UW News

The latest news from the UW


September 7, 2017

Land-sea experiment will track earthquakes, volcanoes along Alaska Peninsula

The National Science Foundation is funding the largest marine seismic-monitoring effort yet along the Alaska Peninsula, a region with frequent and diverse earthquake and volcanic activity. Involving aircraft and ships, the new Alaska Amphibious Community Seismic Experiment will be led by Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with partners at the University of Washington and…

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Q&A | Sanne Knudsen: Consumers need more protection from chemicals and pesticides

  Sanne Knudsen was an undergraduate in Chicago when she got her first close-up look at environmental justice. As an environmental engineering student at Northwestern University, Knudsen answered an attorney’s call for volunteers to study several neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side, communities that had endured more than their share of pollution and exposure to chemicals….

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September 6, 2017

UW remains at No. 25 in the world, fourth among U.S. public institutions, on Times Higher Education ranking list

For the second consecutive year, the University of Washington has been ranked No. 25 on the Times Higher Education world rankings for 2018, released Tuesday. It is tied with the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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PupilScreen aims to allow parents, coaches, medics to detect concussion, brain injuries with a smartphone

University of Washington researchers are developing a smartphone app that is capable of objectively detecting concussion and other traumatic brain injuries in the field, which could provide a new level of screening for athletes and accident victims.

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Earth as hybrid planet: New classification scheme places Anthropocene era in astrobiological context

A team of researchers including the UW’s Marina Alberti has devised a new classification scheme for the evolutionary stages of worlds based on “non-equilibrium thermodynamics” — a planet’s energy flow being out of synch, as the presence of life could cause.

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September 5, 2017

UW, Seattle Housing Authority plan to build affordable housing in the U District

The University of Washington and the Seattle Housing Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding for the two organizations to develop affordable housing in the University District.

Gun dealers, suicide-prevention advocates partner to save lives

  With 80 percent of firearms deaths in Washington related to suicide, the scenario isn’t hard to imagine: A person thinking of ending their life enters a gun store to buy the means to do it. Unfortunately, other scenarios play out, as well: A person filling a lethal dose of a prescription medication at a…

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How governments can maintain strong public-private partnerships: Guide from Evans School’s Justin Marlowe

The biggest risk to public-private partnerships in governing is not financial or technical, but political, says UW Evans School professor Justin Marlowe in his fourth guide to financial literacy, published by Governing magazine.

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August 31, 2017

Q&A: How Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Yellowstone National Park are confronting climate change

A new book focuses on climate change risks in the Northern Rocky Mountains, and how managers of public lands can prepare.

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Record-low 2016 Antarctic sea ice due to ‘perfect storm’ of tropical, polar conditions

This exceptional, sudden nosedive in Antarctic sea ice last year was due to a unique one-two punch from atmospheric conditions both in the tropical Pacific Ocean and around the South Pole.

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August 28, 2017

Home prices up, supply down in second quarter of 2017

Washington state’s housing market showed the continuing effects of high demand in the second quarter of 2017, according to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington The statewide median sales price rose to $337,700 in the second quarter, 6.6 percent higher than the same time period last year. This represents…

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New app could use smartphone selfies to screen for pancreatic cancer

A new app could lead to earlier detection of pancreatic cancer simply by snapping a smartphone selfie. The disease kills 90 percent of patients within five years, in part because there are no telltale symptoms or non-invasive screening tools to catch a tumor before it spreads.

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How reading and writing with your child boost more than just literacy

  Children who read and write at home — whether for assignments or just for fun — are building long-term study and executive function skills, according to a paper from the University of Washington. And while home literacy activities have already been associated with higher test scores, the new study shows these activities also provide…

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August 25, 2017

As Tolstoy noted (sort of), all unhappy microbiomes are unhappy in their own way

The bacterial communities that live inside each of our guts are relatively similar when times are good, but when stress enters the equation, those communities can react very differently from person to person.

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August 24, 2017

Scientists to create digital encyclopedia of 3-D vertebrate specimens

A $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant will daylight thousands of specimens from their museum shelves by CT scanning 20,000 vertebrates and making these data-rich, 3-D images available online to researchers, educators, students and the public. The University of Washington is a partner institution contributing most of the fish and bat scans.

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A dean looks back: Harry Bruce reflects on UW ‘iSchool’ past, future

Information School Dean Harry Bruce talks about his job and life as he prepares to step down.

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Lesbian, gay and bisexual older adults suffer more chronic health conditions than heterosexuals, study finds

  Lesbian and bisexual older women are more likely than heterosexual older women to suffer chronic health conditions, experience sleep problems and drink excessively, a new University of Washington study finds. In general, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) older adults were found to be in poorer health than heterosexuals, specifically in terms of higher rates…

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August 23, 2017

UW is No. 13 in the world, third among public universities, in new ranking

The University of Washington is ranked No. 13 in the world — No. 3 among public universities — on the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities, released this month.

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Greetings from Earth: Documents that Changed the World podcast revisits Voyager’s ‘Golden Record,’ 1977

  Forty years ago this month, Planet Earth said hello to the cosmos with the launch of the two Voyager probes that used gravity to swing from world to world on a grand tour of the solar system. Each bore a two-sided, 12-inch, gold-plated copper “Golden Record” of sights and sounds from Earth and its…

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August 21, 2017

Native American youth launch high-altitude balloons for unique perspective on solar eclipse

While many people across the country donned viewing glasses and prepared to watch Monday’s solar eclipse, a group of 100 teenagers from tribes across the Pacific Northwest launched balloons thousands of feet into the air, gaining a novel perspective of the eclipse — and the chance to send meaningful artifacts to the edge of space during a memorable moment in history.

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August 18, 2017

‘Be sure to look around you’: Tips on Seattle eclipse viewing

With many in Seattle are wondering what the Aug. 21 solar eclipse will be like in our city, Bruce Balick, UW professor emeritus of astronomy, shared a few thoughts.

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August 17, 2017

Q & A: Sarah Quinn lifts the curtain on the ‘hidden state’

  Given today’s political climate, one might assume that terms like “administrative state” and “deep state” are merely examples of polarized rhetoric. But the wariness underlying those terms goes back much further, said Sarah Quinn, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Washington. Try colonial America. “Some historians will say this is something…

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August 16, 2017

Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related

As corals face threats from warming oceans, a new study uses modern genetic-sequencing tools to help reveal the relationships between three similar-looking corals.

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Computer scientists use music to covertly track body movements, activity

Researchers at the University of Washington have demonstrated how it is possible to transform a smart device into a surveillance tool that can collect information about the body position and movements of the user, as well as other people in the device’s immediate vicinity. Their approach involves remotely hijacking smart devices to play music embedded with repeating pulses that track a person’s position, body movements, and activities both in the vicinity of the device as well as through walls.

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UW professor Franziska Roesner named one of world’s top innovators under 35

MIT Technology Review has named Franziska Roesner, University of Washington professor of computer science and engineering, one of 35 “Innovators Under 35” for 2017.

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August 15, 2017

Evans School’s Scott Allard notes poverty’s changing landscape in ‘Places in Need’

The number of poor people living in America’s suburbs has more than doubled over the last 25 years, with little attention from academics or policymakers, says Scott W. Allard, a professor in the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, in his new 2017 book “Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty,”

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August 14, 2017

Probiotics help poplar trees clean up Superfund sites

Researchers from the University of Washington and several small companies have conducted the first large-scale experiment on a Superfund site using poplar trees fortified with a probiotic — or natural microbe — to clean up groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE.

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Tidally locked exoplanets may be more common than previously thought

Many exoplanets to be found by coming high-powered telescopes will probably be tidally locked — with one side permanently facing their host star — according to new research by UW astronomer Rory Barnes.

August 10, 2017

Public has rare opportunity to view work on T. rex skull

Starting Aug. 12, the public can watch fossil preparation of the University of Washington Burke Museum’s Tyrannosaurus rex skull “live.”

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Researchers, students on annual expedition to maintain internet-connected deep-sea observatory

The annual maintenance cruise for the Pacific Northwest’s deep-sea observatory continues through Aug. 29. Two dozen students will participate, and more than 120 ocean instruments will get their yearly checkup.

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DNA sequencing tools lack robust protections against cybersecurity risks

A new UW study finds DNA sequencing tools lack robust cybersecurity protections. In a scientific first, the team also infected a computer with synthesized DNA molecules.

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August 7, 2017

UW to host Interior Department’s Northwest Climate Science Center

The University of Washington is the new host for the federally funded Northwest Climate Science Center, a consortium that supports climate-adaptation research in the Northwest.

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August 3, 2017

Evans School researchers analyze Seattle’s competing arena proposals

Researchers at the UW’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance have released a public finance analysis of two competing proposals to develop an NBA/NHL arena in Seattle.

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August 1, 2017

English professor William Streitberger honored for book on Queen Elizabeth I’s Revels Office

William Streitberger, UW professor of English, has been honored for his book “The Masters of Revels and Elizabeth I’s Court Theatre.” Decades in the making, the book was published in 2016 by Oxford University Press.

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July 31, 2017

University of Washington’s Livable City Year program completes inaugural partnership with Auburn

University of Washington students have been working with city of Auburn staff and community members throughout the past year on a wide range of projects tackling challenges around livability and sustainability in the city. Livable City Year is continuing in the 2017-2018 year in partnership with the city of Tacoma. These projects were part of the UW…

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University of Washington recognized for access, affordability and value in three separate rankings

The University of Washington has been recognized by three separate publications in rankings focused on access for low-income students, affordability and value.
The New York Times’ College Access Index ranked the UW 18th in the nation – ninth among public institutions – in its assessment of “which top universities are doing the most to promote the American Dream.”

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Earth likely to warm more than 2 degrees this century

A new UW statistical study shows only 5 percent chance that Earth will warm less than 2 degrees, what many see as a “tipping point” for climate, by the end of this century.

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Heavier Asian Americans seen as ‘more American,’ study says

  What makes people look “American”? The way they dress? Maybe their hairstyle, or mannerisms? How much they weigh? A University of Washington-led study has found that for Asian Americans, those who appear heavier not only are perceived to be more “American,” but also may be subject to less prejudice directed at foreigners than Asian…

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July 27, 2017

Six UW faculty elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences

Six scientists and engineers from the University of Washington have been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

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UW building underwater robots to study oceans around Antarctica

Oceanographers are building swimming robots to carry out an ambitious mission gathering climate data from one of Earth’s most challenging locations: the icy water that surrounds Antarctica.

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