Three spacefliers, including first Emirati in orbit, return to Earth from space station

Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates is carried to a medical tent shortly after he and fellow spacefliers Nick Hague and Alexei Ovchinin landed in their Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. (NASA Photo / Bill Ingalls) Today’s landing of a Soyuz spacecraft in Kazakhstan brought one of the shortest recent stays on the International Space Station to an end, as part of a plan for one of the longest stays. The first representative of the United Arab Emirates to fly in space, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, was part of the returning trio, along with NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russia’s Alexey Ovchinin. All three seemed… Read More

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First look: Inside Google Cloud’s new Seattle campus — right across the street from Amazon

Inside the lobby of Google Cloud’s new building in Seattle, which officially opened Thursday. (GeekWire Photo / James Thorne) Google and Amazon are getting cozy in downtown Seattle. Google Cloud on Thursday officially opened up the first portion of its new campus in South Lake Union, adding 600,000 feet of real estate to the company’s Seattle-area footprint. The offices will employ teams working on projects like Google Cloud, Android, Maps and Chrome. Gov. Jay Inslee is scheduled to speak at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, during which the search giant will announce a $1 million grant to William Booth Center, a men’s homeless shelter run by the Salvation Army in Seattle that… Read More

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Univ. of Washington gets $50M gift to create brain health institute

Dr. Jürgen Unützer, acting scientific director of the Institute for Brain Health Solutions. (Scott Areman / UW Medicine Photo) The University of Washington is putting a $50 million philanthropic donation toward a new institute that will research and develop treatments for brain disorders. Called the Institute for Brain Health Solutions, the center will focus on three main areas over the next five years: cognitive aging and brain health, the effects of physical and emotional trauma on the brain, and the treatment of addiction. “What we’ve learned over the last decade is that brain health and mental health problems are the single largest drivers of poor health, of health-related disability, not… Read More

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Seattle tech execs fund ‘Opportunity Zone’ housing, harnessing Republican tax breaks

A rendering of the Canton Lofts project. (Nitze-Stagen Image) Real estate developers are breaking ground on Canton Lofts in Seattle on Oct. 15, an apartment building in Pioneer Square targeting middle-class singles and couples. The 80 or so future residents will move into a neighborhood in transition. Emblems of the past and harbingers of the future fill the blocks that extend from Seattle’s International District to the former site of the Alaskan Way Viaduct — a soon-to-be redeveloped waterfront. Startup incubators, co-working spaces, and established tech companies such as PayScale and RealSelf are within a 10-block radius of Canton Lofts; historic Seattle landmarks, decades-old dive bars, and resources for the… Read More

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2019 GeekWire Summit FAQ: Here’s what you need to know for our annual tech conference

The venture capital panel at the 2017 GeekWire Summit. This year, the panel returns with four amazing venture capitalists who will discuss economic and investment trends. (GeekWire Photo). The 2019 GeekWire Summit is just a few days away. After months of planning, we’re thrilled that more than 800 business, tech, media and government leaders will join us for the annual conference, taking place in downtown Seattle on Oct. 7-9. Now in its eighth year, the GeekWire Summit is one of the premier technology events in the country, exploring what’s next in the innovation economy and discussing big technological trends that will shape society — everything from artificial intelligence to the… Read More

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Univ. of Washington spinout Icosavax raises $51M to fight viruses with computer-designed vaccines

Icosavax creates virus-like particles with technology licensed from the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design. (Icosavax Photo) Seattle-based biotech startup Icosavax today scored $51 million in funding to create vaccines from artificial viruses. The Series A financing was led by Qiming Venture Partners USA along with Adams Street Partners, Sanofi Ventures and NanoDimension. Most vaccines train the body to protect against disease using biological agents — often using a harmless form of the disease they want to protect against. Icosavax, a University of Washington spinout, is approaching the problem a bit differently. The startup is creating virus-like particles (VLPs) that are designed on computers with technology licensed from the… Read More

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Delta updates app with new features, including security wait times being tested at Sea-Tac

The new Fly Delta app shows security wait times at airports. (Delta Image) Travelers in airport security lines staring at their phones could very well end up learning how long they’ll be standing there thanks to a feature that estimates wait times in the updated Fly Delta app. The airline is testing the security wait time feature in just two markets — at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Travelers leaving those locations can compare checkpoint times for Sky Priority, TSA Pre-Check, CLEAR and standard TSA lines. Here are some of the other features being rolled out as part of the updated Fly Delta app. Some of them… Read More

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EarthRanger program widens its focus from elephant killers to cross-species diplomacy

An elephant herd makes its way through the Serengeti in East Africa. (Vulcan / EarthRanger Photo) Three years ago, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen backed a project called the Great Elephant Census that highlighted a crisis for Africa’s elephant population, brought about primarily by illegal poaching. Allen passed away nearly a year ago at the age of 65, but the software-based successor to that project, known as EarthRanger, lives on. What’s more, EarthRanger has adapted to dramatic changes — not only in the challenges facing Africa’s endangered elephants, but also in the way old and new technologies are being used to address those challenges. “I think the most important thing that’s… Read More

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Is there an Echo in beer? Seattle artist turns Amazon smart speaker into Rainier can

Rudy Willingham’s Amazon Echo smart speaker as a Rainier Beer can. (Instagram Photo / Rudy Willingham) Amazon’s Alexa may very well be a teetotaler, but she sure dresses the part of a beer lover. At least that’s the case in a new creation from Rudy Willingham, the Seattle artist who has gained a following on Instagram with his unique look at the world. Willingham posted an image Wednesday of an Echo smart speaker re-skinned as a large Rainier Beer can. One photo showed the Echo in its natural state, with Rainier “label” printouts nearby. Another photo showed the completed can. The blue ring at the top of the Echo was… Read More

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Washington State Univ. spinout Dewey Scientific raises $1.25M to cultivate better cannabis buds

(Robert Baker / Unsplash Photo) Dewey Scientific, a new startup that spun out of Washington State University, has taken in $1.25 million in seed funding from unnamed private investors to create genetically superior marijuana and hemp strains. Dr. Jordan Zager. (Dewey Scientific Photo) “Dewey Scientific’s team is applying sophisticated scientific principles to develop genetically stable hybrid seed for hardier, more consistent and higher-yielding cannabis crops,” Dewey CEO Dr. Jordan Zager said in a statement. The company hopes to bring to cannabis farmers the same scientific advancements that the rest of the agricultural world already enjoys. To accomplish that, it uses traditional breeding methods alongside genomics and data science tools. “While… Read More

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