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Latest University of Washington Stories

mollusk shell
2014-08-11 03:30:14

Hannah Hickey, University of Washington The planet’s largest and most powerful driver of climate changes from one year to the next, the El Niño Southern Oscillation in the tropical Pacific Ocean, was widely thought to have been weaker in ancient times because of a different configuration of the Earth’s orbit. But scientists analyzing 25-foot piles of ancient shells have found that the El Niños 10,000 years ago were as strong and frequent as the ones we experience today. The...

low-oxygen zone
2014-08-11 03:00:40

Hannah Hickey, University of Washington As the complex story of climate change unfolds, many of the endings are grim. But there are exceptions. Predictions that the lowest-oxygen environments in the ocean would get worse may not come to pass. Instead, University of Washington research shows climate change, as it weakens the trade winds, could shrink the size of these extreme low-oxygen waters. "The tropics should actually get better oxygenated as the climate warms up," said Curtis...

internet wireless router
2014-08-06 03:00:16

Michelle Ma, University of Washington Imagine a world in which your wristwatch or other wearable device communicates directly with your online profiles, storing information about your daily activities where you can best access it – all without requiring batteries. Or, battery-free sensors embedded around your home could track minute-by-minute temperature changes and send that information to your thermostat to help conserve energy. This not-so-distant “Internet of Things” reality...

sea ice off alaska
2014-07-31 03:00:56

Hannah Hickey, University of Washington As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water that is predicted to extend across the whole Arctic Ocean before the middle of this century. Storms thus have the potential to create Arctic swell – huge waves that could add a new and unpredictable element to the region. A University of Washington researcher made the first study of waves in the middle of the...

Scientists Tracking Breakup Of Arctic Summer Sea Ice
2014-07-17 03:27:40

By Hannah Hickey, University of Washington As sea ice begins to melt back toward its late September minimum, it is being watched as never before. Scientists have put sensors on and under ice in the Beaufort Sea for an unprecedented campaign to monitor the summer melt. The international effort hopes to figure out the physics of the ice edge in order to better understand and predict open water in Arctic seas. "This has never been done at this level, over such a large area and for such...

Long Before Their First Words, Babies' Brains Rehearse Speech Mechanics
2014-07-15 03:33:45

Molly McElroy, University of Washington Infants can tell the difference between sounds of all languages until about 8 months of age when their brains start to focus only on the sounds they hear around them. It's been unclear how this transition occurs, but social interactions and caregivers' use of exaggerated "parentese" style of speech seem to help. University of Washington research in 7- and 11-month-old infants shows that speech sounds stimulate areas of the brain that coordinate...

2014-07-09 11:24:31

University of Washington Smartphone apps can track where we eat our meals, when we commute to and from work and how many minutes we exercise each day. Ten thousand steps today? Check. More people are opting to use their phones as “life-logging” devices, but is the data they collect actually useful? Massive amounts of information showing your life patterns over a week, month or year are going untapped because these applications don’t have a way to interpret the data over the long...

2014-07-02 10:46:55

University of Washington If we had a road map to what parental involvement in schools should be, what would it look like? Would it be a straight line, or a complicated maze of cross streets going in every direction? University of Washington researchers studied The Road Map Project, a collaborative effort to dramatically improve student achievement in seven school districts in South Seattle and South King County. In their report after a yearlong study of the initiative, they found that...

Crowdsourcing Leads To Faster Learning Among Robots
2014-06-27 14:11:26

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online As proven by sites such as Yahoo! Answers or even Wikipedia, crowdsourcing has been shown to be a useful way to amass knowledge or find an answer to a difficult question. Now, researchers at the University of Washington have shown that robots can also use this phenomenon to learn how to complete a task, according to a new study being presented at the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on...

Exhaust Fumes Derail Dinner For Hungry Moths
2014-06-27 03:34:54

Sandra Hines, University of Washington Car and truck exhaust fumes that foul the air for humans also cause problems for pollinators. In new research on how pollinators find flowers when background odors are strong, University of Washington and University of Arizona researchers have found that both natural plant odors and human sources of pollution can conceal the scent of sought-after flowers. When the calories from one feeding of a flower gets you only 15 minutes of flight, as is...


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'kardia,' heart.
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