UW News

The latest news from the UW


May 29, 2020

Researchers use brain imaging to demonstrate weaker neural suppression in individuals with autism

In a paper published May 29 in Nature Communications, a team of scientists at the University of Washington, the University of Minnesota and the Johns Hopkins University reports that differences in visual motion perception in autism spectrum disorder are accompanied by weaker neural “suppression” in the visual cortex of the brain, which may help scientists understand sensory hypersensitivity in people with ASD.

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UW launches online training for contact tracing to help fight COVID-19

As businesses and public spaces reopen across the nation, the old-school public health detective work known as contact tracing is becoming a major component of the battle to contain the novel coronavirus that causes the deadly COVID-19 disease. It’s an investigative strategy long used for finding and informing people exposed to contagious diseases, such as…

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May 28, 2020

The most common organism in the oceans harbors a virus in its DNA

A new study in Nature Microbiology shows that the most common organism in the world’s oceans — and possibly the whole planet — harbors a virus in its DNA. This virus may have helped it survive and outcompete other organisms. The study began as a UW School of Oceanography senior thesis.

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Charles Johnson muses on ‘the art of living’ in new book ‘GRAND: A Grandparent’s Wisdom for a Happy Life’

Charles Johnson has written novels and short stories, screenplays and philosophical meditations, but his latest book is something different, and very personal. “GRAND: A Grandparent’s Wisdom for a Happy Life” was published May 5.

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UW launches new Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences with $2.5 million investment from Microsoft

The University of Washington today announced the establishment of the Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (CREATE). Fueled by a $2.5 million inaugural investment from Microsoft, UW CREATE is led by an interdisciplinary team whose mission is to make technology accessible and to make the world accessible through technology.

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May 27, 2020

UW experts on challenges to worker safety in meat processing industry

Meat processing plants face challenges in keeping workers safe during the pandemic. Carrie Freshour, a UW assistant professor of geography, and Marissa Baker, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and an expert on worker safety related to infectious diseases, provides comments on what the industry can do to protect workers.

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ArtSci Roundup: Pandemic Then (and Now), UW Bothell 2020 MFA Spring Festival, 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.   …

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Cosmic bursts unveil universe’s missing matter

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.

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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.

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May 22, 2020

How cloth face masks protect people during the pandemic

The dean of the UW School of Public Health shares information about using face coverings, including what kinds of masks are appropriate to wear and how they protect people.

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Q&A: UW’s Teresa Ward talks us through sleep troubles during the COVID-19 pandemic

A UW sleep expert sat down with UW News to provide some perspective on sleep during the pandemic, and what we can do to help ourselves and our families get through this time a little more well-rested.

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Book notes: Harborview administrator Amy Mower publishes volume of stories, poems about ultramarathon running

It’s one thing to run a marathon for 26.2 miles. But what possesses some people to run 100 miles or more, and do it again and again? “Salvation,” answers Amy Mower in a new book about ultramarathon running, “or at least a very good time.”

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May 21, 2020

UW research team seeks campus input with survey on coronavirus mobility impacts

Three professors are teaming for a study of the mobility impacts of the coronavirus — and they are inviting UW faculty, staff and students to complete a short online survey to assist the research.

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

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.

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May 19, 2020

ArtSci Roundup: Former Prime Minister of Italy Talk, Pandemic Urbanism Symposium, 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.  Former…

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Campus colleagues: Curtis Takahashi — academic adviser, live radio ‘sound effects dude’

How do you make the sound of birds flying for a radio broadcast? Flapping leather gloves will do. Curtis Takahashi of UW Bothell’s Career Development Program talks about his side gig of providing sound effects for local live radio broadcasts.

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May 18, 2020

Soundbites: UW dean of public health gives advice on where and how (and how not) to wear masks 

Beginning May 18, King County is directing people to wear face coverings in most public settings. Expert Hilary Godwin answers questions about the directive and shares information about using face coverings.

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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.

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May 15, 2020

ArtSci Roundup: Faculty recital: Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, ‘Developing Capacity Through Collaborative Action,’ 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.  Faculty…

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Staff feature: What it’s like to photograph the stories of a quiet university campus and bustling medical center amid a pandemic

One of the essential roles that is often not seen is the work of our campus photographers. They continue to capture the visual stories and people on campus in a time when many of us aren’t there to see them ourselves. UW News asked one of our campus photographers to share some of his favorite photos he’s taken this spring, and to describe what it’s like working on campus now.

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

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.

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May 14, 2020

Bike commuting accelerated when bike-share systems rolled into town

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.

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May 13, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: Rare Care plant program honor, society presidency, Jackson School Task Force recognized — and a powerful personal essay

Recent honors to UW faculty and staff have come from the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Washington Native Plant Society, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Republic of Ghana.

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May 12, 2020

Seismologists to host virtual event on 40th anniversary of Mount St. Helens eruption

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, based at the University of Washington, will host an online event on the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, featuring seismologists from the UW and other institutions who can explain the events before, during and after the historic blast. The virtual event will take place from 6:30…

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May 11, 2020

UW dean’s Senate testimony included in ‘Call on White House’ for COVID-19 guidelines for aviation industry

In a letter to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) drew upon the testimony by Hilary Godwin, dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, in calling for federal guidelines be established for the aviation industry and the traveling public. 

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B-roll: RV Thomas G. Thompson comes home

The UW’s large research vessel, the RV Thomas G. Thompson, returned May 8 to its home port after more than two years exploring the world’s oceans. A scheduled cruise in Tahiti has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the return is roughly two months earlier than planned.

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EarthLab announces Innovation Grant recipients for 2020

Research projects funded for 2020 by EarthLab’s Innovation Grants Program will study how vegetation might reduce pollution, help an Alaskan village achieve safety and resilience amid climate change, organize a California river’s restoration with tribal involvement, compare practices in self-managed indigenous immigrant communities and more.

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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.

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May 7, 2020

For Mother’s Day, the gift of compassion: UW psychology professor on celebrating parenthood during a pandemic

What does it feel like to be a mother on this Mother’s Day? And how can we make the day seem special when life feels so uncertain and stressful? University of Washington psychology professor Liliana Lengua offers some perspective.

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

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.

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May 6, 2020

UW experts on understanding ‘quarantine fatigue’ and protecting workers

As the push to relax social and economic restrictions for combating the pandemic gain traction, we need to understand personal motives behind what many experts consider a dangerous rush to “reopen” and how to protect workers most at risk when communities do “go back to work.” Three UW experts weigh in.

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Should you help a sick person? UW psychology, computer science faculty study ‘moral dilemmas’ of COVID-19

A new international study led by the University of Washington aims to gauge the perception of ethical situations as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves around the world.

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Faculty/staff honors: Distinguished contributions to Asian studies, social equity award, Swedish physical geography honor, new Cascade Public Media director

Recent honors to University of Washington faculty and staff have come from the Association of Asian Studies, the American Society of Public Administration, the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography and Cascade Public Media.

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May 5, 2020

ArtSci Roundup: Best Seat In the House with Department of Dance, In Plain Sight Film Series with the Henry, 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.  Best…

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May 4, 2020

John Marzluff explores how farming, food production and wildlife can coexist in new book ‘In Search of Meadowlarks’

Farming and food production can be made more compatible with bird and wildlife conservation, says UW ornithologist John Marzluff in his latest book, “In Search of Meadowlarks: Birds, Farms, and Food in Harmony with the Land”

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May 1, 2020

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

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.

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ArtSci Roundup: Storytelling with Indigenous Writers, Meany Center Curtain Talks, Stroum Center Quick Talk, 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 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.  Sacred Breath:…

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April 30, 2020

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

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.

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April 29, 2020

UW books in brief: Chinese funerary biographies, skin lighteners through history, NYC neighborhood gentrification study, Arthurian verse-novel in translation

Recent notable books by UW faculty members look at gentrification and inequity in a New York neighborhood, skin lighteners though history, female agency in Arthurian legend and biographical epitaphs in China across many centuries.

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

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.

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