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University of Washington

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the prophylactic use of the antiviral d...

While there are many methods for preventing HIV transmission that work in principle (abstinence, safe sex, monogamy to some extent), in practice efforts to prevent new HIV infections have reached a plateau - about 50 thousand new cases are reported every year in the United States and no progress has been made on reducing this number for at least 15 years, with the overall rate of infection remaining stable since at least 2004. In response to the almost complete lack of effective prevention methods, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has now approved the prophylactic use of the anti-retroviral combination drug Truvada, to reduce the risk of people acquiring HIV.  Read More

Engineered microvessels can form bends and T-junctions, like this one. The blue dots are t...

A team of bioengineers at the University of Washington has developed the first structure for growing small human blood vessels in the laboratory. The vessels behave remarkably like those in a living human and offer a better and much more modular approach to studying blood-related diseases, testing drugs and, one day, growing human tissues for transplant.  Read More

A drop of liquid sits on the textured silicon surface that has arced rungs to guide the dr...

Lately we’re hearing more and more about tiny medical and environmental diagnostic devices, that can perform a variety of tests using very small fluid samples. Working with such small samples does present a challenge, however – how do you thoroughly mix tiny amounts of different fluids, or wrangle individual drops for analysis? According to a team of scientists from the University of Washington, the answer lies in the lotus leaf.  Read More

HD 189733 b transiting its parent star, the 8th magnitude HD 189733 (Image: NASA/JPL-Calte...

Today's weather on HD 189733 b: It will be hazy with high wispy clouds. The wind will be steady from the east at speeds approaching 6000 miles per hour. Daytime temperatures will average a balmy 800 degrees C (1,472 degrees F), while the equatorial hot spot at 30 degrees longitude is expected to top 900 degrees C (1,652 degrees F). But, there is a high chance of silicate snow showers, with accumulations expected except in the vicinity of the hot spot.  Read More

Three of the Raven II surgical robots (Photo: UW)

A couple of years ago, the Willow Garage robotics company gave ten of its PR2 robots away to deserving research groups. The idea behind the project was that these groups would use the PR2s for robotics research, then share their discoveries with each other, thus advancing the field farther than would be possible if they each had to build their own unique robots from scratch. Now, a similar but unrelated project is underway, and this time the robots are designed specifically to perform surgery.  Read More

Microsoft and the University of Washington are developing an electronic contact lens that ...

We've heard of experimental contact lenses that can non-invasively monitor the blood sugar levels of diabetes sufferers before, but where prior research relied on chemical reactions inducing color-change in the lens, new joint research by the University of Washington and Microsoft Research aims to incorporate electronics into such lenses to report blood sugar levels wirelessly. Gizmag spoke to Desney Tan, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research Connections, to find out what sets this work apart.  Read More

Scientists have created a contact lens that can can project an image onto the wearer's ret...

Fans of the original film in the Terminator franchise will recall how various bits of data were shown to be overlaid on the cyborg's vision - in particular, they might remember the list of possible responses that could be used when someone was angrily knocking on its door (for those who don't remember, its chosen response wasn't very polite). Such augmented vision systems are now a little closer to reality, thanks to work being done by a team of scientists at the University of Washington and Aalto University, in Finland. They have created a contact lens that displays information, which is visible to the wearer.  Read More

Squids have provided the key ingredient for a proton-conducting transistor, that may allow...

When it comes to sending and receiving information, man-made devices utilize negatively-charged particles commonly known as electrons. Biological systems such as human bodies, on the other hand, use protons via positively charged hydrogen atoms or ions. This would indicate that there is something of a language barrier, when we try to develop electronic devices that can communicate with living systems. That barrier could be on its way down, however, as scientists from the University of Washington have developed a transistor that can conduct pulses of protons - and they've done it with some help from our friends the cephalopods.  Read More

Players of the online game Foldit have helped determine the structure of an enzyme, which ...

It was a puzzle that had thwarted scientists for almost a decade, but a collection of gamers was able to solve it in just three weeks. What the scientists wanted to know was the structure of retroviral proteases, a class of enzymes that play a key part in the maturation and proliferation of the AIDS virus. The mystery was crowd-sourced to the gaming community within an existing online game known as Foldit, by researchers from the University of Washington. The game challenges players to collaborate and compete in predicting the structure of protein molecules.  Read More

A University of Washington study has found hazardous chemicals from scented laundry produc...

Recent research from the University of Washington (UW) has revealed that freshly-scented laundry comes with an unexpected price. In the first study to examine dryer vent exhaust, fragrance components in some of the best-selling liquid clothing detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets were found to infuse the vented air with a veritable rogue's gallery of hazardous pollutants, including two known carcinogens.  Read More

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