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In the Headlines

April 2014

USA Today (April 24)

Naked mole rat study nets N.Y. researcher $9.5 million

Vera GorbunovaThe naked mole rat might not be known for its good looks, but this tiny rodent has turned into a cash cow for researchers. A five-year, $9.5 million federal grant has been awarded to University of Rochester biology professor Vera Gorbunova to head up a project studying why this creature has such longevity — an average life span of 32 years. "We hope to come out with strategies to delay human aging," said Gorbunova, who has been on the UR faculty since 2004.

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 13WHAM-TV, WXXI News, WFMY News 2, WBIR NBC )

New York Times (April 2)

Student of History Is Making Some

man's face superimposed over Museum exterior"Now I have an aesthetic judgment that refuses it," Mr. (Darby) English noted, "but at the time it was paradise. I had a basement all to myself. I exercised. I had Martina Navratilova VHS tapes, which I wore out. My milieu growing up was always upper-middle class." A teenage aesthete who attended an all-male prep school, he read the poetry of James Merrill and made frequent trips to the Cleveland Museum of Art, where he wound up as an intern. He earned his Ph.D. in visual and cultural studies at the University of Rochester, and his dissertation eventually grew into a book, "How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness" (MIT Press, 2007).

Rochester Business Journal (April 1)

Wegman foundation gives $17 million to UR

four men applauding at a podiumThe University of Rochester has received $17 million from the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation for two major projects, the university announced Tuesday. The foundation gave a $10 million lead gift for the Institute for Data Science and a $7 million gift to support the Golisano Childrens Hospital. In recognition of the gift, the Institute for Data Science's building will bear the Wegmans name, UR officials said. With the gift, the total contributions from the foundation to UR have reached $20 million, UR officials noted.

(Also reported in: Inside Philanthropy, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Time Warner Cable, 13WHAM-TV, WHAM 1180, WHEC-TV, WROC-TV, WXXI, Newsday, Wall Street Journal, )

USA Today (April 21)

Study shows long-term damage from repeated head hits

Repeated blows to the head common in sports or combat cause structural damage to the brain that fails to clear up even after a rest period of six months, according to a small study that looked at college football players. "The concern is that a subsequent season will lead to cumulative brain injury," says Jeffrey Bazarian, lead author and an associate professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. "The concern is that it just adds up." The study at the University of Rochester of 10 members of its football team found that each suffered from 431 to 1,850 head hits in the course of a single season. The hits were tabulated by helmet gauges the players wore.

(Also reported in: WHEC 10 NBC, Science Daily, KSWO, WATE ABC, WEEK NBC, WNYT NBC, U.S. News & World Report, Fox News, Yahoo! News, 13WHAM-TV, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle,, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Time Warner Cable News, WXXI, WROC-TV, WHAM 1180, Biocompare )

Los Angeles Times (April 15)

Best Translated Book Awards finalists announced

book covers: Seibo There Below, and The Guest in the WoodTranslating a book is arduous and notoriously low-paid work. It's a labor of love for most. With a few blockbuster exceptions (think Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Haruki Murakami) publishers don't make much, if any money from the translated titles they offer. That's one reason why just 3% of the books published in the U.S. are works of translation. So the Best Translated Book Awards, organized by the University of Rochester, are especially sweet for the people who translate and publish such works. The 20 finalists include multiple works published by New Directions, the Brooklyn-based nonprofit publisher Archipelago Books, and Zephyr Press of Brookline, Mass.

(Also reported in: U.S. News & World Report, ABC News, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Newsday, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon News, Washington Post, Charlotte Observer, Exponent Telegram, Yorkton This Week, FOX 12 Oregon,, New York Times, Salon, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, San Diego Union Tribune )

BBC (April 7)

Aggression from video games studied

anxious guy playing video gameFeelings of aggression after playing video games are more likely to be linked to gameplay mechanics rather than violent content, a study suggests. Researchers carried out a range of tests, including making a non-violent version of popular game Half-Life 2. Games modified to have counter-intuitive, frustrating controls - leading to feelings of incompetence - produced more aggressive reactions. The team called for more sophisticated research into violent gaming. Co-author Prof Richard Ryan, from the University of Rochester, said: "The study is not saying that violent content doesn't affect gamers, but our research suggests that people are not drawn to playing violent games in order to feel aggressive. "Rather, the aggression stems from feeling not in control or incompetent while playing.

(Also reported in: WXXI, WROC-TV, WHEC-TV, Science Daily, The Register, Businessweek, TechDirt, Rochester City Newspaper )

Huffington Post (April 22)

Sleep Is the Rodney Dangerfield of Health: It Gets No Respect | Lloyd Glauberman, Ph.D.

man sleeping with mouth openDespite the public relations problem that sleep has, I held out hope that a piece of research would appear that would grab people's attention and place sleep alongside diet and exercise on health's Mount Rushmore. In October of 2013, I thought it finally happened. A research study published in Science reported a remarkable discovery -- during sleep, the brain cleans itself! It appears that while we're sleeping, the space between brain cells increases and cerebrospinal fluid pores in and fills these spaces. "It's like a dishwasher," Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Rochester and an author of the study told NPR. This incredible mechanism clears all the waste products that accumulate during the day including beta amyloid protein, the sticky substance that is implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

England Daily Mail (April 4)

Now that's using his noodle: Chinese high school student wins place at top New York university after impressing tutors by writing about his love of ramen

Ramen noodelsA Chinese high school student has won a place to study at a prestigious New York university after impressing tutors by writing about his love for instant noodles. Xinghan Wang, 18, a senior student at Fuzhou No. 1 Middle School in Fujian province, was accepted by the University of Rochester after describing how his world vision had changed after tasting the snack. Jonathan Burdick, Vice Provost and Dean of College Admission, explained: 'Our applicant (who is high-achieving in many ways) wrote his humorous creative essay about being a fat kid (a "meatball" ) on his first day on the basketball team, with dreams of being the next Nate Robinson. 'But the ramen was the detail that stuck with the first reader that we decided to reference in our offer of admission.'

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

Champion Magazine (April 24)

She's on top of the world

For five weeks last fall, Rochester (New York) junior Avery Palardy, a member of the swim team, went to sleep every night in a tent on a glacier. Photo caption: While camped in Antarctica, Palardy spent 12 to 14 hours a day drilling ice cores to study 100,000-year-old greenhouse gases. Photo by Adam Fenster/University of Rochester

Washington Post (April 14)

To get better sleep, which foods should you seek and which should you avoid?

Other foods, most notably tart cherries, contain melatonin, which does affect sleep. Still, melatonin is not necessarily a sleep aid, says Wilfred Pigeon, a sleep researcher at the University of Rochester. Studies show it has a very minimal impact on insomnia, he says. On the other hand, melatonin is a wonderful circadian rhythm shifter. So if you're a night owl whose body prefers to sleep from 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. but you have to wake up at 7 a.m. every day, melatonin may help you alter your sleep schedule. Pigeon and Grandner say that to get that effect, it would be best to take melatonin at dinnertime rather than at bedtime and that lower doses (1.5 to 3 milligrams) are better than higher ones. That allows the substance to work with your bodys internal clock, starting the long wind-down process thats tied to sundown.

Inside Higher Ed (April 28)

Colleges confront an increase in use of heroin by students

Officials at the University of Rochester are discussing a problem that rarely reaches the agendas of campus medical centers or presidents: How do you identify and treat students who are addicted to heroin? Last month's death of freshman Juliette Richard, which her father attributed to a heroin overdose, led President Joel Seligman to issue a "special plea" to students to "please get help" despite campus and national surveys that show less than 1 percent of students use the drug.

New York Magazine (April 6)

The Color of His Presidency

And the truth is almost too brutal to be acknowledged. A few months ago, three University of Rochester political scientists - Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen - published an astonishing study. They discovered that a strong link exists between the proportion of slaves residing in a southern county in 1860 and the racial conservatism (and voting habits) of its white residents today. The more slave-intensive a southern county was 150 years ago, the more conservative and Republican its contemporary white residents. The authors tested their findings against every plausible control factor - for instance, whether the results could be explained simply by population density - but the correlation held. Higher levels of slave ownership in 1860 made white Southerners more opposed to affirmative action, score higher on the anti-black-affect scale, and more hostile to Democrats.

Huffington Post (April 6)

Ask Healthy Living: Why Do I Look So Terrible After A Night Of Bad Sleep?

But why do the eyes and skin on our face seem so affected by sleep (or lack thereof)? Dr. Sherrif F. Ibrahim, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, says that it has to do water retention, and the fact that the skin of the upper and lower eyelids is the the thinnest skin on our bodies. "Any changes in hydration, whether you're dehydrated or you have salt retention because you have a big meal the night before, are going to reflect in that thin skin so easily compared to any other skin in the body," Ibrahim tells HuffPost. Specifically, being dehydrated will produce a more sunken look, while having too much salt (like if you consumed a really salty meal the night before) will lead to water retention and a puffy look.

ABC News (April 9)

Small Businesses in Limbo Again on Tax Breaks

It may look like Congress is anti-small business when it makes companies wait, but lawmakers are putting a higher priority on the federal budget and the overall tax code, says David Primo, a professor of political science and business at the University of Rochester. They're avoiding the political fallout that will come their way if they create a large deduction and then reduce it when the government needs money. "They might as well keep re-upping it year after year rather than risk revoking it," Primo says.

(Also reported in: Washington Post, Newsday, Star Tribune, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Examiner, Times Union, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Daily Reporter, Berkshire Eagle, Cadillac News, Cape Cod Times, Arkansas Online, Marietta Daily Journal, )

Huffington Post (April 8)

It's Not The Video Games That Are Making You Angry, You're Just Bad At Them

But according to a new study by researchers at the University of Rochester in New York, even a seemingly benign game like Tetris can leave players with feelings of post-game aggression. The findings were published online in the March edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "People think just watching violent games and imagery is the basis for post-game aggression," said University of Rochester psychology professor Richard Ryan, Ph.D., in a phone interview with the Huffington Post. "But as we studied it, there are other dynamics: the competitiveness in games, the frustration you can have about [failing to] master it. Those are the things that seem to be most associated with post-game aggression."

(Also reported in: NBC, Irish Examiner, Men's Health, New Republic, Deseret News, Tech Spot, Gamenguide, The Daily Telegraph, Psych Central, CNET Australia, BioSpace, Hot Hardware, New Zealand Herald, Science World Report )

Gizmodo (April 3)

How Optical Illusions Help Restore Art

Art conservation graduate students in chemist Hannelore Roemich's instrumental analysis class were seeing in full color. The topic for the day: how to make, measure, and change color. University of Rochester physicist Nicholas Bigelow presented his group's work investigating 19th-century daguerreotypes, the earliest form of photography. These historically and culturally important works are decaying and the chemistry behind why is still being studied. He said a key to understanding the problem is getting up close and personal with the images through microscopy. Turning a focused ion beam and electron microscopes on the images, his team found that the works are comprised of silver or silver-mercury nanoparticles, which support the growth of microorganisms that cause much of the decay. "You wouldn't expect that nanotechnology is at the heart of the earliest form of photography," he told the audience.

Chicago Tribune (April 15)

Mothers' weight tied to stillbirth, infant death risks

Women who are carrying extra weight before pregnancy or early in gestation are at heightened risk of having their infants die shortly before or after birth, according to a new analysis of past research. "There was about a 20 percent increased risk of loss for every 5 BMI points that women's weight increased," Dr. Christopher Glantz, a high-risk pregnancy expert who was not involved in the new study, told Reuters Health. "I think the interesting thing about it is that they got somewhat similar results no matter what way they looked at it," said Glantz, of the University of Rochester in New York. The researchers write that the increased risk of death might be explained by an increased risk of complications among overweight and obese mothers. For heavier women who are planning to get pregnant, Glantz said it would be ideal to lower their body weight. "That would be our dream," he said.

(Also reported in: Yahoo! News )

KQED Public Radio - San Francisco (March 28)

The Difference Between Praise and Feedback

Some of the most prominent psychologists behind all of this talk about talking are Stanford University's Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset, and Edward Deci and Richard Ryan at the University of Rochester, whose research the education author Alfie Kohn relies heavily on in his books including Unconditional Parenting. Both Dweck and Deci are theorists of human motivation, but they emphasize very different perspectives on praise. "If you tell your kids, 'You're a good boy for taking out the trash,'" they may feel that if they don't take out the trash, they're not worthy of your love," says Deci. "You need to express that you love them and approve of them no matter what they do."

Huffington Post (April 9)

Why Being Neurotic Could Actually Be A Good Thing

So what sets these "healthy neurotics" apart? Read on to find out. They harness the anxiety that is so fundamental in neuroticism, and use it in a positive way. Nicholas A. Turiano Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, explains that people who are neurotic tend to have more anxiety, emotional reactivity and a negative affect. Anxiety and emotional reactivity in particular are not only linked with increased stress hormones and blood pressure, but also with negative health behaviors, such as self-medication. "But those neurotic individuals that also endorse high conscientiousness don't seem to resort to these behaviors," Turiano tells HuffPost. "We think the high conscientiousness gives the person the resources to refrain from engaging in such detrimental health behaviors and use that anxiety to improve health." For instance, a healthy neurotic will still experience worry, but will channel that worry into positive behaviors, such as going to the gym or eating healthier.

USA Today (March 28)

Relationship in need of some passion? Try a double date

What could be better than being alone to spark passion in your romantic relationship? Consider a double date. Earlier studies have shown that novelty and new experiences reinvigorate long-term romantic relationships and that sharing time with other couples increases positive mood. This new research, on 150 couples together for at least a year, adds the element of passion to the mix. The message is clear, says psychologist Harry Reis, who studies attachment and intimacy at the University of Rochester: "Make new friends." (April 24)

4 Steps To Reaching Your Money Goals -- Faster!

1. Identify Your Motivation What is it you really, really want? To answer this honestly, it helps to know where your motivation comes from, explain Richard Ryan and Edward Deci, psychology professors at the University of Rochester. There are two types of motivation that govern human behavior: intrinsic motivation, which means being driven from within or doing something because we find it personally enjoyable; and extrinsic motivation, which involves being driven by something outside of ourselves or an external reward (example: studying to get a good grade, not for the sake of learning). So when it comes to managing your finances, the idea is not to think of it as a chore. Because if your motivation is extrinsic—saving for the sake of saving—then managing your money may always feel like a drag. But when you're intrinsically motivated, you're personally (pardon the pun) invested.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 2)

UR part of $23M grant for Parkinson's study

"People are always looking to see whether drugs out there could serve dual purposes," said Dr. Kevin Biglan, a UR Medicine neurologist who is co-leading a multisite study. "It's easier to test to see whether it works." The University of Rochester is part of a $23 million grant from the National Institutes of Health that was announced Wednesday. UR will work with Northwestern University in a study of the generic drug isradipine.

(Also reported in: WHAM 1180, 13WHAM-TV, WHEC-TV, WXXI, WROC-TV, Time Warner Cable News )

Chicago Tribune (April 8)

Low-dose aspirin may prevent preeclampsia: panel

Pregnant women at a high risk for the potentially fatal complication preeclampsia should take low-dose aspirin after their first trimester, according to a government-backed panel. "This certainly expands the therapy to a lot more women and will certainly expand our offering to more women," Dr. Loralei Thornburg said. Thornburg was not involved in making the new recommendation. She is a high-risk pregnancy expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. (April 18)

Mountainous Fib: Andes Lie About Their Age

The Andes are the world's second greatest mountain region and new research suggests that at least one portion of that region has been lying about its age. For years, the evidence has been piling up that the Central Andes surged into being about 10 million years ago -- a very short time ago geologically speaking. Now new evidence from volcanic materials on the Puna Plateau suggests that the area was already 4 kilometers high as far back as 36 million years ago. If so, it sets the area apart from the Altiplano, to the north, which is lower and younger, and adds yet another twist to the puzzling processes that created the range. "The Puna and other Altiplano look similar, but they have different mechanisms," said Carmala Garzione, professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester. "There are fundamentally different processes that are leading to the uplift." Both are part of the uplift caused by the subduction of ocean crust under the South American continent. But there are other things going on to thicken the crust and cause the mountains to buoy especially high in the Andes compared to other subduction zones. The Altiplano, for instance, has a large, high basin. Whereas the Puna has several smaller basins.

Psychology Today (April 19)

Do we need work to be happy?

By Ben Hayden, Ph.D. Here's a tiny little slice of intellectual life that interests me and (as far as I know) no one else. It lies at the intersection of literature and economic theory. The late 19th and early 20th century are full of Utopian novels that lay out a bold new future in which mechanization reduces the need for labor, and gives us a ton of free time. But these speculative novels fail to satisfyingly answer one major question: what do people do with all their free time? Ben Hayden, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester.

CBS News (April 7)

Great service shines in unlikely places

Here's one most people would never expect: extraordinary customer service at a hospital. It's the last place anyone wants to go (well, I suppose second-to-last). Having anything like a "great customer service experience" isn't usually the first thing on a patent's mind. But Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester, our largest local hospital, is changing that notion -- recognizing that there's a big difference between treating people and treating them well.

Antarctic Sun (April 25)

Cooking with gas

After three days of feeding about 1,000 kilograms of ice into the melter, scientist Vasilii Petrenko External Non-U.S. government site and his team will have captured enough methane gas – about 25 micrograms – for one sample that they and their colleagues can analyze to detect the rare carbon-14 isotope. Its absence or presence in the ancient ice will tell the researchers not only about abrupt climate changes in the past, but about how modern-day sources of methane may respond to a warming world. "We're trying to improve our understanding of the Earth's climate system by looking into the past – seeing how the temperature was changing, how greenhouse gases were changing," explained Petrenko, an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester External Non-U.S. government site. He is principal investigator (PI) on a three-year field project to mine tons of ice from one of the main glaciers that slowly pushes its way into the McMurdo Dry Valleys External U.S. government site.

(Also reported in: Oregon Coast Beach Connection )

Wall Street Journal (April 7)

New York Officials Restore Millions for Spinal Cord Injury Research

New York state budget officials have restored nearly $7 million in annual funding for spinal cord injury research after an influential lobby of paraplegics put pressure on Albany lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration. Medical researchers hailed the funding as a way to establish New York as a national leader in neurological research. The paraplegics' group included several rehabilitation facilities, medical centers and foundations across the state. "This funding also creates an opportunity to make important contributions to patient care and reduce health-care costs for multiple afflictions," including stroke and Parkinson's disease, said Mark Noble, professor of genetics, neurobiology and neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (March 29)

Guest essay: Justice can have varied dimensions

By Cary M. Jensen In response to the March 20 editorial "Perceptions of racial injustice," which invited community input on the question, "What can be done?" I believe promoting and expanding opportunities for honest, open and respectful dialogue among those affected will increase mutual understanding where it is desperately needed. I also believe that the principles and practices of restorative justice will help forge lasting connections between fragmented subgroups within our community. More fundamentally, however, we need to increase our sensitivity to how differently different people perceive justice in its most elemental form — fundamental fairness. Jensen is senior counsel and director of the International Services Office at the University of Rochester, where he also teaches a course on approaches to conflict resolution.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 18)

FDA moves to make hysterectomy procedure safer

Last month, UR Medicine became only the second health system in the country to put restrictions on the procedure. It will allow morcellation only when done in a containment bag. Rochester General and Unity health systems had yet to make an announcement about whether and how they would continue to allow morcellation. According to a statement from Dr. Eva Pressman, head of ob/gyn at University of Rochester Medical Center: "The FDA's safety notice on the use of laparoscopic power morcellation, issued (April 17), is consistent with the new guideline we put into place on March 24, which states: Given concerns for spread of occult cancer, intraperitoneal power morcellation will only be allowed inside of containment bags. If this is not technically possible, specimens can be removed from the abdominal cavity using non-power morcellation or intact through larger incisions in the abdomen or vagina.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (March 31)

Great kids, great performances, and great stories

In March WXXI and Eastman School of Music brought NPR's From the Top radio show to town to record an episode for the series. If you're not familiar with From the Top, it's a weekly radio show--heard on Classical 91.5 Sundays at 5 p.m.--that features stories and musical performances by amazing young classical musicians, between the ages of 8 and 18. Eastman School of Music's soprano Emily Helenbrook also took to the stage to sing "Adele's Laughing Song" from Die Fledermaus. This was actually Emily's second time performing on From the Top. Yes, she's that good! An ensemble of young musicians from the Eastman School of Music and Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (RPYO) also performed with world-renown flautist Sir James Galway.

Rochester Business Journal (April 10)

URMC research win $3M influenza grant

University of Rochester Medical Center researchers have won a $3 million grant to support influenza research. The award from the National Institutes of Healths National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is going to support ongoing research by New York Influenza Center of Excellence, a 7-year-old flu research center led by URMC scientists John Treanor M.D. and David Topham. This award is an acknowledgement of the highly productive contributions our center has made to the overall understanding of how the immune response to flu is regulated, Treanor said.

(Also reported in: Rochester Business Journal, WXXI News, WHEC-TV )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 10)

Henri Matisse exhibit at the MAG

"Matisse as Printmaker, Works from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation" showcases the vibrant vision and very modern sensibility of one of the 20th century's most beloved artists — Henri Matisse — represented by over half a century of his prints. The exhibit, at the Memorial Art Gallery through June 8, emanates some of the joy with which Matisse approached his subjects and the immediacy of his images — the qualities that helped place Matisse firmly in the forefront of modern art.

(Also reported in: Rochester City Newspaper)

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester (April 16)

RocWell News: UR Medical Center Leads National Heart Study

Michelle Santilli-Kulik's twin sister Angela was 14 when she showed first signs of arrhythmogenic ventricular cardiomyopathies or AVC's. "The disease is very complex because it is simply, pretty silent," said Dr. Wojciech Zareba, who is the professor of cardiology and medicine at UR Medical Center. It cannot be easily identified. So, beginning this month, researchers at the medical center will play an important role in a nationwide study. Researchers will primarily focus on the genetic background of the disease. They'll recruit some 600 patients in 12 sites throughout the U.S.

WXXI PBS News (April 11)

The Impact of Movies On Marriages & The Lonely World of Young Black Opera Singers

Could movies actually help save your marriage? Ronald Rogge, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester says "Yes!" We dig into a study he co-authored to learn more about the impact of Hollywood films on marriages. And Highland Hospital is celebrating its 125th anniversary. We look back at some of its greatest achievements.

EDN Asia (April 25)

Researchers develop one molecule-wide IC

However, researchers at the University of Rochester have slimmed things down far below even the ambitious targets of those projects. They have found a way to send an electric charge across a circuit one molecule wide while insulating it enough to smother the static and field leakage that make microscale circuits (let alone nanoscale ones) difficult to use.

(Also reported in: Space Daily, Engineer Online, Science Daily, Azonano,, Nanotechnology Now )

The Christian Science Monitor (April 17)

Confederate flag flap at N.Y. school: why debate is hardly settled (+video)

Matthew Papay, who was forced by the University of Rochester in New York to remove a rebel flag from his dorm window last fall, agreed that the flag is "used by a small percentage of people in certain hate groups." But he then noted, according to USA Today, that he has "never personally met a Southerner who displayed it out of hate."

(Also reported in: Yahoo! News )

Pacific Standard (April 16)

Overhaul the Curriculum: The First Step We Must Take Toward Fixing Our Education System

BY JOANNE LARSON For far too long education reform has been tinkering in the margins and offering band-aid solutions that keep the patient alive, but little else. Lawmakers have chased fads and bad policies that haven't helped children thrive. One can only do so much to keep the patient comfortable before calling the priest. Our education system is on life support and it's time for the last rites. Joanne Larson is the Michael W. Scandling Professor of Education at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.

Rochester City Newspaper (April 23)

Can parents save the schools?

From day one, Warren seized the education platform by offering an alternative to the city's failing school system. It's not surprising that Warren recently appointed Remis to co-chair her Early Learning Council. The other co-chair is Joanne Larson, an education professor at the University of Rochester's Warner Graduate School. Empowering students and parents is a guiding principle shared by Warren, Larson, and Remis. Larson recently published "Radical Equality in Education, Starting Over in US Schooling." She takes the position that the current public school model is broken and obsolete, and that a new model involving greater student and parent participation for the purpose of learning rather than strictly job prep is needed.

KCET (April 25)

A Tale of Too Many Cities: Blackness, or Post-Blackness, in America

I went there to attend a literary conference about the highly controversial notion of post-blackness at the University of Rochester. In a very elegantly appointed room that had a wall inscribed with the history of the man who invented xerography, scholars and writers like myself deconstructed the already considerably deconstructed idea, advanced by the author and MSNBC personality Toure, that blackness is something to which black people don't need to limit themselves anymore.

Chicago Tribune (April 14)

TV again tied to poor sleep among kids

Dr. Heidi Connolly, a sleep specialist who was not involved with the new study, said the research is one of several recent papers that point toward a negative effect of TV on sleep. "This doesn't seem like very much, but if you think about it, seven minutes every night by the time you get to the end of the week you're already a half hour short on sleep," Connolly, from the University of Rochester Medicine's Golisano Children's Hospital in New York, said.

(Also reported in: Fox News, GlobalPost )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 25)

Panel focuses on racial equality at YWCA event

More than 400 community members and leaders gathered in the ballroom of the Rochester Plaza Hotel to discuss the challenges of achieving racial equity. "Racism is the American tragedy," said University of Rochester President Joel Seligman during his opening speech. "And in recent years there have been a series of social dynamics that have been making things worse."

(Also reported in: WXXI )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 27)

Do more to curb Rochester's childhood poverty

There are some very effective and fairly inexpensive methods to reduce childhood poverty and its negative effects such as raising the minimum wage, providing significant earned income tax credits for the working poor, and providing paid maternal leave for the first three months after childbirth to allow for the important maternal-child interaction so necessary for good development in these early months. About ten years ago, Great Britain noticed that its childhood poverty rate was unacceptably high and instituted these measures resulting in a reduction of the childhood poverty rate from 20 percent to 10 percent. The U.S. must do the same; it is extremely unwise and unconscionable that nearly a quarter of our children, "our most precious resource" languish in poverty and fail to mature into healthy, productive adults. McInerny is professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical School. He is immediate past president, American Academy of Pediatrics.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 4)

UR asks student heroin users to get help

In the wake of the death of a University of Rochester student that has gripped the campus and underscored the dangers of heroin, the university's president on Friday implored students who may be using drugs to seek treatment. Joel Seligman cited a recent university survey that found a small number of undergraduates have used heroin and urged them to "please get help."

(Also reported in: 13WHAM-TV, WHAM 1180, WHEC-TV, WROC-TV, WXXI, Time Warner Cable News, Gates Post, WHEC TV NBC 10 Rochester, Time Warner Cable News, 13WHAM-TV, 13WHAM-TV, 13-WHAM, Time Warner Cable News, WHEC-TV )

WROC TV (April 28)

A Major Concern: Pregnancy and Obesity

A recent study found obese women have a higher risk of fetal death, stillbirth and infant death. Sue Groth, associate professor of nursing at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, visited News 8 First at 4 to discuss this issue.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (March 28)

Columbia president brings passion for diversity to UR

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger left an audience at the University of Rochester annual Diversity Conference on Friday urging remembrance of the civil rights battles of the past but also with a plea for a renewed civil rights movement today. "What we are talking about goes to the heart of the values and ideals of America. And unless we can reconnect those two things - our policies and deepest values - we are going to lose what everyone in this room views as one of the greatest achievements of America," said Bollinger to a crowd of about 300 people.

(Also reported in: WXXI News )

Austin American Statesman (April 17)

14 Surprising Things That Affect Your Willpower and Decision Making

In 2012, University of Rochester researcher Celeste Kidd published a study that challenged that marshmallow experiment. When she was younger, Kidd spent time working for homeless shelters--she remembers wondering how growing up in such an unstable situation would affect decision-making.

(Also reported in: Journal-News )

WROC TV (April 26)

Science Stars Shine Light on East High

Some East High students saw their name in lights Saturday at the premiere of their documentary. "You Are Not Alone" was screened at the Cinema Theater in Rochester Saturday. Science Stars is an all-girl after-school group that explores issues in science. The program is run through the University of Rochester.

Rochester Business Journal (April 18)

Owners of nearby businesses welcome UR's College Town

Percolating since 2008, College Town aims to transform 14 acres owned by the University of Rochester into a 500,000-square-foot mixed-use development that will serve as a gateway to UR's River Campus and medical center. Gilbane Development Co. of Rhode Island and Fairmount Properties LLC of Cleveland are developers for the project, which is expected to create at least 1,200 construction and service jobs.

WXXI PBS News (April 15)

Rochester Resident Reflects on the Boston Marathon Bombings

It's the one-year anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon Bombings and one local woman is remembering that day. The Assistant Dean for Information Technology, Research & Digital Scholarship at the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries, Nora Dimmock, says she was 2 kilometers from the finish line when she and other marathoners were stopped. "It was very confusing. We could hear a lot of sirens." Now, Dimmock is training to return to Boston and finish the race she wasn't able to finish. "I hadn't really thought about it because I go to Boston every year. I hadn't really thought about if it would be emotional for me. I think it will be. I'm sure it will be. It's going to be bitter sweet this year. You know because you're going to be thinking about the people that were hurt."

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle )

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester (April 8)

RocWell: Spring Health Preview

John Bisognano is a cardiologist for the University of Rochester Medical Center. He sees first hand how hard it is for some to stay active when it's cold outside. First of all, if you've been doing nothing all winter, than you're probably not alone, Bisognano said. So as the weather improves, Bisognano says getting into a regular exercise routine might be difficult. He says common sense should prevail as you do become more active. Ramp yourself up slowly. If you have any cardiac risk factors, be weary of new chest pain, shortness of breath, things like that that may be brought out with an increased activity level, he added.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 15)

MAG taking over Max at the Gallery space

The Memorial Art Gallery after April 27 will begin renting out the space used by the Max at the Gallery restaurant for corporate meetings and seminars. "Our event business is just doing spectacularly," Patti Giordano, the gallery's director of marketing, said Tuesday. Events have more than doubled in the last three years, and the gallery now holds about 700 a year, ranging from weddings for 500 people to business meetings for 10, she said. Max Rochester Inc., which is concluding a five-year lease of the space, "will remain with us as a strong catering partner," Giordano said. The gallery also will work with other caterers; it is close to an agreement with Gatherings Catering, which works with the University of Rochester, she said.

(Also reported in: Rochester Business Journal )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (March 30)

Racial disparity on health issues is everyones problem

Improving health also means improving education and housing. It's valuing health as a right, living that belief and having the political will to demand elected officials make the healthy choice the accessible choice for everyone. "I think sometimes there's a tendency to say, 'That's not my problem,' " said Dr. Nancy Bennett, director of the Center for Community Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center. " 'I run a business here, I live in Pittsford and my health status is really good. Why is it my concern?' "

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 14)

An Unforgettable Performance: Howard Hansons "Merry Mount"

"On behalf of our board and the nearly 300 musicians and singers on this stage this evening," said Charles Owens, the Director and CEO of the RPO, "I want you to know how thrilled we are that you are here to witness this monumental project that celebrates the unique and historic partnership between the RPO and the Eastman School of Music. This program also celebrates at least three significant anniversaries: ** This year marks the 80th anniversary of the premiere of "Merry Mount" at the Metropolitan Opera House. (It was performed in 1933.) ** The 90th anniversary of Howard Hanson's appointment as the director of the Eastman School of Music. (He held that post for 40 years.) ** And, the 50th anniversary of Dr. Hanson's retirement.

WHAM TV ABC 13 (April 9)

Inspired doctors donate $750K

A bike accident inspired a University of Rochester doctor to give back to those who helped him recover. Dr. Seth Zeidman and his wife Dr. Eva Pressman pledged three quarters of a million dollars to the U of R's orthopaedics department. That's where Zeidman was treated for several broken bones after a bike crash several years ago. The money will fund orthopaedic research.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 5)

Review: Dialogues of the Carmelites nothing short of masterful

In a taut, new production of Francis Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites" — an opera last performed by Eastman Opera Theatre in 2004 — the cast and orchestra alike shone Friday night in a performance that rivaled that of many professional American companies.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 23)

Strong West expected to open mid-July

Area residents learned just what the free-standing Strong West emergency department will look like at its target opening of mid-July. During the forum, University of Rochester Medical Center officials briefed residents on topics ranging from the type of outpatient services at Strong West to how patients in the emergency department needing more care would be transferred to a hospital. Area residents learned that once open, the 10-bed emergency department at Strong West will be staffed by a doctor, at least two nurses and support staff, according to Dr. Michael Kamali, chairman of emergency medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital.

 (Also Reported by: WHAM TV ABC 13 , Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

WXXI PBS News (April 4)

Connections: The Conflict In Crimea

A discussion with several experts about the conflict in Ukraine & Putin's next moves. International experts talk about Putin's next moves following the annexation of Crimea, Randall Stone, University of Rochester professor, author of Satellites and Commissars and Henk Goemans, University of Rochester professor and author of Fighting for Survival: Leaders and International Conflict

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 20)

At Strong, new tech records heart's beating

But at Strong Memorial Hospital, Cottrell, of Lansing, Tompkins County, became one of the first patients in the country to benefit from a new technology that could simplify and improve care for those with similar afflictions. Doctors at Strong inserted a device called an implantable loop recorder for his heart. The recorder, which can track irregular heartbeat patterns and send wireless reports, will give cardiologists the ability to monitor their patients outside of scheduled appointments.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 10)

Technology showcase links researchers, business

"A big part of what we need to do now is to make sure that handoff takes place in a much more efficient way," said Mark Bocko, director of the University of Rochester's Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences, during the opening of Thursday's 14th annual University Technology Showcase at the Theater on the Ridge, 200 W. Ridge Road. The event, which attracted about 250 people, including about 100 from the business community, brings together researchers and companies and individuals who can provide the financial resources needed to move their inventions forward. "We're trying to get feedback on what they would like to see and what we're doing, and if it's of any use to them," said Mike Theisen, a doctoral student at UR's Institute of Optics who is on a team of researchers partly funded by IBM that is developing a faster measurement technique for use in the manufacture of microchips.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (April 13)

Analysis: Medicare dollars paint incomplete picture

The data released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) looks like a spreadsheet on steroids. It contained nearly 10 million lines and more than two dozen columns. There were approximately 6,000 codes used to classify procedures. What created buzz were the non-negotiable rates paid to more than 880,000 doctors and other providers. Dr. Michael Rotondo, chief executive officer of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group, said reimbursements to university-employed doctors are paid into the general revenue. He said the university is aware of how much doctors are reimbursed. But officials were familiarizing themselves with the CMS database in order to understand how best to explain to patients the full implications of the dollar figures.