UW Today

Columns magazine

March 23, 2015

UW scientists build a nanolaser using a single atomic sheet

The ultra-thin semiconductor, which is about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair, stretches across the top of the photonic cavity.

University of Washington scientists have built a new nanometer-sized laser using a semiconductor that’s only three atoms thick. It could help open the door to next-generation computing that uses light, rather than electrons, to transfer information.

March 18, 2015

New research suggests insect wings might serve gyroscopic function

A robber fly with a very large haltere (inside yellow box). Halteres are sensors that act like gyroscopes, providing information about the insect's body rotations during flight.

Gyroscopes measure rotation in everyday technologies, from unmanned aerial vehicles to cell phone screen stabilizers. Though many animals can move with more precision and accuracy than our best-engineered aircraft and technologies, gyroscopes are rarely found in nature. Scientists know of just one group of insects, the group including flies, that has something that behaves like…

March 10, 2015

An injectable UW polymer could keep soldiers, trauma patients from bleeding to death

a rendering of fibrin forming a blood clot using the polymer to bind.

University of Washington researchers have developed a new injectable polymer that strengthens blood clots, called PolySTAT. Administered in a simple shot, the polymer finds any unseen injuries and has the potential to keep trauma patients from bleeding to death before reaching medical care.

March 9, 2015

Study shows teens and adults hazy on Washington marijuana law


More than two years after Washington legalized marijuana, parents and teens may be hazy on the specifics of the law, if the findings of a new study are any indication. University of Washington research, published recently in Substance Use & Misuse, found that only 57 percent of Washington parents surveyed knew the legal age for…

March 3, 2015

On thin ice: Combined Arctic ice observations show decades of loss

submarine poking through ice and people disembarking

Historic submarine and modern satellite records show that ice thickness in the central Arctic Ocean dropped by 65 percent from 1975 to 2012. September ice thickness, when the ice cover is at a minimum, dropped by 85 percent.

February 20, 2015

Winter air campaign tracking how pollution handles the cold

view of city lights out cockpit window

A UW atmospheric scientist is leading a six-week survey of eastern U.S. skies to see how winter conditions affect air quality.

February 18, 2015

Fearless birds and shrinking salmon: Is urbanization pushing Earth’s evolution to a tipping point?


We’ve long known that humans and our cities affect the ecosystem and even drive some evolutionary change. What’s new is that these evolutionary changes are happening more quickly than previously thought, and have potential impacts not in the distant future — but now.

February 17, 2015

Study: Manufacturing growth can benefit Bangladeshi women workers

Workers in an apparel company in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in December 2014.

The life of a Bangladeshi garment factory worker is not an easy one. But new research from the University of Washington indicates that access to such factory jobs can improve the lives of young Bangladeshi women — motivating them to stay in school and lowering their likelihood of early marriage and childbirth.

February 16, 2015

Ancient rocks show life could have flourished on Earth 3.2 billion years ago

photo of red rocks and blue sky

Some of the oldest rocks on the planet push back scientific estimates of when life could have covered the Earth by 1 billion years.

February 9, 2015

3-D printing with custom molecules creates low-cost mechanical sensor

glowing UW

A UW chemistry lab teamed up with UW engineers studying 3-D printing to create 3-D printed objects with new capabilities.

February 5, 2015

New tool monitors effects of tidal, wave energy on marine habitat

From left to right: UW researchers Ben Rush, Nick Michel-Hart, James Joslin and Paul Gibbs prepare to test the monitoring device underwater in a tank on campus.

A robot developed at the University of Washington will deploy instruments to gather information in unprecedented detail about how marine life interacts with underwater equipment used to harvest wave and tidal energy.

January 28, 2015

Child maltreatment not a clear path to adult crime


Research has found a significant link between childhood abuse and neglect and crime in adulthood. But a recent University of Washington study finds that link all but disappears when accounting for other life factors. “We find that children who were involved in child welfare services are at high risk of adult crimes, but once we…

January 15, 2015

Tiny plant fossils a window into Earth’s landscape millions of years ago


An international team led by the University of Washington has discovered a way to determine the tree cover and density of trees, shrubs and bushes in locations over time based on clues in the cells of plant fossils preserved in rocks and soil.

June 17, 2014

UW news office, advancement services, Columns win national awards

Logo of world with CASE

UW units have won medals in the annual awards program sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.