June 3, 2016
University of Washington professor Peter Kahn recently co-authored an opinion piece in the journal Science about the importance of interacting with nature in urban areas. UW Today asked Kahn a few more questions about the broader implications of his work.
The authors of a Science perspective piece discuss the growing tension between an arguably necessary role urban areas play in society and the numbing, even debilitating, aspects of cities that disconnect humans from the natural world.
June 1, 2016
University of Washington polar scientists are on Alaska’s North Slope this week for the 2016 Barrow Sea Ice Camp. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the event brings together U.S.-based sea ice observers, satellite experts and modelers at various career stages to collect data and discuss issues related to measuring and modeling sea ice. The…
May 31, 2016
A team led by University of Washington engineers has developed a new tool that could aid in the quest for better batteries and fuel cells. Although battery technology has come a long way since Alessandro Volta first stacked metal discs in a “voltaic pile” to generate electricity, major improvements are still needed to meet the…
May 30, 2016
The waters surrounding Antarctica may be one of the last places on Earth to experience human-driven climate change, because of its unique ocean currents.
May 27, 2016
Electrical energy fuels our modern lives, from the computer screen that keeps us up after sunset to the coffee maker that greets us at sunrise. But the electricity underlying our 21st century world, by and large, is generated at a cost — through the unsustainable expenditure of fossil fuels. For decades this demand for cheap,…
May 26, 2016
Ray Hilborn, a UW professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, this week will receive the 2016 International Fisheries Science Prize at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, South Korea.
May 25, 2016
Oceanographers from the UW and NOAA deployed a new tool that will automatically test for harmful algal blooms and help warn of when they could hit local beaches.
May 24, 2016
Chickens on campus and a mood shift at EPA: Relevant projects are nature of environmental studies capstone
A cohort of UW Environmental Studies majors will present projects and research findings at at symposium from 1:30-5:30 p.m. May 25 at Alder Hall and Wallace Hall.
May 23, 2016
Children who suffer traumatic brain injuries can face a difficult road to recovery, requiring services such as physical therapy and mental health treatment for months or years to get their young lives back on track. When those children come from low-income households with limited English proficiency, there can be significant barriers in getting them the…
May 20, 2016
In a new study, scientists found that selectively fishing for lingcod in protected areas actually avoided hampering the recovery of other fish, including rockfish species listed as overfished.
A University of Washington team has demonstrated that poplar trees growing in rocky, inhospitable terrain harbor bacteria within them that could provide valuable nutrients to help the plant grow.
May 19, 2016
More than 500 people gathered May 18 on the University of Washington campus to celebrate the start of construction on the New Burke Museum. The Burke is Washington’s oldest museum and since 1899 has been the State Museum of Natural History and Culture; soon it will be Washington’s newest museum. Opening in 2019, the New…
In a White House ceremony May 19, President Barack Obama presented the National Medal of Science to Mary-Claire King, University of Washington professor of genome sciences and medicine. The award, the nation’s highest recognition for scientific achievement, honors King’s more than 40 years dedicated to research in evolution and the genetics of human disease, as well as to teaching and outreach endeavors that have supported human rights efforts on six continents and reunited families.
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.
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