UW Today

News releases


December 1, 2016

For the first time, scientists catch water molecules passing the proton baton

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Water conducts electricity, but the process by which this familiar fluid passes along positive charges has puzzled scientists for decades. But in a paper published in the Dec. 2 in issue of the journal Science, an international team of researchers has finally caught water in the act — showing how water molecules pass along excess charges and, in the process, conduct electricity.


November 30, 2016

What makes Bach sound like Bach? New dataset teaches algorithms classical music

MusicNet is a new publicly available dataset from UW CSE and statistics researchers that “labels” each note of a classical composition in ways that can teach machine learning algorithms about the basic structure of music.

MusicNet is the first publicly available large-scale classical music dataset designed to allow machine learning algorithms to tackle everything from automated music transcription to listening recommendations based on the structure of music itself.


November 29, 2016

In one-two punch, researchers load ‘nanocarriers’ to deliver cancer-fighting drugs and imaging molecules to tumors

Tiny particles that can deliver chemotherapy drugs.

In a paper published Sept. 27 in the journal Small, scientists at the University of Washington describe a new system to encase chemotherapy drugs within tiny, synthetic “nanocarrier” packages, which could be injected into patients and disassembled at the tumor site to release their toxic cargo.


November 28, 2016

Statement from UW President Ana Mari Cauce regarding Nov. 15 attack on Muslim student

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“Our university is and will always be a welcoming place for people of every race and faith, including our Muslim students, faculty and staff.”


Our closest worm kin regrow body parts, raising hopes of regeneration in humans

Five days after being cut. A rudimentary head, including the mouth and proboscis, has formed.

A new study of one of our closest invertebrate relatives, the acorn worm, reveals that regenerating body parts might one day be possible.


November 22, 2016

UW has 29 faculty on list of ‘highly cited researchers’ for 2016

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Twenty-nine University of Washington faculty members are among a list of the year’s most highly cited researchers in the natural and social sciences.


New grasses neutralize toxic pollution from bombs, explosives and munitions

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UW engineers have developed the first transgenic grass species that can take up and destroy RDX — a toxic compound that has been widely used in explosives since World War II and contaminates military bases, battlegrounds and some drinking water wells.


November 21, 2016

Ocean acidification study offers warnings for marine life, habitats

Sea grass beds, like these off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, might buffer the impacts of ocean acidification

Acidification of the world’s oceans could drive a cascading loss of biodiversity in some marine habitats, according to research published Nov. 21 in Nature Climate Change.


How to monitor global ocean warming – without harming whales

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Tracking the speed of internal tides offers a cheap, simple way to monitor temperature changes throughout the world’s oceans.


November 17, 2016

Trump and foreign policy: UW Jackson School faculty speak out

Photo by Katherine Turner.

Several Jackson School of International Studies faculty members comment on the geopolitical possibilities of the coming Donald Trump administration.


November 16, 2016

Large forest die-offs can have effects that ricochet to distant ecosystems

dead conifers on slope

Major forest die-offs due to drought, heat and beetle infestations or deforestation could have consequences far beyond the local landscape. Wiping out an entire forest can have significant effects on global climate patterns and alter vegetation on the other side of the world.


November 15, 2016

Open Doors 2016: The UW named a leader in global student engagement

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The 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange names the University of Washington a leader in global student engagement. The report was released Monday by the Institute for International Education. Global engagement is integral to the UW student experience, also known as the Husky Experience. UW graduates leave with a global perspective, the ability…


November 14, 2016

State’s housing market strong in third quarter of 2016

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Washington state’s housing market remained strong in the third quarter of 2016, according to the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.


November 10, 2016

University of Washington fall 2016 entering class its most diverse ever

Photo by Katherine Turner.

The University of Washington welcomed the largest and most diverse class of new students across all three campuses, in UW history, according to the finalized Fall 2016 census of enrolled students released by Philip Ballinger, associate vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions.


How lightning strikes can improve storm forecasts

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Research shows that real-time lightning observations could significantly improve forecasts of large storm events.


November 8, 2016

Clues in poached ivory yield ages and locations of origin

Elephant tusks

More than 90 percent of ivory in large, seized shipments came from elephants that died less than three years before, according to a new study from a team of scientists at the University of Utah, the University of Washington and partner institutions. They combined a new approach to radiocarbon dating of ivory samples with genetic analysis tools developed by UW biology professor Sam Wasser.


November 7, 2016

Telephone-based intervention shows promise in combating alcohol abuse among soldiers

Researchers used ads and informational booths at military events to recruit participants for the study.

Alcohol abuse is pervasive in the military, where a culture of heavy drinking and the stress of deployment lead many soldiers down a troubled path. Almost half of active-duty military members in the United States — 47 percent — were binge-drinkers in 2008, up from 35 percent a decade earlier. Rates of heavy drinking also…


Mislabeled seafood may be more sustainable, new study finds

Fish labeled red snapper seen on ice in a fish market.

A University of Washington study is the first to broadly examine the ecological and financial impacts of seafood mislabeling. The paper, published online Nov. 2 in Conservation Letters, finds that in most cases, mislabeling actually leads people to eat more sustainably, because the substituted fish is often more plentiful and of a better conservation status than the fish on the label.


November 4, 2016

Election 2016: What happened? Evans School to host Nov. 10 public forum reviewing ballot results

Photo by Katherine Turner.

The Evans School of Policy & Governance will look back at the 2016 election in a discussion on Nov. 10 at Parrington Hall.


November 2, 2016

Tricking moths into revealing the computational underpinnings of sensory integration

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A research team led by University of Washington biology professor Tom Daniel has teased out how hawkmoths integrate signals from two sensory systems: vision and touch.


October 27, 2016

Book by political scientist Victor Menaldo debunks notion of ‘resource curse’

"The Institutions Curse: National Resources, Politics, and Development," by UW political scientist Victor Menaldo.

“The Institutions Curse,” a new book by UW political scientist Victor Menaldo, finds a new explanation for the “resource curse” problem — the idea that resource-rich countries tend to be burdened with corrupt governments and underdeveloped economies.


October 26, 2016

For the first time in humans, researchers use brain surface stimulation to provide ‘touch’ feedback to direct movement

CSNE M.D./Ph.D. student and GRIDLab member David Caldwell tests the hardware used for stimulating and recording a patient’s brain surface, along with a cyber glove to track hand joint angles and finger motions.

For the first time in humans, UW Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) researchers have used direct stimulation of the human brain surface to provide basic sensory feedback through artificial electrical signals, enabling patients to control movement while opening and closing their hand.


October 25, 2016

Philosophy of immigration: Panel discussion Oct. 27 part of two-day UW conference

Photo by Katherine Turner.

A UW panel discussion Oct. 27 will look at immigration-related questions from philosophical, sociological and historical perspectives. It’s part of a two-day international conference on immigration.


UW maintains No. 11 position in US News Best Global Universities ranking; third among public institutions

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The University of Washington maintained its No. 11 spot in the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities rankings. The UW remains the third-ranked public university on the global list, behind University of California, Berkeley (fourth) and UCLA (10th). “This recognition reflects the work of our faculty and students in seeking…


University of Washington Population Health Initiative receives transformative gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

A sculpture of the University of Washington W logo

The University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, which aims to bring together the research and resources of the UW and partners around the Puget Sound and beyond to improve the health and well-being of people around the world, has received a significant vote of support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the university announced…


October 24, 2016

Uber service faster in low income Seattle neighborhoods, initial study finds

A new UW study finds Uber wait times in Seattle are faster in lower income neighborhoods.

Your wait time for an Uber ride in Seattle is shorter if you are in a lower income neighborhood. Alternatively, wait times are longer for an Uber in wealthier neighborhoods, according to a new University of Washington study that measures one dimension of whether TNCs are providing equitable access.


Nanometer-scale image reveals new details about formation of a marine shell

circular core with spikes radiating out

Oceanographers used tools developed for semiconductor research to view the formation of a marine shell in the most detail yet, to understand how organisms turn seawater into solid mineral.


Turning your living room into a wireless charging station

graphic of wireless power delivery system

A flat-screen panel that resembles a TV on your living room wall could one day remotely charge any device within its line of sight, according to new research from UW and Duke University engineers.


October 21, 2016

University of Washington launches historic $5 billion philanthropic campaign

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The University of Washington on Friday is launching the public phase of its most ambitious philanthropic campaign in history, with a goal of raising $5 billion by the year 2020.


October 16, 2016

Week of festivities celebrating launch of University of Washington campaign

an image of alaska airlines arena with purple lights

The impact of the University of Washington will be even more visible this week during the lead-up to a Friday night celebration marking the launch of the UW’s most ambitious philanthropic campaign.


October 14, 2016

A new way to ‘college’: University of Washington Continuum College

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The University of Washington has renamed Educational Outreach to Continuum College, a new name for a new era of higher education.


October 12, 2016

Why do some STEM fields have fewer women than others? UW study may have the answer

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Women’s relative lack of participation in science, technology, engineering and math is well documented, but why women are more represented in some STEM areas than others is less clear. A new University of Washington study is among the first to address that question by comparing gender disparities across STEM fields. Published Oct. 12 in the…


Cars vs. health: UW’s Moudon, Dannenberg contribute to Lancet series on urban planning, public health

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Automobiles — and the planning and infrastructure to support them — are making our cities sick, says an international group of researchers now publishing a three-part series in the British medical journal The Lancet.


As online retailing booms, new Urban Freight Lab to work with industry, SDOT on delivery challenges

In dense commercial neighborhoods with limited parking, large truck drivers may resort to parking in the center lane while they make deliveries

As online retailing booms, the new UW Urban Freight Lab will partner with UPS, Costco, Nordstrom and SDOT to research solutions for businesses delivering goods in urban settings and cities trying to manage limited street space.


October 11, 2016

Morel mushrooms pop up, cluster together after wildfires

morel mushroom

A new study finds that morel mushrooms cluster in groups across burned areas in the forest after a wildfire. It’s one of the only scientific studies to actually quantify morels’ abundance after a fire.


October 6, 2016

CSE gets major boost with $10 million donation from Amazon

The new 130,000-square-foot UW CSE building will provide space for the University of Washington to double the number of computer science and engineering graduates annually.

Amazon is giving a major push to the campaign to build a second Computer Science & Engineering building on the University of Washington campus with a $10 million gift, the university announced Thursday. “Our state’s economy — and the world’s economy — depends on innovation and on innovators. UW graduates with skills in computer science…


October 5, 2016

Building ‘up not out’: Draft UW Campus Master Plan for 2018 now seeking public input

Aerial-campus

A new proposed draft Campus Master Plan for 2018 sees the University of Washington’s Seattle campus growing up rather than out — building a little higher, filling in with more density, not expanding its borders, helping to ease transportation flow and creating big new green spaces. 2018 draft Campus Master Plan — opportunities for public…


Atlantic Ocean’s slowdown tied to changes in the Southern Hemisphere

blue maps of oceans with colored arrows

Unlike in the movies, and in some theories of climate change, the recent slowdown of Atlantic Ocean circulation is not connected with the melting of the Arctic sea ice. Instead, it seems to be connected to shifts around the southern tip of Africa.


$4M grant funds new UW RAPID Facility to investigate natural disasters worldwide

LIDAR scan of earthquake damaged home

A new UW disaster investigation center funded by a $4 million National Science Foundation grant will collect and analyze critical data that’s often lost in the immediate aftermath of hurricanes and earthquakes but that can help create more resilient communities.


October 4, 2016

UW Professor Emeritus David J. Thouless wins Nobel Prize in physics for exploring exotic states of matter

An illustration of how “heavy water” within the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory detects neutrinos from the sun.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Tuesday that David James Thouless, professor emeritus at the University of Washington, will share the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics with two of his colleagues. Thouless splits the prize with Professor F. Duncan M. Haldane of Princeton University and Professor J. Michael Kosterlitz of Brown University “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter,” according to the prize announcement from the Academy. Half the prize goes to Thouless while Haldane and Kosterlitz divide the remaining half. Thouless is the UW’s seventh Nobel laureate, and second in physics after Hans Dehmelt in 1989.



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