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Tech & Science

People around the world use more than a trillion plastic bags every year. They're made of a notoriously resilient kind of plastic called polyethylene that can take decades to break down.

But a humble worm may hold the key to biodegrading them.

It was an accidental discovery. Scientist and beekeeper Federica Bertocchini was frustrated to find that her beehives were infested with the larvae of Galleria mellonella, commonly known as a wax worm.

science march
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

It rained. 

Interstate 5 was shut down because of downed power lines. 

UW Professor David Montgomery says he'll march for science
Kvasir Society Photo/Joy Mathew

David Montgomery, a science professor and MacArthur Genius award winner at the University of Washington, told KUOW why he's marching for science on Saturday.

The March For Science in Washington, D.C., is happening this Saturday on Earth Day. Smaller science events are happening across the Northwest -- even in conservative southeast Washington.

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce
David Hyde / KUOW Photos

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce says the federal budget cuts being proposed by President Donald Trump would be devastating for science. 

So she's speaking up for science, and she told KUOW's David Hyde that scientists should, too:


Screenshot of a brain hat knitting tutorial by Studio Knit on YouTube
YouTube/Studio Knit

What to wear to a protest march for science?  It's a serious debate on the March for Science, Seattle Facebook page.

A rare total eclipse of the sun will cross the U.S. on the morning of August 21, 2017. It starts on the Oregon coast and then sweeps east. In Oregon, all of the reservable public campsites and most hotels in the so-called "path of totality" were booked up long ago.

Flickr Photo/Marius Strom (CC BY-NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6cXw3o

Bill Radke talks to Nick Zentner, Central Washington University geologist, about how the Northwest landscape got so impressive and what geological wonders we can spot around us. 

Last year only 67 percent of toddlers in Washington state were fully vaccinated by age 3.
Flickr Photo/Gates Foundation (CC BY-NC-ND)

UW philosopher Michael Blake supports a march for science because, he says, basic scientific knowledge is under attack, especially from the right. But Blake told KUOW's David Hyde that liberals are partly to blame, and that the problem goes way beyond science: 


A quick glance around Lake Union and you can tell there’s a lot of science happening in our state. With the Trump administration threatening cuts to research funding, we examined how much money this could mean for Washington state.

First of all, it’s difficult to lasso all the federal dollars going to science. So we zeroed in on two big agencies to get an overview: the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, looking at their reports for the 2016 fiscal year.

Abigail Swann is a professor and climate scientist at the University of Washington
University of Washington / Quinn Russell Brown


University of Washington professor and climate researcher Abigail Swann tells politics reporter David Hyde about why she signed a protest letter directed at EPA chief Scott Pruitt. She also shares a story about the time a border official told her climate science is a hoax:  

A manhunt is under way for a suspect whom Cleveland police say filmed his fatal shooting of an elderly man, in a video that he posted to Facebook.

In a later video, also posted to Facebook on Sunday afternoon, a man purporting to be Steve Stephens, the accused shooter, says he has killed more than a dozen other people. Police have not verified that claim.

Cleveland police have identified the homicide victim from the video as 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr.

Sarah Myhre’s a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Washington.
David Hyde / KUOW Photos

Nicole Baker is a research scientist at the University of Washington who studies the state of global fish stocks. It's not political work. In fact, she's never been an activist and has never participated in a political march in her life. 

But last year when Donald Trump ran for president, Baker got political for the first time. And she says in 2017, something snapped.


Marches and rallies are a common occurrence at the Washington Capitol. But recently Verizon Wireless staged a different kind of demonstration. It was part of an ongoing lobbying effort to get lawmakers to pass industry-friendly legislation. 




Flickr Photo/Intel Free Press

Jeannie Yandel talks to Austin Jenkins, KUOW's Olympia correspondent, about the distracted driving bill that lawmakers have been working on this session and how it would change the current law. 

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