University of Washington

Environment
5:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

UW Study: Urban Fumes Cause Pollinating Moths To Fly Like 'Stumbling Drunks'

A pollinating moth Manduca sexta, this one with a wing span of about 4 inches, feeds from a Sacred Dutura, or Datura wrightii, flower.
Courtesy of Kiley Riffell

As much as one-third of our food supply depends on pollinators like insects and birds that fertilize plants when they fly between blossoms.

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Comb Jellies
5:01 am
Thu May 22, 2014

A Shimmery Sea Blob From The San Juans May Have Just Upended Evolutionary History

Comb jellies may actually represent the first branch on animals' evolutionary tree.
Smithsonian Institution

A squishy little sea creature fished out of the Salish Sea may be rewriting our history of how animal life first evolved.

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.

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.

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Science
11:59 am
Fri May 9, 2014

UW Labs May Move To Avoid Interference From Magnetic Light Rail Trains

Even 100 feet underground, a train can be a headache for scientists that rely on sensitive equipment.
Flickr

For engineers that use sensitive equipment like electron microscopes, a train is a big, moving, magnetic nightmare.

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.

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Business
5:00 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Seattle Business Owners Turn To An Unlikely Source Of Consultants: UW Undergrads

Kristi Brown Wokoma, a Seattle chef, makes a unique kind of hummus out of black-eyed peas. She's turned to UW undergraduates for consulting help.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Business owners in Seattle and around the state are lining up to tap the expertise of an unusual group of consultants: undergraduates at the University of Washington.

That may sound surprising, since the students mostly just have a few internships on their resumes. But their consulting class pushes them to dive deep into their clients’ business problems and deliver tangible, practical advice.

For one local chef, it’s a partnership that has yielded results.

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Oso Slide
11:59 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Universities, Bank Offer Financial Relief For Victims As Slide Death Toll Rises To 30

Emergency workers walk at the scene of a deadly mudslide that happened over a week earlier, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Oso, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Washington State University will waive next year's tuition and fees for students who live near the site of the deadly March 22 mudslide in Snohomish County, school leaders announced this week.

The slide "was such an obvious tragedy for our state and for the folks in that area that the troops rallied early and discussions started about how WSU could help," said university spokesperson Kathy Barnard.

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Continuing Education
10:23 am
Wed April 2, 2014

UW To Offer New Online Degree In Social Sciences

kyle~ Flickr

The University of Washington is launching a new online degree in integrated social sciences aimed at people who want to complete their education.

The move is the university’s latest push into the competitive world of online education.

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Education
5:00 am
Mon March 10, 2014

UW Launches Minor In Arctic Studies

UW and Inuit students in the 2011 Jackson School Task Force on Arctic Sovereignty in Ottawa. Student interest in classes like this prompted the UW to launch an Arctic Studies minor
Nadine Fabbi

Curiosity about what’s happening in some of the coldest places on Earth has prompted the University of Washington to launch its first Arctic Studies minor.

The program is the first of its kind offered by a university in the lower 48. 

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Education
5:00 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Listen: At UW, A Science Fair For Schoolkids Features Human Brains And Spinal Cords

Human brains, sheep brains and human spinal cords were featured in hands-on exhibits at the "Brain Awareness Week" Open House at the UW.
Florangela Davila

Each March, scientists around the world host open houses to get people thinking about the brain.

The events are all part of Brain Awareness Week.

At the University of Washington, that means the mother of all science fairs in a room decked out with human brains, spinal cords, finch chirping and flying fruit flies.

Take an audio tour of an event that drew more than 650 elementary and high school students.

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Environment
5:01 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Wash. High School Teams To Go Head-To-Head At This Year's Orca Bowl

In this 2013 photo, Seattle Orca Bowl participants pose with our full-sized replica of J-26, also known as "Mike".
Courtesy of Washington Sea Grant

Garfield High School students will put their smarts to the test to defend their title at the annual Orca Bowl at the University of Washington this weekend.

In a competition that slightly resembles the TV game show “Jeopardy,” 20 teams from around the state will try to answer multiple-choice questions about marine sciences, many of them specifically geared toward this year's theme of ocean acidification. Then finalists from Ocean Science Bowls around the country will meet again in May to vie for the national title. This year, it's taking place for the first time in Seattle.

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Education
5:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

At Seattle Elementary, Philosopher Helps Kids Explore The 'Why' Questions

Jana Mohr Lone leads a philosophy class at John Muir Elementary
Florangela Davila

Students at Seattle's John Muir Elementary School are trying to answer life's big questions. Along with reading and math, the school's curriculum includes philosophy. 

Why philosophy? Kids start asking all sorts of "why" questions starting in preschool, says philosopher Jana Mohr Lone: "Why is the sky blue? Why are some things in color and some things aren’t? Can you be happy and sad at the same time?"

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Arts
5:00 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Two 'Monuments Men' Who Helped Preserve Art During WWII Hailed From Wash. State

Sherman Lee of Seattle, a "Monuments Man" who also served as associate director at the Seattle Art Museum in the late 1940s.
Undated photo via The Associate Press, courtesy of SAM

The movie “The Monuments Men” spotlights a platoon of real-life U.S. soldiers who rescued artistic masterpieces from the Nazis during World War II. 

Overall, there were approximately 350 men and women from 13 nations who fought to preserve art from the ravages of war. Two of them came from Washington state.

Sherman Lee, who was born in Seattle, was an expert in Asian art who served as associate director at the Seattle Art Museum in the late 1940s.

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Dark Matter
5:01 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Did UW Researchers Back The Right Horse In One Of Physics' Hottest Questions?

UW researchers assemble the complex ADMX detector, built to search for dark matter axions.
ADMX Collaboration

Think of the immense amount of stuff in the cosmos: stars, planets, interstellar dust and clusters of galaxies. Now consider this: all that stuff is probably only about one-sixth of the matter in the universe.

The rest is thought to be a mysterious invisible substance called dark matter — something scientists have been hunting for decades. Now an unexpected turn of events has put a low-key research team in Seattle right at the center of the dark matter search.

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Higher Education
12:58 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

State Audit Finds Misuse of Wash. College Credit Cards

dalexeenko Flickr

A new state audit has found Washington university credit cards were used to make more than $225,000 in purchases not allowed by state policies.

Most of the purchases were for alcohol or gifts. And the majority were made by people associated with the University of Washington.

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Martian Chronicles
3:10 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Martian Mystery: How Water Could Have Flowed on Chilly Mars

A NASA photo shows gully channels on teh surface of Mars, thought to have been caused by flowing water.
NASA

A University of Washington researcher may have helped solve a Martian mystery by explaining how the chilly surface of Mars could have once flowed with water.

Pictures of Mars clearly show features that look like valleys and old lakebeds, suggesting liquid water once churned on the planet's surface. And yet that surface is really cold, at -80 degrees Fahrenheit, on average.

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Snow Science
5:01 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Strange Snow Finding Suggests Fewer Trees Mean More Water

UW reserahcres found that in temperate climates, snow melts faster under trees than in clearings.
Kael Martin University of Washington

Quick quiz: In springtime, does snow melt faster out in the open or in the shade? 

You might figure it melts faster in the sunshine, and that seems to be the case for cold climates. But in places with temperate winters, like the Pacific Northwest, it might be just the opposite.

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