UW undergrads win world title in ‘synthetic biology’

The University of Washington may be losing on the gridiron. But get the UW’s tops geeks in the lab, and there’s no stopping them from rolling over the competition. A team of 23 UW undergrads — spanning departments in biochemistry, microbiology, bioengineering, materials science and computer science – just took home the top honor in the… Read More

Naveen Jain

Naveen Jain: Innovation can solve the world’s problems

Naveen Jain has spent the bulk of his entrepreneurial career developing Internet search technologies, from the early days at InfoSpace to the founding of online background check service Intelius. But Jain is now putting his time (and money) into very different pursuits, including space travel and digital health. In fact, Jain is now promoting the “Digital… Read More

Blue Origin test rocket

Jeff Bezos-backed space company plans rocket test

Blue Origin, the secretive aerospace company bankrolled by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, is planning a rocket test today high over the west Texas desert. According to a directive from the Federal Aviation Administration, airspace today has been cleared up to 18,000 feet above sea level “due to rocket launch activity.” The Register uncovered the document,… Read More


Digitizing the night sky … inside the UW’s planetarium

It’s a quiet, sunny summer afternoon at the University of Washington’s physics-astronomy complex. But inside the hushed, empty auditorium building, Jake VanderPlas has turned off the lights and shut us inside the recently renovated planetarium. Jake’s a friend and a fellow UW grad student (a 5th-year Ph.D. candidate in astronomy) who studies, among other cool… Read More

Cliff Mass (Photo credit: UW)

Q&A: Weather guru Cliff Mass on science, math, Carl Sagan, coastal radar … and whatever else he wants to talk about

Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, found himself in a tempest of a different sort last week after KUOW-FM in Seattle discontinued his weekly weather segments. KUOW “Weekday” host Steve Scher explained in a note to listeners that he made the decision after Mass “began inserting his opinion on a… Read More


Western Washington Provost: Computer science department needs to step up to the future

Western Washington University Provost Catherine Riordan says she hasn’t made a final decision about the fate of the university’s computer science department. But Riordan says everything is on the table as the university deals with budget cuts, telling GeekWire today that Western is “leaving the door open for any kind of outcome.” In an interview,… Read More

The Full Fuselage Trainer, headed to Seattle

Getting to know our Space Shuttle consolation prize

OK, so we didn’t get one of the real Space Shuttles. But the thing we got looks a lot like one, if you don’t mind the lack of wings. Real-life astronauts trained in it. And hey, we get to walk around inside! That, at least, was the conciliatory message from Seattle’s Museum of Flight today,… Read More


Nuclear fallout? Skip the tin foil, grab a cookie sheet

Seattle startup guru Mike Koss of Startpad.org was watching news coverage of the crisis in Japan when he noticed people holding large sheets of cardboard over their heads, covered in tin foil, presumably hoping to protect themselves from radioactive fallout. Which raised an interesting question in his mind: Would that work? As he explains in… Read More