UW News

The latest news from the UW


November 4, 2019

Light-based ‘tractor beam’ assembles materials at the nanoscale

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a method that could make reproducible manufacturing at the nanoscale possible. The team adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology — known as optical traps or optical tweezers — to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents, thereby enabling new potential applications.

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November 1, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: attend the Danish String Quartet concert, observe a Monologue Audition workshop, and more

This week in the arts, celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with Jonathan Biss, attend the Burke museum for free, catch A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and more. Jonathan Biss – Celebrating Beethoven Pt 1 November 5, 7:30 pm | Meany Center In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Meany Center presents a selection of his piano sonatas…

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October 31, 2019

Washington’s first student-built satellite preparing for launch

After years of preparation, a tiny satellite built by UW students is scheduled to launch early Saturday, Nov. 2, from a NASA flight facility in Virginia. The launch will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

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New technique lets researchers map strain in next-gen solar cells

Researchers from the University of Washington and the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in the Netherlands have developed a way to map strain in lead halide perovskite solar cells. Their approach shows that misorientation between microscopic perovskite crystals is the primary contributor to the buildup of strain within the solar cell, which creates small-scale defects in the grain structure, interrupts the transport of electrons within the solar cell, and ultimately leads to heat loss through a process known as non-radiative recombination.

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October 29, 2019

UW book notes: Political scientist Megan Ming Francis to edit new series on race, ethnicity, politics

University of Washington political scientist Megan Ming Francis says there is a dearth of academic book series being published on topics of race, ethnicity and politics. Now, she will start to change that. An associate professor of political science, Francis will be the editor of a new series of books from Cambridge University Press called…

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Popular third-party genetic genealogy site is vulnerable to compromised data, impersonations

UW researchers have found that the third-party genealogy site GEDmatch is vulnerable to multiple kinds of security risks.

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October 28, 2019

Precision mapping with satellite, drone photos could help predict infections of a widespread tropical disease

A team led by the University of Washington and Stanford University has discovered clues in the environment that help identify transmission hotspots for schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease that is second only to malaria in its global health impact.

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Spider myths, facts from the Burke Museum’s spider expert

This video features Rod Crawford, the curator of arachnids at the University of Washington’s Burke Museum. He has spent decades studying spiders and says there are many common myths about spiders that he is regularly asked about.

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Teen marijuana use may have next-generation effects

A new study by the University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group shows how a parent’s use of marijuana, past or present, can influence their child’s substance use and well-being.

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Hubble captures galaxies’ ghostly gaze

An image captured earlier this year by the Hubble Space Telescope may look like a ghostly apparition, but it is not. Hubble is looking at a titanic head-on collision between two galaxies.

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October 24, 2019

NSF invests in cyberinfrastructure institute to harness cosmic data

The National Science Foundation awarded the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and nine collaborating organizations, including the University of Washington, $2.8 million for a two-year “conceptualization phase” of the Scalable Cyberinfrastructure Institute for Multi-Messenger Astrophysics.

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New fossil trove documents recovery of life on Earth after dinosaur-killing asteroid impact

Scientists have discovered an extraordinary collection of fossils that reveal in detail how life recovered after a catastrophic event: the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous Period.

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October 23, 2019

UW is most innovative U.S. public university; No. 5 in the world, according to Reuters

The University of Washington is listed at No. 5 on the Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities, released Wednesday. Now in its fifth year, the list ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and help drive the global economy.

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ArtsUW Roundup: the Paco de Lucia Project, CabLab, Jenny Odell at Town Hall, and more

This week in the arts, kick-off School of Drama’s new season, view local artist’s work at the Center for Urban Horticulture, learn about Dakota Sioux artist Mary Sully, and more. Reclaiming our Attention in an Age of Distraction November 1, 7:30 pm | Town Hall Seattle UW Communications Leadership Program presents author and artist Jenny Odell…

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UW team sending autonomous surfboard to explore Antarctic waters

This week a UW team is releasing a robotic surfboard to explore the surface ocean around Antarctica.

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October 22, 2019

UW is No. 10 on global ranking; No. 2 among US public institutions

The University of Washington maintained its No. 10 spot on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities rankings, released this week. The UW is ranked No. 2 among U.S. public institutions.

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October 21, 2019

Humpback whale population on the rise after near miss with extinction

A new study finds that the western South Atlantic humpback population has grown to 25,000 whales. Researchers, including co-authors from the University of Washington, believe this new estimate is now close to pre-whaling numbers.

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October 18, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: Music of Today, School of Art faculty lectures, and more

This week in the arts, celebrate flamenco with the Paco de Lucía Project, attend the opening reception for Irreducible Forms, tour the Henry Art Gallery with Ariel Goldberg, and more. Exhibition Opening: Irreducible Forms October 24 – November 9 | Jacob Lawrence Gallery Celebrate work by the second-year Master of Fine Arts students working in and between…

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UW Regents approve five-year contract extension for President Ana Mari Cauce

The University of Washington Board of Regents this week approved a five-year contract extension for President Ana Mari Cauce. The agreement was finalized under authority previously delegated to the board chair.

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October 17, 2019

Old friends and new enemies: How evolutionary history can predict insect invader impacts

A team led by the University of Washington has developed a way to help foresters predict which nonnative insect invasions will be problematic, and help managers decide where to allocate resources to avoid widespread tree death.

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October 16, 2019

Video: UW President Ana Mari Cauce delivers annual address to community

UW President Ana Mari Cauce delivered her annual address to the community Oct. 15 at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House on the University of Washington campus.

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Soundbites and b-roll: UW Annual President’s Address 2019

UW President Ana Mari Cauce delivered her annual address to the community Oct. 15 at wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House on the University of Washington campus.

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October 15, 2019

New pronoun option coming for students; celebrate International Pronouns Day Oct. 16

On International Pronouns Day (Oct. 16) the University of Washington community is invited to celebrate the ways in which using someone’s pronouns have a positive impact on the community as a whole.

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Deaf infants more attuned to parent’s visual cues, study shows

A University of Washington-led study finds that Deaf infants exposed to American Sign Language are especially tuned to a parent’s eye gaze, itself a social connection between parent and child that is linked to early learning.

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UW’s Ashleigh Theberge receives Packard Fellowship for research on cell communication signals

Ashleigh Theberge, a University of Washington assistant professor of chemistry, has been named a 2019 Packard Fellow for her research on cell signaling. Every year since 1988, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has awarded Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering to early-career scientists to pursue the types of innovative projects that often fall outside…

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Piranha fish swap old teeth for new simultaneously

With the help of new technologies, a team led by the University of Washington has confirmed that piranhas — and their plant-eating cousins, pacus — lose and regrow all the teeth on one side of their face multiple times throughout their lives. How they do it may help explain why the fish go to such efforts to replace their teeth.

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First smart speaker system that uses white noise to monitor infants’ breathing

UW researchers have developed a new smart speaker skill that lets a device use white noise to both soothe sleeping babies and monitor their breathing and movement.

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October 14, 2019

To reduce gun violence, lift roadblocks to firearm data

While gun violence in America kills more than 35,000 people a year and as calls for policies to stem the crisis grow, University of Washington researchers point out in a new analysis that barriers to data stand in the way of advancing solutions. “Firearm data availability, accessibility and infrastructure need to be substantially improved to…

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Fishing for the triple bottom line: profit, planet — and people

In a new study, an interdisciplinary group of researchers used Pacific herring in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, as a case study for modeling the implicit tradeoffs within the triple bottom line that result from various fisheries management decisions.

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October 11, 2019

New UW center receives NIH grant to improve the fight against cancer

Even successful methods for diagnosing, treating and caring for people who are suffering from cancer are not enough without effective, practical tools and guidance for putting those methods into practice. To bridge this gap between cancer interventions and their implementation within communities across the country, the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute is funding…

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October 10, 2019

ArtsUW Roundup: Visit the Burke Museum, attend a Sankai Juku performance, and more.

This week in the arts, attend a Washin Kai recital in classical Japanese, listen to the musical musings of Indigo Mist, converse over coffee, and more. Visit the Burke on Indigenous Peoples’ Day October 14, 10 am – 5pm | Burke Museum As part of Opening Weekend, celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the City of…

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UW names population health building after Swedish physician and ‘very serious possibilist’ Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling is known internationally for his captivating analysis of global health data, for discovering a paralyzing disease in Africa and explaining its socio-economic causes, and for his intense curiosity and life-long passion for educating students, world leaders and the public. Now, Hans Rosling — a Swedish doctor, statistician, author and professor — will be…

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Personal comments from Hans Rosling’s family about UW’s new Hans Rosling Center for Population Health

The new building on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus that will be home to some of the key departments at the center of the university’s Population Health Initiative was named in honor of Dr. Hans Rosling on Oct. 10, 2019, by the UW Board of Regents. The $230 million building under construction on the…

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October 8, 2019

New paper explores race, representation in campaign finance

In American politics, the question of “Who donates?” is linked to the crucial question of “Who governs?” Most campaign donations historically have come from white voters. But new UW-led research indicates that if more candidates of color ran for office, donations from individuals of color would likely increase as well.

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Genes contribute to dog breeds’ iconic traits

A new study by a research team that included the University of Washington offers new evidence to support what scientists have long suspected about dogs: that some dog behaviors that help characterize breeds — a drive to chase, for example, or aggression toward strangers — are associated with distinct genetic differences among them.

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October 7, 2019

Soundbites & B-roll: Pop-up gallery portrays homelessness with animals

The University of Washington Center for One Health Research will build “pop-up galleries” in public spaces around Seattle in October that will use autobiographical photographs taken by people experiencing homelessness with their companion animals. The photos will be accompanied by quotes from the participants about the challenges and the important bonds they share with their animals.

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Pop-up galleries and data: Visualizing the lives of homeless people and their animals

Sparked by a grant from the UW Population Health Initiative, the UW’s Center for One Health Research has created a series of pop-up galleries featuring autobiographical photographs made by people experiencing homelessness with their animal companions. The first gallery was Oct. 4 in UW’s Red Square. Other pop-up gallery events are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday,…

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How bike sharing in Seattle rose from the ashes of Pronto’s failure

University of Washington transportation researchers looked into why the docked bike-share program Pronto failed while dockless bike sharing has been so successful.

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October 4, 2019

Health disparities, strong social support among state’s LGBTQ community

A report released Oct. 4, the Washington State Equity and Diversity Project, is the first study of its kind to examine the health of LGBTQ people of all ages throughout the state.

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New metasurface design can control optical fields in three dimensions

A team led by scientists at the University of Washington has designed and tested a 3D-printed metamaterial that can manipulate light with nanoscale precision. As they report in a paper published Oct. 4 in the journal Science Advances, their designed optical element focuses light to discrete points in a 3D helical pattern.

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