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Research


May 16, 2019

Children describe technology that gives them a sense of ambiguity as ‘creepy’

a small girl touches a robot's hand

University of Washington researchers have defined for the first time what children mean when they say technology is “creepy.”


May 15, 2019

First smartphone app that can hear ear infections in children

a smartphone displaying the app

Researchers at the UW have created a new smartphone app that can detect fluid behind the eardrum by simply using a piece of paper and the phone’s microphone and speaker.


May 13, 2019

UW Information School’s Hala Annabi creates new ‘Autism @ Work Playbook’

Hala Annabi, associate professor in the UW Information School, created the Autism @ Work Playbook, which advises companies how to create and support inclusive work programs for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Hala Annabi, associate professor in the UW Information School, is creator of the new “Autism @ Work Playbook,” a resource to guide organizations toward creating well-supported employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum.


May 10, 2019

Chemists take a closer look at the spot where water meets air

A chemical structure of water molecules.

A study published April 18 in the journal Science by researchers at Yale University and the University of Washington provides the first direct measurement of the behavior of bonded oxygen and hydrogen atoms perched on the surface of water.


May 8, 2019

One-third of the world’s longest rivers remain free-flowing, new analysis finds

laird river

Just over one-third of the world’s 246 longest rivers remain free-flowing, according to a new study published May 8 in Nature. Dams and reservoirs are drastically reducing the diverse benefits that healthy rivers provide to people and nature across the globe.


May 6, 2019

Security cameras in nursing homes aim to protect the vulnerable but present ethical dilemmas

Berridge nursing home photo 1

With reports of crimes against nursing home residents gaining media attention around the country, seven states have passed laws regulating the use of cameras in care facilities. An assistant professor in the University of Washington School of Social Work outlines the list of legal and moral issues that surveillance raises.


May 3, 2019

Researchers take a bottom-up approach to synthesizing microscopic diamonds for bioimaging, quantum computing

Two people operating a laser to heat material and make nanodiamonds.

Researchers at the University of Washington, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory discovered that they can use extremely high pressure and temperature to introduce other elements into nanodiamonds, making them potentially useful in cell and tissue imaging, as well as quantum computing.


May 2, 2019

Bats evolved diverse skull shapes due to echolocation, diet

A close-up image of a California leaf-nosed bat.

In a paper published May 2 in Nature Communications, a University of Washington team reports that two major forces have shaped bat skulls over their evolutionary history — echolocation and diet — generating a huge diversity of skull shapes across 1,300 bat species today.


May 1, 2019

Arsenic-breathing life discovered in the tropical Pacific Ocean

people working on deck of boat

In oxygen-poor parts of the ocean, some microorganisms survive by breathing arsenic. This holdover from the ancient Earth was not thought to still exist in the open ocean.


US public support for undocumented immigrants seeking citizenship stronger if pathway includes military service, UW research shows

RainbowW

Americans appear more willing to support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants if that path includes serving in the United States military, according to new research from UW political scientists Sophia Jordán Wallace and Geoffrey Wallace.


April 30, 2019

Flowering plants, new teeth and no dinosaurs: New study sheds light on the rise of mammals

Well-preserved fossils ― like this Yanoconodon allini (Specimen No.: NJU P06001; Formation: Yixian; Age: 122.2–124.6 million years ago; Provenance: China) ― enabled the team to infer ecology of these extinct mammal species and look at changes in mammal community structure during the last 165 million years.

A new study published April 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identified three factors critical in the rise of mammal communities since they first emerged during the Age of Dinosaurs: the rise of flowering plants; the evolution of tribosphenic molars in mammals; and the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, which reduced competition between mammals and other vertebrates in terrestrial ecosystems.


April 29, 2019

Patterns of compulsive smartphone use suggest how to kick the habit

A group of people looking at their phones

UW researchers conducted in-depth interviews to learn why we compulsively check our phones.


April 25, 2019

Public talks kick off study of ice loss, warming and coastal changes in northern Alaska

flat peninsula and water

A UW team will visit Alaska’s North Slope Borough the week of April 28 in preparation for a two-year study of how waves, ice loss and warming are affecting the low-lying region.


April 22, 2019

Brains of blind people adapt to sharpen sense of hearing, study shows

People who are visually impaired rely on other senses to interpret their surroundings. A pair of studies from the University of Washington shows how the brains of blind people adapt to process information. Photo of blind person walking with cane.

Research from the University of Washington uses functional MRI to identify two differences in the brains of blind individuals — differences that might be responsible for their abilities to make better use of auditory information.


April 19, 2019

New space race: Essays from Jackson School symposium explore changing law, policy

Saadia Pekkanen, UW professor of international studies

A new space race is underway, characterized by the intersecting trends of democratization, commercialization and militarization. Saadia Pekkanen, UW professor of international relations, is lead guest editor for a group of essays addressing such issues and more published online this month in the American Journal of International Law.


April 18, 2019

Video: Soon, kidneys-on-a-chip will rocket to space station

ISS still

UW scientists are sending a kidney-on-a-chip experiment into space. At an altitude of 250 miles, astronauts will help study how reduced gravity in space affects kidney physiology.


Project Sidewalk helps users map accessibility around Seattle, other cities

Project Sidewalk logo

UW researchers have led the development of Project Sidewalk, an online crowdsourcing game that lets anyone with an internet connection use Google Street View to virtually explore neighborhoods and label curb ramps, missing or rough sidewalks, obstacles and more.


April 15, 2019

Historic logging site shows first human-caused bedrock erosion along an entire river

orange trees by riverbank

Over many years, a University of Washington team has shown how logging on the Teanaway River in central Washington caused dramatic changes to the river channel.


Synthetic peptide can inhibit toxicity, aggregation of protein in Alzheimer’s disease, researchers show

a chemical structure of a peptide

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington has developed synthetic peptides that target and inhibit the small, toxic protein aggregates that are thought to trigger Alzheimer’s disease.


April 12, 2019

For 17 years, UW program has provided an interdisciplinary nexus for climate research and education

people in front of poster

Over 17 years, the program has evolved into a campuswide, interdisciplinary, student-driven program on climate change research, communication and action. A recent publication looks at the program history and current mission.


April 11, 2019

A timely new ‘Documents that Changed the World’ podcast episode: IRS tax Form 1040

Form_1040,_1941

Joe Janes of the UW Information School presents a timely installment of his Documents that Changed the World podcast series, about the most infamous tax form of all — IRS Form 1040.


Stars and stories: UW astronomer Emily Levesque gathering material for book on ‘true tales of observational astronomy’

Emily Levesque, University of Washington assistant professor of astronomy, is gathering stories for a book to be titled "The Last Stargazers: True Tales of the Colorful and Vanishing World of Observational Astronomy," which will be published in 2020.

Emily Levesque, UW assistant professor of astronomy, is gathering material for a new book to be called “The Last Stargazers: True Tales of the Colorful and Vanishing World of Observational Astronomy.”


April 8, 2019

How societal attitudes, political rhetoric affect immigrants’ health

This 2007 photo shows the border between California, left, and Tijuana, Mexico, right.

For immigrants to the United States, the current political climate, and debates over issues such as a border wall, become part of the environment that influences their health, according to a new University of Washington study.


Water and wastewater disinfection can help prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, but what about their genes?

vials exposed to UV light

A UW team tested how well current water and wastewater disinfecting methods affect antibiotic resistance genes in bacterial DNA. While these methods work well to deter bacterial growth, they had varied success in either degrading or deactivating a representative antibiotic resistance gene.


April 4, 2019

April ‘Weather Madness’: UW wins top team, individual prizes in national forecasting contest, now enters tournament round

three people in front of gray sky

A University of Washington team placed first in a national weather forecasting contest that began in September. A UW graduate student also developed a model that for the first time beat out all human competitors.


March 29, 2019

North Dakota site shows wreckage from same object that killed the dinosaurs

cartoon of waves and animal images

A new excavation site in North Dakota shows evidence from the day a giant meteor struck Earth, marking the beginning of the end for the dinosaurs and 75 percent of animal life.


March 26, 2019

Air quality agencies can breathe easier about current emissions regulations

researchers in plane

A University of Washington-led study provides a fuller picture of the relationship between nitrogen oxides — the tailpipe-generated particles at the center of the Volkswagen scandal, also known as NOx, — and PM2.5, the microscopic particles that can lodge in lungs.


New tool maps a key food source for grizzly bears: huckleberries

huckleberry leaves turning red

Researchers have developed a new approach to map huckleberry distribution across Glacier National Park that uses publicly available satellite imagery. Tracking where huckleberry plants live now — and where they may move under climate change — can help biologists predict where grizzly bears will also be found.


March 21, 2019

UW, Microsoft, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory establish new Northwest Quantum Nexus for a quantum revolution in science, technology

Portraits of two people

The University of Washington, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Microsoft Quantum announced this week that they have joined forces in a new coalition, the Northwest Quantum Nexus, to bring about a revolution in quantum research and technology.


Hundreds of bubble streams link biology, seismology off Washington’s coast

map with red stars

The first survey of methane vent sites off Washington’s coast finds 1,778 bubble columns, with most located along a north-south band that is in line with a geologic fault.


With a ‘hello,’ Microsoft and UW demonstrate first fully automated DNA data storage

Blue DNA strand cartoon

UW and Microsoft researchers have demonstrated the first fully automated system to store and retrieve data in manufactured DNA — a key step in moving the technology out of the research lab and into commercial data centers.


March 19, 2019

Managed retreat due to rising seas is a public health issue

building

Sea-level rise associated with climate change is a concern for many island and coastal communities. While the dangers may seem far off for large coastal cities like Miami or New Orleans, the advancing oceans are already displacing some small indigenous communities, and many others are at risk around the world.


March 13, 2019

New method to assess platelet health could help ER doctors

a hand holding the new device

UW researchers have created a novel system that can measure platelet function within two minutes and can help doctors determine which trauma patients might need a blood transfusion upon being admitted to a hospital.


March 12, 2019

Eight postdoctoral researchers at the University of Washington receive awards from the Washington Research Foundation

Photo by Katherine Turner.

Eight researchers at the University of Washington have been named 2019 Washington Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellows.


A school that values diversity could have health benefits for students of color

Photo of empty classroom

Students of color who attend schools with a culture and mission statements that emphasize the value of diversity show better cardiovascular health than peers whose schools do not express such values, according to a new study.


March 11, 2019

When coyote parents get used to humans, their offspring become bolder, too

coyotes in grass

When coyote parents are habituated to humans, their offspring are more habituated, too — potentially leading to negative interactions between coyotes and humans.


Black and Hispanic Americans bear a disproportionate burden from air pollution

industry smokestacks at sunrise

Black and Hispanic Americans bear a disproportionate burden from air pollution generated mainly by non-Hispanic white Americans, according to new research from a team led by the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota.


How to train your robot (to feed you dinner)

A robot feeds a volunteer a strawberry

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a robotic system that can feed people who need someone to help them eat.


March 5, 2019

FASER detector at the Large Hadron Collider to seek clues about hidden matter in the universe

A computer image of a device that will detect particles in the Large Hadron Collider.

On March 5, the CERN research board approved a new experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva to search for evidence of fundamental dark matter particles. UW scientists are part of this endeavor, the Forward Search Experiment — or FASER — which seeks to answer one of the outstanding questions in particle physics: What is dark matter made of?


Reading summer camp? Study to examine how soon-to-be kindergartners are wired for literacy

A study this summer will examine how the word-recognition portion of the brain develops in preschoolers. Photo of young child sorting cards with simple words on them.

The University of Washington is launching a reading instruction study this summer, a two-week “camp” targeting children entering kindergarten in the fall that aims to teach early literacy skills and measure brain activity before and after instruction.



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