science

Backed by $12.5M in federal funding, Univ. of Washington leads new data science institute

Maryam Fazel, a University of Washington electrical and computer engineering professor, will lead the multidisciplinary Institute for Foundations of Data Science (IFDS). Fazel is pictured with colleagues in this 2015 photo. (UW Photo / Patrick Bennett)

With $12.5 million in federal funding, the University of Washington will lead a cohort of institutions tackling foundational challenges in the field of data science.

The UW is teaming up with interdisciplinary researchers from University Wisconsin-Madison, University California-Santa Cruz and University of Chicago to form the Institute for Foundations of Data Science (IFDS). The effort will be led by Maryam Fazel, a UW electrical and computer engineering professor.

The institute marks the culmination of three years of work supported by the National Science Foundation as part of its Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science, or TRIPODS, program. The effort is part of the NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution Big Idea project.

“As data

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Pippa Middlehurst on ‘noodle science’, her new cookery school and finally knowing which soy sauce to buy

Giulia Zonza Photography
Giulia Zonza Photography

At one point or another, most of us in lockdown will have tried out a new recipe – and failed. Perhaps you couldn’t bring your sourdough starter to life, or maybe your hand-cut noodles were too thick, too chewy or too much of a sloppy mess. At the time, you probably weren’t thinking about what was happening on a molecular level. But for cancer research scientist-turned-cook Pippa Middlehurst, “it’s the way my brain understands the world”.

Two years ago, Middlehurst swapped her lab coat for an apron to pursue her love of Asian cooking – and even appeared on and won the first series of Britain’s Best Home Cook on BBC One – but the decision was less a choice of one over the other, and more a merging of two passions. “It sounds silly that there would be so much science involved with noodles,” she tells

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As president, Biden will ‘trust science’: Michelle Obama

Former vice president Joe Biden will “tell the truth and trust science” if he is elected to the White House in November, former First Lady Michelle Obama said on Monday as Democrats kicked off their now-virtual convention.

With the Democratic party poised to officially anoint the 77-year-old Biden as its presidential candidate, President Donald Trump defied coronavirus concerns and staged competing events in Wisconsin and neighboring Minnesota.

Michelle Obama was given the primetime slot on the opening night of the Democratic convention, which was to have been held over four days in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but which is now taking place almost entirely online because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In excerpts of her remarks released ahead of her taped speech, Michelle Obama said Biden was a “terrific vice president” during the eight years he served as her husband Barack Obama’s number two.

“I know Joe. He is a profoundly decent man

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Pippa Middlehurst on ‘noodle science’, her new cookery school and finally knowing which soy sauce to buy

Giulia Zonza Photography
Giulia Zonza Photography

At one point or another, most of us in lockdown will have tried out a new recipe – and failed. Perhaps you couldn’t bring your sourdough starter to life, or maybe your hand-cut noodles were too thick, too chewy or too much of a sloppy mess. At the time, you probably weren’t thinking about what was happening on a molecular level. But for cancer research scientist-turned-cook Pippa Middlehurst, “it’s the way my brain understands the world”.

Two years ago, Middlehurst swapped her lab coat for an apron to pursue her love of Asian cooking – and even appeared on and won the first series of Britain’s Best Home Cook on BBC One – but the decision was less a choice of one over the other, and more a merging of two passions. “It sounds silly that there would be so much science involved with noodles,” she tells

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Some keto evangelists believe vegetable oil is worse than cigarettes, but the science behind the theory doesn’t add up

Brownies vegetable oil pour
Brownies vegetable oil pour

Sydney Kramer/INSIDER

  • Advocates of the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diets have warned against the health risks of vegetable and seed oils, claiming they’re a “dirty” fuel source for the human body. 

  • One keto influencer recently claimed vegetable oils are just as dangerous for health as “smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.”

  • But an expert said there’s no evidence for this claim, and cooking oils can have a wide range of health effects depending on how they’re prepared.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Advocates of keto typically encourage a high-fat diet, but some hardcore “keto evangelists” say it doesn’t count if you use plant-based oils.

If you incorporate processed forms of fat — seed oils, non-organic veggies — you’re engaging in “dirty keto,” according to Ben Azadi, founder of the health coaching site Keto Kamp.

“Keto is very popular, and with the buzz comes a lot

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Worm Joke Causes Science Twitter Flame War Over Accusations of Sexism and Racism

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Science Photo Library / Alamy
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Science Photo Library / Alamy

It was supposed to be a fun activity. On July 18, Ellen Weatherford, co-host of the Just The Zoo of Us podcast, tweeted out a simple question:“What is the most overhyped animal?” The post made the rounds of the loose community of researchers, zookeepers, and wilderness enthusiasts that makes up Science Twitter, a community whose passion often manifests as friendly smack-talk. Answers flowed in: blue whales, lions, penguins. A grand time was had by all. 

Until a day later, when Michael Eisen, editor of eLife—a well-regarded open access scientific journal for the biomedical and life sciences—made a joke about a humble roundworm, thereby cracking open the seventh seal and ushering forth… wormageddon. 

The target of Eisen’s playful ire? A transparent, 1 millimeter-long roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans, which has been the subject of extensive

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Here’s What the Science Actually Says About Kids and COVID-19

Benjamin Knorr, a 40-year-old single father in Janesville, Wisc., says there’s about a 50-50 chance he’ll send his two teenage sons back to school this fall. His 13-year-old, Aiden, would especially like to get back to his friends, sports, and regular life. But Knorr, an independent contractor, has asthma, and fears that his health and finances would be imperiled if one of his boys brought COVID-19 home from school.

“If the numbers go up in Dane County and Rock County, where I work and live, it’s over. We’re just doing the online school,” Knorr says. “We already got through two months of it, and yeah, it was hard. It was stressful. And yeah, it was more work on my part to come home and do the online schooling with them and stuff. But we can’t be homeless.”

As school districts across the United States decide whether to welcome kids back

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Believing in science helps in a pandemic

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday ordered that most classrooms in the state stay closed. <span class="copyright">(Associated Press )</span>
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday ordered that most classrooms in the state stay closed. (Associated Press )

As coronavirus infection rates continue to spike around the country, states and cities are diverging in their response on how to contain the spread of COVID-19.

President Trump and many governors are insisting that public schools reopen for the fall, as is the case in Florida, while other states and regions are adopting a more cautious approach.

Los Angeles and San Diego, for instance, announced last Monday that their public schools would be online only this fall. On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered that most school classrooms in the state stay closed. And he has rolled back the reopening of many businesses and closed indoor dining and social spaces, even as Georgia’s governor rescinded local mask orders.

Political leaders in California have largely had public support for their decisions. One reason

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‘The science should not stand in the way of’ schools fully reopening

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a Thursday press briefing that “science should not stand in the way of” schools fully reopening for the upcoming academic year, later blasting coverage of her comments as a “case study in media bias.”

Asked about President Donald Trump’s message to parents as some schools opt to go fully online in the coming weeks, McEnany said “the president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open.”

“And I was just in the Oval talking to him about that,” she said. “When he says open, he means open in full, kids being able to attend each and every day in their school. The science should not stand in the way of this.”

She added that the U.S. is an “outlier” among western nations in terms of getting kids back to school, adding, “the science is on our side here and we encourage

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‘Science should not stand in the way’ of schools reopening, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says

WASHINGTON – White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday emphasized that schools reopening this fall shouldn’t be contingent on science surrounding coronavirus, but then claimed the “science is on our side here” as the pandemic continues unabated.

In response to a question about what President Donald Trump would say to parents who have kids in school districts that may be online-only, McEnany said: “The president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open. And when he says open, he means open in full, kids been able to attend each and every day at their school.

“The science should not stand in the way of this,” she added, saying it is “perfectly safe” to fully reopen all classrooms. 

A parent’s guide to online school: 9 questions to ask to vet your back-to-school choices

McEnany claimed “science is on our side,” citing one study that said the risk of critical

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