UW Today

January 9, 2014

Big is not bad: Scientists call for preservation of large carnivores

Gray wolf in forest

Despite their scary reputation, carnivores deserve credit for all kinds of ecological services when they eat grazing animals that gobble down young trees and other vegetation that could be holding carbon and protecting streams.

December 19, 2013

Sinuous skeletons, glowing blue and crimson, leap from lab to art world


Fish “stripped” to their skeletons and stained for UW research are now part of an art exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium.

November 20, 2013

December deadlines approach for Awards of Excellence nominations

UW Awards of Excellence recipients announced

Nominations are due in December and coming months for this year’s University of Washington Awards of Excellence categories.

November 6, 2013

Floods didn’t provide nitrogen ‘fix’ for earliest crops in frigid north

Trees, sediments in floodplain

Floods didn’t make floodplains fertile during the dawn of human agriculture in the Earth’s far north. Turns out early human inhabitants can mainly thank cyanobacteria. It raises the question of whether modern farmers might reduce fertilizer use by taking advantage of cyanobacteria that occur, not just in the floodplains studied, but in soils around the world.

October 22, 2013

Dogs in dawg regalia, class of 2033 in diapers – vote now for W Day photos

Baby asleep wearing purple cap and holding tiny football

A Husky Spirit Photo Contest is part of the runup to this year’s W Day, Friday, Oct. 25.

October 17, 2013

Campus sustainability, climate change focus of Sustainability Summit Oct. 23

Green mountain and text

Learn how to be more involved with campus sustainability during UW Sustainability Summit activities Oct. 23.

September 19, 2013

Mantas, devil rays butchered for apothecary trade now identifiable

Side view of manata ray swimmming

Dried filters from the mouths of filter-feeding rays started appearing in apothecary shops in recent years, but there’s been no way to know which of these gentle-natured rays was being slaughtered. Now scientists have discovered enough differences to identify the giant manta and eight devil rays using the dried filters.

September 4, 2013

KUOW inaugurates new two-hour program

Logo for The Record.

KUOW launched “The Record on KUOW” Tuesday with more than a half-dozen segments focused on local, national and international news and information.

August 8, 2013

Ocean acidification center another example of state leading the nation

Two barncle-covered oysters in seawater

Washington’s governor and state legislators in the last session created a hub at the University of Washington to coordinate research and monitoring of ocean acidification and its effects on local sea life such as oysters, clams and fish.

July 30, 2013

Fifty years of ecological insights earn UW biologist international award

Several many-legged starfish in water at base of kelp covered boulder

Biologist Robert Paine has been awarded this year’s International Cosmos Prize that carries a cash award of about $408,000 and has previously gone to well-known conservationists such as David Attenborough and the leaders behind the Census of Marine Life project.

July 29, 2013

Natural affinities – unrecognized until now – may have set stage for life to ignite

Strands in blue and red, twisted together

It might not have been just happenstance that caused components of RNA and the earliest “cell” membranes to be in the right place at the right time to spark life.

July 10, 2013

Julia Parrish speaks at White House about citizen science

The White House.

Julia Parrish was one of 12 “champions of change” invited to share their ideas on public engagement in science and science literacy June 25 at the White House.

July 9, 2013

Biceps bulge, calves curve, 50-year-old assumptions muscled aside

"We Can Do It!" poster for Westinghouse, closely associated with Rosie the Riveter.

The basics of how a muscle generates power remain the same: Filaments of myosin tugging on filaments of actin shorten, or contract, the muscle – but the power doesn’t just come from what’s happening straight up and down the length of the muscle, as has been assumed for 50 years. The rest of the force should be credited to the lattice work of filaments as it expands outward in bulging muscle – whether in a body builder’s buff biceps or the calves of a sinewy marathon runner.

June 21, 2013

Airborne gut action primes wild chili pepper seeds

Bird sits on brach had red chili pepper in beak

Seeds gobbled by birds and dispersed across the landscape tend to fare better than those that fall near parent plants. Now it turns out it might not just be the trip through the air that’s important, but also the inches-long trip through the bird.

June 19, 2013

Detour ahead: Cities, farms reroute animals seeking cooler climes

Bison walk down paved road through wooded area

In the first broad-scale study of its kind, UW led research finds half a dozen regions that could provide some of the Western Hemisphere’s more heavily used thoroughfares for mammals, birds and amphibians seeking cooler environments in a warming world.

June 7, 2013

Treks reveal distinctive forests of Cascade Mountains — with photo gallery

Students in line walking across top of snow-covered ridge

In “Spring Comes to the Cascades,” students don’t just read about the forests – they hike and snowshoe through them.

May 30, 2013

Transportation fuels from woody biomass promising way to reduce emissions

Log ends include one with green arrows going round and round signifying the sustainable potential of biofuels,

Two processes that turn woody biomass into transportation fuels have the potential to exceed current Environmental Protection Agency requirements for renewable fuels.

May 2, 2013

Mountain going solo in May; time for fountain tune up

Debris collected during maintenance in past years includes cell phones, a camera, a camera and a plastic necklace.

The mountain is going to have to go it alone when the fountain is shut down this month for routine maintenance.

May 1, 2013

2013 Awards of Excellence recipients announced

Medal given to award winners

The UW has announced this year’s Awards of Excellence recipients, recognizing achievements in teaching, mentoring, public service and staff support.

April 29, 2013

Dinosaur predecessors gain ground in wake of world’s biggest biodiversity crisis — with photo gallery

Lizard-like animal with stripes stands in forested area

Newly discovered fossils reveal a lineage of animals thought to have led to dinosaurs taking hold in Tanzania and Zambia, many millions of years before dinosaur relatives were seen in the fossil record elsewhere on Earth.

April 18, 2013

HuskyFest, Earth Day activities fill Red Square Friday

Husky Fest Block Party logo.

Join in Friday during HuskyFest and kick-off activities for Earth Day.

April 2, 2013

Book focuses on 1969 fight to save America’s premier fossil beds

Five people gather around the base of a large petrified stump twice as tall as they are

Book Q and A: To allow buildings on 34 million year-old fossils would be like using the Dead Sea Scrolls to wrap fish in, proclaimed the lawyer defending land that would eventually become Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

March 20, 2013

Some Alaskan trout use flexible guts for the ultimate binge diet

A dolly varden trout swims under dozens of sockeye salmon

The stomach and intestines of certain Dolly Varden trout double to quadruple in size during month-long, salmon-egg-eating binges in Alaska each August. It’s the first time researchers have documented such fish gut flexibility in the wild.

Update April 3, 2013 cherry blossom watch: Quad in full bloom

Cherry blossoms in the UW quad.

The cold weather this week is delaying the blooming of cherry trees in the UW Quad.

March 18, 2013

UW students create, harvest fog in campus ‘hoop house’

Facutly members examines creen of green matting in haze of fog

University of Washington students have been testing low-cost materials capable of harvesting water from fog.

March 4, 2013

‘True grit’ erodes assumptions about evolution

Large cliff of white ashy material surrounded by rock cliffs when two researchers working the face

New work in Argentina where scientists had previously thought Earth’s first grasslands emerged 38 million years ago, shows the area at the time covered with tropical forests rich with palms, bamboos and gingers. Grit and volcanic ash in those forests could have caused the evolution of teeth in horse-like animals that scientists mistakenly thought were adaptations in response to emerging grasslands.

February 21, 2013

Using amount of fish caught as measure of fisheries health is misleading

An illustration of the fish population argument in Nature.

Do changes in the amount of fish caught necessarily reflect the number of fish in the sea? “No,” say UW researchers in a “Counterpoint” commentary in Nature.

February 19, 2013

Mutant champions save imperiled species from almost-certain extinction

Gloved had holds plate with dozes of tiny wells of reddish orange hue

Species facing widespread and rapid environmental changes can sometimes evolve quickly enough to dodge the extinction bullet. UW scientists consider the genetic underpinnings of such evolutionary rescue.

February 18, 2013

Mussels cramped by environmental factors

Drawing of wave with menancing face and startled mussels on shore

The fibrous threads helping mussels stay anchored are more prone to snap when ocean temperatures climb higher than normal.

January 15, 2013

Celebrations start Thursday, service opportunities during MLK holiday weekend

Martin Luther King Jr.

A number of events and volunteer opportunities for UW faculty, staff and students are planned in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

January 14, 2013

Salmon runs boom, go bust over centuries

Mountains surround lake, stream in Alaska

Salmon runs are notoriously variable: strong one year, and weak the next. New research shows that the same may be true from one century to the next.

Potential harvest of most fish stocks largely unrelated to abundance

Big eye tuna on ice

Fisheries managers should sharpen their ability to spot environmental conditions that hamper or help fish stocks, and not assume that abundance translates to sustainable harvest.

December 31, 2012

In rain and snow at home, Seahawks much more likely to win

SeahawksRain TILE

The Seahawks win four times as many home games as they lose when the weather is inclement, compared to less than two to one when it’s not.

December 26, 2012

Piranha kin wielded dental weaponry even T. rex would have admired — with video

Head, teeth and ribs of a piranha skeleton

Taking into consideration size, an ancient relative of piranhas weighing about 20 pounds delivered a bite with more force than prehistoric whale-eating sharks or – even – Tyrannosaurus rex.

December 17, 2012

Plumes across the Pacific deliver thousands of microbial species to West Coast

Mount Bachelor observatory.

Microorganisms – 99 percent more kinds than had been reported in findings published just four months ago – are hitching rides in the upper troposphere from Asia.

December 12, 2012

Award recognizes UW oceanographer’s talent for engaging public

Drumheller Fountain and Gerberding Hall on the UW campus.

The American Geophysical Union has presented its top prize for engaging the public in science to UW’s John Delaney.

December 10, 2012

Armbrust shares $35 million to investigate tiniest ocean regulators

statue of George Washington on UW campus

Oceanographer Ginger Armbrust has received a multi-million dollar award to spend as she wishes on her research into ocean microbes and their role in regulating ocean environments and our atmosphere.

December 6, 2012

Moths wired two ways to take advantage of floral potluck

Photographs of the moth Manduc sexta taken as possible cover photos for Science Magazine

Moths are able to enjoy a pollinator’s buffet of flowers because of two distinct “channels” in their brains, scientists have discovered.

December 4, 2012

Scientists find oldest dinosaur – or closest relative yet

Artist's drawing of what Nyasasaurus parringtoni looked like

Researchers have discovered what may be the earliest dinosaur, a creature the size of a Labrador retriever, but with a five foot-long tail, that walked the Earth about 10 million years before more familiar dinosaurs.

November 28, 2012

Hungry salmon a problem for restoration efforts


Food webs needed by young salmon in the Columbia River basin are likely compromised in places, something that should be considered when prioritizing expensive restoration activities.

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