UW News

News releases


May 27, 2020

Cosmic bursts unveil universe’s missing matter

A picture of a radio telescope in Australia pointing up to the Milky Way

An international team of astronomers has used mysterious fast radio bursts to solve a decades-old mystery of “missing matter,” material long predicted to exist in the universe but never detected — until now. The researchers have now found all of the missing “normal” matter in the vast space between stars and galaxies. The team, which includes scientists based in Australia, the United States and Chile, announced its findings in a paper published May 27 in the journal Nature.


May 26, 2020

Gift promotes added diversity at UW School of Law

The University of Washington today announced a $250,000 gift from UW Regent Blaine Tamaki and his wife, Preciosa Tamaki, to the School of Law to support efforts to increase diversity, provide students with greater access to mental health resources, and support the work of UW Law faculty and students in the Tribal Court Clinic, part of the Native American Law Center.


May 21, 2020

NOAA selects UW to host new, regional institute for climate, ocean and ecosystem research

atlantic ocean

A 5-year, up to $300 million grant from NOAA establishes the new Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies, a UW-based institute with partners at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Oregon State University. The institute will lead collaborative, multidisciplinary research and education activities around oceans and climate.


May 18, 2020

COVID-19: UW study reports ‘staggering’ death toll in US among those infected who show symptoms

COVID-19 is a lot more deadly than the flu, according to a new study by the University of Washington published May 7 in the journal Health Affairs. The study’s results also project a grim future if the U.S. doesn’t put up a strong fight against the spread of the virus.


May 15, 2020

Ocean ‘breathability’ key to past, future habitat of West Coast marine species

silver fish

Historical observations collected off California since the 1950s suggest that anchovies thrive where the water is breathable — a combination of the oxygen levels in the water and the species’ oxygen needs, which are affected by temperature. Future projections suggest that the waters off Mexico and Southern California could be uninhabitable by 2100.


May 14, 2020

Bike commuting accelerated when bike-share systems rolled into town

Green bike parked in a bike rack

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in cities where bike-share systems have been introduced, bike commuting increased by 20%, according to a new UW study.


May 8, 2020

Two UW juniors named Udall Scholars

Two University of Washington students have been named 2020 Udall Scholars. Sierra Campbell and Taylor Owens join only 55 students nationally to receive this prestigious honor.


May 7, 2020

Sleep difficulties in the first year of life linked to altered brain development in infants who later develop autism

Baby sits on mom's lap

New research led by the University of Washington finds that sleep problems in a baby’s first 12 months may not only precede an autism diagnosis, but also may be associated with altered growth trajectory in a key part of the brain, the hippocampus.


May 1, 2020

Pacific oysters in the Salish Sea may not contain as many microplastics as previously thought

oysters on beach

University of Washington researchers have discovered that the abundance of tiny microplastic contaminants in Pacific oysters from the Salish Sea is much lower than previously thought.


April 30, 2020

First results from NASA’s ICESat-2 map 16 years of melting ice sheets

colored map of Antarctica

Loss of ice from Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets since 2003 have contributed 0.55 inches to global sea level rise, with about two thirds coming from Greenland ice. The new, detailed satellite measurements provide a global picture of ice sheet change — and insights into the future of Greenland and Antarctica.


April 29, 2020

Solar researchers across country join forces with industry to boost U.S. solar manufacturing

A person inside a laboratory demonstrating printer technology for flexible electronics

The University of Washington and its Washington Clean Energy Testbeds, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Toledo have formed the U.S. Manufacturing of Advanced Perovskites Consortium, or US-MAP. This research and development coalition aims to accelerate the domestic commercialization of perovskite technologies.


April 28, 2020

Food pantry, emergency grants help students in need during all-remote spring quarter

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Washington community – students, staff, donors and alumni – is rethinking traditional programs and services to try to meet the needs that arise. Emergency aid grants and a newly-online food pantry are coming to the rescue.


Agricultural pickers in US to see unsafely hot workdays double by 2050

pickers in field

A new study looks at temperature increases in counties across the United States where crops are grown. It also looks at different strategies the industry could adopt to protect workers’ health.


April 27, 2020

UW epidemiology graduate students participating in state’s surge response to COVID-19 pandemic

A little after 10 p.m. on March 19, University of Washington graduate students Anne Massey and David Coomes happened to be online when they received an email that would give them an unexpected role in Washington’s rapidly evolving response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus. As context, the World Health Organization had just declared the…


Bacteria that are persistently resistant to one antibiotic are ‘primed’ to become multidrug-resistant bugs

A close-up image of E. coli bacteria.

Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Idaho report that, for a bacterial pathogen already resistant to an antibiotic, prolonged exposure to that antibiotic not only boosted its ability to retain its resistance gene, but also made the pathogen more readily pick up and maintain resistance to a second antibiotic and become a dangerous, multidrug-resistant strain.


‘Ethnic spaces’ make minority students feel at home on campus

New research by the University of Washington and the University of Exeter in the U.K., examined the value that college students — of many races — place on ethnic cultural centers.


April 23, 2020

UW president, biochemistry chair and mathematics professor named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

collage of three women

Three University of Washington faculty members, including President Ana Mari Cauce, are among the 2020 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. Trisha Davis, professor and chair of biochemistry at the UW School of Medicine, and Tatiana Toro, the Craig McKibben and Sarah Merner Professor of Mathematics, are also among the 276 artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, non-profit and private sectors who were announced as new fellows Thursday.


April 22, 2020

A contact-tracing app that helps public health agencies and doesn’t compromise your privacy

A person on a train looking at their phone. Other people are on their phones behind that person.

Researchers from the University of Washington and UW Medicine, along with volunteers from Microsoft, have developed a new contact-tracing app called CovidSafe.


April 16, 2020

UW nursing students join frontline efforts to battle COVID-19, meet public health needs

Students working on computers

With their education forced online and in-person clinical practice opportunities canceled by the novel coronavirus pandemic, University of Washington nursing students eager to use their skills and knowledge during this historic challenge to human health and well-being had few options. UW School of Nursing and Public Health-Seattle & King County announce partnership. Unwilling to accept…


Dose of nature at home could help mental health, well-being during COVID-19

In light of stay-at-home orders, University of Washington researchers say studies show there is much to be gained from nature close to home, whether in a yard, on neighborhood walks or even indoors.


‘Hands-on’ classes online? How some instructors are adapting to a new teaching environment

A postal service box with lab materials inside

When the UW announced it was moving its spring quarter 2020 classes entirely online to combat the novel coronavirus, instructors across campus faced a new, uncharted challenge.


April 14, 2020

How families can use technology to juggle childcare and remote life

A child in front of a laptop.

UW researchers are beginning a national study to help families discover technology that helps them both successfully navigate home-based learning and combat social isolation.


April 13, 2020

UW’s 3D printed COVID-19 face shields: From innovation to delivery

face masks

When the first U.S. COVID-19 patient emerged in Washington, UW Medicine, as the state’s foremost provider of advanced medical care, was thrust into the role of trailblazer. Its clinicians and researchers have since mustered a speedy and sometimes ingenious response.


UW team illustrates the adverse impact of visiting ‘just one friend’ during COVID-19 lockdown

After weeks of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, people of all ages may be asking: What could be the harm of visiting just one friend? Unfortunately, it could potentially undo the goal of social distancing, which is to give the COVID-19 virus fewer opportunities to spread. According to a website set up by researchers…


‘I saw you were online’: How online status indicators shape our behavior

A closeup of a hand holding a phone

After surveying smartphone users, UW researchers found that many people misunderstand online status indicators but still carefully shape their behavior to control how they are displayed to others.


April 10, 2020

US approaching peak of ‘active’ COVID-19 cases, strain on medical resources, new modeling shows

A new data-driven mathematical model of the coronavirus pandemic predicts that the United States will peak in the number of “active” COVID-19 cases on or around April 20, marking a critical milestone on the demand for medical resources.


Local response to UW social isolation study leads to national effort

person walking alone

With most states now under stay-at-home orders, UW researchers have launched a national study to test whether a motivational, mental health tip each day changes participants’ behavior during social distancing, and improves their mental and relational health.


Large majority of state’s heroin users want to reduce use; syringe programs helping during COVID-19 crisis

Man preparing for outreach

A new survey of people who inject illicit drugs in the state of Washington yields positive and important findings for policy makers as the world struggles to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, said authors of the survey by the University of Washington and Public Health-Seattle & King County. Most people – 82% ­– who inject…


April 6, 2020

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grants $1 million to support collaborative conservation across three UW organizations

The University of Washington today announced a $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to advance shared conservation services among the UW Libraries, the Henry Art Gallery and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. 


April 3, 2020

Huskies rally to support COVID-19 need for masks, child care

donations

On a typical day, Julianne Dalcanton is an astrophysicist, studying the far reaches of the universe.

These aren’t typical days. Across the University of Washington, faculty, staff, clinicians and students are stepping forward in a variety of ways to support the COVID-19 response, particularly efforts to help front-line medical personnel.


April 1, 2020

Study synthesizes what climate change means for Northwest wildfires

bare trunks

A University of Washington study, published this winter in Fire Ecology, takes a big-picture look at what climate change could mean for wildfires in the Northwest, considering Washington, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana.


Jodi Sandfort named dean of the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

Jodi Sandfort has been named the next dean of the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, Provost Mark Richards announced April 1.


March 31, 2020

Republican governors delayed key COVID-19 social distancing measures

Digital sign says Save Lives Now Stay Home COVID-19

New research by the University of Washington examines factors that contributed to decision-making by governors in all 50 states to combat the novel coronavirus.


March 27, 2020

Laptops for takeout or delivery: Student technology program readies for spring quarter

Student looks at tablet screen while crouching above rows of bagged laptops.

With the university’s spring quarter beginning Monday, UW staff and student workers in the Student Technology Loan Program spent the week-long spring break gathering, checking and cleaning some 300 laptops and tablets for distribution – and, for the first time, shipping many of those devices to the homes of UW students across the country.


March 24, 2020

UW researchers to study resilience, well-being among King County residents during pandemic

An artistic rendering of a coronavirus

University of Washington researchers have launched the King County COVID-19 Community Study — or KC3S — to gather data through April 19 on how individuals and communities throughout King County are coping with the measures put in place to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


Ships’ emissions create measurable regional change in clouds

aerial image of ships' tracks

Years of cloud data over a shipping route between Europe and South Africa shows that pollution from ships has significantly increased the reflectivity of the clouds. More generally, the results suggest that industrial pollution’s effect on clouds has masked about a third of the warming due to fossil fuel burning since the late 1800s.


March 23, 2020

UW custodial staff in the midst of massive ‘deep clean’ of campus

woman at end of hallways wipes sculpture

When the UW moved to online instruction March 9, UW Facilities Services developed a three-week disinfection plan. Custodial staff are now working through more than 500 classrooms, lecture halls, libraries, auditoriums and shared spaces, with similar efforts under way in Bothell and Tacoma.


March 19, 2020

‘Sushi parasites’ have increased 283-fold in past 40 years

anisakis in salmon filet

A new study led by the University of Washington finds dramatic increases in the abundance of a worm that can be transmitted to humans who eat raw or undercooked seafood. Its 283-fold increase in abundance since the 1970s could have implications for the health of humans and marine mammals, which both can inadvertently eat the worm.


March 18, 2020

How people investigate — or don’t — fake news on Twitter and Facebook

A Facebook post that shows a picture of a crazy cloud formation over Sydney. The text above the picture says "A friend posted this pic of last night's storm in Sydney. Think there might be a craft in there somewhere?"

UW researchers watched 25 participants scroll through their Facebook or Twitter feeds while, unbeknownst to them, a Google Chrome extension randomly added debunked content on top of some of the real posts.


‘Fatal attraction’: Small carnivores drawn to kill sites, then ambushed by larger kin

cougar on wildlife camera

University of Washington researchers have discovered that large predators play a key yet unexpected role in keeping smaller predators and deer in check. Their “fatal attraction” theory finds that smaller predators are drawn to the kill sites of large predators by the promise of leftover scraps, but the scavengers may be killed themselves if their larger kin return for seconds.



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