UW News

News releases


September 12, 2017

Work broadening high-quality early learning bolstered by grant

Children work with a teacher at an early learning facility that partners with Cultivate Learning (formerly the UW Childcare Quality & Early Learning Center for Research and Professional Development).

    The University of Washington College of Education’s work to expand access to high-quality early learning opportunities across the country is being strengthened with a $10 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Over the next four years, the grant will support the College in generating tools and methods needed to launch…


September 7, 2017

Ship exhaust makes oceanic thunderstorms more intense

lightning over dark sea

More than a decade of lightning strikes over the Indian Ocean shows for the first time that ship exhaust along major shipping routes alters thunderstorm intensity.


September 6, 2017

UW remains at No. 25 in the world, fourth among U.S. public institutions, on Times Higher Education ranking list

Denny Hall

For the second consecutive year, the University of Washington has been ranked No. 25 on the Times Higher Education world rankings for 2018, released Tuesday. It is tied with the London School of Economics and Political Science.


PupilScreen aims to allow parents, coaches, medics to detect concussion, brain injuries with a smartphone

photo of pupilscreen in use

University of Washington researchers are developing a smartphone app that is capable of objectively detecting concussion and other traumatic brain injuries in the field, which could provide a new level of screening for athletes and accident victims.


Earth as hybrid planet: New classification scheme places Anthropocene era in astrobiological context

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A team of researchers including the UW’s Marina Alberti has devised a new classification scheme for the evolutionary stages of worlds based on “non-equilibrium thermodynamics” — a planet’s energy flow being out of synch, as the presence of life could cause.


September 5, 2017

UW, Seattle Housing Authority plan to build affordable housing in the U District

UW January 2017 Campus Shots

The University of Washington and the Seattle Housing Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding for the two organizations to develop affordable housing in the University District.


How governments can maintain strong public-private partnerships: Guide from Evans School’s Justin Marlowe

Justin Marlowe's fourth -- and likely final -- guide to financial literacy was published in August by Governing magazine.

The biggest risk to public-private partnerships in governing is not financial or technical, but political, says UW Evans School professor Justin Marlowe in his fourth guide to financial literacy, published by Governing magazine.


August 31, 2017

Record-low 2016 Antarctic sea ice due to ‘perfect storm’ of tropical, polar conditions

map of Antarctica

This exceptional, sudden nosedive in Antarctic sea ice last year was due to a unique one-two punch from atmospheric conditions both in the tropical Pacific Ocean and around the South Pole.


August 28, 2017

Home prices up, supply down in second quarter of 2017

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Washington state’s housing market showed the continuing effects of high demand in the second quarter of 2017, according to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington The statewide median sales price rose to $337,700 in the second quarter, 6.6 percent higher than the same time period last year. This represents…


New app could use smartphone selfies to screen for pancreatic cancer

BiliScreen is a new smartphone app that can screen for pancreatic cancer by having users snap a selfie. It’s shown here with a 3-D printed box that helps control lighting conditions to detect signs of jaundice in a person’s eye.

A new app could lead to earlier detection of pancreatic cancer simply by snapping a smartphone selfie. The disease kills 90 percent of patients within five years, in part because there are no telltale symptoms or non-invasive screening tools to catch a tumor before it spreads.


August 25, 2017

As Tolstoy noted (sort of), all unhappy microbiomes are unhappy in their own way

tie-dye-microbes

The bacterial communities that live inside each of our guts are relatively similar when times are good, but when stress enters the equation, those communities can react very differently from person to person.


August 24, 2017

Scientists to create digital encyclopedia of 3-D vertebrate specimens

snake scan

A $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant will daylight thousands of specimens from their museum shelves by CT scanning 20,000 vertebrates and making these data-rich, 3-D images available online to researchers, educators, students and the public. The University of Washington is a partner institution contributing most of the fish and bat scans.


Lesbian, gay and bisexual older adults suffer more chronic health conditions than heterosexuals, study finds

A new University of Washington study funds that lesbian, gay and bisexual older adults are more likely than heterosexuals to suffer chronic health conditions.

  Lesbian and bisexual older women are more likely than heterosexual older women to suffer chronic health conditions, experience sleep problems and drink excessively, a new University of Washington study finds. In general, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) older adults were found to be in poorer health than heterosexuals, specifically in terms of higher rates…


August 23, 2017

UW is No. 13 in the world, third among public universities, in new ranking

Suzzallo Library at night

The University of Washington is ranked No. 13 in the world — No. 3 among public universities — on the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities, released this month.


August 16, 2017

Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related

James Dimond snorkeling to collect coral in Belize. He collected 27 coral samples from different environments and with a range of branch thicknesses.

As corals face threats from warming oceans, a new study uses modern genetic-sequencing tools to help reveal the relationships between three similar-looking corals.


Computer scientists use music to covertly track body movements, activity

A person walking in a straight line.

Researchers at the University of Washington have demonstrated how it is possible to transform a smart device into a surveillance tool that can collect information about the body position and movements of the user, as well as other people in the device’s immediate vicinity. Their approach involves remotely hijacking smart devices to play music embedded with repeating pulses that track a person’s position, body movements, and activities both in the vicinity of the device as well as through walls.


August 15, 2017

Evans School’s Scott Allard notes poverty’s changing landscape in ‘Places in Need’

"Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty" by Scott Allard was published by the Russell Sage Foundation.

The number of poor people living in America’s suburbs has more than doubled over the last 25 years, with little attention from academics or policymakers, says Scott W. Allard, a professor in the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, in his new 2017 book “Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty,”


August 14, 2017

Probiotics help poplar trees clean up Superfund sites

trees in field

Researchers from the University of Washington and several small companies have conducted the first large-scale experiment on a Superfund site using poplar trees fortified with a probiotic — or natural microbe — to clean up groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE.


Tidally locked exoplanets may be more common than previously thought

Tidally locked bodies such as the Earth and moon are in synchronous rotation, meaning that each takes exactly as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its host star or gravitational partner. New research from UW astronomer Rory Barnes indicates that many exoplanets to be found by coming high-powered telescopes also will probably be tidally locked — with one side permanently facing their host star, as one side of the moon forever faces the Earth.

Many exoplanets to be found by coming high-powered telescopes will probably be tidally locked — with one side permanently facing their host star — according to new research by UW astronomer Rory Barnes.


August 10, 2017

Public has rare opportunity to view work on T. rex skull

A dinosaur fossil

Starting Aug. 12, the public can watch fossil preparation of the University of Washington Burke Museum’s Tyrannosaurus rex skull “live.”


DNA sequencing tools lack robust protections against cybersecurity risks

UW researchers have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to remotely compromise a computer using information stored in DNA. This test tube holds hundreds of billions of copies of the exploit code stored in synthetic DNA molecules, which has the potential to compromise a computer system when it is sequenced and processed.

A new UW study finds DNA sequencing tools lack robust cybersecurity protections. In a scientific first, the team also infected a computer with synthesized DNA molecules.


August 3, 2017

Evans School researchers analyze Seattle’s competing arena proposals

Photo by Katherine Turner.

Researchers at the UW’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance have released a public finance analysis of two competing proposals to develop an NBA/NHL arena in Seattle.


July 31, 2017

University of Washington’s Livable City Year program completes inaugural partnership with Auburn

photo of downtown auburn

University of Washington students have been working with city of Auburn staff and community members throughout the past year on a wide range of projects tackling challenges around livability and sustainability in the city. Livable City Year is continuing in the 2017-2018 year in partnership with the city of Tacoma. These projects were part of the UW…


University of Washington recognized for access, affordability and value in three separate rankings

The University of Washington W

The University of Washington has been recognized by three separate publications in rankings focused on access for low-income students, affordability and value.
The New York Times’ College Access Index ranked the UW 18th in the nation – ninth among public institutions – in its assessment of “which top universities are doing the most to promote the American Dream.”


Earth likely to warm more than 2 degrees this century

bar chart

A new UW statistical study shows only 5 percent chance that Earth will warm less than 2 degrees, what many see as a “tipping point” for climate, by the end of this century.


Heavier Asian Americans seen as ‘more American,’ study says

A University of Washington-led study has found that for Asian Americans, those who appear heavier not only are perceived to be more "American," but also may be subject to less prejudice directed at foreigners than Asian Americans who are thin.

  What makes people look “American”? The way they dress? Maybe their hairstyle, or mannerisms? How much they weigh? A University of Washington-led study has found that for Asian Americans, those who appear heavier not only are perceived to be more “American,” but also may be subject to less prejudice directed at foreigners than Asian…


July 27, 2017

Run-up to revolution: Early American history seen through the stage in Odai Johnson’s book ‘London in a Box’

"London in a Box: Englishness and Theatre in Revolutionary America" by UW drama professor Odai Johnson was published in late spring 2017 by University of Iowa Press. The cover shows actress Nancy Hallam as the character Imogen in Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," in a painting by Charles Willson Peale, 1771.

The true cultural tipping point in the run-up to the American Revolution might have been the First Continental Congress’s decision in late October of 1774 to close the theaters in British America, says University of Washington drama professor Odai Johnson in his new book, “London in a Box: Englishness and Theatre in Revolutionary America.”


Even babies can tell who’s the boss, UW research says

Videos featuring puppets introduced to toddlers the concept of social dominance.

This video acquaints the viewer with the puppets and introduces the idea of which is socially dominant.   The charismatic colleague, the natural leader, the life of the party – all are personal qualities that adults recognize instinctively. These socially dominant types, according to repeated studies, also tend to accomplish and earn more, from accolades…


July 24, 2017

From volunteer to decision-maker: how parents can play a greater role in schools

A new study by the University of Washington suggests schools need to partner with parents, rather than offer them limited volunteer roles. In this photo, parent volunteers read to a class of students.

  Most schools offer parents specific ways to help out: Join the PTA, chaperone a field trip, grade papers for a teacher or assist on a classroom art project. Those volunteer opportunities, however, not only reinforce the top-down power structure of schools, but also cater to mostly white, privileged families, maintaining the institutionalized racism that…


Dark matter is likely ‘cold,’ not ‘fuzzy,’ scientists report after new simulations

the empty space between galaxies

Scientists have used data from the intergalactic medium — the vast, largely empty space between galaxies — to narrow down what dark matter could be.


July 20, 2017

Bringing a ‘trust but verify’ model to journal peer review

BlockW

In a commentary published in the journal Science, Carole Lee, associate professor of philosophy and co-author David Moher identify incentives that could encourage journals to “open the black box of peer review” for the sake of improving transparency.


Birds versus buildings: Rural structures pose greater relative threat than urban ones

Photo by Katherine Turner.

Large buildings in rural areas pose a greater threat to birds than if those same-sized buildings were located in an urban area, according to new research to which three University of Washington researchers contributed.


July 19, 2017

Donors contribute record $562.7 million in private support to University of Washington; most donors in a single year

Silhouette of George Washington statue, University of Washington, Seattle campus on November 20th, 2013. Photo by Katherine B. Turner

Donors contributed a record $562.7 million to the University of Washington in the 2017 fiscal year, breaking the previous record of $542.4 million set last year. The funds, secured through the University’s most ambitious philanthropic campaign in history, came in the form of private gifts and grants for student scholarships, faculty support, research projects and interdisciplinary programs.


Artifacts suggest humans arrived in Australia earlier than thought

These three axeheads and a square grinding stone were among the finds at Madjedbebe. A team that included researchers from the University of Washington dated artifacts from the dig site in Australia's Northern Territory.

  When and how the first humans made their way to Australia has been an evolving story. While it is accepted that humans appeared in Africa some 200,000 years ago, scientists in recent years have placed the approximate date of human settlement in Australia further and further back in time, as part of ongoing questions…


July 17, 2017

University of Washington named ‘Great College to Work For’ for fourth consecutive year, makes the Honor Roll

Aerial-Campus-Master-Plan

The University of Washington has been recognized as a “Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education for the fourth consecutive year. The UW received accolades in seven categories – the most categories to date – in addition to making the Honor Roll, a special distinction for institutions that were cited for recognition most often in their size group.


Material from shellfish delivers a boost to bioassays and medical tests

A close-up view of a virus

Scientists at the University of Washington have discovered a simple way to raise the accuracy of diagnostic tests for medicine and common assays for laboratory research. By adding polydopamine — a material that was first isolated from shellfish — to these tests at a key step, the team could increase the sensitivity of these common bioassays by as many as 100 to 1,000 times.


UW team develops fast, cheap method to make supercapacitor electrodes for electric cars, high-powered lasers

A coin-cell battery

University of Washington researchers have developed a fast, inexpensive method to make electrodes for supercapacitors, with applications in electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers.


Bilingual babies: Study shows how exposure to a foreign language ignites infants’ learning

UW student Jinnie Yi works with a toddler at one of the participating infant education centers in Madrid. A study by the UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences shows that infants and young children can develop bilingual skills through interactive learning.

  For years, scientists and parents alike have touted the benefits of introducing babies to two languages: Bilingual experience has been shown to improve cognitive abilities, especially problem-solving. And for infants raised in households where two languages are spoken, that bilingual learning happens almost effortlessly. But how can babies in monolingual households develop such skills?…


July 14, 2017

UW Public Health, Dentistry No. 3 in global ranking; dozens of other subjects in top 50

globe

The University of Washington’s School of Dentistry and School of Public Health are ranked No. 3 in the world on the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects list for 2017. The ranking, released in June, was conducted by researchers at the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


July 11, 2017

New UW Campus Master Plan released; public comments incorporated

campus-TILE

The University of Washington issued its 2018 Seattle Campus Master Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement on July 5. The final document responds to comments received on both the draft master plan and the environmental impact statement during the comment period held last fall.



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