UW professor explains the complexity behind Amazon’s HQ2

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While a job boost of 50,000 seems appealing at first glance to any metropolitan city, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

At the beginning of this month, Amazon announced it is scoping for new places to build its second campus. This means cities across the U.S. and Canada are submitting applications and bids.

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[Jeffrey] Shulman has a “Seattle Growth Podcast” with 13 episodes so far where he interviews Seattle residents, business leaders, and government officials to cover the opportunities and challenges of a city brimming with tech behemoths. Of all his interviews, he most frequently hears about issues with Seattle’s transportation system.

“A lot of people are feeling the crunch that comes with new people getting to work,” Shulman said. Seattle ranks third among the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas for the rate of growth for mega-commuters. From 2010 to 2015, census data show the number of 90-minute commuters rose by 72 percent.

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UW creates affordable housing for employees

The UW recently announced it will build 150 to 200 affordable housing units, with priority given to UW faculty and staff, by 2021.

The building stages are just beginning, however. The UW has yet to choose a developer, make design or construction plans, and decide financials. The university has chosen a site: Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 42nd Street, a property they already own. Though tentative, the UW is also looking athousing and services for homeless youth and childcare.

How affordable is “affordable?” Only those who make 60 percent or less of Area Median Income (AMI), which is currently $57,600 or less for a family of four, can live there. The AMI is subject to change once the housing is available in 2021.

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Trump just removed DACA, here’s what that means for undocumented students

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Students, faculty, alumni and community members participate in a university-wide walkout protesting the inequity of the UW back in May 2016. Protesters demanded their voices be heard in an effort to end institutional racism and decolonize education for people of color. (Photo by Yemas Le)

It has been rumored since Thursday that President Donald Trump planned to remove Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and now what many nonprofits and undocumented people feared has become true.

The Department of Homeland Security said it will stop processing first-time applicants for DACA today. But DACA recipients, or Dreamers, who would’ve otherwise renewed their status over the next six months still can, but have to apply by Oct. 5.

When it comes to the UW campus, however, UW President Ana Mari Cauce — whose parents were immigrants — made it clear where the UW stands in her press release today.

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Joint pain based on weather condition ruled a farce

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Illustration by Madeline Kernan

UW and Harvard researchers utilized Google Trends — a feature of the website for data and other visualizations — to figure if, once and for all, weather affects joint pain. Researchers found the data was mixed.

Scientists believe the key factors behind joint pain and weather conditions actually have to do with physical activity. That’s a hypothesis for another study, however.

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UW tenured professor fired

Trigger warning: sexual harassment and vulgar/racist language included.

In an unprecedented turn of events, the UW fired microbiology professor Michael Katze after two investigations into his misuse of university funds and sexual harassment. He gained tenure at the UW in 2009, a time at which Katze already had numerous complaints against him on record.

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Brainiacs on the brain

UW team publishes first power-efficient brain stimulators preventing tremors

Six researchers, engineers, and medical professionals have proved there’s a way to save battery power for patients using Deep Brain Stimulators (DBS), which use a pulse generator in someone’s chest that sends electricity up through a cord to specific parts of the brain.

DBS are primarily used by patients with essential tremor (ET), or involuntary shaking. This shaking happens only during deliberate tasks, however, like writing, eating, and drinking. But current DBS implants are always on, draining battery even while people are sleeping. This means more surgeries for replacement batteries, and researchers wanted to change this.

Howard Chizeck, one of the co-authors of the research, had been working on neural engineering to restore motor functions since 1981. His work expands more than just ETs, including things like Parkinson’s disease, strokes, and paralysis.

“In this project, my motivation was to see what can be done with existing, off-the-shelf technology,” Chizeck said. “A key issue is that if this works, it can get to clinical use quickly.”