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University of Washington

Computers

3D animation tech puts other peoples' words in celebrities' mouths

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) recently demonstrated how 3D video images of Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig and several other celebrities could be created by piecing together still images and sound bites retrieved from the internet. They also showed how their algorithms could animate those digital models, getting them to say things that were actually said by someone else. Read More

Physics

First liquid-cooling laser could advance biological research

In a world where lasers are sci-fi's weapon of choice for melting away an enemy spaceship (sometimes even translating to the real world), researchers at the University of Washington have swum against the current and produced the first laser capable of cooling liquids. The technology could be especially useful for slowing down single cells and allow scientists to study biological processes as they happen.Read More

Electronics

HyperCam would let you see the unseen

Because regular cameras just process visible light, the images that they produce look like what we see with our own eyes. By contrast, hyperspectral cameras process additional wavelengths, showing us things that we wouldn't otherwise be able to see. Unfortunately, they also tend to be big, expensive, and thus limited to scientific or industrial applications. That could be about to change, however, as scientists from the University of Washington and Microsoft Research are creating a compact, inexpensive consumer hyperspectral camera. It may even find its way into your smartphone.Read More

Biology

Researchers simulate what "bionic sight" may look like

It's easy to imagine bionic sight as crystal clear and even enhanced, like the augmented body parts in science fiction. But the reality could be very, very different for a typical bionic eye recipient. Researchers at the University of Washington developed visual simulations that indicate what the world might look like to people with retinal implants. The resulting images are, in a word, blurry.Read More

Medical

Smartphone app promises cheap, easy and accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea

And so the emerging value of smartphones as a tool for diagnosing various medical conditions continues to grow. Recent advances have raised the possibility of using phones to detect ailments like ear infections, cervical cancer, HIV and syphilis. Now, researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have created an app they claim can detect sleep apnea with similar accuracy to available methods, potentially removing the need for expensive equipment and overnight hospital stays. Read More

Medical

Injectable polymer curbs blood loss by strengthening clots

With uncontrolled bleeding the major cause of deaths on the battlefield, researchers at the University of Washington have developed an injectable polymer that could stem bleeding and provide extra time to get the injured to medical care. Called PolySTAT, the new polymer stems blood loss by strengthening blood clots.Read More

Science

Scientists use football fans to test earthquake detection equipment

When sports fans get really excited it seems like there's an earthquake – and scientists don't want to let that phenomenon go to waste. As the American football teams the Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers faced off in Seattle on the weekend, University of Washington seismologists with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) planted seismographs to study the fanmade "earthquake" caused as a way of testing new sensors and software. Read More

Science

Direct brain-to-brain interface between humans improved

Direct brain-to-brain communication has been a long-held ambition of scientists and science fiction fans alike. Recently, University of Washington (UW) researchers brought that ambition a step closer to reality by successfully conducting a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of volunteers over the internet by transmitting signals from one person’s brain to another to directly govern the motions of the receiving person’s hand. Read More

Energy

University of Washington fusion reactor promises "cheaper than coal" energy

In the 21st century, the world lives with two futures ahead of it – one of looming energy shortages, and another of godlike energy abundance. The key to this whether it’s possible to turn fusion reactor technology from a laboratory exercise into a real-world application. Engineers that the University of Washington are working on a fusion reactor that, when scaled up, could produce energy on a practical scale, yet at a cost rivaling that of a conventional coal-powered plant.Read More

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