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September 30, 2020

UW researchers driving around Seattle to track COVID-19 response over time

A panoramic view of a street corner. Cars and a pedestrian are labeled

UW researchers developed a project that scans the streets every few weeks to document how Seattle has reacted to the pandemic and what recovery looks like.


Greenland is on track to lose ice faster than in any century over the past 12,000 years, study finds

ridged ice from above

A new study combines ice cores, geologic records and computer models to understand the past, present and future of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The results show that emissions this century have a big influence on how much ice will be lost from Greenland.


September 29, 2020

Aquatic hitchhikers: Using mobile technology to predict invasive species transmission

A new University of Washington study uses passive data from a fishing technology company to model the movement of anglers and predict where aquatic invasive species may be spreading.


September 24, 2020

Age restrictions for handguns make little difference in homicides as US deals with ‘de facto availability’ of firearms

In the United States, individual state laws barring 18- to 20-year-olds from buying or possessing a handgun make little difference in the rate of homicides involving a gun by people in that age group, a new University of Washington study has found. “The central issue is that there’s a very high degree of informal access…


September 23, 2020

Some polar bears in far north are getting short-term benefit from thinning ice

polar bear with ice and water in background

The small subpopulation of polar bears in Kane Basin were doing better, on average, in recent years than in the 1990s. The bears are experiencing short-term benefits from thinning and shrinking multiyear sea ice that allows more sunlight to reach the ocean surface, which makes the system more ecologically productive.


September 22, 2020

UW Podcasts: ‘Coastal Café’ explores marine, shoreline issues — and ‘Voices Unbound’ on racism in COVID-19 responses

A talk with the hosts of Washington Sea Grant’s “Coastal Café” podcast, which is also a radio show. And EarthLab’s podcast “Voices Unbound” releases a new season of timely topics.


Muslims, atheists more likely to face religious discrimination in US

hands holding a candle

A new study led by the University of Washington found that Muslims and atheists in the United States are more likely than those of Christian faiths to experience religious discrimination. Researchers focused on public schools and tested how principals responded to an individual’s expression of religious belief.


September 17, 2020

Watching over whales: Online tool detects whales and ships in California’s Santa Barbara Channel in near real-time

An image of a blue whale tail surfacing near a large cargo ship.

Whale Safe — an online tool launched Sept. 17 by scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Washington and other partner institutions — allows users to detect and better protect these endangered animals in the Santa Barbara Channel. It is a mapping and analysis tool to help prevent ships from running into whales.


Environmental health professor emeritus Sverre Vedal serves on committee studying respiratory effects of Southwest Asia military service

Dr. Sverre Vedal, University of Washington professor emeritus of environmental and health sciences, served on an expert committee for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine studying the long-term respiratory health impacts of military service in Southeast Asia. Vedal is a pulmonary physician.

Dr. Sverre Vedal, UW professor emeritus of environmental and health sciences, served on an expert committee for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine studying the long-term respiratory health impacts of military service in Southeast Asia.


September 16, 2020

Most landslides in western Oregon triggered by heavy rainfall, not big earthquakes

bare slope and mountains in distance

Researchers at the University of Washington, Portland State University and the University of Oregon have shown that deep-seated landslides in the central Oregon Coast Range are triggered mostly by rainfall, not by large offshore earthquakes. The open-access paper was published Sept. 16 in Science Advances. “Geomorphologists have long understood the importance of rainfall in triggering…


Marine animals live where ocean is most ‘breathable,’ but ranges could shrink with climate change

New research shows that a wide variety of marine animals — from vertebrates to crustaceans to mollusks — already inhabit the maximum range of breathable ocean that their physiology will allow. The findings provide a warning about climate change: Since warmer waters will harbor less oxygen, some stretches of ocean that are breathable today for a given species may not be in the future.


September 11, 2020

Evans School interim dean receives $2M NSF grant to study ‘megafires’

trees on fire

Alison Cullen, professor and interim dean of the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington, will study “megafires” with a new $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.


September 8, 2020

How birth control, girls’ education can slow population growth

baby crib

Education and family planning have long been tied to lower fertility trends. But new research from the University of Washington analyzes those factors to determine, what accelerates a decline in otherwise high-fertility countries.


September 4, 2020

Mask mandates delayed by nearly a month in Republican-led states, UW study finds

Person wearing a face mask with New York City skyline in the background

Political science researchers at the University of Washington examined the factors associated with statewide mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. When controlling for other factors, states with Republican governors delayed imposing broad indoor mask requirements by nearly a month.


September 2, 2020

UW Books: Climate change meets restoration science in ‘Anticipating Future Environments’; ‘Building Reuse’ in paperback — and Anu Taranath’s ‘Beyond Guilt Trips’ named a Washington State Book Award finalist

Recent news about UW-authored books includes a UW Press book on salmon habitat restoration amid climate change and a paperback edition of a book on building reuse. Also, Anu Taranath’s “Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World” is a Washington State Book Award finalist.


August 31, 2020

UW receives NSF funds for investment in an interdisciplinary quantum future

A person standing smiling at the camera

The National Science Foundation has awarded $3 million to establish a NSF Research Traineeship at the University of Washington for graduate students in quantum information science and technology. The new traineeship — known as Accelerating Quantum-Enabled Technologies, or AQET — will make the UW one of just “a handful” of universities with a formal, interdisciplinary QIST curriculum.


August 27, 2020

Frequently asked questions: torpor in Antarctic Lystrosaurus

An artist's rendition of an ancient vertebrate called Lystrosaurus

This FAQ discusses evidence for a hibernation-like condition in Lystrosaurus, a mammal relative that lived in the Antarctic portion of Pangea about 250 million years ago. This discovery was enabled by high-resolution of incremental growth marks preserved in the tusks of Lystrosaurus.


Weathering the tough times: Fossil evidence of ‘hibernation-like’ state in 250-million-year-old Antarctic animal

An artist's rendition of an ancient vertebrate called Lystrosaurus

University of Washington scientists report evidence of a hibernation-like state in Lystrosaurus, an animal that lived in Antarctica during the Early Triassic, some 250 million years ago. The fossils are the oldest evidence of a hibernation-like state in a vertebrate, and indicate that torpor — a general term for hibernation and similar states in which animals temporarily lower their metabolic rate to get through a tough season — arose in vertebrates even before mammals and dinosaurs evolved.


August 26, 2020

Faculty from Allen School, Evans School tapped for NSF institutes on artificial intelligence

The National Science Foundation has announced five new institutes devoted to AI research and based at universities around the country. Six University of Washington faculty will be affiliated with the institutes.


Mount Everest summit success rates double, death rate stays the same over last 30 years

mount everest

A new study led by researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, Davis, finds that the success rate of summiting Mount Everest has doubled in the last three decades, even though the number of climbers has greatly increased, crowding the narrow route through the dangerous “death zone” near the summit. However, the death rate for climbers has hovered unchanged at around 1% since 1990.


August 25, 2020

Terms in Seattle-area rental ads reinforce neighborhood segregation, study says

words in the sky of a seattle neighborhood

A new University of Washington study of Seattle-area rental ads shows how certain words and phrases are common to different neighborhoods, helping to reinforce residential segregation.


August 21, 2020

Failure to ‘flatten the curve’ may kill more people than we thought

New research by the University of Minnesota and the University of Washington finds that every six additional ICU beds or seven additional non-ICU beds filled by COVID-19 patients leads to one additional COVID-19 death over the following week. “A spike in hospitalization naturally leads to more deaths, but these deaths may not only come from…


August 20, 2020

February lockdown in China caused a drop in some types of air pollution, but not others

colored maps of China

Atmospheric nitrogen dioxide, which comes from transportation, was half of what would be expected over China in February 2020. Other emissions and cloud properties, however, showed no significant changes.


August 18, 2020

Data omission in key EPA insecticide study shows need for review of industry analysis

For nearly 50 years, a statistical omission tantamount to data falsification sat undiscovered in a critical study at the heart of regulating one of the most controversial and widely used pesticides in America. Chlorpyrifos, an insecticide created in the late 1960s by the Dow Chemical Co., has been linked to serious health problems, especially in children….


August 14, 2020

UW team developing model to help lower COVID-19 infections in King County, guide eventual vaccine distribution

A UW Medicine worker wearing personal protective equipment stands outside a car at a drive up testing clinic

A UW team has received a grant to develop a model that uses local data to generate policy recommendations that could help lower COVID-19 infections in King County.


August 13, 2020

Systemic racism has consequences for all life in cities

aerial view of two neighborhoods with different tree cover

Social inequalities, specifically racism and classism, are impacting the biodiversity, evolutionary shifts and ecological health of plants and animals in our cities. That’s the main finding of a review paper published Aug. 13 in Science led by the University of Washington, with co-authors at the University of California, Berkeley, and University of Michigan.


August 3, 2020

New studies show how to save parasites and why it’s important

close up of a parasite

An international group of scientists has laid out an ambitious global conservation plan for parasites. A related paper led by the University of Washington found that responses of parasites to environmental change are likely to be complex, and that a changing world probably will see both outbreaks of some parasites and a total loss of other parasite species.


July 30, 2020

Deep-sea anglerfishes have evolved a new type of immune system

a female anglerfish with a male attached

Deep-sea anglerfishes employ an incredible reproductive strategy. Tiny dwarfed males become permanently attached to relatively gigantic females, fuse their tissues and then establish a common blood circulation. Now scientists have figured out why female anglerfishes so readily accept their male mates. Their findings are published July 30 in Science.


July 29, 2020

UW Libraries publishes new online research guides on racial justice, African American experience in Pacific Northwest

UW Libraries has published timely new online guides to help researchers studying the Black experience in the Pacific Northwest and the broader topic of racial justice.


July 27, 2020

Pristine air over Southern Ocean suggests early industrial era’s clouds not so different from today’s

southern ocean clouds seen from an aircraft

A new study led by the University of Washington and the University of Leeds uses satellite data over the Southern Hemisphere to understand the makeup of global clouds since the Industrial Revolution. This research tackles one of the largest uncertainties in today’s climate models — the long-term effect of tiny atmospheric particles on climate change.


July 20, 2020

Legal marijuana may be slowing reductions in teen marijuana use, study says

up-close view of marijuana plant

A longitudinal study of more than 230 teens and young adults in Washington state finds that teens may be more likely to use marijuana following legalization – with the proliferation of stores and increasing adult use of the drug — than they otherwise would have been.


July 16, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: ‘Architect’ magazine award, national society president-elect, library research honor — and runner-up for a national award for young scientists

A photo from the video installation "The Age of the Kampuchea Picture" at UW Libraries. 2017.

Recent honors to University of Washington faculty and staff have come from Architect magazine, the Center for Research Libraries, member states of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the American Society of Human Genetics.


July 15, 2020

A GoPro for beetles: Researchers create a robotic camera backpack for insects

A beetle with a camera system on its back moves through a patch of moss

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a tiny wireless steerable camera that can ride aboard an insect or an insect-sized robot.


June 29, 2020

Trouble paying medical bills can lead to longer episodes of homelessness, new study shows

Empty hospital room

A new University of Washington study of people experiencing homelessness in King County finds that unpaid medical bills were their primary source of debt, and that debt extended their period of homelessness by an average of two years.


UW Tacoma’s Eric Madfis explores curbing school violence in new book

A talk with Eric Madfis of UW Tacoma about his new book “How to Stop School Rampage Killing: Lessons from Averted Mass Shootings and Bombings,” published this spring by Palgrave MacMillan.


June 25, 2020

Sleep improving for university students under stay-at-home orders

an alarm clock at night

In a study published June 10 in Current Biology, a team from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Washington reports that a group of students at CU Boulder generally got more sleep after widespread stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines were put into place in mid-March.


June 24, 2020

Puget Sound eelgrass beds create a ‘halo’ with fewer harmful algae, new method shows

gray skies and ocean

Genetic clues show that eelgrass growing underwater along Puget Sound shorelines is associated with fewer of the single-celled algae that produce harmful toxins in shellfish. The evidence shows this effect extends 45 feet beyond the edge of the eelgrass bed.


Study asks Washington state residents to describe food security and access during pandemic, economic downturn

a plate, knife and fork

A new online survey for Washington state residents has launched to gather data on how the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn have affected food access and economic security. The Washington State Food Security Survey, which went live June 18 and runs through July 31, is open to all Washington state residents aged 18 or over.


June 23, 2020

Laser allows solid-state refrigeration of a semiconductor material

A diagram showing the set up of an experiment for solid-state refrigeration using a laser.

A team from the University of Washington used an infrared laser to cool a solid semiconductor by at least 20 degrees C, or 36 F, below room temperature, as they report in a paper published June 23 in Nature Communications.


75% of US workers can’t work exclusively from home, face greater risks during pandemic

Barista making latte

About three-quarters of U.S. workers, or 108 million people, are in jobs that cannot be done from home during a pandemic, putting these workers at increased risk of exposure to disease. This majority of workers are also at higher risk for other job disruptions such as layoffs, furloughs or hours reductions, a University of Washington…



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