May 19, 2016
From self-driving vehicles to social robots, artificial intelligence is evolving at a rapid pace, creating vast opportunities as well as complex challenges. Recognizing that, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is co-hosting four public workshops on artificial intelligence — the first of them May 24 at the University of Washington. Subsequent events…
A new study co-authored by a University of Washington mechanical engineer demonstrates how flying insect-sized robots can land and stick to surfaces, which conserves energy and extends flight times.
Heavier snowfall over Antarctica was supposed to be one of the few brakes on sea-level rise in a warming world. But that prediction is not reliable, says a new study of Antarctic snowfall over the past 31,000 years.
May 16, 2016
The malaria parasite can cause unusually severe cases of the eponymous disease in patients, leading to higher mortality and poorer health outcomes among survivors. But scientists have long struggled to understand why some patients develop severe malaria. The University of Washington’s International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research in South Asia — along with partners…
May 13, 2016
The jelly found in the electrosensory organs of sharks, skates and rays is a remarkable proton-conducting material, with the highest proton conductivity ever reported for a biological material, UW researchers have found.
In traditional light-harvesting methods, energy from one photon only excites one electron or none depending on the absorber’s energy gap, transferring just a small portion of light energy into electricity. The remaining energy is lost as heat. But in a paper released May 13 in Science Advances, Wu, UW associate professor Xiaodong Xu and colleagues at four other institutions describe one promising approach to coax photons into stimulating multiple electrons. Their method exploits some surprising quantum-level interactions to give one photon multiple potential electron partners.
May 11, 2016
Over their 52-million-year history, a few bats have evolved a taste for their fellow vertebrates. Now biologists at the University of Washington and the Burke Museum of History and Culture are shedding light on how these so-called “carnivorous bats” adapted to the daunting task of chowing down their backboned prey.
University of Washington professors Peter Pauzauskie and Alberto Aliseda are part of two U.S. Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grants to develop innovative approaches to cutting-edge fields of engineering.
May 10, 2016
University of Washington students, faculty and staff are part of the fifth West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise that will investigate changes to ocean chemistry from Baja to British Columbia. The ship left Thursday from San Diego to begin sampling on Mexico’s northern coast. It will stop May 21 at San Francisco’s Exploratorium Pier, then travel…
May 9, 2016
The idea that the young Earth had a thicker atmosphere turns out to be wrong. New research from the University of Washington uses bubbles trapped in 2.7 billion-year-old rocks to show that air at that time exerted at most half the pressure of today’s atmosphere. The results, published online May 9 in Nature Geoscience, reverse…
April 28, 2016
Visitors to national parks are half as likely to see wolves in their natural habitat when wolf hunting is permitted just outside park boundaries, according to a new study.
April 21, 2016
Jerry Franklin, a professor of environmental and forest sciences, was honored by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation for his lifelong work in forest ecology, conservation and policy.
April 20, 2016
Four University of Washington professors join 172 other academics as newly elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the group announced Wednesday.
As the U.S., China and other countries sign the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions and limit climate change, UW experts talk about the possibilities and risks in what could be a turning point for global economies.
April 18, 2016
A new University of Washington study shows that impacts associated with shoreline armoring can scale up to have cumulative, large-scale effects on the characteristics of Salish Sea shorelines and the diversity of life they support.
April 14, 2016
Local author and Seattle Times reporter Lynda V. Mapes is the featured speaker in this year’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences annual Sustaining Our World Lecture, 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 21.
Each fall, monarch butterflies across Canada and the United States turn their orange, black and white-mottled wings toward the Rio Grande and migrate over 2,000 miles to the relative warmth of central Mexico. This journey, repeated instinctively by generations of monarchs, continues even as monarch numbers have plummeted due to loss of their sole larval food…
April 12, 2016
Two national celebrations of science are happening this week in D.C., and University of Washington undergraduates will be in the spotlight at both events. Clara Orndorff, a pre-engineering undergraduate in the UW Honors Program, will travel with two fellow underwater roboticists to compete in Wednesday’s White House Science Fair. She will be among more than 100…
UW undergraduate team wins $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for gloves that translate sign language
Two University of Washington undergraduates have won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for their “SignAloud” invention — gloves that can translate American Sign Language into text or speech.
April 7, 2016
University of Washington and Microsoft researchers have developed one of the first complete systems to store digital data in DNA — allowing one to store data that today would fill a Walmart supercenter in a space the size of a sugar cube.
April 6, 2016
From a tiny island halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, scientists hope to learn more about the physics of clouds above the stormy, inhospitable Southern Ocean.
New regulations by the government of Ecuador to protect the waters around the Galapagos Islands as a marine preserve, including main feeding areas for Galapagos penguins.
April 5, 2016
The University of Washington has joined NextFlex, a consortium of 30 academic institutions and industrial partners to develop the next generation of flexible electronic devices. As a founding member of this alliance, the UW will seek local and regional partners in the electronics and manufacturing industries to develop and produce flexible electronics for applications from…
April 4, 2016
Global carbon dioxide emissions are triggering troubling changes to ocean chemistry along the West Coast that require immediate, decisive actions to combat through a coordinated regional approach, a panel of scientific experts has unanimously concluded.
Many brain studies show that bilingual adults have more activity in areas associated with executive function, a set of mental abilities that includes problem-solving, shifting attention and other desirable cognitive traits. Now new findings reveal that this bilingualism-related difference in brain activity is evident as early as 11 months of age, just as babies are…
April 1, 2016
The authors of a new paper in Science propose a set of social indicators that can be used to gauge how ecosystem management affects four essential factors in human lives: well-being, values, the ability to act purposefully and inequality. Considering such indicators, they note, serves not only to describe what exists but to define what is important in setting sustainability goals.
Most of the world’s wild fisheries could be at healthy levels in just 10 years, and global fish populations could greatly increase by 2050 with better fishing approaches, according to a new study co-authored by University of Washington researchers.
March 30, 2016
A tally of Northern Hemisphere marine heatwaves since 1950 shows that prolonged warm periods have recurred regularly in the past, but are being pushed into new territory by climate change.
March 17, 2016
University of Washington oceanographers track 2,000 years of El Niño history, showing that it can shift in strength for centuries at a time.
March 16, 2016
UW researchers have developed a new method to track how wetlands in Eastern Washington behave seasonally, which will also help monitor how they change as the climate warms.
March 15, 2016
For the 22nd time in the past 23 years, the University of Washington ranked as the No. 1 primary care medical school in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Graduate School rankings released Tuesday. The rural medicine and family medicine programs have also led the nation since those rankings began in 1992. In a…
March 11, 2016
The UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is hosting its second-annual contest for undergraduate and high school students in Washington to create videos about what climate change means to them, in three minutes or less.
March 9, 2016
A study by the UW and others finds that the darkening of the Greenland ice sheet is not due to an increase in wildfires, but is a side effect of a warming climate.
March 4, 2016
A University of Washington team won first place in a science communication video contest that culminated during the recent Ocean Sciences Meeting.
March 1, 2016
Investigate a real ice core from Greenland, survey microbes from the coldest parts of the world, explore an Arctic ice camp and meet with polar scientists – many of whom are from the University of Washington. It’s all part of Polar Science Weekend, returning to Seattle’s Pacific Science Center March 4-6. The three-day event features…
February 29, 2016
New research from the UW-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory will help astronomers better identify — and thus rule out — “false positives” in the search for life beyond Earth.
February 26, 2016
The cherry trees in the Quad at UW will likely be in full bloom the week of March 14.
February 25, 2016
Just like a strong financial portfolio contains shares from different companies, the diverse subpopulations of herring from different bays and beaches around Puget Sound collectively keep the total population more stable, a new study finds.
February 23, 2016
Small disturbances, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings, don’t really matter for weather forecasts. More important is boosting the accuracy of observations at larger scales.
Four 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. 23, include Bingni Brunton, assistant professor of biology; Christopher Laumann, assistant professor of physics; Matthew McQuinn, assistant professor of astronomy; and Emina Torlak, assistant professor of computer science and engineering….
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