Research from the UW Department of Sociology indicates that working moms have lower rates of depression than their stay-at-home counterparts, but buying into the supermom myth could put working moms at greater risk. A study of 1,600 women, all age 40 and married, showed that women who think being “supermom” is possible showed more depression symptoms.
Dryer sheets could cause laundry quandary
UW Civil Engineering Professor Anne Steinemann is the lead author on a study that shows air vented from washing machines and dryers using the top-selling scented liquid-laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets contains hazardous chemicals, including two that are classified as carcinogens. Her advice: use laundry products without any fragrance or scent.
Exploring a Stem Cell approach
Professor of Medicine Michael Schwartz has received a $4 million award from the Life Sciences Development Fund to support the UW Medicine Diabetes-Stem Cell Program. This is an interdisciplinary effort to develop innovative technologies that will overcome existing barriers to successful cell-based treatment of type 1 diabetes.
LEARNING + LANGUAGE
Babies are whizzes at words
Research from the UW’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences published in the Journal of Phonetics is the first study to measure brain activity throughout infancy and relate it to language exposure and speaking ability. Turns out babies excel at a second language but that ability begins to fade as early as the first birthday.
Genes and proteins show promise
A one-dose method for delivering gene therapy in an arterial wall effectively protected arteries from developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in rabbit studies despite ongoing high cholesterol. Dr. David A. Dicheck of the Division of Cardiology said the introduced genes can produce proteins that counteract the basic processes that drive atherosclerosis.
Tweets fueled Arab Spring uprising
Philip Howard, associate professor of Communication, conducted a study that showed social media played a central role in shaping political debates and raising expectations for the success of political uprising during the Arab Spring. Howard’s team analyzed more than 3 million tweets, gigabytes of YouTube content and thousands of blog posts.
Insulin may delay disease
Squirting insulin into the nose might keep early Alzheimer’s disease from progressing, according to a UW study. Suzanne Craft, UW professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, was principal investigator on the study that produced promising preliminary evidence. But she cautions patients from trying it themselves, as special technology is needed to propel the insulin to the brain.
Microsoft, UW explore humans as antennas
Researchers at Microsoft and the UW have developed a new system in which the human body functions as an antenna. The human body produces a tiny signal that interacts with electrical systems such as wiring in the home and power lines. Some day it may be possible to buy a movie ticket by making a gesture in front of a machine.
Debate over disclosing genome results
Holly Tabor, a UW and Seattle Children’s bioethics scholar, is among the experts who received an NIH grant to look at questions of if, how and when results of genome studies should be told to research participants. Tabor will take part in a national expert consortium considering these issues.
How charter schools stack up
New research from the Center on Reinventing Public Education at UW Bothell shows that charter elementary schools on average outperform traditional public schools in math and reading and that charter middle schools outperform in math, too. However, the researchers found that charter school effects vary dramatically across regions and grades.