Beach trash accumulates in predictable patterns on Washington and Oregon shores

Citizen scientists spent thousands of hours observing trash on beaches in Washington and Oregon. Their surveys show that certain beaches, and certain areas of a single beach, are “sticky zones” that accumulate litter. Finding patterns for where litter lands could help to better prevent and remove trash in the marine environment.

New UW Photonic Sensing Facility will use fiber-optic cables for seismic sensing, glaciology and more

A new research center is exploring the use of fiber-optic sensing for seismology, glaciology, and even urban monitoring. Funded in part with a $473,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the new UW Photonic Sensing Facility will use photons traveling through a fiber-optic cable to detect ground motions as small as 1 nanometer.

Cedars-Sinai’s Dean, Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, Honored for Contributions to Endocrine Research

Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, a world-renowned leader in pituitary medicine, was named the inaugural recipient of the Transatlantic Alliance Award by the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) and the Endocrine Society for his pioneering research in pituitary medicine and endocrine tumors.

Consensus approach proposed to protect human health from intentional and wild forest fires

Climate change and decades of fire suppression that have increased fuels are contributing to larger and more intense wildfires and, in order to improve forest health and reduce these explosive fires, prescribed and managed fire is necessary.

Limiting warming to 2 C requires emissions reductions 80% above Paris Agreement targets

Even if all countries meet their Paris Agreement goals for reducing emissions, Earth has only a 5% chance of staying below 2 C warming this century, a 2017 study showed. But reductions about 80% more ambitious, or an average of 1.8% drop in emissions per year rather than 1% per year, would be enough to meet the agreement’s stated goal, analysis shows.

Global warming found to be culprit for flood risk in Peruvian Andes, other glacial lakes

Human-caused warming is responsible for increasing the risk of a glacial outburst flood from Peru’s Lake Palcacocha, threatening the city below. This study is the first to directly link climate change with the risk of flooding from glacial lakes, which are growing in number and size worldwide.

Marine organisms use previously undiscovered receptors to detect, respond to light

Single-celled organisms in the open ocean use a diverse array of genetic tools to detect light, even in tiny amounts, and respond. The discovery of these new genetic “light switches” could also aid in the field of optogenetics, in which a cell’s function can be controlled with exposure to light.

Adapting Magnetometers for Noisy, Physically Demanding Environments

Researchers routinely measure magnetic fields to better understand a vast array of natural phenomena. Many of these measurements are performed in shielded environments, but the research community has achieved these sensitive measurements in extreme environments as well as outside of highly controlled environments. In AVS Quantum Science, researchers discuss ways in which various predominantly optically pumped magnetometer technologies have been adapted for use in a wide range of noisy and physically demanding environments.

Policies around pregnancy, birth during pandemic failing both patients and nurses

As an experienced nurse midwife, whose scientific research focuses on respectful and equitable care during pregnancy and childbirth, the University of Washington’s Molly Altman has been studying pregnancy and childbirth during the pandemic alongside colleagues across the UW and in…

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 studyhas found.

National Science Foundation-funded CloudBank Now Operational

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego and its partners at the University of Washington (UW), UC Berkeley, and Strategic Blue have entered production operations of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded CloudBank program, which aims to simplify the use of public clouds across computer science research and education.

UW breaks ground on the future of health sciences education and improving our health

Deans of the UW Health Sciences schools — Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Social Work — and Washington State legislators celebrated construction of the Health Sciences Education Building on the UW’s Seattle campus with a small, physically distanced groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Galaxy Simulations Could Help Reveal Origins of Milky Way

Rutgers astronomers have produced the most advanced galaxy simulations of their kind, which could help reveal the origins of the Milky Way and dozens of small neighboring dwarf galaxies. Their research also could aid the decades-old search for dark matter, which fills an estimated 27 percent of the universe. And the computer simulations of “ultra-faint” dwarf galaxies could help shed light on how the first stars formed in the universe.

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

To provide training for the expanding workforce of contact tracers, the University of Washington’s Northwest Center for Public Health Practice created the free, online course Every Contact Counts to support public health agencies — including smaller, rural public health districts and tribal health departments — to help their existing and growing workforce in the art and science of conducting a contact-tracing interview.

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.

Large majority of state’s heroin users want to reduce use; syringe programs helping during COVID-19 crisis

A new survey of people who inject illicit drugs in the state of Washington yields positive and important findings for policy makers as the world struggles to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, said authors of the survey by the University of Washington and Public Health-Seattle & King County.

Millions of US workers at risk of infections on the job, UW researchers calculate, emphasizing need to protect against COVID-19

A University of Washington researcher calculates that 14.4 million workers face exposure to infection once a week and 26.7 million at least once a month in the workplace, pointing to an important population needing protection as the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, continues to break out across the U.S.