University of Washington

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2016 has been awarded to three theoretical researchers for their insights into the odd behavior of matter in unusual phases, like superconductors, superfluid films and some kinds of magnets.

David J. Thouless receives half the prize, and Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz share the other half. All three used mathematics to explain the the properties of matter in certain states.

Elaine Thompson/ Associated Press / AP Photo

Fire fighters in Washington say the state’s largest ever blaze, the Okanogan Complex, is now nearly contained. Even so, the worst wildfire season ever has put new urgency into efforts to reform forest fire policies. A panel of scientists says it’s clear current practices are not working.

Washington State University

Two Spokane lawmakers submitted bill’s Wednesday to change a nearly century-old state law regarding medical schools.

Republican Senator Michael Baumgartner and Democratic Representative Marcus Riccelli introduced the bills to help Washington State University create its own medical school. The bills would amend a 1917 state law that allows only University of Washington to operate a medical school, and caps the amount of students at 120.

Riccelli’s measure has 60 co-sponsors from the House, which makes a super-majority.

Paige Browning

This week both Washington State University and University of Washington revealed their next moves in developing a Spokane medical school.

UW has asked Gonzaga University to consider a medical education partnership, now that UW and WSU dissolved their Spokane program. GU President Thayne McCulloh says a partnership is not set in stone.

“Gonzaga wants to be an active part of the and we are looking forward to opportunities to talk more broadly about what role Spokane sees Gonzaga playing,” McCulloh says.

Washington State University

This January, Washington State University plans to ask lawmakers for permission to open a medical school in Spokane.

The question is will the University of Washington oppose that effort? It currently runs its own prominent medical school.

WSU President Elson Floyd said his goal is to avoid what one lawmaker has termed the “Apple Cup of medical schools.”

“We are in the process now of negotiating those things so it’s my hope that we’ll be able to present a unified front to the legislature as we go forward next year,” Floyd said.

Paramount Pictures / Youtube

HBO is planning a new six-hour miniseries on the Lewis and Clark expedition. And it's searching the Northwest for one of the most famous and beloved figures in the saga – the role of Sacagawea. 

She was the young Native American mother who helped the Corps of Discovery reach the Pacific. This miniseries may do something previous productions haven't – cast a Native American actress in the role.

Orin Blomberg / Flickr

Washington State University leaders announced plans Wednesday for a medical school in Spokane. School leaders approved the idea last week, which has the University of Washington on edge about its own Spokane program.

Audio Pending...

WSU Board Green Lights New Medical School In Spokane

Sep 12, 2014
Northwest News Network / Northwest News Network

Washington State University's Board of Regents unanimously approved a plan Friday to establish a medical school in Spokane. It has the potential to generate 120 new doctors every year in the Northwest. But the move also tees up a fight between Washington's two largest public universities.

The University of Washington in Seattle is currently the state's only public medical school.

But WSU Spokane chancellor Lisa Brown says the program just isn't enough to satisfy the shortage of doctors.

Both the University of Washington and Washington State University are prepared to deal with students who have been impacted by the Oso landslide.

Northwest Biologists Say Preserving Predators Is Critical

Jan 13, 2014
Stephen & Claire Farnsworth/Flickr

In a paper published in the journal Science Thursday, biologists with University of Washington and Oregon State University make the case for protecting carnivores. They say that two thirds of the world’s largest predators are threatened. And losing them could trigger a cascade of effects.

Rennett Stowe / Creative Commons

Tribal leaders from the Northwest and from around the country had the opportunity today to tell the Obama Administration what they want in the coming year. The White House convened what has become an annual conference with Native American tribes. A University of Washington law school professor will be giving advice all year long thanks to his appointment to a new Justice Department advisory panel. Ron Whitener says the group is specifically looking at violence faced by American Indian children.


A commercial submarine operator is teaming up with the University of Washington to build a new, manned deep sea sub. The five passenger mini-sub could be available for charter by oil companies or researchers beginning in 2016. 

Greg Schechte, GregTheBusker

Way up in the mountains of the Northwest you’ll find a little amphibian known as the Cascades Frog. This frog thrives in alpine wetlands, which are dependent on snowmelt. But snowpacks are decreasing across the West. And scientists are trying to figure out how the frogs will adapt to their shrinking habitat. And they’re using some pretty interesting research methods to do that.

John Ryan

About 30 times a year, a surgery patient in Washington state has a sponge or surgical instrument left inside them. It’s one of the most commonly reported medical mistakes.

If you’re booked into a King County jail, you’ll stay an extra month, on average, if immigration officials want to review your file. That’s even if you haven’t been charged with a crime. This is one of the findings in a new report today from the University of Washington.

The Northwest's public universities pull in massive amounts of federal research dollars. It totaled $1 billion last year at the University of Washington. Oregon State University won close to $200 million in federal research funds. The University of Idaho is counting on $100 million this year. So it's no surprise that university administrators are hanging on every scrap of news about imminent automatic federal budget cuts.

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

Parts of Washington and Oregon are in the midst of silent earthquakes this week. You can't feel this so-called "slow slip" quake and it doesn't cause damage. Still, scientists want to learn more about the recently discovered phenomenon.

highdesertbruin (Top) and Ray Terrell / Flickr

Saturday the Oregon State Beavers take on the Washington State Cougars at home in Corvallis. Then a couple hours later, the Oregon Ducks play the University of Washington Huskies in Eugene. The two games will bring a lot of traffic. Officials are urging fans to have a game plan.