Science http://www.kplu.org en Scientists Say Smaller 2006 Landslide Set The Stage For Oso Disaster http://www.kplu.org/post/scientists-say-smaller-2006-landslide-set-stage-oso-disaster <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/159859305&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>A small landslide in 2006 set the stage for the catastrophe that claimed 43 lives in Oso, Washington this past March, say a panel of scientists in a<a href="http://www.geerassociation.org/GEER_Post%20EQ%20Reports/Oso_WA_2014/GEER_Oso_Landslide_Report_low-res.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">&nbsp;federally-funded study.</a></p><p>The hills above the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River had slid before, at least 15 times over the centuries, according to the study.</p><p>But one slide in particular left Oso vulnerable. In 2006, that smaller slide left a loosely-packed mass of debris perched dangerously above the Steelhead Haven development and its neighbors.</p><p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 23:34:30 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 17839 at http://www.kplu.org Scientists Say Smaller 2006 Landslide Set The Stage For Oso Disaster Study Finds MRSA 'Superbug' Lurking At Washington Firehouses http://www.kplu.org/post/study-finds-mrsa-superbug-lurking-washington-firehouses <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/159322994&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Fighting fires is a dangerous job, and <a href="http://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553%2814%2900135-7/abstract" target="_blank">new research on firehouses around Washington state </a>has revealed another hazard — one that lurks on firefighters’ boots, their trucks and even their TV remotes.</p><p>MRSA is a nasty and sometimes deadly bacterium that’s hard to kill with antibiotics. It’s normally associated with hospitals, nursing homes or prisons, but researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health recently tested 33 firehouses for the presence of MRSA.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">They found the bug at 19 of those firehouses. Twelve crews reported having at least one member who’d gotten an infection requiring medical care.</span></p><p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 17812 at http://www.kplu.org Study Finds MRSA 'Superbug' Lurking At Washington Firehouses When A Bomb Goes Off During Your Study On Trauma: New UW Findings On PTSD http://www.kplu.org/post/when-bomb-goes-during-your-study-trauma-new-uw-findings-ptsd <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/159175864&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>When a traumatic event happens, some people find ways to cope while others get caught in the grip of post-traumatic stress&nbsp;disorder. A new study led by a Seattle researcher and enabled by an unexpected disaster suggests a way we might be able to predict who’s most likely to struggle.</p><p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 17794 at http://www.kplu.org When A Bomb Goes Off During Your Study On Trauma: New UW Findings On PTSD Seattle Scientist Trying To Disrupt HPV, Which Hacks Your Cells To Cause Cancer http://www.kplu.org/post/seattle-scientist-trying-disrupt-hpv-which-hacks-your-cells-cause-cancer <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158024074&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The human </span>papilloma<span style="line-height: 1.5;">virus</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is a bit like a tiny hacker — black hat, of course — that sneaks into your cells, hijacks your hardware and uses it to copy itself. For nearly 80 million Americans, this is happening right now, and nearly all sexually-active people will pick up </span>HPV<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> at one time or another.</span></p><p>For a smaller number of us, that bit of forced entry touches off a chain of events that leads to cancer — mainly cervical cancer, but also penile, rectal, throat and tongue cancers. If scientists could figure out exactly how that happens, they might able to intervene and disrupt the process.</p><p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 17658 at http://www.kplu.org Seattle Scientist Trying To Disrupt HPV, Which Hacks Your Cells To Cause Cancer Wash. Scientists Cheer Docs' Push To Read To Kids Starting At Birth — Or Earlier http://www.kplu.org/post/wash-scientists-cheer-docs-push-read-kids-starting-birth-or-earlier <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/155880212&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The nation’s largest association of pediatricians is <a href="http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/Business,-Medical,-and-Non-Profit-Partners-Launch-New-National-Effort--at-CGI-America-to-Help-Close-the-Word-Gap.aspx" target="_blank">recommending parents read to their children </a>starting at birth. Research by Seattle-area scientists suggests kids can indeed benefit from hearing lots of language right from day one – or even earlier, &nbsp;even though most kids don’t start talking until they’re at least a year old.</p><p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 23:32:21 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 17371 at http://www.kplu.org Wash. Scientists Cheer Docs' Push To Read To Kids Starting At Birth — Or Earlier UW's Twinfest Will Celebrate Twin Culture, And Their Unique Contribution To Science http://www.kplu.org/post/uws-twinfest-will-celebrate-twin-culture-and-their-unique-contribution-science <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/153037475&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The University of Washington will <a href="http://uwtwinregistry.org/twinfest2014/" target="_blank">host a big party </a>this weekend to drum up publicity for a key branch of research, and only twins are on the guest list.</p><p>Scientists have long had a keen interest in twins because people who share genes can help tease out the influences of nature and nurture.</p><p>“There’s this very unique kind of natural experiment that they provide,” said Dr. Glen Duncan, director of the UW Twin Registry. “So they really provide a very powerful approach to studying very difficult questions.”</p><p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 17009 at http://www.kplu.org UW's Twinfest Will Celebrate Twin Culture, And Their Unique Contribution To Science A Shimmery Sea Blob From The San Juans May Have Just Upended Evolutionary History http://www.kplu.org/post/shimmery-sea-blob-san-juans-may-have-just-upended-evolutionary-history <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/150674167&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>A squishy little sea creature fished out of the Salish Sea may be <a href="http://www.nature.com/news/genome-reveals-comb-jellies-ancient-origin-1.12176" target="_blank">rewriting our history </a>of how animal life first evolved.</p><p>They’re called comb jellies, and they have nothing to do with hair products. They are translucent blobs that propel themselves with rows of shimmering threads called cilia.</p><p>Scientists captured specimens at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories and analyzed their genomes, coming to two pretty startling conclusions. First, these animals have nervous systems, but they look almost nothing like those of people or fish, or any other animal on Earth.</p><p> Thu, 22 May 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16766 at http://www.kplu.org A Shimmery Sea Blob From The San Juans May Have Just Upended Evolutionary History First Kennewick Man, Now Naia: Seattle-Area Scientist Probes Secrets In Ancient Skeleton http://www.kplu.org/post/first-kennewick-man-now-naia-seattle-area-scientist-probes-secrets-ancient-skeleton <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149717430&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>They call her Naia. She was probably about 16, a forager living mainly on fruit in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. One day she ventured into a cave when the floor gave out. She plunged maybe 100 feet and died.</p><p>And that’s how divers would find her, some 12,000 years later, alongside saber-tooth cats and other extinct animal bones in the now-underwater cave system.</p><p>“It’s the most complete female paleoamerican skeleton, period,” said James Chatters, owner of the Bothell-based company Applied Paleoscience.</p><p> Thu, 15 May 2014 18:00:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16597 at http://www.kplu.org First Kennewick Man, Now Naia: Seattle-Area Scientist Probes Secrets In Ancient Skeleton UW Labs May Move To Avoid Interference From Magnetic Light Rail Trains http://www.kplu.org/post/uw-labs-may-move-avoid-interference-magnetic-light-rail-trains <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/148710471&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>For engineers that use sensitive equipment like electron microscopes, a train is a big, moving, magnetic nightmare.</p><p>That’s why Sound Transit and the University of Washington are hashing out a deal that would give the university $43 million to move some of its labs across campus, away from a new light rail line in the works set to run beneath them.</p><p> Fri, 09 May 2014 18:59:02 +0000 Rae Ellen Bichell 16464 at http://www.kplu.org UW Labs May Move To Avoid Interference From Magnetic Light Rail Trains More Washington Nuclear Weapons Workers To Be Screened For Cancer http://www.kplu.org/post/more-washington-nuclear-weapons-workers-be-screened-cancer <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/148433830&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> Thu, 08 May 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16454 at http://www.kplu.org More Washington Nuclear Weapons Workers To Be Screened For Cancer A 20-Minute Chat Might Help Boost Recovery For Patients With Brain Injuries http://www.kplu.org/post/20-minute-chat-might-help-boost-recovery-patients-brain-injuries <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/148269754&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Spending just 20 minutes talking to a social worker might boost recovery from head injuries, and the benefits seem to last for months <a href="http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/02699052.2014.890746" target="_blank">according to new research </a>out of the University of Washington’s School of Social Work.</p> Wed, 07 May 2014 00:22:50 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16427 at http://www.kplu.org A 20-Minute Chat Might Help Boost Recovery For Patients With Brain Injuries 'Shivers Up My Spine': UW Scientists Take Big Step Toward Healing Damaged Hearts http://www.kplu.org/post/shivers-my-spine-uw-scientists-take-big-step-toward-healing-damaged-hearts <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/147297241&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Seattle researchers have <a href="http://hsnewsbeat.uw.edu/story/scientists-regenerate-heart-muscle-primates" target="_blank">taken a key step </a>toward beating back the world’s <a href="http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/" target="_blank">leading cause of death</a>&nbsp;by regrowing damaged heart tissue in monkeys.</p><p>Scientists had long thought getting heart tissue to regenerate was impossible. But stem cell research began to raise hopes in the 1990s, and over the years, researchers like Chuck Murry of University of Washington Medicine’s cardiology division started to get some traction.</p><p>First came successes with rats, then with guinea pigs. Now&nbsp;Murry’s team has managed to <a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13233.html" target="_blank">repair heart tissue </a>in an animal more closely related to humans: monkeys called pigtail macaques.</p><p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 23:06:55 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16349 at http://www.kplu.org 'Shivers Up My Spine': UW Scientists Take Big Step Toward Healing Damaged Hearts WSU Researchers Sift Spit For Evidence That Therapeutic Horse Programs Work http://www.kplu.org/post/wsu-researchers-sift-spit-evidence-therapeutic-horse-programs-work <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146906418&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Horses have been used therapeutically for years, but new research from Washington State University provides some of the first scientific evidence that it works to reduce stress.</p><p>Under stress, the body produces a hormone called cortisol, which is supposed to rise and fall in a particular way over the course of a day.</p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 17:05:06 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16297 at http://www.kplu.org WSU Researchers Sift Spit For Evidence That Therapeutic Horse Programs Work Scientists: Washington's State Fish Has A Remarkable Evolutionary Past http://www.kplu.org/post/scientists-washingtons-state-fish-has-remarkable-evolutionary-past <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146157946&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>It turns out the Washington state fish is a piece of evolutionary wonder. An international group of scientists&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140422/ncomms4657/full/ncomms4657.html" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">sequenced the genome</a>&nbsp;of the rainbow trout and found some surprises.<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">About 100 million years ago, something odd happened to the ancestor of salmon and rainbow trout. Instead of inheriting two copies of chromosome sets — one from mom and one from dad, they managed to inherit four copies. In evolutionary terms, this was a recent and dramatic event.</span></p><p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:37:22 +0000 Rae Ellen Bichell 16182 at http://www.kplu.org Scientists: Washington's State Fish Has A Remarkable Evolutionary Past UW Researchers: Tiny-Brained Fruit Flies Are Top Gun Fliers http://www.kplu.org/post/uw-researchers-tiny-brained-fruit-flies-are-top-gun-fliers <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">New research out of the University of Washington shows that an insect with a brain smaller than a salt grain can take complex evasive action in flight. The findings could have value for engineers.</span></p><p>Consider the fruit fly,&nbsp;Drosophila melanogaster. It’s — actually, wait. You really should click this soundtrack before you read any further.</p><p></p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 16106 at http://www.kplu.org UW Researchers: Tiny-Brained Fruit Flies Are Top Gun Fliers