UW|360 February 2014
Story 1. “Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by human activities comes back into the ocean. Increasing the carbon dioxide in the ocean lowers its pH, making it more corrosive.Ocean acidification on the Washington coast and in Puget Sound may have long-lasting impacts on the environment; corrosive waters are a threat to the local shellfish industry right now. In 2013 the Washington State legislature appropriated $1.8M to establish the Washington Ocean Acidification Center at the UW. Co-directed by Jan Newton and Terri Klinger, the center’s mission is to improve forecasts of where and when corrosive waters may occur and to create mitigation strategies. ”
Story 2. Chuck Murry is working on regenerating heart tissue—the idea being that, if you can regenerate heart cells, you could (some day) insert them in a failing heart and have them take over lost function. Dr. Murry and his colleagues have made heart cells beat in a petri dish; they’ve been experimenting in inserting the cells in volunteers waiting for heart transplants.
Story 3 In Washington state’s first study to examine driver use of electronic devices, UW investigators saw that more than 8 percent of drivers were engaging with such devices behind the wheel, higher than previously estimated. Among those driving distracted, nearly half (45 percent) were observed testing These findings suggest that distracted driving is more common than we thought and that texting has become a major cause of distraction,” said Dr. Beth Ebel, principal investigator with UW Medicine’s Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and UW associate professor of pediatric
Story 4 Formerly homeless youth living on the streets of Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, who after a harrowing experience with a flesh-eating disease, was inspired to pursue nursing. Eric Seitz, a first-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student (BSN), woke up on Thanksgiving day 2009 in Harborview Medical Center, where he had been in a coma for a month. The doctors told his family he had a 5% chance of living, and a 50% chance of losing both limbs. After 3 months of hospitalization and therapy, he left the hospital and began to pursue pre-reqs for nursing school. He was accepted to the UW School of Nursing last year and began the program this fall. He’s also volunteered with medial organizations world-wide, including Africa and South America, where he worked with a mobile surgery unit to provide care to rural neighborhoods. He hopes to work in global/ public health and help others see that they can stop the cycle of homelessness and drug use and make their own dreams come true.He has an incredible story and is very compelling and engaging—I’ve spoken with him already about the possibility of getting some media attention for his story and the work he hopes to do in the future. Let me know if you have any thoughts or want to talk about this further.
Story Five Two researchers at the University of Washington have managed to pull off something right out of a sci-fi story: one used his brain to control the body of another.