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UTA In The News — Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

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Evolution of snake venom

A new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington challenges the practice of classifying a hepatic species as “venomous” if the snake’s oral glands secrete some of 20 gene families considered “venom toxins” – a challenge to the evolution model that could have additional implications in this field of study, BioNews Texas reported. The research, led by Assistant Professor of Biology Todd Castoe, is based on painstaking analysis that compares related gene groups or gene families identified in different parts of Burmese python tissue. 

Memory and music

Music's benefits to working memory and spatiotemporal faculties have been established with years of research, Music.Mic.com reported. But evidence that music benefits long-term memory had eluded researchers. Until this year. Heekyeong Park, a UT Arlington assistant professor of psychology, has found the first initial evidence that musical training provides benefits for some aspects of long-term memory.

Impacting the Latino Community

Fox Tallahassee.com, Hispanic Digital Network, Yahoo! Mexico and several other Spanish-language media organizations reported that Michele Bobadilla, senior associate vice president for outreach services and community engagement and vice provost for Hispanic student success at UT Arlington, has been elected to the 2015-2016 Advisory Council of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Spirit of Innovation

The U.S. India Chamber has announced the winners of its annual Spirit of Innovation competition, The Dallas Morning News reported. Eight finalists out of 29 entrants presented their projects to a panel of judges at Texas Instruments. Third place and $1,000 went to Amol Vengurlekar, Ruoshi Zhang and Luan Nguyen of The University of Texas at Arlington.

Social robotics

The Hindustan Times noted research by Julienne Greer, a UT Arlington theatre arts lecturer that could help scientists build more affectionate robots. A paper by Greer, which was presented at the International Conference on Social Robotics, examined a robot named Pepper that has been hailed as an emotionally humanoid robot.