UW News

News releases


March 15, 2018

With new ‘shuffling’ trick, researchers can measure gene activity in single cells

A drawing of cells being sorted.

Researchers at the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Brain Science have developed a new method to classify and track the multitude of cells in a tissue sample. In a paper published March 15 in the journal Science, the team reports that this new approach — known as SPLiT-seq — reliably tracks gene activity in a tissue down to the level of single cells.


March 14, 2018

Could anti-Trump sentiment mobilize African-American voters in 2018?

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African-American voters who dislike and feel threatened by Donald Trump and his presidency are more likely to vote and to engage with politics, according to new research from the UW and California State University, Sacramento.


March 13, 2018

Renée Cheng named dean of the College of Built Environments

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Renée Cheng has been named dean of the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments, President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Gerald J. “Jerry” Baldasty announced today. Her appointment, set to begin Jan. 1, 2019, is subject to approval by the UW Board of Regents.


March 8, 2018

‘Trump in the World’: Jackson School faculty give public talks through spring quarter

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The UW Jackson School of International Studies presents “Trump in the World: International Implications of the Trump presidency,” a series of public lectures and discussions Tuesday afternoons through spring quarter.


UW political scientist Megan Ming Francis named fellow with NAACP’s Thurgood Marshall Institute

UW political science associate professor Megan Ming Francis. Story is that she has been named a fellow of the NAACP's Thurgood Marshall Institute.

Megan Ming Francis, UW associate professor of political science, has been named a fellow with the Thurgood Marshall Institute. The institute is a multidisciplinary research and advocacy policy center within the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund.


March 6, 2018

Glaciers in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert actually shrank during the last ice age

researchers walking on ice

High in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, the climate is so dry and cold that glaciers shrank during the last ice age. Dating of rock deposits shows how glaciers in this less-studied region can behave very differently as the climate shifts.


March 5, 2018

Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies to hold ‘Re-imagining Solidarity’ conference March 10

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Immigrant rights, environmental concerns and racial, class, gender and sexual justice will be the focus of a daylong conference hosted by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies March 10 at the UW.


March 2, 2018

Celebrated poet Charles Simic to give UW’s 54th Theodore Roethke Poetry Reading April 12

Charles Simic

Charles Simic, one of America’s most celebrated poets, will give the 2018 Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading on April 12. Simic will be the 54th poet to appear in the series since its inception in 1964.


February 27, 2018

Largest Chinook salmon disappearing from West Coast

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The largest and oldest Chinook salmon — fish also known as “kings” and prized for their exceptional size — have mostly disappeared along the West Coast, according to a new study led by the University of Washington.


February 22, 2018

Reducing failed deliveries, truck parking time could improve downtown Seattle congestion, new report finds

truck parked curbside

If online shopping continues to grow at its current rate, there may be twice as many trucks delivering packages in Seattle’s city center within five years, a new report projects — and double the number of trucks looking for a parking space.


February 21, 2018

UW among Peace Corps’ 2018 top volunteer-producing colleges & universities

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The Peace Corps today announced that University of Washington ranked No. 2 among large schools on the agency’s 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 74 UW alumni currently volunteering worldwide.


February 20, 2018

University of Washington is a top producer of Fulbright scholars

2016 SPEP Thank You Photos

The University of Washington ranked second in the country in producing Fulbright Scholars. Fulbrights were awarded to 11 researchers at UW’s Seattle campus, and to three faculty members at UW Bothell.


Beluga whales dive deeper, longer to find food in Arctic

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Reductions in sea ice in the Arctic have a clear impact on animals such as polar bears that rely on frozen surfaces for feeding, mating and migrating. But sea ice loss is changing Arctic habitat and affecting other species in more indirect ways, new research finds. Beluga whales that spend summers feeding in the Arctic…


Using a laser to wirelessly charge a smartphone safely across a room

Five people posing

Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser.


February 15, 2018

Five UW scientists awarded Sloan Fellowships for early-career research

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Five faculty members at the University of Washington have been awarded early-career fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The new Sloan Fellows, announced Feb. 15, include Maya Cakmak, assistant professor of computer science and engineering; Jiun-Haw Chu, assistant professor of clean energy and physics; Arka Majumdar, assistant professor of electrical engineering and physics; Jessica Werk, assistant professor of astronomy; and Chelsea Wood, assistant professor of aquatic and fishery sciences.


February 12, 2018

Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

A portion of the team’s experimental setup for capturing an image using a metalens. The researchers capture an image of flowers through a metalens (mounted on a microscope slide) and visualize it through a microscope.

In a paper published Feb. 9 in Science Advances, scientists at the University of Washington announced that they have successfully combined two different imaging methods — a type of lens designed for nanoscale interaction with lightwaves, along with robust computational processing — to create full-color images.


February 9, 2018

Research uncovers the mysterious lives of narwhals

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New findings could help scientists understand a little more about the elusive narwhal and how these marine mammals might fare in a changing climate.


February 8, 2018

Simple rules can help fishery managers cope with ecological complexity

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A team of ecologists and economists is the first to test whether real-life ecological interactions produce economic benefits for the fishing industry. The results were published online Jan. 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


February 7, 2018

Fruit bat’s echolocation may work like sophisticated surveillance sonar

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High-speed recordings of Egyptian fruit bats in flight show that instead of using a primitive form of echolocation, these animals actually use a technique recently developed by humans for surveillance and navigation.


February 6, 2018

UW astronomer Woody Sullivan assists in renovation of Olympia’s Territorial Sundial

Woody Sullivan, UW professor emeritus of astronomy, consults with Larry Tate, principal at Seattle's Fabrication Specialties Ltd., right, on the necessary angle and placement of a new gnomon to ensure the time-keeping accuracy of Olympia's Territorial Sundial.

After six months of repair and restoration — assisted by UW astronomer and sundial expert Woody Sullivan — Olympia’s iconic Territorial Sundial is back in place.


February 5, 2018

Watery worlds: UW astronomer Eric Agol assists in new findings of TRAPPIST-1 planetary system

This artist's concept shows what the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system may look like, based on available data about the planets' diameters, masses and distances from the host star, as of February 2018.

A team of astronomers including Eric Agol of the University of Washington has found that the seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1 are all made mostly of rock, and some could even have more water — which can give life a chance — than Earth itself. The research was led by Simon Grimm of…


January 31, 2018

University of Washington, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory team up to make the materials of tomorrow

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The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington announced the creation of the Northwest Institute for Materials Physics, Chemistry and Technology — or NW IMPACT — a joint research endeavor to power discoveries and advancements in materials that transform energy, telecommunications, medicine, information technology and other fields.


Reconstructing an ancient lethal weapon

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    Archaeologists are a little like forensic investigators: They scour the remains of past societies, looking for clues in pottery, tools and bones about how people lived, and how they died. And just as detectives might re-create the scene of a crime, University of Washington archaeologists have re-created the weapons used by hunter-gatherers in…


January 30, 2018

Depression, anxiety affect more than one-fourth of state’s college students

A study of college students from around the state shows the prevalence of depression and anxiety. Suicide prevention advocates say this illustrates the need for more mental health resources on campuses.

  Nearly one-third of Washington college students have experienced depression in the last year, and more than 10 percent have had thoughts of suicide, according to a new survey of young adults attending schools around the state. The survey of more than 10,000 students at 13 of Washington’s two- and four-year institutions shows the need…


January 25, 2018

Dan Berger discusses excesses of incarceration in new book ‘Rethinking the American Prison Movement’

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Dan Berger, associate professor in the UW Bothell School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, discusses his new book, “Rethinking the American Prison Movement.”


If you swat mosquitoes, they may learn to avoid your scent

A tethered, flying Aedes aegypti mosquito.

In a published Jan. 25 in Current Biology, University of Washington researchers report that mosquitoes can learn to associate a particular odor with an unpleasant mechanical shock akin to being swatted. As a result, they’ll avoid that scent the next time.


January 24, 2018

A new ‘atmospheric disequilibrium’ could help detect life on other planets

illustration of telescope and planets

A University of Washington study has found a simple approach to look for life that might be more promising than just looking for oxygen.


#MemoriesInDNA Project wants to store your photos in DNA for the benefit of science – and future generations

A collage of family photographs

Researchers from the Molecular Information Systems Lab at the University of Washington and Microsoft are looking to collect 10,000 original images from around the world to preserve them indefinitely in synthetic DNA manufactured by Twist Bioscience. DNA holds promise as a revolutionary storage medium that lasts much longer and is many orders of magnitude denser than current technologies.


January 22, 2018

Lab-made hormone may reveal secret lives of plants

Chemical structure of a plant hormone

By developing a synthetic version of the plant hormone auxin and an engineered receptor to recognize it, University of Washington biology professor Keiko Torii and her colleagues are poised to uncover plants’ inner workings, raising the possibility of a new way to ripen fruits such as strawberries and tomatoes.


Small hydroelectric dams increase globally with little research, regulations

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University of Washington researchers have published the first major assessment of small hydropower dams around the world — including their potential for growth — and highlight the incredibly variability in how dams of varying sizes are categorized, regulated and studied.


January 19, 2018

UW, TheDream.US announce new scholarship partnership to benefit undocumented students

Two faculty members of the UW School of Social Work have been honored as fellows of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

The University of Washington and TheDream.US announced a new partnership this week that will provide scholarships to qualified undocumented students who graduate from two-year colleges and transfer to the UW.


January 18, 2018

Temporary ‘bathtub drains’ in the ocean concentrate flotsam

white plastic drifter on ship deck

An experiment using hundreds of plastic drifters in the Gulf of Mexico shows that rather than simply spread out, as current calculations would predict, many of them clumped together in a tight cluster.


How the Elwha dam removals changed the river’s mouth

Elwha River - Olympic National Park

A new study in the Journal PLOS ONE details what removing the two dams on the Elwha River meant for the nearshore marine ecosystem.


January 17, 2018

Scale-eating fish adopt clever parasitic methods to survive

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A small group of fishes — possibly the world’s cleverest carnivorous grazers — feeds on the scales of other fish in the tropics. A team led by biologists at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories is trying to understand these scale-feeding fish and how this odd diet influences their body evolution and behavior.


January 16, 2018

Task interrupted: A plan for returning helps you move on

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Get interrupted at work much? Making a quick plan for returning to and completing the task you’re leaving will help you focus better on the interrupting work, according to new research from the University of Washington.


Researchers program biomaterials with ‘logic gates’ that release therapeutics in response to environmental triggers

four people in a laboratory

Drug treatments can save lives, but sometimes they also carry unintended costs. After all, the same therapeutics that target pathogens and tumors can also harm healthy cells. To reduce this collateral damage, scientists have long sought specificity in drug delivery systems: A package that can encase a therapeutic and will not disgorge its toxic cargo…


A ‘touching sight’: How babies’ brains process touch builds foundations for learning

A 7-month-old baby sits in the Magnetoencephalography machine at the UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. An I-LABS study shows how babies' brains register "felt touch" and "observed touch."

  Touch is the first of the five senses to develop, yet scientists know far less about the baby’s brain response to touch than to, say, the sight of mom’s face, or the sound of her voice. Now, through the use of safe, new brain imaging techniques, University of Washington researchers provide one of the…


January 11, 2018

Can the president really do that? Two UW law professors give answers in new book

University of Washington law professors Lisa Manheim and Kathryn Watts have published a new book as the anniversary of President Trump's inauguration approaches. "The Limits of Presidential Power: A Citizen's Guide to the Law" is available on Amazon.

Can the president single-handedly toss out environmental rules designed to combat global warming? Force states like Washington to help enforce federal immigration laws? Fire Robert Mueller? No, no, and not directly, say Lisa Manheim and Kathryn Watts, professors of law at the University of Washington, in a new book. The answers, of course, are more complicated…


January 9, 2018

Mark Richards, former dean at UC Berkeley, named provost at the UW

Mark Richard, incoming provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the UW.

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce today named Mark Richards provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. The appointment is effective July 1, 2018. Richards, a geophysicist, is a professor of Earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he previously served as dean of mathematical and physical sciences from…


January 8, 2018

UW Reality Lab launches with $6M from tech companies to advance augmented and virtual reality research

One goal of the UW Reality Lab — funded with initial investments from Facebook, Google and Huawei — is to achieve telepresence, allowing one to have a lifelike conversation with a person in a remote location.

The UW Reality Lab is launching with $6 million from Facebook, Google, and Huawei to accelerate innovation in augmented and virtual reality and educate the next generation of researchers and practitioners.



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