UW News

The latest news from the UW


August 23, 2017

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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Run-up to revolution: Early American history seen through the stage in Odai Johnson’s book ‘London in a Box’

The true cultural tipping point in the run-up to the American Revolution might have been the First Continental Congress’s decision in late October of 1774 to close the theaters in British America, says University of Washington drama professor Odai Johnson in his new book, “London in a Box: Englishness and Theatre in Revolutionary America.”

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Even babies can tell who’s the boss, UW research says

This video acquaints the viewer with the puppets and introduces the idea of which is socially dominant.   The charismatic colleague, the natural leader, the life of the party – all are personal qualities that adults recognize instinctively. These socially dominant types, according to repeated studies, also tend to accomplish and earn more, from accolades…

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July 25, 2017

Could spraying particles into marine clouds help cool the planet?

A first test of humans’ ability to modify clouds would help explain the behavior of clouds and aerosols, while also testing a possible future climate emergency measure.

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July 24, 2017

11 UW students receive Fulbright scholarships in 2017-18

Eleven UW students and alumni were awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year, and four have been named as alternates, joining about 1,900 students and recent graduates from around the country to study and teach abroad this coming year.

From volunteer to decision-maker: how parents can play a greater role in schools

  Most schools offer parents specific ways to help out: Join the PTA, chaperone a field trip, grade papers for a teacher or assist on a classroom art project. Those volunteer opportunities, however, not only reinforce the top-down power structure of schools, but also cater to mostly white, privileged families, maintaining the institutionalized racism that…

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Dark matter is likely ‘cold,’ not ‘fuzzy,’ scientists report after new simulations

Scientists have used data from the intergalactic medium — the vast, largely empty space between galaxies — to narrow down what dark matter could be.

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July 20, 2017

Bringing a ‘trust but verify’ model to journal peer review

In a commentary published in the journal Science, Carole Lee, associate professor of philosophy and co-author David Moher identify incentives that could encourage journals to “open the black box of peer review” for the sake of improving transparency.

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Birds versus buildings: Rural structures pose greater relative threat than urban ones

Large buildings in rural areas pose a greater threat to birds than if those same-sized buildings were located in an urban area, according to new research to which three University of Washington researchers contributed.

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July 19, 2017

Donors contribute record $562.7 million in private support to University of Washington; most donors in a single year

Donors contributed a record $562.7 million to the University of Washington in the 2017 fiscal year, breaking the previous record of $542.4 million set last year. The funds, secured through the University’s most ambitious philanthropic campaign in history, came in the form of private gifts and grants for student scholarships, faculty support, research projects and interdisciplinary programs.

Artifacts suggest humans arrived in Australia earlier than thought

  When and how the first humans made their way to Australia has been an evolving story. While it is accepted that humans appeared in Africa some 200,000 years ago, scientists in recent years have placed the approximate date of human settlement in Australia further and further back in time, as part of ongoing questions…

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July 17, 2017

University of Washington named ‘Great College to Work For’ for fourth consecutive year, makes the Honor Roll

The University of Washington has been recognized as a “Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education for the fourth consecutive year. The UW received accolades in seven categories – the most categories to date – in addition to making the Honor Roll, a special distinction for institutions that were cited for recognition most often in their size group.

Bottom-trawling techniques leave different traces on the seabed

Bottom trawling techniques are not all created equal. The most common, otter trawling, removes about 6 percent of the animal and plant life from the seabed, while other methods remove closer to one third.

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Material from shellfish delivers a boost to bioassays and medical tests

Scientists at the University of Washington have discovered a simple way to raise the accuracy of diagnostic tests for medicine and common assays for laboratory research. By adding polydopamine — a material that was first isolated from shellfish — to these tests at a key step, the team could increase the sensitivity of these common bioassays by as many as 100 to 1,000 times.

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UW team develops fast, cheap method to make supercapacitor electrodes for electric cars, high-powered lasers

University of Washington researchers have developed a fast, inexpensive method to make electrodes for supercapacitors, with applications in electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers.

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Bilingual babies: Study shows how exposure to a foreign language ignites infants’ learning

  For years, scientists and parents alike have touted the benefits of introducing babies to two languages: Bilingual experience has been shown to improve cognitive abilities, especially problem-solving. And for infants raised in households where two languages are spoken, that bilingual learning happens almost effortlessly. But how can babies in monolingual households develop such skills?…

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July 14, 2017

UW Public Health, Dentistry No. 3 in global ranking; dozens of other subjects in top 50

The University of Washington’s School of Dentistry and School of Public Health are ranked No. 3 in the world on the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects list for 2017. The ranking, released in June, was conducted by researchers at the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

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July 13, 2017

Anti-kickback, conflict of interest and whistleblower regulations; supplemental compliance resources

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR 52.203-7) require the University to implement procedures designed to prevent and detect violations of the Anti-Kickback Act of 1986 (41 USC 51-58). In addition, State regulations (RCW 42.40) require the University to provide annual notification to employees of the procedures and protections under the Whistleblower Act. These articles are published as a reminder of the policies and procedures in place at the University of Washington.

July 11, 2017

New UW Campus Master Plan released; public comments incorporated

The University of Washington issued its 2018 Seattle Campus Master Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement on July 5. The final document responds to comments received on both the draft master plan and the environmental impact statement during the comment period held last fall.

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