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In the Headlines

August 2015

BBC (July 31)

Earth magnetic shield is older than previously thought

illustration of magnetic lines between sun and earthThe Earth's magnetic field, which shields the atmosphere from harmful radiation, is at least four billion years old, according to scientists. This is 550 million years older than it was previously believed to be. Scientists at University of Rochester in New York analysed crystals found in Western Australia.

"Understanding how the magnetic field is generated is important because it's a fundamental property of the Earth. It sets it apart from other planets," Dr. Jonathan Mound, from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, explained to BBC News.

(Also reported in: Nature, Asia One, Smithsonian, Big News Network, Gizmag, Independent Online, Live Science, Techie News, The News Reports, Uncover California, E-Science News, Democratic Underground)

USA Today (August 1)

Study: Popular in your 20s, better off at midlife

group of twenty-somethingsHaving more friends at 20, but fewer and deeper relationships at 30 may just increase well-being later in life and may just help folks live longer, according to researchers from the University of Rochester.

(Also reported in: Democrat and Chronicle, Deseret Morning News, Poughkeepsie Journal, The News on Sunday,, Great Falls Tribune, USA Today College, HealthDay, Effingham Herlad (GA), India Hindustan Times)

USA Today (August 25)

What would Susan B. Anthony tweet today?

Susan B. Anthony and twitter birdTwice a week for at least the next 10 months, the Susan B. Anthony Center will tweet Anthony's thoughts on topics such as health, relationships, education, race, mentoring, the family and, of course, voting. "I think a lot of work that's been done with Susan B. Anthony has focused on her political activity," said Kate Cerulli, director of the center housed at the University of Rochester. "This project is creating a different portrait of her, which is broader and in some ways has human interest." University students Sarah Vogel and Alysha Alani provided much of the energy for the project, which Cerulli said was enthusiastically received when Vogel presented the idea at an international women's conference last December.

(Also reported in: WXXI, Suffield Times, Greenville News (SC), Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

School Band and Orchestra (August 14)

UpClose: A Talk with Donald Hunsberger and Mark Davis Scatterday, Conductors of Frederick Fennell's Legendary Eastman Wind Ensemble

wind orchestra
The Eastman Wind Ensemble is America’s leading wind ensemble. Its core of about 50 performers includes undergraduate and graduate students of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. Frederick Fennell first formulated the general concept of the wind ensemble at Eastman more than 50 years ago. Under his leadership the group became known as the pioneering force in the symphonic wind band movement in the United States and abroad.

Donald Hunsberger, conductor emeritus, and Mark Davis Scatterday, current conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, sat down with SBO to tell us the history of their storied music program, from its origins to where it stands today.

The New York Times (August 18)

Teens' e-Cigarette Use Linked With Later Smoking

young man smoking an e-cigaretteTeens who use e-cigarettes are more likely than others to later smoke conventional cigarettes and other tobacco products, a study at 10 Los Angeles high schools suggests.

University of Rochester tobacco researcher Deborah Ossip said because teens' brains are still developing, they're more sensitive to the effects of nicotine, and that using just a few e-cigarettes could make them vulnerable to using nicotine in other forms. She had no role in the research.

(Also reported in: ABC News, The Washington Post, Newsday, KTBC (FOX 7) Austin, Fairmont Times West Virginian, Corpus Christi KRIS, Albuquerque KRQE TV CBS 13, Seymour Tribune, WBZ CBS4 Boston, WDIO (ABC) CH 10, U.S. News & World Report, The Boston Globe Fayetteville Northwest Arkansas Times, San Mateo Daily Journal, Chatanooga Times Free Press , Long Beach Press-Telegram, Sterling Sauk Valley Times, Tifton Gazette, CBS News, Fox Business, Canada CBC News, Stamford Advocate, Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Rochester Business Journal (August 13)

UR scientist named Beckman-Argyros Award recipient

David Williams in labUniversity of Rochester scientist David Williams has been named the 2015 recipient of the Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research.

(Also reported in: Novus Light Technologies Today)

The Washington Post (July 31)

Why getting into elite colleges is harder for women

students study on library balconyGetting accepted to an elite college has never been more difficult. So to all the young women who got in this year I say: Great job! You earned it.

If the leadership at private colleges truly believes they need more men, they have other options. Consider the University of Rochester, a private university in upstate New York (where my brother-in-law happens to be a professor). With an undergraduate population that is 52 percent women and 48 men, Rochester is more balanced than most (the average ratio among undergrads at U.S. private colleges is 59:41). Yet women there are still admitted at a higher rate than men: 37 percent to 36 percent.

The Washington Post (August 10)

FDA approves news tool for diagnosing dementia in a doctor's office

screenshots of computer assessment
A small company started by a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester has moved closer to providing doctors with what he says is a simple, computer-based tool to help detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

(Also reported in: Tampa Bay Times, Santa Fe New Mexican)

Rochester City Newspaper (July 29)

Found in translation

Storytelling is and always will be a powerful expression of humanity's ability to reflect upon itself and to connect the disparate parts of its whole. And though slippery tongues divide us more firmly than they ought, language persists as a barrier to our education about one another, and ourselves. Imagine a world in which important literature Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov," Hermann Hesse's "Steppenwolf" and "Siddhartha," or any of Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry remained closed to anyone who did not know the language of the writers. The University of Rochester's nonprofit, literary translation press, Open Letter, is one of only a handful of publishing houses in the world dedicated entirely to increasing access to world literature for English language readers, and is contributing to our awareness of future classics.

Huffington Post (August 20)

The 20 Most Polite Colleges In 2015, According To GrubHub

Saying "please" and "thank you" can go a long way. In this case, it gets your college ranked as one of the most polite campuses. The online food-ordering service GrubHub reviewed its data and calculated which college campuses had students, faculty and staff included "please," "thanks" and "thank you" in their delivery orders. The data, shared exclusively with The Huffington Post, included orders between Sept. 1, 2014 through Dec. 16, 2014, and then from Jan. 15 to June 1 of this year. The top 20 most polite colleges can be seen below: 6. University of Rochester

WXXI (August 18)

Photonics HQ Discussions Continue; Two Major Players Say They Are Working Together

The ongoing saga about where a headquarters for the new photonics institute will be located continued on Tuesday. In one of the latest statements, there seems to some efforts at conciliation.

That statement was issued jointly by the SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros and University of Rochester President Joel Seligman. It says the two leaders share an unwavering commitment to establishing the headquarters for the photonics initiative in Downtown Rochester.

(Also reported in: CBS News, WHAM AM 1180, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, 13 WHAM-TV, Rochester City Newspaper, Rochester Business Journal, WROC-TV, Time Warner Cable News, Time Warner Cable News, NY State of Politics, U.S. News & World Report, WXXI, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle,, WROC-TV, WHAM 1180, 13WHAM-TV, 13WHAM-TV, Rochester City Newspaper)

The Wall Street Journal (August 31)

What to Watch for After Skin Cancer

New research shows a sharp rise in non-melanoma skin cancers, so dermatologists and cancer groups are pushing patients who have a history of even one occurrence to be more vigilant about regular checkups. They are emphasizing the need for continued use of sunscreen, sun avoidance and protective clothing, which can help prevent future malignancies even when sun damage has already been done. Marc Brown, a dermatologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., says he tells patients with multiple skin cancers to come back every six to 12 months, depending on the extent of their sun damage. Some need to be checked every two months, because they have an almost catastrophic amount of skin cancer and such a substantial burden of disease, Dr. Brown says. (Subscription required) (August 20)

Physicists create a magnetic wormhole in the lab

Wormholes are hypothetical "topological features" or tunnels that, in theory, would connect two distant regions of space–time, via higher dimensions. They are predicted by certain solutions of general relativity, as a result of massive objects severely distorting space–time, but have never been observed in nature and would be exceedingly difficult to recreate in the lab. To put its wormhole to the test, the team placed the device in an external magnetic field created by a pair of Helmholtz coils and then inserted magnetic probes at two points – at the exit to the wormhole and alongside it. As intended, the researchers found that the first probe revealed a monopole-like field. The latter, when moved back and forth, showed no distortion of the external field (which was not the case when either of the two shells was removed). The work builds on a theoretical proposal put forward by Allan Greenleaf of the University of Rochester in the US and colleagues in 2007. Greenleaf's group actually outlined the design of a wormhole that would apply to electromagnetic waves in general, including light, and not just static magnetic fields.

Houston Chronicle (August 29)

Upstate tour helps new NY speaker find his footing

If he didn't already have a job, you might think New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was running for governor. The Bronx Democrat has crisscrossed the state over several weeks this summer, making stops in Rochester, Ithaca, Syracuse, the North Country and points in between. Heastie said the trips are part of an effort to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the entire state. "The upstate-downstate divide is one of the oldest features of the state's political system, said University of Rochester political scientist Gerald Gamm. "What the speaker is going to see (upstate) is that the challenges facing upstate are in many ways fundamentally different than those facing New York City, Long Island and the suburbs."

(Also reported in: Steuben Courier, Canandaigua Daily Messenger, Troy Record, Oneida Daily Dispatch, Auburn Citizen, Saratoga Springs Saratogian, Newsday)

Rochester City Newspaper (August 4)

Seligman's very big plan for the very big deal

This city has gone through a stunning loss of industrial jobs, so it's not surprising that the photonics institute announcement dominated the news last week. We'll be the headquarters! We won a national competition! The vice president of the United States came to town! And Rochester has been celebrating ever since.

And as happy as I am about our selection as the photonics institute's headquarters, I'm almost as happy about what University of Rochester president Joel Seligman did soon after the formal announcement.

Time Warner Cable News (August 25)

The Class of 2019 Moves Into the U of R

Back-to-school time has arrived as the University of Rochester welcomes nearly 1,300 incoming freshman to its River Campus. Move-in day for the class of 2019 started off with a bang. Freshman and their parents were serenaded by several of the university's musical groups as they proceeded to their dorms. There, they were met by student volunteers willing to help unpack and lug belongings up to their temporary homes. Unique to this class, students have traveled from 47 states and 83 different countries just to become a Yellowjacket. "Freshman just love orientation. Many upperclassman, as you can see, come back every year just to help out because they remember all the fun of this so they want to be apart of it still," said Eleanor Oi, Director of Orientation.

(Also reported in: WROC-TV, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, WHEC-TV, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle , WHEC-TV, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle )

NBC News (August 24)

Imagine Getting a Flu Vaccine Pill, in the Mail

Imagine getting your flu vaccine as a pill, in the mail. Or imagine getting just one shot that would protect you against all of the different flu strains out there. Either way, it could mean an end to the yearly fall search for a fresh flu vaccine. Vaccines protect against illness by tricking the body into building up immune system proteins called antibodies that can act quickly if a certain virus or bacteria infects. Some vaccines work well when given orally — one of the polio vaccines is an example — but this is harder to pull off with flu. "The kind of antibody that they are inducing with the vaccine is the type … that is strongly associated with protection in humans, so the findings are encouraging although they don't necessarily mean it will ultimately work," said Dr. John Treanor, a flu vaccine expert at the University of Rochester who is an unpaid adviser to Vaxart.

Mother Jones (August 27)

What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong?

University of Rochester psychologist Ed Deci, for example, found that teachers who aim to control students' behavior—rather than helping them control it themselves—undermine the very elements that are essential for motivation: autonomy, a sense of competence, and a capacity to relate to others. This, in turn, means they have a harder time learning self-control, an essential skill for long-term success. Stanford University's Carol Dweck, a developmental and social psychologist, has demonstrated that even rewards—gold stars and the like—can erode children's motivation and performance by shifting the focus to what the teacher thinks, rather than the intrinsic rewards of learning.

Huffington Post (August 10)

This Is Your Brain On Nature

A 2010 study from the University of Rochester found that spending time outdoors not only makes you happier, it also can lead to an increased sense of vitality. This could be why we feel so energized -- mentally and physically -- when we return from spending a day in the park or going on a hike. Nature can lead to a surge of energy, according to the researchers.

Just a quick walk in the park can do wonders for your mind. A 2014 study found that participants who took group nature walks saw a host of mental-health benefits, including decreased depression and better moods. Not only that, taking a walk in nature gets you the additional benefit of exercise, which also boasts some mental health perks.

(Also reported in: Meet Pie)

MedPage Today (August 24)

'Universal' Flu Vaccines Work in Animals

Vaccines that protect against multiple influenza strains are possible, according to two studies, raising hopes for more persistent immunization than current products can provide. But outside experts cautioned that the studies were conducted in the lab and in experimental animals and it will likely be some time before a "universal" vaccine is available for human use. The studies "are important steps in the right direction," commented John Treanor, MD, of the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 31)

UR professor lands grant for laser work

University of Rochester professor Chunlei Guo has developed a laser that puts either super-absorbent or super-repellent material on metals. It was such an impressive advancement that the U.S. Army Research Office and the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency have decided to hand him $430,000 to keep working on it. Rep. Louise Slaughter announced Monday that Guo landed the grant -- $330,000 from the Army and $100,000 from the development agency.

(Also reported in: WXXI, Rochester Business Journal))

U.S. News & World Report (August 21)

Health Insurer Mergers Signify Shift in Health Care Marketplace

A pair of mergers involving four of the nation's five for-profit health insurance goliaths—Cigna Corp. and Anthem, Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc.—provoked a swift reaction from doctors who fear they will rob patients of treatment options and doctors of their bargaining power. But what may be just as significant about the planned mergers, experts say, is that they signify a major shift in the nation's health care marketplace. Pressure to offer low-priced plans has other downstream consequences for consumers, too. "It's a strong motivation for [health plans] to find cost efficiencies," says Gerard Wedig, of the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester. "They go out and build these skinny provider networks that don't have all the hospitals and all the doctors—they find the doctors that they can pay the least."

Time Warner Cable News (August 24)

Black Physicians Network to Sponsor School Supply Drive for Kids in Need

A local group is collecting supplies making sure children are ready for the upcoming school year. Those behind the effort have an even more powerful message for the young, African-American children they mentor. Dr. Gina Cuyler came to the United States from Panama when she was four years old. Her father had died, her mother spoke no English, but they got on the plane in a leap of faith to come to the U.S. to make a better life. With her mother's support, Dr. Cuyler made it to the University of Rochester Medical School, where she is now a successful physician. She shares her story through her group, the Black Physicians Network of Greater Rochester, made up of more than 60 black physicians from around the county. They not only mentor medical students, but also young people.

WHAM TV ABC 13 Rochester (August 27)

Incoming U. of R. students mark Wilson Day

The new school year started with a day of service for freshman at the University of Rochester.

(Also reported in: WROC-TV)

WXXI PBS News (August 21)

Coming up on Connections: Friday, August 21st

Second Opinion Live looks at a category of birth sometimes known as "micro-preemies." We're asking when local medical providers determine a developing fetus is viable, and what can be done if the baby is born extremely prematurely. From the intervention, to the success rate, to the ethical questions, we'll explore it all. In studio: Dr. Carl D'Angio, Golisano Children's Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where he is professor of pediatrics and Medical Humanities and Bioethics; director of the Neonatal Clinical Research Program; and director of the Research Ethics program Dr. Patricia Chess, Golisano Children's Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where she is professor of pediatrics, neonatology, and biomedical engineering; and director of the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship program (August 11)

American hub delivers hope for a competitive photonics sector

While details about the new US national manufacturing hub now known as AIM Photonics are still emerging, it is already delivering something that has been missing for years: hope that the fragmented American optics sector can pull together and recapture world leadership fabricating innovative optical devices.

Core mission: Implementing the operational plans will take the first few months, says Robert Clark, the institute’s board chairman and the University of Rochester’s senior VP for research.

(Also reported in: CEBU Daily)

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 17)

UR Medicine breaks ground on imaging, autism center

UR Medicine on Monday broke ground on an off-campus, outpatient facility that will encompass imaging, some pediatric and adolescent services and a clinic for care of young people with autism.

(Also reported in: 13 WHAM-TV, WHEC TV NBC 10, WROC-TV, Rochester Business Journal)

WXXI (August 12)

NYS Regions Present Their Economic Development Plans In Buffalo

Lt. Gov. Hochul presented a video to visitors in Tuesday morning's opening remarks. The video ended with the display of the phrase: "This is the new Buffalo. What can your region do?" "It's a hopeful message," said Hochul. "It's a chance to show off a little bit, but also as a representative of the entire State of New York, to tell other regions that are feeling left behind and are still waiting for their economic recovery that this competition - the Upstate Revitalization Initiative - is an opportunity for three of seven regions to win $500 million."

Each region reviewed their plans at the conference.

The Co-Chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, Joel Seligman, says the Finger Lakes application will focus not just on creating jobs and increasing regional wealth, but also lifting residents out of poverty.

(Also reported in: WHEC-TV NBC 10)

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 3)

Rochester clearly in Cuomo's focus now

After losing Monroe County in November, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration are clearly paying more attention to the Rochester area. "There has never been a governor more committed to upstate than Andrew Cuomo. And he has come through with project after project," University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, who heads Cuomo's regional economic council, told the Democrat and Chronicle editorial board last Monday.

(Also reported in: KUSA NBC 9 Denver, Cleveland WKYC-TV Fox 8, Elmira Star-Gazette)

Huffington Post (August 17)

How Misconceptions Over Miscarriages Cause Needless Guilt

Self-blame is often among the most painful parts of the aftermath of a pregnancy loss, obstetricians and gynecologists say -- and yet that guilt is almost always unwarranted. Still, when those feelings collide with the deep sadness and unresolved grief that will sometimes follow a miscarriage, the psychological impact may linger for years after the fact, recent findings in psychology suggest. After a miscarriage, a woman is at a higher risk for depression or anxiety in the years that follow. This is true even if a pregnancy loss is followed by a healthy pregnancy and delivery. In one recent study, published in 2011 in The British Journal of Psychiatry, Emma Robertson Blackmore of the University of Rochester Medical Center followed more than 13,000 women for three years after the birth of a healthy baby, and found that those who had previously miscarried were more likely to show symptoms of postpartum depression than those who had never experienced a pregnancy loss.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 19)

Input sought on plan for $500M for Finger Lakes

On Wednesday, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council unveiled a blueprint that its members believe will create jobs, yank people out of poverty and jump-start the region's economy. Council members posted the plan online and want public comments between now and Sept. 18. The effort is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Upstate Revitalization Initiative Plan, which offers three state regions outside of Buffalo and New York City a shot at $100 million a year for five years. It's patterned after the Buffalo Billion initiative that Cuomo launched during his first term. "This is an opportunity of a lifetime," said Joel Seligman, University of Rochester president who co-chairs the council.

(Also reported in: Rochester Business Journal, WXXI, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 3)

Ex-UR athlete tries to break gay stereotypes

Nate Novosel was a four-year starter and two-time captain of the basketball team at the University of Rochester, a strong 6-foot-5 forward who helped lead the Yellowjackets to the NCAA Sweet 16.

His credentials off the court were even more impressive. A double-major in economics and political science with a 3.75 GPA, Novosel was a teaching assistant in both areas of study. He co-founded and chaired a business fraternity, was vice president of the College Democrats club and was an avid volunteer in religious and reading programs, giving his time — regularly and passionately. Novosel won numerous awards for his scholarly and civic efforts.

“It would kill me inside, basically, if I continued that for the rest of my life,” Novosel said about hiding that he was gay. “I don’t want to speak for everyone, but a lot of the time those individuals that have been closeted for so long, it’s more of an internal battle.

Science News (August 11)

Rethinking which cells are the conductors of learning and memory

Neuroscientists began to notice in the early 1990s that glia are more than just the support crew for neurons. A group of researchers including Stephen Smith, now at Stanford University, had a hunch that glia could communicate via chemical signals, as neurons do. Smith and his colleagues dribbled glutamate — a chemical messenger commonly used by neurons — into a dish containing astrocytes modified to glow when calcium levels go up. Where the drops hit, the cells immediately flashed. After a short delay, more cells flashed and waves of fluorescence moved through the dish. The glutamate was spurring astrocytes to release fluorescent-tagged calcium ions, signals that the glia were using to communicate, Smith’s team reported in Science in 1990.

Four years later, Maiken Nedergaard, now at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, showed that astrocytes not only talked among themselves using calcium signals, but also used the signals to communicate with neurons.

Rochester City Newspaper (August 28)

Pressure is on for UR to fix East

While the University of Rochester has been hailed for its willingness to intervene and take control of East High School, it will soon share in this era of heightened scrutiny. East, one of the district’s most troubled schools, will officially open under UR's management on September 8. Shaun Nelms is the new superintendent and a lot of eyes will be on East going forward. Will the UR succeed? Does it have a winning formula to turn around failing urban schools around?

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 12)

Dudley discusses China, interest rates and Fed reform

“My view is it depends on the data,” Dudley said in an interview. “I have made no decision whatsoever about what I am going to do or not do at the September (policy) meeting because we’ve got a month of economic news to come out and that is going to affect the economic outlook. I mean, just events in China of the last 48 hours are potentially meaningful in terms of the economic outlook. So we have to see how that unfolds.

“This idea that we know today what we are going to do a month from now, I just don’t think that is accurate.”

China on Tuesday devalued the yuan by 2 percent, then returned on Wednesday with efforts to prop it up. The actions are the most significant in a series of market interventions China has made over the past several weeks, and “a telltale sign that the Chinese economy is slowing,” said Mark Zupan, Olin Professor of Economics and Public Policy, director of the Bradley Policy Research Center and former dean of the University of Rochester Simon Business School.

(Also reported in: WROC-TV)

Huffington Post (August 7)

The Sleep Position That Best Protects Against Alzheimer's

In findings published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers say that sleeping on your side is best when it comes to your brain's nighttime processes for clearing out waste and harmful chemicals.

The study looked at how well the brains of mice were able to remove waste when they were made to sleep on either their backs, stomachs or sides. They used MRI scans to look at the glymphatic pathway -- or the system that gets rid of bad buildup and harmful chemicals in the brain -- and how well it performed in various sleep stances.

“It is interesting that the lateral sleep position is already the most popular in human and most animals – even in the wild – and it appears that we have adapted the lateral sleep position to most efficiently clear our brain of the metabolic waste products that built up while we are awake,” University of Rochester researcher Maiken Nedergaard said in a release. It's estimated that nearly two in three Americans sleep on their side.

(Also reported in: Yahoo! Singapore News, Financial Express, States Chronicle,, Latinos Post, Infinite Path)

WHEC TV NBC 10 Rochester (August 27)

New superintendent for East High School

East High School will be starting the new school year off under a new educational partnership with the University of Rochester, and now, a new superintendent.

(Also reported in: WXXI, 13WHAM-TV)

Microfinance Monitor (August 7)

Japanese Scientists Develop World's Largest Petawatt Laser That Emits 2,000 Trillion Watts Output

Osaka-based Institute of Laser Engineering (ILE) of Osaka University has developed a Petawatt laser “LFEX” to deliver up to 2,000 trillion watts in the duration of one trillionth of one second (about 1000 times the integrated electric power consumed in the world).

Using the high-power laser, researchers are able to generate high-energy quantum beams such as electrons, ions, gamma ray, neutron, and positron, useful in medical applications and non-destructive inspection of social infrastructures.

Congratulating them, Robert L. McCrory, Director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, said:”Congratulations to the Institute of Laser Engineering team for completing the 2000 trillion watt LFEX laser system. This is a world-leading facility and I look forward hearing about the exciting physics results that will come from research on it over the upcoming years.”

WXXI (August 6)

Coming up on Connections: Thursday, August 6th

First hour: Debating religious exemptions for vaccines

New York lawmakers are fighting over vaccine exemptions. A bill being pushed by a downstate Assemblyman would make New York the fourth state (after California, Mississippi, and West Virginia) to ban religious exemptions for vaccines. Only medical exemptions would be permitted by law. But earlier this year, other members of the Assembly pushed legislation that would make it easier for parents to gain exemptions for their children. We'll talk to stakeholders on all sides. Our guests:

Dr. Geoffrey Weinberg, pediatric infectious disease specialist at UR Medicine's Golisano Children's Hospital

The Guardian (August 3)

Picky eaters may grow into depressed and anxious kids, research suggests

Researchers found more than one in five (20.3%) showed either moderate to severe selective eating, known as “avoidance/restrictive food intake disorder” or Arfid. Those landing in the severe range were more than twice as likely to have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder, such as depression or anxiety, and twice as likely to have behavior problems outside of home.

Similarly, researchers at the University of Rochester theorized there could be “supertasters,” and other scientists pointed to children able to taste bitterness most intensely. All researchers that spoke to the Guardian pointed to a complex interplay of neurology and environment.

WHAM TV ABC 13 Rochester (August 19)

Changes at East High School

Students and parents attended orientation Tuesday night. East High School, now under the leadership of the University of Rochester, will include sixth graders for the first time this year. The students and parents that 13WHAM spoke with said that the U of R’s involvement is the big reason they wanted to attend East High School. Parents are also a big part of the new East High School, with as many as 60 parent representatives.

Fox News (July 31)

Suicide risk tied to women's social connectedness

Among more than 70,000 women followed for almost 20 years, those who were the most socially connected were about 75 percent less likely than the least-connected to die by suicide.

"Like a lot of things in a research journal, this really calls for more research," said Dr. Eric Caine, of the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

(Also reported in: Quartz, Elite Daily, Stylecaster, WHDH-TV, HealthDay, MTV, KTBC (Fox 7) Austin, Lansing WILX (NBC) Channel 10, MedPage Today, WNYW Fox 5 New York)

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 5)

New Yorker cartoon editor speaks at UR

Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of the New Yorker, seemed a prime target for caricature himself as he spoke Wednesday at the University of Rochester.

The Wall Street Journal (August 12)

Babies Make Predictions, Too

In a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Richard Aslin of the University of Rochester and colleagues report on a new study of 6-month-old babies’ brain activity. They used a technique called NIRS, or Near Infrared Spectrometry. It records whether the brain is active in the occipital area, where visual pictures are processed, or in the temporal area, where sounds go.

In a control experiment, babies just heard a honking sound or saw a cartoon face emerge on a screen. Sure enough, the visual area lit up when the babies saw the face but not when they heard the sound. (Subscription required)

Rochester Business Journal (August 10)

Industrialist's widow pledges $1.5M for endowed professorship

The widow of Clifton Springs industrialist and philanthropist Isaac Drew Morris has pledged $1.5 million to fund an endowed University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry chair, UR Medical Center officials said.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 8)

Gateways celebrates classical with an African heritage

The venues range from Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre to private homes. "We are always talking about Rochester having these very secret wonders that happen," says Barbara Jones. "And this is another one."

Jones is co-chair of the festival planning committee for this celebration of classical music and musicians of African heritage, an event which began in 1993 in North Carolina. The Eastman School of Music took over in 1995; Gateways is now held there biennially.

WXXI PBS News (August 18)

WATCH: The Impact Of Female Black Music Composers You May Not Know About

This year the biennial festival celebrated the musical creations of black women comp osers whose work was often not recorded or published. Need to Know’s Hélène Biandudi Hofer recently sat down with Paul Burgett, University Vice President and adjunct professor of music at the University of Rochester. He paid tribute to five selected black women composers at the Gateways Music Festival. He shares more about their impact on American culture.

The Nation (July 30)

The Virtues of Difficult Fiction

By Joanna Scott In a recent profile in The New York Times Magazine, Toni Morrison was asked about the purpose of fiction. A good story, she said, results in “the acquisition of knowledge.” This is the case that must be made for fiction if the genre is going to survive as an art. Fiction gives us knowledge. Of what? If the goal is to document our time and place, nonfiction and film offer more dependable accuracy. For intimate expressions of the human predicament, there’s poetry. If it’s immediate impact we want, there are the visual arts and music. Who needs fiction that requires readers to work to understand it?

Editor's note: Joanna Scott is the Roswell Smith Burrows Professor of English in the department of English at the University of Rochester.

WHAM TV ABC 13 Rochester (August 11)

Children's hospital family room opens

Some of the comforts of home are now being offered to parents whose children are being treated at the Golisano Children's Hospital.

WXXI (August 12)

Connections: Making Breastfeeding More Accessible for Working Moms

With breastfeeding rates increasing, we look at the latest research, as well as the efforts to make breastfeeding more accessible for working mothers. And yes, we'll talk about the implications of Donald Trump's comments to a woman who paused a meeting to pump breast milk. Our guests:

Dr. Ruth Lawrence, professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology at URMC and author of Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 13)

Enhancing Innovation by Creating Opportunity

As a college Professor, I view higher education as a powerful force for creating opportunity - both for individuals and for society as a whole. People with college degrees on average have higher incomes and live longer and healthier lives than those who don’t complete college. They are also more likely on average to drive innovation and start successful businesses (notable exceptions such as George Eastman and Larry Ellison aside).

So I was disturbed to read a recent article by New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof. In his article, Kristof highlighted a recent Pell Institute study, which showed that individuals from the wealthiest 25 percent of American families were over 8 times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared to those from the bottom 25 percent of family incomes (77% versus 9%).

I can’t pretend to have a magic bullet for this problem - but I will say that I’m very glad that my employer, the University of Rochester, has taken on the challenge of transforming East High School. And I am similarly glad when I see first-generation and low income students entering, and succeeding in, our doctoral degree programs. We need a diversity of opinions and ideas to drive new thinking and innovation.

WXXI (August 7)

The Immovable, But Beautiful, Hopeman Carillon

There are many artistic and musical treasures in Rochester – one of the heaviest is the Hopeman Memorial Carillon in the tower of the Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester (PHOTOS).

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (August 25)

The ongoing Son House 'Revival" continues this week

For the best explanation of the journey that has brought us to Revival: The Resurrection of Son House, playwright Keith Glover turns to the iconic rock-guitar philosopher, Joe Walsh. “He has this thing,” Glover says, “where he says, ‘Man, you look at life when you’re living it, and it’s all chaos. You go through that and, at the end, it’s like a well-written novel.’ ” And in 2011, much of that story was assembled by a University of Rochester professor of ancient Arabic literature, and a blues enthusiast, Dan Beaumont, in his book Preachin’ the Blues: The Life and Times of Son House.