UW Today

The latest news from the UW


January 12, 2017

Ocean acidification to hit West Coast Dungeness crab fishery, new assessment shows

The acidification of the ocean expected as seawater absorbs increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will reverberate through the West Coast’s marine food web, but not necessarily in the ways you might expect, new research shows.

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LATTICE connects women engineers in early academic careers with peers, support

A new national program at the UW — LATTICE — aims to diversify the national engineering faculty population by building supportive communities during the critical transition from graduate studies to permanent tenure-track positions.

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January 11, 2017

Arts Roundup: UW Tower exhibits, a lecture-recital, and a Littlefield Organ performance

This week, two new exhibits featuring local artists are on display in the UW Tower through March, a lecture-recital at Brechemin Auditorium, and a UW vocal performance highlighting scenes from Mozart’s operas. UW Tower Exhibit: Don Silverstein January through March 2017 | UW Tower The illustrative work and abstract paintings of prolific artist Donald Silverstein will be on display…

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UW oceanographer dropping robotic floats on voyage to Antarctica

Autonomous floating sensors built at the UW are being deployed to track conditions in the waters surrounding Antarctica.

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January 10, 2017

Two UW professors win Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Two University of Washington professors have received the 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to early career scientists and engineers.

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Rapid Arctic warming has in the past shifted Southern Ocean winds

Ice core records from the two poles show that during the last ice age, sharp spikes in Arctic temperatures triggered shifts in the winds around Antarctica.

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Zillow Group pledges $5 million for new UW Computer Science & Engineering building

Zillow Group, the Seattle-based company that houses real estate and home-related brands on mobile and web, has committed $5 million toward the development of a second Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) building on the UW Seattle campus.

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January 5, 2017

UW President Ana Mari Cauce on board first West Coast commercial flight to Havana

UW President Ana Mari Cauce, the first Cuban-born president of a major American university, was on board the first West Coast commercial flight to Havana on Thursday. Cauce left Cuba with her family when she was 3 years old. “I’m thrilled at this new spirit of openness and the opportunity for us to build greater ties…

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Arctic sea ice loss impacts beluga whale migration

A new study led by the University of Washington finds the annual migration of some beluga whales in Alaska is altered by sea ice changes in the Arctic, while other belugas do not appear to be affected.

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January 4, 2017

Arts Roundup: ArtVenture, JACK Quartet, and Louis Lortie

This week, bring the whole family for an ArtVenture at Henry Art Gallery to discover how Paul McCarthy transformed small objects into giant sculptures, or catch performances from JACK Quartet and pianist Louis Lortie. ArtVenture: Toy Transformation! With Michelle Hagewood 1 p.m., January 8 | Henry Art Gallery How do toys reflect who we are? Bring a…

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Eelgrass in Puget Sound is stable overall, but some local beaches suffering

Eelgrass, a marine plant crucial to the success of migrating juvenile salmon and spawning Pacific herring, is stable and flourishing in Puget Sound, despite a doubling of the region’s human population and significant shoreline development over the past several decades.

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January 3, 2017

Songbirds divorce, flee, fail to reproduce due to suburban sprawl

New research finds that for some songbirds, urban sprawl is kicking them out of their territory, forcing divorce and stunting their ability to find new mates and reproduce successfully, even after relocating.

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University of Washington-led study shows new global evidence of the role of humans, urbanization in rapid evolution

A new multi-institution study led by the UW shows more clearly than ever that urbanization is affecting the genetic makeup of species that are crucial to ecosystem health and success.

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December 27, 2016

Year in review: 2016 news from the University of Washington

The research happening here at the University of Washington — across all three campuses — is exceptional and selecting only a handful of stories to feature from the hundreds, if not thousands, that came out this year is a monumental task. Using UW Today’s page view data, social media reach and news coverage, we have narrowed it down to these highlights showcasing the impact and ambition of the UW’s work regionally and around the world — listed here in chronological order.

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December 22, 2016

New UW law course focuses on presidential power in the Trump era

Donald Trump’s promises on the campaign trail have generated confusion and consternation around the country, as many wonder not only what the president-elect actually intends to do, but what is within his power to accomplish. Will Trump follow through on his threat to deport millions of undocumented immigrants? Could he pull the U.S. out of…

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December 21, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: Sir Ronald Fisher defines ‘statistical significance,’ 1925

Joe Janes’ latest Documents that Changed the World podcast is about Sir Ronald Fisher, the man who set the mark of “statistical significance” for ages afterward at 5 percent, no more no less.

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Study: Children can ‘catch’ social bias through nonverbal signals expressed by adults

Most conscientious adults tend to avoid making biased or discriminatory comments in the presence of children. But new research from the University of Washington suggests that preschool-aged children can learn bias even through nonverbal signals displayed by adults, such as a condescending tone of voice or a disapproving look. Published Dec. 21 in the journal…

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December 20, 2016

Researchers model how ‘publication bias’ does — and doesn’t — affect the ‘canonization’ of facts in science

In an article published Dec. 20 in the journal eLife, researchers present a mathematical model that explores whether “publication bias” — the tendency of journals to publish mostly positive experimental results — influences how scientists canonize facts. Their results offer a warning that sharing positive results comes with the risk that a false claim could be canonized as fact. But their findings also offer hope by suggesting that simple changes to publication practices can minimize the risk of false canonization.

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December 19, 2016

UW researcher pursues synthetic ‘scaffolds’ for muscle regeneration

Miqin Zhang, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Washington, is looking for ways to help the body heal itself when injury, disease or surgery cause large-scale damage to one type of tissue in particular: skeletal muscle. Her goal is to create a synthetic, porous, biologically compatible “scaffold” that mimics the normal extracellular environment of skeletal muscle — onto which human cells could migrate and grow new replacement fibers.

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Investing in fisheries management improves fish populations

Research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that successful fisheries management can be best achieved by implementing and enforcing science-based catch or effort limits.

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$5 million will expand UW-developed technology to help West Coast children and families

Technology developed at the University of Washington to improve service delivery in child welfare, foster care and homeless youth systems will soon be expanded to other states through $5 million in new funding. The grant will allow Oliver — a social service management solution developed by Partners for Our Children, an organization in the UW…

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December 16, 2016

What makes influential science? Telling a good story

Researchers from the University of Washington have found that scientific papers written in a more narrative style were more influential among peer-reviewed studies in the climate change literature. Their results were published Dec. 15 in the journal PLOS ONE.

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December 15, 2016

Underwater volcano’s eruption captured in exquisite detail by seafloor observatory

The cracking, bulging and shaking from the eruption of a mile-high volcano where two tectonic plates separate has been captured in more detail than ever before. A University of Washington study published this week shows how the volcano behaved during its spring 2015 eruption, revealing new clues about the behavior of volcanoes where two ocean…

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December 14, 2016

In Stockholm ceremony, UW professor emeritus David Thouless receives Nobel Physics Prize

On Dec. 10 in Stockholm, David James Thouless, University of Washington professor emeritus of physics, received the Nobel Prize in Physics from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

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Dozens of projects aimed at efficiency are on track as part of the Transforming Administration Program

Provost Jerry Baldasty kicked off the Transforming Administration Program in Spring 2015 with a key goal of creating one administration, one university with an enhanced culture of service ultimately serving faculty and staff to achieve the University of Washington’s teaching, research and service missions. The program aims to make administrative departments more efficient and effective, and eliminate silos.

Businesses shape international law through ‘astroturf activism,’ paper finds

The furor over the 2010 Citizens United decision drew intense scrutiny to the role of corporate money in U.S. politics and raised questions about the influence of businesses in American lawmaking. But corporate interests also play a powerful role in international legal processes, sometimes by covertly creating or co-opting non-governmental organizations to lobby lawmakers on…

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December 13, 2016

Studies of vulnerable populations get a ‘bootstrapped’ boost from statisticians

In a paper published online Dec. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Washington researchers report on a statistical approach called “tree bootstrapping” can help social scientists study hard-to-reach populations like drug users.

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UW is founding member of alliance to expand access and opportunity for 50,000 students from lower- and middle-income families

The University of Washington joins 30 of the nation’s most respected colleges and universities Tuesday in a new initiative to substantially expand the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at America’s top-performing undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates.

December 12, 2016

UW welcomes Joe Dacca as new state relations director

The University of Washington announced staffing changes in the Office of State Relations on Monday, naming Joe Dacca director of state relations.

Practical, personal thoughts on storytelling in Charles Johnson’s latest book, ‘The Way of the Writer’

Charles Johnson, University of Washington professor emeritus of English, discusses his latest book, “The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling.”

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Mountain glaciers are showing some of the strongest responses to climate change

A University of Washington study addresses controversies over the cause of mountain glacier retreat, and finds that for most glaciers the observed retreat is more than 99 percent likely due to climate change.

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December 8, 2016

New study traces the marsupial origins in N. America, finds mammals during Age of Dinosaurs packed a powerful bite

A new study by paleontologists at the Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture and the University of Washington describes an early marsupial relative called Didelphodon vorax that lived alongside dinosaurs and had, pound-for-pound, the strongest bite force of any mammal ever recorded.

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Frequently asked questions: odontoma in a gorgonopsian

Answers to frequently asked questions about a 255-year-old tumor in a ‘pre-mammal.’

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Fossilized evidence of a tumor in a 255-million-year-old mammal forerunner

University of Washington paleontologists have discovered a benign tumor made up of miniature, tooth-like structures embedded in the jaw of an extinct ‘mammal-like’ gorgonopsian. Known as a compound odontoma, this type of tumor is common to mammals today. But this animal lived 255 million years ago, before mammals even existed.

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December 7, 2016

Arts Roundup: Curator Talk, Jonathan Biss – and An Appalachian Christmas

The quarter ends with performances of classical piano, jazz and Appalachian holiday music. The School of Drama concludes its final production of the quarter. Visit the Jacob Lawrence Gallery for the final days of Utopia Neighborhood Club and join Henry Art Gallery’s Luis Croquer for a curator talk at the Henry. Jazz Innovations Part II…

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Volunteers hack toys for children with disabilities at UW Dec. 11

At the Hack for Access: Holiday Toy event on Dec. 11 and the UW, community volunteers will disassemble and rewire toys to make them more accessible for children with disabilities.

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December 6, 2016

Put people at the center of conservation, new study advises

People must be part of the equation in conservation projects to increase local support and effectiveness, according to a new study by the University of Washington and other institutions.

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USDOT awards $14M for mobility research at UW-led transportation center

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded approximately $14 million over five years to a multi-university, regional transportation center led by the University of Washington to fund research aimed at improving the mobility of people and goods across the Pacific Northwest.

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December 5, 2016

No peeking: Humans play computer game using only direct brain stimulation

UW researchers have published the first demonstration of humans playing a simple, two-dimensional computer game using only input from direct brain stimulation — without relying on any usual sensory cues from sight, hearing or touch.

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December 1, 2016

The many worlds of UW astronomer — and astrobiologist — Woody Sullivan

UW astronomer and astrobiologist Woody Sullivan discusses recent work and future plans in a multifaceted career that’s changing gears, but far from winding down.

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