graphic of digestive system

Improving health with probiotics

One-third of people living in Western society may be affected by dietary endotoxemia, an elevated level of endotoxins in the blood after eating a high-fat meal. Dietary endotoxemia has been linked to chronic conditions such as appetite disorders, auto-immune disorders, Type 2 diabetes, chronic pain and cardiovascular disease. Learn how UNT researcher Brian McFarlin, a professor in the departments of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation and Biological Sciences, is helping to understand how spore-based probiotics — which are more effective than traditional probiotics available on the market because they are highly resistant to stomach acid and able to reach the small intestine — may improve people's health.

Collaborator Spotlight
Collaborating in the CloudCollaborating in the cloud

UNT is one of the first universities in the nation to co-host high-performance computing with data science analytics services in one office, Research IT Services, part of University IT. The office provides academic researchers and industry members access to new avenues of research support along with innovative industry-research partnership opportunities through UNT's affiliate status in the National Science Foundation Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center. UNT is seeking additional industry members to join the center to leverage its innovation capacity, world-class equipment and facilities to translate business challenges into new business development, technology transfer and commercialization opportunities.

Research News
Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology Rebecca Dickstein
Studying genes for sustainable agriculture

Since joining UNT in 2000, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology Rebecca Dickstein in the College of Science has not only increased the scientific community's understanding of plant biology in the legume Medicago truncatula, but also the number of funded research projects on the topic. Most recently, Dickstein is collaborating as one of seven scientists as part of a four-year, $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation — $483,405 of which was awarded to UNT — to identify and study key plant genes required for mutually beneficial relationships between microbes in the soil and Medicago that are crucial to sustainable agriculture.

Ron Diiulio (left), Ohad Shemmer (center) and Preston Star with the Gemini-North telescope.
Eyeing the skies for distant quasars

UNT College of Science associate professor of physics Ohad Shemmer, in collaboration with the University of Wyoming, recently received an $800,000 National Science Foundation grant to observe 400 distant quasars using the Gemini-North telescope in Hawaii. Quasars are the most luminous, persistent radiation sources in the universe and are formed when matter is funneled into super massive black holes. It is thought that these black holes, found at the centers of galaxies, help shape the growth of the galaxies around them. Shemmer and his team will conduct approximately 350 hours of telescopic observations to create a one-of-a-kind data set for scientists to study.

Preserving Mankiyali
Preserving Mankiyali

There are an estimated 7,000 languages spoken all over the world. It is possible that as many as half of those languages will be gone by the end of the century. UNT College of Information associate professor Sadaf Munshi wants to learn everything about one of these languages before it is gone. The National Science Foundation has awarded Munshi a $284,000 grant to document and preserve Mankiyali, a severely endangered language that will provide insight into the evolution of languages currently in use in the region.

Office of Research and Innovation

University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle #311070
Denton 76203-5017

© 2018 UNT Research is a publication of the University of North Texas Office of Research and Innovation and the Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing. Email us at