For us writers in the UW News office, the year’s end gives us some time to think about the big research news stories of the year. Those that drove up page views, flooded our servers (thank you UW web team for keeping us afloat!), and generated interesting reader responses in the comments section.
We took a look at the Google Analytics of UW Today to get a sense of the 2013′s most popular online stories. We listed them by order of unique page views, a gauge of the number of people who read each story on the Web.
Unique page views only captures part of the picture of each of these stories’ popularity. It does not, for instance, take into account views of these stories running on other websites or versions from print, broadcast and web outlets that reached people in our region, across the country and around the world.
As of Dec. 30, here are 2013′s top 10 most-read stories on UW Today:
1. Scientists discover double meaning in genetic code
Finding a second code hiding in the genome casts new light on how changes to DNA impact health and disease.
2. Researcher controls colleague’s motions in 1st human brain-to-brain interface
UW researchers performed what they believe is the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface, with one researcher sending a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motions of a fellow researcher.
3. Wi-Fi signals enable gesture recognition throughout entire home
New research shows it’s possible to leverage Wi-Fi signals around us to detect specific movements without needing sensors on the human body or cameras.
4. Wireless devices go battery-free with new communication technique
UW engineers have created a new wireless communication system that allows devices to interact with each other without relying on batteries or wires for power.
5. Stronger winds explain puzzling growth of sea ice in Antarctica
Despite warming temperatures, Antarctic sea ice is on track to hit a record high. A new study suggests stronger polar winds can explain the recent increase in Southern Hemisphere sea ice.
6. Initial positive results reported on vaccine to treat genital herpes
The vaccine is the first to significantly reduce the frequency of viral shedding — the surfacing of herpes virus on the genitals — and appears to activate T cell immune responses to the virus.
7. Do we live in a computer simulation? UW researchers say idea can be tested
A British philosopher once suggested the possibility that our universe might be a computer simulation run by our descendants. A team of physicists at UW devised a potential test to see if the idea has merit.
8. Life possible on extrasolar moons
Exomoons, or moons orbiting planets outside the solar system, might be as good candidates for life as exoplanets, research shows.
9. UW ranked sixth in US and eighth in world for academic performance
A new ranking has determined that UW is the sixth best university in the United States and eighth in the world.
10. More sex for married couples with traditional divisions of housework
Married couples who divide chores in traditional ways have more sex than couples who share so-called men’s and women’s work.
Even though the Google list isn’t exhaustive, it’s an interesting glimpse of what some of the big research news stories from UW were in the last year.
To see UW Today’s stories in chronological order, go to our articles list.
And if you want to submit a story idea, you can email our team.