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UW News blog


April 13, 2021

Deep earthquakes within the Juan de Fuca plate produce few aftershocks

cracked pavement on highway

In the Cascadia subduction zone, medium- and large-sized “intraslab” earthquakes, in which the slip happens within the oceanic plate and below the continental plate, will likely produce only a few detectable aftershocks, according to a new study from the University of Washington and the U.S. Geological Survey.


Vaccines debate: ‘Escape variants’ of the coronavirus are a serious future threat

gloved hand holds vial of vaccine

With COVID-19 cases on the rise again in many parts of the country — including Washington state where three counties were pushed back to Phase 2 effective Friday — there’s a growing debate between continuing to give both doses of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines close together, or giving them months apart in order to get…


April 6, 2021

Back to school in springtime: UW experts offer tips for adjusting pandemic-era routines

University of Washington experts in education and psychology offer tips for families on the return to in-person school after a year of remote learning.


March 31, 2021

Thicker-leaved tropical plants may flourish under climate change, which could be good news for climate

tropical forest

As carbon dioxide continues to rise, multiple changes in the leaves of tropical plants may help these ecosystems perform better under climate change than previous studies had suggested.


March 29, 2021

UW’s Joshua Lawler named fellow of Ecological Society of America

Joshua Lawler

Joshua Lawler, a University of Washington professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, has been named a 2021 fellow of the Ecological Society of America. Fellows are elected for life, and the honor recognizes scientists who advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, nonprofits and the broader society.


New course examines Jacob Lawrence’s impact on American art, Seattle and the UW

Jacob Lawrence painting in his studio

Juliet Sperling, an assistant professor of art history, talks about Jacob Lawrence and her new course “Art and Seattle: Jacob Lawrence,” the first UW course to examine his legacy at the UW and beyond.


March 19, 2021

How white supremacy, racist myths fuel anti-Asian violence

Signs read "hate has no place" and "stop Asian hate"

Linh Thủy Nguyễn, an assistant professor of American ethnic studies at the University of Washington, discusses the recent wave of violence against Asians and Asian Americans, and the history behind it.


March 17, 2021

How five global regions could achieve a successful, equitable ‘Blue Economy’

three colored world maps

The future of an equitable and sustainable global ocean, or “Blue Economy,” depends on more than natural or technological resources. A new study finds that socioeconomic and governance conditions such as national stability, corruption and human rights greatly affect different regions’ ability to achieve a Blue Economy — one that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically viable.


March 16, 2021

Relearning normalcy, focusing on the positive: UW psychologist on the vaccine phase of the pandemic

University of Washington psychology professor Jane Simoni discusses how COVID-19 vaccines are gradually spurring the return to normal life, and the role of positive public health messaging.


March 12, 2021

Role of solvent molecules in light-driven electron transfer revealed

An artistic depiction of small molecules moving within a solvent

In a study published Feb. 15 in Nature Chemistry, a research team led by Munira Khalil, professor and chair of chemistry at the University of Washington, has captured the rapid motions of solvent molecules that impact light-driven electron transfer in a molecular complex for the first time. This  information could help researchers learn how to control energy flow in molecules, potentially leading to more efficient clean energy sources.


March 4, 2021

A year with COVID-19: A chronology of how the UW adapted — and responded — to the pandemic

collage of photos in a timeline format

On March 6, 2020, the University of Washington became the first university in the U.S. to announce a move to remote instruction and work in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Here’s a look back at the past year, from the perspectives of how the UW community adapted and the impact the…


March 3, 2021

The UW is a Fulbright top producer

Suzzallo Library at night

The University of Washington is proud to be included on the list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2020-2021 Fulbright  students.


March 2, 2021

UW Center for an Informed Public co-authors report on mis- and disinformation surrounding the 2020 U.S. election

The Election Integrity Partnership, a nonpartisan coalition of research institutions, including the University of Washington, that identified, tracked and responded to voting-related mis- and disinformation during the 2020 U.S. elections, released its final report, “The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Elections” on Tuesday, March 2. The report is the culmination of months of collaboration among approximately 120 people working across four organizations: the UW Center for an Informed Public, Stanford Internet Observatory , Graphika and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.


Rating tornado warnings charts a path to improve forecasts

funnel cloud on dark background

A new method to rate tornado warnings shows that nighttime tornadoes in the U.S. have a lower probability of detection and a higher false-alarm rate than other events. Summertime tornadoes, occurring in June, July or August, also are more likely to evade warning.


February 19, 2021

‘Small moon’ shapes allow DNA devices to attach in precise orientations

A black image with a white circle in the center. The circle has a hole that is slightly off center.

A team of engineers, including one at the University of Washington, has developed a technique that allows for the precise placement of molecules formed from folded DNA in not only a specific location but also in a specific orientation


February 10, 2021

Online tool displays Pacific Northwest mountain snow depth

colored lines sloping upward to Feb. 1

How’s the snow on Northwest mountains this year? Overall a little deeper than normal, but it depends where you look. A new collaboration between the University of Washington, the Northwest Avalanche Center lets you see how the current snow depth compares to past years for nine sites in Washington and two in Oregon.


List of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists includes seven from UW

collage of portraits

Seven University of Washington scientists are included in Cell Mentor’s list of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists, published in December 2020. Cell Mentor is a collaborative resource between Cell Press and Cell Signaling Technology.


February 8, 2021

UW physicist pens math-free tour of quantum mechanics and technology

Morales has authored a seven-part series for Ars Technica on quantum mechanics for a general audience. One article in the series is rolling out each week from Jan. 10 to Feb. 21. Morales sat down with UW News to talk about the series, quantum mechanics and what he hopes the public can learn about this seemingly odd and possibly intimidating realm of science.


February 4, 2021

‘Audeo’ teaches artificial intelligence to play the piano

A hand pressing a piano key

A UW team created Audeo, a system that can generate music using only visual cues of someone playing the piano.


February 2, 2021

‘Making Amends’ podcast explores remorse, intention among men at Oregon prison

outside of prison, surrounded by razor-wire fence

“Making Amends,” a new podcast by University of Washington professor Steve Herbert, explores themes of atonement among men incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary.


January 28, 2021

UW installs strikingly unique public sculpture at new Hans Rosling Center for Population Health

Workers with sculpture

At nearly 7 feet tall, “The Seated IV” first graced the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s facade in September 2019 as part of a commission titled The NewOnes, will free Us. Four “Seated” sculptures by Wangechi Mutu were the first works to take up the positions on The Met’s facade since it was completed in 1902. On…


January 25, 2021

Ancient food scraps provide clues to past rainfall in Australia’s Northern Territory

palm-like trees on a dry landscape

A new study led by the University of Queensland and involving the University of Washington provides a glimpse into the Australia’s ancient climate and early human occupation.


January 14, 2021

Evans School Dean Jodi Sandfort: A public university can help redesign public services

woman standing outside campus building

Jodi Sandfort, new dean of the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, talks about her views on policy-making, government services, and the role of a public university in facilitating conversation and change.


January 8, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines are ‘remarkable achievement,’ but soothing mistrust is necessary to end pandemic

Larry Corey

“Of course, we didn’t put Democrats in the vial; we didn’t put Republicans in the vial,” University of Washington’s Dr. Larry Corey writes in a recent COVID-19 Vaccine Matters blog jointly produced by Johns Hopkins University and the UW. While development of vaccines now being distributed to combat COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by the novel coronavirus, are…


December 28, 2020

Beyond COVID-19: A look back at 2020 at the UW

collage in timeline format

While this year in scientific research will be defined by the novel coronavirus pandemic and the incredible advances in testing, genome sequencing and vaccination that were made as a result, other significant research and work continued on and around the University of Washington’s campuses. Here’s a timeline of the research and work that went beyond COVID-19.


Video: News and research highlights from 2020

instructor uses a camera to record his lecture

As the year draws to a close, we present highlights from video stories produced by UW News during 2020 — a year that will be largely defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ways it impacted our lives and work.


December 18, 2020

Coral recovery during a prolonged heatwave offers new hope

The pressing concerns of climate change have placed the long-term health of the world’s coral reefs in jeopardy. However, new research inspires hope as some corals managed to survive a recent and globally unprecedented heatwave.


December 15, 2020

How to have holidays ‘full of love and connection’ and set goals for 2021

smiling snowman on campus

The COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing guidelines have changed how we celebrate the holidays this year. University of Washington psychologist Jonathan Kanter explains that, by being intentional about how we approach and experience the season, we can find joy, and recognize – even embrace – how we’ve weathered this year.


December 14, 2020

Highlights: UW, Johns Hopkins symposium on preserving scientific integrity in COVID-19 vaccine research

woman speaking on camera

Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington brought together leading experts in October to explore these issues and put forward a concise plan for protecting the scientific integrity of these lifesaving efforts. Here’s a 4-minute highlight reel of the symposium.


ArtSci Roundup: Set in Motion, Drop-in Meditation Session, and More

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, find solace in digital opportunities to connect, share, and engage. Each week, we will share upcoming events that bring the UW, and the greater community, together online.  Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom Pro via UW-IT.  Set…


December 9, 2020

UW statement in response to claim by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

text reads "Statement"

A statement from the University of Washington in response to allegations U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made during a speech at Georgia Tech on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020.


December 5, 2020

UW statement on the suspension of Nahziah Carter

text reads "Statement"

The UW’s Title IX Office acted swiftly to gather information, investigate the facts and render carefully considered decisions after fair hearings on these matters. The UW is committed preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment, and to supporting and protecting our students, faculty and staff while upholding due process, and properly investigating and addressing allegations of this nature.


December 3, 2020

Researchers discover how bean plants fend off famished foes

A photograph of a beet armyworm caterpillar crawling across the surface of a tobacco plant.

A team led by scientists at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego has discovered that cowpeas — a type of bean plant — harbor receptors on the surface of their cells that can detect a compound in caterpillar saliva and initiate anti-herbivore defenses.


UW student volunteers collect, donate devices for equitable online health care

Online access to health care is crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 20 UW undergraduates are part of a nationwide organization collecting used video-enabled devices and donating them to medical facilities for low-income and senior patients.


UW statement on the termination of professor John Sahr

text reads "Statement"

In October 2019, the UW shared information about the results of a University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO) investigation into alleged sexual misconduct on the part of John Sahr, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and former interim director of the Robinson Center for Young Scholars. The adjudication proceeding has concluded and Sahr’s employment was terminated on Nov. 12, and his tenure has been revoked.


December 2, 2020

COVID-19 vaccines may not prevent spread of virus, so mask-wearing, other protections still critical

Larry Corey

Excitement and relief over news of vaccines that help prevent people from getting sick, winding up in the hospital or dying from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are warranted, says University of Washington’s Dr. Larry Corey. But, these messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines may not prevent people from getting infected or spreading the virus….


Scientists organize to tackle crisis of coral bleaching

bleached corals in the sea

At the current rate of global warming, mass coral bleaching is expected to become more frequent and severe worldwide. An international consortium of scientists, including a coral researcher from the University of Washington, has created the first-ever common framework for increasing comparability of research findings on coral bleaching.


November 30, 2020

ArtSci Roundup: Katz Lecture: Remaking the Silicon Society, The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump, and more

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, find solace in digital opportunities to connect, share, and engage. Each week, we will share upcoming events that bring the UW, and the greater community, together online.  Many of these online opportunities are streamed through Zoom. All UW faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom Pro via UW-IT.  Katz…


November 24, 2020

Study shows plant extinction is more common than previously realized

A photograph of a museum specimen of a now-extinct plant species.

A new study reveals that 65 plant species have gone extinct in the continental United States and Canada since European settlement, more extinctions than any previous scientific study has ever documented.


Four UW faculty members named AAAS fellows for 2020

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named four University of Washington faculty members as AAAS Fellows, according to a Nov. 24 announcement from the organization. The four are part of a cohort of 489 new fellows for 2020, which were chosen by their peers for “their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”



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