of-an-inch long ant is a prodigious breeder. Which means a small hill can turn into a full on home invasion very quickly.

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Science
9:48 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Mars Rover Pulls Off High-Wire Landing

An artist's rendering shows a rocket-powered descent stage lowering the one-ton Curiosity rover to the Mars surface.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 5:26 am

The best place to stand in the entire solar system at 1:14 a.m. ET Monday was about 150 million miles away, at the bottom of Gale Crater near the equator of the Red Planet.

Looking west around mid-afternoon local time, a Martian bystander would have seen a rocket-powered alien spacecraft approach and then hover about 60 feet over the rock-strewn plain between the crater walls and the towering slopes of nearby Mount Sharp.

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Science
4:43 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Astronaut Sally Ride Dies

Astronaut Ride, aboard the Challenger in 1983.
NASA

Sally Ride – the first American woman in space – has passed away at the age of 61.

Ride rocketed into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983. As NPR notes in its eulogy, Ride died in  La Jolla, California, following a 17-month fight with pancreatic cancer.

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Science
10:57 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Rare Transit of Venus 'a Beautiful Event'

Venus passes between Earth and the sun during its last transit on June 8, 2004, as seen from Manila, Philippines. The next transit of Venus will be in 2117.
Bullit Marquez AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 11:11 am

A rare astronomical event will take place Tuesday evening: The planet Venus will pass between Earth and the sun, appearing as a small black dot moving across the sun's bright disk. It's known as the transit of Venus, and it won't happen again for more than 100 years.

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Science
11:44 am
Fri May 18, 2012

At International Science Fair, Austin Whiz Kids Shine

The floor of the Intel ISEF, held in Pittsburg.
Photo courtesy societyforscience.org

Today is the final day of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science and engineering competition, with more than $3 million in awards and prizes.

Austin was well-represented at the Pittsburg-held ISEF, with several teens from area high schools vying for honors. KUT News talked to Michael Mann, an 18 year-old senior at Austin’s Westwood High School – and ISEF 2012 winner.

Mann’s project investigates the effects of the fungus Piriformospora indica on the water content and biomass of plant roots – or more simply, whether the fungus will cause a plant to grow more roots, enabling it to take in more nutrients and grow bigger and faster.

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Science
12:22 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Look Up: Tonight, 'Supermoon' Is Closer To Earth

The statue of Freedom, atop of the U.S. Capitol Building, is pictured against a "supermoon" on March 19, 2011.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:49 am

Head outside at sunset tonight and look up at the sky. If the full moon seems a tad larger than normal to you, that means one of two things: You are exceptionally perceptive, or you were already expecting to be dazzled, after hearing some of the buzz about this year's "supermoon."

It turns out that all full moons are not created equal. That's because the moon's orbit around the Earth isn't a perfect circle — it's an ellipse. And tonight, we're in luck.

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