In This Issue
University of Washington Ranked 11th Best Public University by U.S. News
In January, a citywide ban on foam and plastic containers will take effect for all businesses that serve food. But the UW is already in compliance, having switched to compostable containers in 2007. After some initial difficulties, the policy is a clear success. Read more...
A UW professor and a UW graduate each premiered documentaries last month that focus on Hurricane Katrina and its long-term effects on New Orleans. Communication Professor Hanson Hosein takes a look at small-business owners struggling to rebuild in Independent America: Rising from Ruins. And UW alumnus Rustin Thompson, '81, together with his wife, Ann Hedreen, trained their lens on a group of Seattle volunteers helping to rebuild the Blessed Seelos Catholic Church in The Church on Dauphine Street. Read more...
Bugs Put the Heat in Chili Peppers
If you're a fan of habanero salsa or like to order Thai food spiced to five stars, you owe a lot to bugs, both the crawling kind and ones you can see only with a microscope. New research shows they are the ones responsible for the heat in chili peppers. The spiciness is a defense mechanism that some peppers develop to suppress a microbial fungus that invades through punctures made in the outer skin by insects. The fungus, from a large genus called Fusarium, destroys the plant's seeds before they can be eaten by birds and widely distributed. "For these wild chilies the biggest danger to the seed comes before dispersal, when a large number are killed by this fungus," said Joshua Tewksbury, a University of Washington assistant professor of biology. "Both the fungus and the birds eat chilies, but the fungus never disperses seeds—it just kills them." Read more...
The Seattle Times: "Chilies' spicy flavor wards off seed-killing fungus"
Science Daily: "Bugs Put The Heat In Chili Peppers"
National Geographic: "Fungus Puts the Heat in Chili Peppers, Study Says"
The New York Times: "The Greater the Threat, the Hotter the Chili"
Los Angeles Times: "Chile peppers' spice is a built-in pesticide"
What's Next for the Henry?
Seattle Times art critic Sheila Farr chats with Sylvia Wolf, the new director of the Henry Art Gallery. Previously, Wolf was head of photography at the Whitney Museum in New York. Read more...
Having studied the physiology of algae for more than 30 years, Rose Ann Cattolico is convinced the plant life found in oceans and ponds can be a major source of environmentally friendly fuels for everything from cars and lawn mowers to jet airplanes. She's not the only one. Recently Allied Minds, an investment company that works with universities to commercialize early-stage technology, invested in the UW biology professor's work, forming a startup company called AXI. Read more...
The Seattle Times: "UW spins off first biofuels startup"
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Technology Briefing: UW spins out new clean technology firm"
KOMO News: "Could pond scum break our oil dependency?"
In "Liberal" Pacific Northwest, It's Evangelical Churches that Flourish
James K. Wellman, chair of the UW's Comparative Religion Program, did extensive research on regional churches for his new book Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific Northwest. One of his most interesting discoveries, he writes, is that while many liberal or "mainline" churches face declining attendance, the evangelical churches are thriving. Read more...
Orin Smith Tapped for Evans School Speaker Series
Orin Smith, past president and CEO of Starbucks Corporation and chief of policy and finance for two Washington state governors, will present "Driving Change in the Government, Starbucks, and Beyond" October 6 in Kane Hall. It's the first installment in the new Leadership at the Crossroads lecture series hosted by the Evans School of Public Affairs and the UW Alumni Association. Read more...
Check It Out
September 2008 UW NewsLinks Trivia Contest
The University of Washington ranked 41st among national universities in the recently released rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Where did the UW place in the same rankings last year?
Answer this month's question
About UW NewsLinks
UW NewsLinks is a free, monthly e-newsletter for alumni and friends about the University of Washington. Prepared by the editors of Columns, it features the same mix of campus news and features but also provides links to fascinating (and unusual) UW-related Web sites and a monthly trivia contest.
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