Research News

Student Tests HoloLens for NASA, Gets Closer Look at Mars Surface

Rachel Kronyak holds a Lego version she built of the Mars rover Curiosity. To the left is a printed selfie taken by the rover.

Every day, Rachel Kronyak walks around the surface of the planet Mars, examining a rock or getting a closer look at a butte framing the horizon. A doctoral student in geology at UT, Kronyak is among a small set of research scientists worldwide testing the use of an augmented reality headset to see how it can help NASA determine whether Mars could support life.

Joint Prehistoric Rock Art Restoration Project Receives National Award

A partnership between UT, federal and state agencies, Indian tribes, and other stakeholders to save a set of centuries-old Native American petroglyphs, pictographs, and historic signatures in Alabama has been honored with a prestigious national preservation award. The initiative brought together researchers and local volunteers to camouflage and remove graffiti that had impacted the images at the Painted Bluff site in Marshall County, Alabama.

UT Geography Expert: Gatlinburg Tragic Fire Was ‘A Safe Prediction’

Henri Grissino-Mayer

When Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, a UT professor of geography, heard about the forest fires threatening Gatlinburg, he was not surprised. For years, Grissino-Mayer has been giving talks throughout Tennessee and the Southeast on the subject “Will Our Great Smoky Mountains One Day Go Up in Flames?”

Professor Develops Algorithm to Improve Online Mapping of Disaster Areas

When an 8-magnitude earthquake struck Yingjie Hu’s home province of Sichuan, China, in 2008, he was more than 1,000 miles away attending college in Shanghai. While Hu wanted to help, there wasn’t much he could do due to the long distance. Since then, web-based mapping platforms have been developed that enable volunteers to participate in remote disaster response. Hu, now an assistant professor of geography at UT, and his colleagues have found a way to make the process more effective by developing an algorithm that indicates which areas need detailed mapping first.

Grad Student to Help Organize International Symposium on Green Chemistry

Roberto Federico-Perez

A UT doctoral candidate will have a hand in organizing an international event on sustainable science. Roberto Federico-Perez was chosen to help coordinate the 2017 International Symposium on Green Chemistry, which aims to change deeply held practices in the field of chemistry.

Scent of Success: UT Students Honored in Genetic Engineering Competition

Take an industrial byproduct, treat it with the E. coli bacteria, and create a usable fragrance product for use in pharmaceuticals and other applications. That genetic engineering concept was golden for a team of UT students who recently participated in the annual iGem Competition Giant Jamboree in Boston.

It’s Not a Bird! It’s Not a Plane! It’s the Fastest Flying Mammal, Says UT Study

Close up of a Brazilian free-tailed bat. 
(Photo source/credit: Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation)

A new study from UT shows that the Brazilian free-tailed bat can achieve flight speeds that are faster than those previously documented for any bat or bird, achieving short bursts of ground speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. The research was published this week in the journal Royal Society Open Science and featured in the Washington Post.

Emery Co-Authors Study on Detection of Water on Asteroid Named Psyche

joshua_emery

Professor Josh Emery has helped detect water on Psyche, the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system. The asteroid is the target of a proposed NASA mission. The study, published in the Astronomical Journal under the auspices of the US Geological Survey and NASA, provides evidence for water-rich minerals on Psyche, an asteroid that is 186 miles across and is made of almost pure nickel-iron metal.