UW Today

The latest news from the UW

September 27, 2016

Secure passwords can be sent through your body, instead of air

UW engineers have devised a way to send secure passwords through the human body, instead of over the air where they’re vulnerable to hacking.


September 26, 2016

UW archaeology field school unearths ‘treasure trove’ of tribal artifacts

Finding a long-buried outhouse might not sound exciting to most people, but to Sara Gonzalez and her crew, it was a holy grail of sorts. An assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Washington, Gonzalez led an archaeological field school this summer on a tribal reservation in northwestern Oregon. Gonzalez and a team of…


September 23, 2016

‘If these shackles could speak’: Charles Johnson’s powerful statement for Smithsonian Magazine feature on new African American Museum of History and Culture

Charles Johnson, UW professor emeritus of English, wrote a statement to accompany an item to be displayed in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. What he wrote also was featured in a special issue of Smithsonian Magazine.


UW lands at No. 25, fourth among U.S. public institutions, in Times Higher Education world ranking

The University of Washington landed at No. 25 on the Times Higher Education world rankings for 2017, released this week. The UW is fourth on the list among U.S. public universities, behind UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Michigan.

UW prof the first recipient of national social work award

University of Washington social work professor Paula Nurius is the inaugural recipient of a new national award for helping advance doctoral education in her field. Nurius will receive the 2016 Educational Leadership in Doctoral Education award from the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE) at a meeting in November. The…


How natural selection acted on one penguin species over the past quarter century

University of Washington biologist Dee Boersma and her colleagues combed through 28 years’ worth of data on Magellanic penguins to search for signs that natural selection — one of the main drivers of evolution — may be acting on certain penguin traits. As they report in a paper published Sept. 21 in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, selection is indeed at work on the penguins at the Punta Tombo breeding site in Argentina.


Week-long exhibit in La Conner joins climate scientists, artists

UW scientists worked with artists for an exhibit at the Museum of Northwest Art focusing on climate change impacts on coastal communities.


September 22, 2016

5 UW professors among HHMI’s inaugural class of Faculty Scholars

Amid a decline in funding for scientific research, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Simons Foundation to launch a new Faculty Scholars program. Announced Sept. 22 by HHMI, the inaugural crop of early-career scientists includes 5 faculty members from the University of Washington.


September 21, 2016

UW jumps to No. 2 in the world for clinical medicine, pharmacy; remains No. 6 in life sciences

The University of Washington moved up to No. 2 in the world for clinical medicine and pharmacy in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities by Broad Subject Fields.

UW team to study baby teeth in effort to identify autism risk factors

University of Washington researchers are part of a national team that will study the baby teeth of children who have siblings with autism to determine if prenatal exposure to chemicals increases their risk of developing the disorder. The study will involve testing children’s teeth for levels of environmental chemicals that they might have been exposed…


UW receives $500,000 from Boeing to enhance STEM training, opportunities for local students

Boeing announced Wednesday it is awarding $6 million in grants to more than 50 nonprofit organizations and education institutions across Washington, including $500,000 to the University of Washington.

September 20, 2016

New film about British Holocaust trial has UW connection

“Denial,” a new movie about an American historian’s lengthy court battle with a British Holocaust denier, has a UW connection — Deborah Lipstadt, the film’s protagonist, taught at the UW early in her career.


September 19, 2016

UW wins national nanotechnology startup challenge for breast cancer treatment

Researchers at the University of Washington are among the winners of a startup challenge to shorten the transition time from lab bench to patient. The team, including members of professor Suzie Pun’s research group in the UW Department of Bioengineering, was selected based on its proposal and business plan to develop a targeted drug delivery system for breast cancer.


Award for genetic tracking to rein in pangolin poaching

A team of conservationists at the University of Washington is among the Grand Prize Winners of the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge for a proposal to identify poaching hotspots for pangolins, one of the most trafficked group of mammals in the world.


Microbes help plants survive in severe drought

Plants can better tolerate drought and other stressors with the help of natural microbes, University of Washington research has found. Specifically, plants that are given a dose of microbes stay green longer and are able to withstand drought conditions by growing more leaves and roots and using less water.


September 15, 2016

Poverty decreases, income inequality stagnant in Washington state

The share of Washingtonians living in poverty dropped from 13.2 percent to 12.2 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to new data released Thursday. Washington was one of 23 states with statistically significant declines in their poverty rates during that period. The remaining 27 states and the District of Columbia saw no change in their…


Floating DNA reveals urban shorelines support more animal life

Researchers are now able to capture the cells of animals, sequence their DNA and identify which species were present at a point in time. A new University of Washington study is the first to use these genetic markers to understand the impact urbanization has on the environment — specifically, whether animal diversity flourishes or suffers.


September 14, 2016

Allen Library exhibit explores South Asia in art, scholarship

A new exhibit in the UW’s Allen Library explores South Asia through art, artifacts, manuscripts, music and more. “Envisaging South Asia: Art, Images, and Scholarship” will be on view through Oct. 31.


The Great UW ShakeOut: An opportunity to practice earthquake preparedness

All across the world, millions of people will be practicing their earthquake-preparedness on Oct. 20. The event — called the Great ShakeOut — will commence at 10:20 a.m. for those participating at the University of Washington and across the state. It is an opportunity for people to practice what they should do in the event of an earthquake: Drop, cover and hold on.

UW Osher Lifelong Learning Institute receives $1 million gift

The Bernard Osher Foundation has announced a $1 million gift to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington (OLLI-UW). The Institute offers a diverse array of non-credit courses and activities for people 50 and older, giving these adults access to continuing education at the UW. The Osher Foundation’s gift takes the form…

All polar bears across the Arctic face shorter sea ice season

A new University of Washington study finds a trend toward earlier Arctic sea ice melt in the spring and later ice growth in the fall across all 19 polar bear populations, which can negatively impact the feeding and breeding capabilities of the bears.


September 13, 2016

Westerly winds have blown across central Asia for at least 42 million years

The winds that gust across the Tibetan Plateau have done so for far longer than previously believed, showing they are resilient to the formation of mountains and changes in carbon dioxide and temperature.


September 12, 2016

Graduate education in clean energy due for ‘big data’ overhaul

Jim Pfaendtner, University of Washington associate professor of chemical engineering, is leading a new endeavor funded by the National Science Foundation to bring big data to graduate education in clean energy research at the UW.


UW scientist helping direct NASA field study of clouds off Namibia

UW atmospheric scientists are part of a month-long NASA effort to learn how smoke and clouds interact.


UW forestry student wins Bullitt Foundation’s top prize for wildlife conservation

A Q&A with Carol Bogezi, a UW doctoral student in environmental and forest sciences who received the 10th annual Bullitt Environmental Prize. The award recognizes people with exceptional potential to become powerful leaders in the environmental movement.


September 8, 2016

How do shark teeth bite? Reciprocating saw, glue provide answers

A recent University of Washington study sought to understand why shark teeth are shaped differently and what biological advantages various shapes have by testing their performance under realistic conditions.


Life after Fitbit: Appealing to those who feel guilty vs. free

Is life better or worse after sticking your Fitbit in a drawer? UW researchers surveyed hundreds of people who had abandoned self-tracking tools and found emotions ranged from guilt to indifference to relief that the tracking experience was over.


September 7, 2016

Feeling they are part of a group increased preschoolers’ interest, success in STEM

Cultivating young children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics has become a leading educational priority, as experts predict that many future jobs will require substantial math and technology skills. Early education in STEM topics, as they’re known, is critical for boosting later success in school and attracting students to occupations in those fields. But…


HemaApp screens for anemia, blood conditions without needle sticks

UW engineers have developed HemaApp, which uses a smartphone camera to estimate hemoglobin concentrations and screen for anemia without sticking patients with needles.


September 6, 2016

UW law professor named to United Nations working group on business and human rights

When law professor Anita Ramasastry began teaching at the University of Washington in 1996, she was working on an article about banks’ responsibilities around human rights, to the bemusement of her peers. The groundbreaking piece focused on the role of Swiss banks during World War II and the dormant accounts of Holocaust victims and their…


Forefront marks World Suicide Prevention Day Sept. 10 with workshops, documentary film

World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept. 10, is a reminder that we all have a role to play in preventing suicide. Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, based in the UW School of Social Work and led by Professor Jennifer Stuber, is offering a film and two suicide prevention workshops on Sept. 10.


September 2, 2016

Invasive green crab found on San Juan Island by citizen science volunteers

Earlier this week in Westcott Bay, San Juan Island, a team of volunteer monitors caught an invasive green crab, marking the first confirmation of this global invader in Washington’s inland waters.


August 30, 2016

UW student partners with WSECU for temporary art exhibit in the University District

Most landscape architecture projects conjure up an image of a permanent structure meant to be experienced indefinitely. But for Britton Shepard, a 2016 graduate of the University of Washington’s landscape architecture master’s program, it means exploring the temporary nature of urban terrains. Earlier this year, Shepard brought life back to a vacant and demolished lot…


University of Washington and City of Auburn launch first Livable City Year partnership

The University of Washington has begun a yearlong partnership with the City of Auburn, under the new Livable City Year program. UW students and professors will work with the City of Auburn to advance the city’s goals for livability and sustainability throughout the upcoming academic year.


August 29, 2016

David Domke to discuss presidential election at Sept. 7 fundraising event

David Domke, chair of the UW Department of Communication, will discuss the wild 2016 presidential campaign and its implications for the country in a luncheon Sept. 7 for the William D. Ruckelshaus Center.


Plants’ future water use affects long-term drought estimates

Many popular long-term drought estimates ignore the fact that plants will be less thirsty as carbon dioxide goes up. Plants’ lower water use could roughly halve some current estimates for the extent of future drought, especially in central Africa and temperate Asia.


New discovery Proxima b is in host star’s habitable zone — but could it really be habitable?

The world’s attention is now on Proxima Centauri b, a possibly Earth-like planet about 4.22 light-years away. It’s in its star’s habitable zone — but could it in fact be habitable? If so, the planet evolved very different than Earth, say researchers at the University of Washington-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory.


August 26, 2016

Interactive map shows where animals will move under climate change

The University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy have created an animated map showing where mammals, birds and amphibians are projected to move in the Western Hemisphere in response to climate change.


August 25, 2016

Report explores factors that might attract children to marijuana edibles

A new report from the UW School of Law’s Cannabis Law and Policy Project identifies factors that make food attractive to children. Commissioned by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board, the report studied research on what makes food appeal to children and the role that marketing and branding play.


August 24, 2016

Statewide housing market strong in second quarter of 2016

Washington state’s housing market remained strong in the second quarter of 2016. Home sale prices and the number of sales were up, although new building permits were down compared with a year ago, according to the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the UW.

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