UW Today

News releases


September 15, 2016

Poverty decreases, income inequality stagnant in Washington state

The share of Washingtonians living in poverty dropped from 13.2 percent to 12.2 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to new data released Thursday. Washington was one of 23 states with statistically significant declines in their poverty rates during that period. The remaining 27 states and the District of Columbia saw no change in their…


Floating DNA reveals urban shorelines support more animal life

A view of downtown Seattle.

Researchers are now able to capture the cells of animals, sequence their DNA and identify which species were present at a point in time. A new University of Washington study is the first to use these genetic markers to understand the impact urbanization has on the environment — specifically, whether animal diversity flourishes or suffers.


September 14, 2016

UW Osher Lifelong Learning Institute receives $1 million gift

The University of Washington W

The Bernard Osher Foundation has announced a $1 million gift to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington (OLLI-UW). The Institute offers a diverse array of non-credit courses and activities for people 50 and older, giving these adults access to continuing education at the UW. The Osher Foundation’s gift takes the form…


All polar bears across the Arctic face shorter sea ice season

polar bear on ice

A new University of Washington study finds a trend toward earlier Arctic sea ice melt in the spring and later ice growth in the fall across all 19 polar bear populations, which can negatively impact the feeding and breeding capabilities of the bears.


September 13, 2016

Westerly winds have blown across central Asia for at least 42 million years

Buddhist flags blowing in wind

The winds that gust across the Tibetan Plateau have done so for far longer than previously believed, showing they are resilient to the formation of mountains and changes in carbon dioxide and temperature.


September 8, 2016

How do shark teeth bite? Reciprocating saw, glue provide answers

A tiger shark.

A recent University of Washington study sought to understand why shark teeth are shaped differently and what biological advantages various shapes have by testing their performance under realistic conditions.


Life after Fitbit: Appealing to those who feel guilty vs. free

Is life better or worse after sticking your Fitbit in a drawer? UW researchers surveyed hundreds of people who had abandoned self-tracking tools and found emotions ranged from guilt to indifference to relief that the tracking experience was over.


September 7, 2016

Feeling they are part of a group increased preschoolers’ interest, success in STEM

A multi-ethnic group of elementary age children are sitting at a table with their teacher and are making shapes and crafts.

Cultivating young children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics has become a leading educational priority, as experts predict that many future jobs will require substantial math and technology skills. Early education in STEM topics, as they’re known, is critical for boosting later success in school and attracting students to occupations in those fields. But…


HemaApp screens for anemia, blood conditions without needle sticks

Photo of HemaApp illuminating a patient's finger

UW engineers have developed HemaApp, which uses a smartphone camera to estimate hemoglobin concentrations and screen for anemia without sticking patients with needles.


September 6, 2016

UW law professor named to United Nations working group on business and human rights

When law professor Anita Ramasastry began teaching at the University of Washington in 1996, she was working on an article about banks’ responsibilities around human rights, to the bemusement of her peers. The groundbreaking piece focused on the role of Swiss banks during World War II and the dormant accounts of Holocaust victims and their…


September 2, 2016

Invasive green crab found on San Juan Island by citizen science volunteers

a green crab

Earlier this week in Westcott Bay, San Juan Island, a team of volunteer monitors caught an invasive green crab, marking the first confirmation of this global invader in Washington’s inland waters.


August 30, 2016

University of Washington and City of Auburn launch first Livable City Year partnership

photo of downtown auburn

The University of Washington has begun a yearlong partnership with the City of Auburn, under the new Livable City Year program. UW students and professors will work with the City of Auburn to advance the city’s goals for livability and sustainability throughout the upcoming academic year.


August 29, 2016

Plants’ future water use affects long-term drought estimates

farmers in field

Many popular long-term drought estimates ignore the fact that plants will be less thirsty as carbon dioxide goes up. Plants’ lower water use could roughly halve some current estimates for the extent of future drought, especially in central Africa and temperate Asia.


New discovery Proxima b is in host star’s habitable zone — but could it really be habitable?

Artist's impression of the planet orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri.

The world’s attention is now on Proxima Centauri b, a possibly Earth-like planet about 4.22 light-years away. It’s in its star’s habitable zone — but could it in fact be habitable? If so, the planet evolved very different than Earth, say researchers at the University of Washington-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory.


August 25, 2016

Report explores factors that might attract children to marijuana edibles

A new report from the UW School of Law’s Cannabis Law and Policy Project identifies factors that make food attractive to children. Commissioned by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, the report studied research on what makes food appeal to children and the role that marketing and branding play.


August 24, 2016

Statewide housing market strong in second quarter of 2016

Washington state’s housing market remained strong in the second quarter of 2016. Home sale prices and the number of sales were up, although new building permits were down compared with a year ago, according to the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the UW.


August 21, 2016

Is divorce seasonal? UW research shows biannual spike in divorce filings

To everything there is a season — even divorce, new research from University of Washington sociologists concludes. Associate sociology professor Julie Brines and doctoral candidate Brian Serafini found what is believed to be the first quantitative evidence of a seasonal, biannual pattern of filings for divorce. The researchers analyzed filings in Washington state between 2001…


August 20, 2016

‘I miss you so much’: How Twitter is broadening the conversation on death and mourning

Twitter bird and logo on blue background

Death and mourning were largely considered private matters in the 20th century, with the public remembrances common in previous eras replaced by intimate gatherings behind closed doors in funeral parlors and family homes. But social media is redefining how people grieve, and Twitter in particular — with its ephemeral mix of rapid-fire broadcast and personal…


August 18, 2016

Twins, especially male identical twins, live longer

Twin boys

Analysis of almost 3,000 pairs of Danish twins shows that they live longer than the general population, especially if they are identical.


Paleontologists with the UW’s Burke Museum discover major T. rex fossil

Paleontologists with the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and the UW have discovered a Tyrannosaurus rex, including a very complete skull. The find, which paleontologists estimate to be about 20 percent of the animal, includes vertebrae, ribs, hips and lower jaw bones.


August 17, 2016

UW again maintains No. 15 in world university ranking

A globe in Suzzallo library

The University of Washington remained No. 15 on the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities, conducted by researchers at the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


Study finds bias, disgust toward mixed-race couples

Interracial marriage has grown in the United States over the past few decades, and polls show that most Americans are accepting of mixed-race relationships. A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found that interracial marriages in the U.S. had doubled between 1980 and 2010 to about 15 percent, and just 11 percent of respondents…


Interscatter communication enables first-ever implanted devices, smart contact lenses, credit cards that ‘talk’ Wi-Fi

photo of three devices used in experiment

“Interscatter” communication developed by UW engineers allows power-limited devices such as brain implants, contact lenses, credit cards and smaller wearable electronics to talk to everyday devices such as smartphones and watches.


August 16, 2016

Big fish — and their pee — are key parts of coral reef ecosystems

The Almaco jack is a large predator fish, pictured here in the Caribbean.

Large, carnivorous fish excrete almost half of the key nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen, that are essential for the survival of coral reefs.


August 15, 2016

Luna moth’s long tail could confuse bat sonar through its twist

moth on finger

A detailed look at how sound waves bounce off a flying moth’s body offers new clues for how its long, twisted tail might help it evade predatory bats.


UW research backs up ongoing efforts to protect the enigmatic Nautilus

Nautilus

University of Washington biologist Peter Ward’s body of research has helped policymakers recognize the impact nautiluses have on ocean ecosystems, as well as how they can — and cannot — replenish their numbers in the face of unrestricted, unregulated fishing. At a CITES meeting in September, Ward and his team hope nautiluses will get much-needed protections from trade and harvesting.


Unearthing trackers of the past: UW computer scientists reveal the history of third-party web tracking

security camera

At the USENIX Security Conference in Austin, Texas, a team of University of Washington researchers on Aug. 12 presented the first-ever comprehensive analysis of third-party web tracking across three decades and a new tool, TrackingExcavator, which they developed to extract and analyze tracking behaviors on a given web page. They saw a four-fold increase in third-party tracking on top sites from 1996 to 2016, and mapped the growing complexity of trackers stretching back decades.


August 9, 2016

New book ‘Cities that Think Like Planets’ imagines urban regions resilient to change

Marina Alberti's book "Cities that Think Like Planets: Complexity, Resilience, and Innovation in Hybrid Ecosystems" was published in July by University of Washington Press. Photo is the cover illustration of the book.

What does it mean for a city to “think like a planet”? Marina Alberti of the UW College of Built Environments discusses her new book, “Cities that Think Like Planets,” published by UW Press.


August 8, 2016

Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies names new permanent director

Simon Stevenson is the new director of the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies in the UW College of Built Environments.

Simon Stevenson of the United Kingdom’s University of Reading will be the next director of the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, in the College of Built Environments.


August 2, 2016

Justin Camputaro named director of the Husky Union Building at UW

Justin Camputaro

Justin Camputaro, with more than 15 years of experience in higher education administration, joined the University of Washington as the new director of the Husky Union Building, effective July 18.


August 1, 2016

Bernard Dean named UW director of state relations

Bernard Dean

Bernard Dean, who brings two decades of state and local government experience, has been appointed director of state relations at the University of Washington, effective Sept. 1.


July 28, 2016

Runstad Center report: Addressing condo construction defect liability may help promote affordable housing in Seattle

A new study from the UW’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies suggests that Seattle and Washington state could invite development of more affordable housing by easing the legal risk — or the appearance of risk — in condominium development, construction, liability and insurance.


July 27, 2016

Carbon-financed cookstove fails to deliver hoped-for benefits in the field

Photo of women using cookstoves in India

A study of the the first clean cookstove intervention in India financed through the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism found expected benefits from newer, more “efficient” stoves — based on their performance in lab tests — did not materialize in the field.


July 25, 2016

Minimum Wage Study: Effects of Seattle wage hike modest, may be overshadowed by strong economy

The lot of Seattle’s lowest-paid workers improved following the city’s minimum wage increase to $11 in 2015, but that was more due to the robust regional economy than the wage hike itself, according to a research team headed by the UW Evans School.


Marine carbon sinking rates confirm importance of polar oceans

white dots on blue background

Polar oceans pump organic carbon down to the deep sea about five times as efficiently as subtropical waters, because they can support larger, heavier organisms. The finding helps explain how the oceans may function under climate change.


July 21, 2016

University of Washington sets new record with $542.4 million in private support and contributions in FY 2016

The University of Washington received a record $542.4 million in the 2016 fiscal year, ending June 30, breaking the previous record of $482.5 million set in 2013-14. The funds came in the form of private gifts and grants earmarked by individuals, corporations and foundations for specific areas of research, labs, faculty, and student scholarships and programs.


An engineered protein can disrupt tumor-promoting ‘messages’ in human cells

Cellular protein

A team of researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Trento in Italy unveiled an engineered protein that they designed to repress a specific cancer-promoting message within cells.


Imaging software predicts how you look with different hair styles, colors, appearances

A personalized image search engine developed by a University of Washington researcher lets a person imagine how they would look a with different a hairstyle, if they lived in a different time period or any other appearance change that can be synthesized with internet photos.


July 19, 2016

UW professor is digitizing every fish species in the world

fish scan

UW professor Adam Summers is scanning and digitizing all 25,000 species of fish that live on Earth. Each species soon will have a high-resolution, 3-D visual replica online, available to all and downloadable for free.


UW oceanographers grow, sequence genome of ocean microbe important to climate change

Marine microbes were collected from a low-oxygen fjord in Barkley Sound, off the coast of British Columbia.

A University of Washington team has shed new light on a common but poorly understood bacteria known to live in low-oxygen areas in the ocean. By culturing and sequencing the microbe’s entire genome, the oceanographers found that it significantly contributes to the removal of life-supporting nitrogen from the water in new and surprising ways.



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