Discoveries, breakthroughs and data

From researchers at the University of Washington.

Conservation won’t keep you healthy

If you thought conservation projects that protect forests and encourage a diversity of plants and animals will benefit human health, think again. The fact is, it won’t protect humans from infectious disease, according to a study led by Chelsea Wood, assistant professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. “Conservation is not a disease-control tool,” she explains. “Urbanization is good for people’s health.” Read more.

The plague of stereotypes

When you think of a 6-year-old child, what comes to mind? A wide-eyed kid eager to learn. Not someone harboring stereotypes. But the fact is, first-graders already embrace stereotypes that boys are better than girls at robotics and computer programming. “If a girl thinks that boys are going to better than girls at robotics and programming, she might think, ‘Why should I put myself out there,’” says Allison Master, research scientist with the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. Read more.

Transgender and serving in the military

Transgender people make up a small percentage of active-duty U.S. military personnel but their experience in the service may yield long-term, positive effects on their mental health and quality of life. So says a School of Social Work research study that is part of a national, groundbreaking longitudinal study of older LGBT adults. One study estimates about 134,000 transgender veterans in the U.S. Read more.

The payoff of private school

If states provided financial incentives to attend private colleges over comparable public schools, states could increase college graduation rates and save money. That’s the finding of a report by William M. Zumeta, professor of public policy and higher education in the College of Education. For a large number of students, receiving as little as $1,000 in extra state aid would help them get through private school and save the state government money.

Photograph your food, lose weight

That tantalizing Instagram photo of your lunch not only can make your friends jealous. It also can help you eat healthy and lose weight. It’s even more effective than keeping a journal of the food you consume. “The benefit of photos is that it’s more fun to do than taking out a booklet or typing hundreds of words of descriptions in an app,” explains Christina Chung, a doctoral student in human centered design and engineering who was the lead author in the study. Read more.