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University of Washington articles

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Children talk to technology, but how does it respond?

Children talk to technology, but how does it respond?
A University of Washington study shows how children respond to voice-activated technologies, often treating a device as a conversation partner. The study suggests that devices could be more responsive to children by prompting and filling in gaps in communication. For such popular household technology, that’s a missed opportunity to reach every member of the family, a new University of Washington study finds.
7th August 2018

Battery-free cellphone harvests ambient power

Battery-free cellphone harvests ambient power
University of Washington researchers have invented a cellphone that requires no batteries - a major leap forward in moving beyond chargers, cords and dying phones. Instead, the phone harvests the few microwatts of power it requires from either ambient radio signals or light. The team also made Skype calls using its battery-free phone, demonstrating that the prototype made of commercial, off-the-shelf components can receive and transmit speech and communicate with a base station.
6th July 2017

One step closer to regeneration in humans

One step closer to regeneration in humans
What if humans could regrow an amputated arm or leg, or completely restore nervous system function after a spinal cord injury? A new study of one of our closest invertebrate relatives, the acorn worm, reveals that this feat might one day be possible. Acorn worms burrow in the sand around coral reefs, but their ancestral relationship to chordates means they have a genetic makeup and body plan surprisingly similar to ours.
29th November 2016


Screening for blood conditions without needle sticks

Screening for blood conditions without needle sticks
In the developing world, anemia—a blood condition exacerbated by malnutrition or parasitic disease—is a staggeringly common health problem that often goes undiagnosed. In hospitals everywhere, children and adults with leukemia and other disorders require frequent blood draws to determine if they need blood transfusions. In both cases, doctors are interested in measuring hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells.
12th September 2016

Imaging software predicts how you will look in the future

Imaging software predicts how you will look in the future
When we go to the hair stylist, we can browse magazines with pictures of models and point to a photo we'd like to try. Actors change appearances all the time to fit a role. Missing people are often disguised by changing their hair color and style. But how can we predict if an appearance change will look good without physically trying it? Or explore what missing children might look like if their appearance is changed?
22nd July 2016

Microscopy method improved to bring fine details into view

Microscopy method improved to bring fine details into view
Scientists from the University of Washington recently reported a relatively simple method that would allow ordinary laboratory microscopes to illuminate many of cellular structures quickly and efficiently. They did not modify microscopes to boost resolution. Instead, they used an approach to swell the tiny, complex structures within cells, bringing them within range of a microscope's existing resolving range.
12th July 2016

Five-fingered robot hand gets a grip of its self

Five-fingered robot hand gets a grip of its self
Robots today can perform space missions, solve a Rubik’s cube, sort hospital medication and even make pancakes. But most can’t manage the simple act of grasping a pencil and spinning it around to get a solid grip. Intricate tasks that require dexterous in-hand manipulation — rolling, pivoting, bending, sensing friction and other things humans do effortlessly with our hands — have proved notoriously difficult for robots.
10th May 2016

Sensing tool measures lung function over a phone call

Sensing tool measures lung function over a phone call
Most people in the developing world who have asthma, cystic fibrosis or other chronic lung diseases have no way to measure how well their lungs are functioning outside of a clinic or doctor visit. But many do have access to a phone, though it may be a 10-year-old flip phone or a communal village landline instead of the latest app-driven smartphone.
3rd May 2016

Technique could store digital data using DNA molecules

Technique could store digital data using DNA molecules
A technique developed by University of Washington and Microsoft researchers could shrink the space needed to store digital data that today would fill a supermarket down to the size of an ice cube. The team of computer scientists and electrical engineers has detailed one of the first complete systems to encode, store and retrieve digital data using DNA molecules, which can store information millions of times more compactly than current archival technologies.
8th April 2016

Ultrathin semiconductor heterostructures for new technologies

Ultrathin semiconductor heterostructures for new technologies
Heterostructures formed by different three-dimensional semiconductors form the foundation for modern electronic and photonic devices. Now, University of Washington scientists have successfully combined two different ultrathin semiconductors - each just one layer of atoms thick and roughly 100,000 times thinner than a human hair - to make a new two-dimensional heterostructure with potential uses in clean energy and optically-active electronics.
15th February 2016


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