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In the Headlines

February 2015

BBC News (February 18)

Alien star system buzzed the Sun

two red stars in the sky Astronomers led by Eric Mamajek at the University of Rochester, New York, say they are 98% certain that Scholz's star travelled through what is known as the "outer Oort Cloud" - a region at the edge of the Solar System filled with trillions of comets a mile or more across. A star passing through the Oort Cloud could potentially play gravitational havoc with the orbits of comets there, sending them on trajectories into the inner Solar System. But Mamajek believes the effects of Scholz's star on our cosmic neighbourhood were "negligible". "There are trillions of comets in the Oort cloud and likely some of them were perturbed by this object," he told BBC News. "But so far it seems unlikely that this star actually triggered a significant 'comet shower'."

(Also reported in: Scientific American, New Scientist, NBC News, USA Today, Discovery News, Los Angeles Times, Slate,, Huffington Post, Time, National Geographic, Daily Beast, io9, Global News,, World Science, The Register, CNET, Astronomy Now , The Week, Gizmag, Universe Today, Market Business News, Nature World News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Telegraph (UK), Asia One, India Times of India, Emirites Business, E-Science News, Science Daily, Space Daily, SpaceRef, Yahoo! News UK, Gizmag, GeekWire, Mother Nature Network, The Daily Galaxy, KSHB-TV ABC, WITN NBC 7,, Sky & Telescope, BBC, ABC News, Good Morning America via Yahoo! News, UPI, Popular Science, Nature, Yahoo News UK, Yahoo News UK, International Business Times UK , The Daily Mail )

Gizmag (February 17)

Computer program uses video selfies for mental health monitoring

young man wearing a cap that says "You're Nuts", taking his own photoImages of ourselves recorded through cameras on smartphones and laptops can be a welcome addition to communication with friends or professional interactions, or just a bit of fun. But this powerful combination of hardware and software is being tapped into by scientists for other purposes as well. A team of researchers at the University of Rochester has developed a computer program that can help health professionals monitor a person`s mental health through the images from selfie videos the patient records while engaging in social media activity. The method is a variation of existing health monitoring programs. The novelty here is that the user’s behavior can be monitored quietly and unobtrusively while they routinely use their computer or smartphone. No extra information about how the user is feeling needs to be provided. No special accessories are required, either. The user just needs to go about their computer routine as usual.

(Also reported in: Medgadget, Science Daily, The New Age Online, The Star Online, Product Design & Development, Bangalore Mirror, WXXI, 13WHAM-TV, Yahoo! Sports, Times of India, Rajasthan News )

NBC News (February 16)

TODAY: New study links e-cigarettes to lung cancer (video)

woman smoking an e-cigaretteDr. Natalie Azar reports on recent findings by researchers at the University of Rochester that prove e-cigarettes are not as harmless as they seem.

(Also reported in: Times of India, UI The Daily Iowan, UI Lung Cancer News Today, Science Times, WROC TV CBS 8, Irondequoit Post, MD Linx,, E-Science News, Newsx, National Column )

The Independent (UK) (January 29)

Super Saturn: huge planet found lurking in space could offer clues to how moons are formed

rings around a planetThe planet, known as J1407b, was discovered in 2012 but scientists have just completed a detailed study of data about it. The research shows that there are 30 rings around the planet. But between those rings are gaps, which indicate that satellites or exomoons have formed between them. “The planetary science community has theorized for decades that planets like Jupiter and Saturn would have had, at an early stage, disks around them that then led to the formation of satellites,” said Eric Mamajek, from the University of Rochester, who has been studying the planet with the Leiden Observatory’s Matthew Kenworthy. “However, until we discovered this object in 2012, no-one had seen such a ring system.”

(Also reported in: The Examiner, National Geographic, Popular Science, The Weather Channel, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia Broadcasting Corporation, The Australian (video), Astronomy Magazine, WROC-TV, West Texas News, MyNews3 Las Vegas KSNV, WPTV NBC 5 Palm Beach County, America Herald, KpopStarz, Voice of America )

The Wall Street Journal (February 9)

Wobbly Policies Make For a Shaky Economy

men signing bills into law"We’ve long understood that poorly crafted laws and regulations can inhibit investment and economic growth, but at least investors and business managers can incorporate stable rules into their strategies. There’s another barrier to growth that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves: the uncertainty created by temporary policy making. It is inevitable that legislation fosters economic uncertainty, at least to some degree; lawmakers come and go, and their laws can be amended or repealed. But the uncertainty that temporary policy making causes is avoidable—and legislators in the new Congress who want to improve the economy’s prospects can start by passing more stable laws." Mr. Primo, a professor of political science and business administration at the University of Rochester, is the author of “Rules and Restraint: Government Spending and the Design of Institutions”

NPR (February 26)

A Wrong Note Sets The Right Mood In 'House Of Cards'

netflix envelope for House of Cards tv showHouse of Cards returns to Netflix queues around the country on Friday, when every episode of the third season will become available to viewers. Once again, the Emmy-winning series about the Machiavellian machinations of Washington politics will be propelled by a distinctive score. That music is the work of composer Jeff Beal, whose resume also includes the television series Carnivàle and Monk, and documentaries such as Blackfish. Before a single frame of House of Cards had been shot, director David Fincher hired Beal, and together they came up with the show's musical tone and style. "That's Jeff. That's his personality," says Beal's wife of 25 years, Joan. The two met as college students at the Eastman School of Music — she was a singer; he was a trumpet player in the jazz program. Beal has made his work a family affair: Joan provides eerie operatic vocals throughout Season 2, and their son, Henry, plays bass in the main title and in many episodes, recording the tracks in his dorm room at the University of North Texas.

(Also reported in: Oregon Public Broadcasting )

The New York Times (February 4)

Lawsuit Seeks to Legalize Doctor-Assisted Suicide for Terminally Ill Patients in New York

woman patient reading in a hospitalA group of doctors and terminally ill patients are asking New York courts to declare that doctor-assisted suicide is legal and not covered by the state's prohibition on helping people take their own lives. One of the physician plaintiffs, Timothy E. Quill, became a pioneer in the movement when he published an article in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1991, describing how he prescribed a lethal dose of sleeping pills for a leukemia patient. A grand jury declined to indict him. He challenged the New York law on constitutional grounds, and the case went to the United States Supreme Court, which rejected the challenge in 1997. The lawsuit to be filed Wednesday does not raise any federal issues. Dr. Quill, who is head of palliative care at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said he recently had a patient whose bones were breaking from advanced cancer, and consciously stopped eating and drinking. "It took him about 10 days to die," Dr. Quill said. "You have to be incredibly disciplined to do it."

(Also reported in: WXXI )

Esquire (January 29)

Gambling Monkeys Have Hot Hands Just Like Humans

A new experiment from the University of Rochester has found that monkeys, like humans, suffer from "hot hand" syndrome in gambling scenarios. The study, which was not conducted at a treetop casino where tuxedo'd monkey bartenders sling daiquiris, focused on three primates interacting with a computer program, which they controlled by shifting their eyes to the left or right.

(Also reported in: Yahoo! News India, Tech Times, Bangalore Mirror, Big News, RedOrbit, Business Standard, Microfinance Monitor, Terra Daily )

International Business Times AU (February 11)

Cancer News: Protein In Naked Mole Rat Could Help Prevent Cancer

A new protein has been found by scientists at the University of Rochester, Harvard University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the naked mole rat, a subterranean rodent, that could help prevent cancer. The protein was associated with locus, a cluster of genes that could be found in mice as well as humans. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a multidisciplinary science journal published weekly. The professor of Biology from the University of Rochester, Vera Gorbunova, said that the product of the two proteins was called pALTINK4a/b. He said that the researchers believe that the protein might contribute to the long age of the rat. He added that this could have also contributed to the ability to prevent tumours from growing in the rat.

(Also reported in:, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Focus News )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (February 4)

URMC announces new breast diagnostic device

A new device used in further diagnosis of breast cancer and developed at the University of Rochester Medical Center has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the university announced Wednesday. The Koning Breast CT System was developed by Ruola Ning, a professor of radiology who founded the startup company Koning Corp. The device uses 3D imaging. According to a news release, the scanner disperses X-rays in the shape of a large cone rather than in narrow beams. This allows for the breast to be scanned in single rotation.

(Also reported in: 13WHAM-TV, WHEC-TV, WROC-TV, WXXI, Rochester Business Journal, Time Warner Cable News, Healio, ) (January 30)

Mobius Strips Conjured from Beam Polarization

A light beam can be structured so that its polarization twists around like a Mobius strip. The finding, by a team of researchers from the U.S., Canada, and Europe, confirms a theoretical prediction that it is possible for light’s electromagnetic field to assume this peculiar shape. Depending on the structure of the laser beam, the observed Mobius strips had either 3/2 or 5/2 twists. “This is one of the very few known examples of a Mobius structure appearing in nature,” said Dr. Robert W. Boyd, a professor of optics at the universities of Rochester and Ottawa. These strips demonstrate the rich structure that a light beam can possess at very small, subwavelength distance scales, he said.

(Also reported in: E-Science News, MSN, GPS Daily, Science Daily )

NPR (February 9)

Psychological Biases Play A Part In Vaccination Decisions

With the recent outbreak of measles originating from Disneyland, there's been no shortage of speculation, accusation and recrimination concerning why some people won't vaccinate their children. There's also been some — but only some — more historically and psychologically informed discussion. Some people's motivation for skipping vaccines likely comes from persistent misinformation and, in particular, the unfounded belief that there's a link between vaccines and autism. And, as Adam Frank pointed out in a post last week, vaccinations also play into a larger cultural conversation about science and its place in society. Adam Frank's a founder of NPR’s 13.7 blog, named for the age of the universe in billions of years and dedicated to the proposition “that scientists must engage in the public debate of what science can and cannot do.

(Also reported in: Minnesota Public Radio, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Daily KOS, WRVO Public Media )

WXXI PBS News (February 12)

Connections: Could an AIDS Vaccine Be Coming from URMC?

An AIDS vaccine - in a pill? That's what the URMC is helping to develop. URMC is the first center in the world to test a new HIV vaccine in pill form, and it appears to hold promise. We'll talk about AIDS, HIV, and the future of treatment. Our guests:* Dr. Michael Keefer - Director of the University’s HIV Vaccine Trials Unit Dr. John Treanor - Professor in Medicine in infectious diseases at the University of Rochester.

(Also reported in: WXXI, WRVO Public Media )

The Energy Daily (February 17)

New self-stretching material developed at University of Rochester

Although most materials slightly expand when heated, there is a new class of rubber-like material that not only self-stretches upon cooling; it reverts back to its original shape when heated, all without physical manipulation. The material is like a shape-memory polymer because it can be switched between two different shapes. "However, unlike other shape-memory polymers, the material does not need to be programmed each cycle--it repeatedly switches shapes, with no external forces, simply upon cooling and heating," said Mitchell Anthamatten, an associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Rochester.

(Also reported in: Space Daily, Nanowerk,,, Product Design & Development, New Kerala, Zee India )

Water Online (February 13)

Lasers Could Make Bathroom Cleanups Less Water-Intensive

Scientists have found a way to create water-resistant surfaces using lasers, and the discovery could be useful in reducing the amount of water required to clean the bathroom. A study published in January in the Journal of Applied Physics describes how to use lasers to create these surfaces, which efficiently absorb light, repel water and clean themselves. The multifunctional materials could find use in durable, low maintenance solar collectors and sensors, according to the journal. Chunlei Guo, a University of Rochester professor who led the study, described how the technique could be useful in bathrooms in the developing world.

Washington Post (February 19)

I'm a therapist. Movies are the best tool I have to help my patients.

When a shy client named Angie came in needing help, I recommended an unusual course of treatment: a movie screening. When she ended therapy, I asked her to tell me what, if anything, was most helpful. “Honestly,” she said, “what helped the most was when you suggested that I watch ‘Punch Drunk Love.’ ” This quirky love story starring Adam Sandler and Emily Watson looks at what falling in love looks like when one or both people struggle with intimacy. A 2013 University of Rochester study asked couples to watch the 1967 film “Two for the Road,” about a husband and wife reflecting on the high and low points in their marriage. Afterward, study participants engaged in an hour-long, clinically guided conversation on marital themes such as conflict, stress and forgiveness. They were then sent home with a list of 47 films and instructed to watch one film together each week. They also were given discussion questions. “A movie is a nonthreatening way to get the conversation started,” lead researcher Ronald D. Rogge told the New York Times. “It’s really exciting because it makes it so much easier to reach out to couples and help them strengthen their relationships on a wide scale.”

(Also reported in: Hampton Pilot Online, The Vancouver Sun )

Science News (February 20)

Chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body

Ask anybody — stress is bad news. The negative view of stress has been expressed so consistently that the concept is now built into our vernacular, which is spiced with advice on avoiding it: Take it easy. Calm down. Chill. Problems arise, however, when stress becomes a feature of daily life. Chronic stress is the kind that comes from recurring pain, post-traumatic memories, unemployment, family tension, poverty, childhood abuse, caring for a sick spouse or just living in a sketchy neighborhood. Nonstop, low-grade stress contributes directly to physical deterioration, adding to the risk of heart attack, stroke, infection and asthma. Even recovery from cancer becomes harder. To make matters worse, immunity weakens naturally with age. “By superimposing stress on the aging of the immune system, you accelerate those effects,” says Kathi Heffner, a psychologist at the University of Rochester in New York.

NPR (February 25)

Preventing Suicide With A 'Contagion Of Strength'

Over the next five months of school, Wooton High School's newly trained peer leaders will meet with their adult advisers and other students. They'll be talking about the power of positive support and sharing stories of how the eight pillars of strength play out in their own lives. Administrators at the school are convinced Sources of Strength will have a strong impact on their school culture – and research tends to back that up. "This is really the first peer-leader program that has shown impact on school-wide coping norms and influence on youth connectedness," says Peter Wyman, a psychiatry professor at the University of Rochester in New York. Wyman has been studying suicide prevention for the last 12 years. He was one of the authors of a three-year study in the American Journal of Public Health that looked at the effectiveness of Sources of Strength.

The Atlantic (February 25)

Me, Myself, and Authenticity

The mainstream shift toward "I" and "me" in American pop music dates back at least half a century. The Beatles actually cut back on their use of first-person pronouns after earlier songs like "Ask Me Why," "Love Me Do," and "Please Please Me" in the early 1960s. It was around this time that Bob Dylan rose to fame, and ushered in the era of the singer-songwriter with his warbly first-person anthems. Dylan’s ascent marked the dawn of another era characterized by hand-wringing over self-centered youth, and the beginning of what came to be known as the culture of narcissism. Baby Boomers had yet to earn the “Me Generation” moniker at the start of Dylan’s career, but he was criticized right away as being a narcissist—including by fellow folk singers like Pete Seeger. "Seeger's criticism against Dylan at this time was that he took the ‘we,’ and turned it into a ‘me,’” said John Covach, a professor of music theory at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music. "But what usually triggers this narcissism criticism is that what somebody's telling you about themselves is not something that you want to hear. If they seem to be whining about their situation, or seem to be entitled, you tend to view it as narcissism. But if someone is saying something that happened to them and it resonates with your own experience, then you don't call it narcissistic. You call it poetry."

US News and World Report (February 10)

Creatine Doesn't Treat Parkinson's Disease, Study Says

Creatine monohydrate is an amino acid believed to play an important role in energy production in cells, a process that may be impaired in people with Parkinson's disease. Previous research in mice suggested that creatine supplements might potentially protect nerve cells. "These findings do not support the use of creatine monohydrate in patients with Parkinson's disease," study author Dr. Karl Kieburtz, of the University of Rochester, and colleagues wrote. The study was published Feb. 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

(Also reported in: Philadelphia Inquirer, HealthDay, Science Daily )

NBC News (February 25)

The Age Kids Should Stop Napping, According to Science

More than 450,000 Americans get infected with the deadly bug Clostridium difficile each year, according to a new report. And almost all cases are caused by the overuse of antibiotics. The number's probably been undercounted for so long because many people get sick after they leave the hospital. And the study showed people are not just getting infected in hospitals. They are getting infected in doctors' offices, the dentist's chair, and in other healthcare settings. "This is the first study that really highlights the important burden of this infection," said Dr. Ghinwa Dumyati of the University of Rochester Medical Center, who helped conduct the study with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Also reported in: International Business Times )

The New York Times (February 23)

New York’s Fluoridation Fuss, 50 Years Later

In March 1957, as Elvis was buying Graceland and the Soviets were preparing to shock the world with Sputnik, Robert F. Wagner, the famously cautious mayor of New York, was having trouble taking a stand. In two days, the city’s Board of Estimate would hold a hearing on one of the most contentious issues of the Cold War: whether to begin fluoridation of New York’s drinking water, which the Board of Health had urged more than a year earlier to fight cavities. Critics had denounced it as forced medication, dangerously toxic or a Communist plot. To prepare for a marathon hearing on March 6, 1957, before the city’s Board of Estimate, Gulick and his associates got 375 scientists to assemble evidence on fluoride’s safety and compiled a list of friendly witnesses, including a mother from each of the five boroughs, as well as Harold C. Hodge, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Rochester and an early booster of fluoridation. Opponents of fluoridation later accused Dr. Hodge of not disclosing controversial experiments on fluoride toxicity conducted during the Manhattan Project; supporters said the small amounts used in drinking water were proven safe.

WXXI (February 25)

Rochester Music Hall of Fame Announces 2015 Inductees

The Hall of Fame is in its fourth year, and every spring it recognizes a handful of musical greats with a Rochester connection. This year, five inductees were chosen and their musical legacies shared. Ron Carter is an American jazz double bassist, and one of the most recorded bassists in jazz history. The Michigan native studied at Eastman School of Music, where he played with the Eastman Philharmonia. He will perform one of his original works on the Kodak Hall stage. William Warfield (d. 2002) was an internationally acclaimed bass baritone. He performed on stage and in concert, as well as in television and film. His song "Ol Man River" was featured in the 1951 film Show Boat. Warfield was raised in Rochester and studied at the Eastman School of Music. His nephew, Thomas Warfield, will perform an interpretive dance, and "Ol Man River" will be performed in his honor at the ceremony.

Rochester City Newspaper (February 25)

Rochester's fighting chance for a turnaround

Upstate cities know decline. For decades, they've seen their once-vibrant downtowns fade and their big employers and industries shrink, shut down, or leave. And when Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged $1 billion in state resources to Buffalo, to help turn the region around, the rest of Upstate cried foul: Why not us? Cuomo now wants to bring similar efforts and investments to other Upstate regions. In January, the governor proposed the Upstate Revitalization Competition, which would use $1.5 billion from a foreign bank settlement to fund three $500 million awards. In the Rochester area, a Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council work group will head up the region's application. Its members will be taking a deep look at the region's industries, as well as its social and economic challenges, to see where large investments may be the most effective, says University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, co-chair of the Finger Lakes regional council.

NPR (February 17)

Shock, Awe And Science

ADAM FRANK Imagine you walked outside one morning and there was a 30,000-pound cat sitting in your front yard. Imagine that, on the way to work, you walked past a mushroom the size of a house. Imagine that, in the midst of all the mundane, day-to-day things you take for granted, something utterly new — and utterly unexpected — plopped itself into your reality. Almost everyday, something a long those lines is happening in laboratories and observatories around the world. It's the shock of the new — and it's one the greatest gifts science has to offers us. A few years ago, I was sitting in one of our astronomy group's regular Monday lunches. This is a time when a visiting scientist comes to spend the day with us and gives a talk on his or her current research. But at this lunch, we weren't talking about the visitor's work. Instead, we were buzzing over something quite remarkable and quite unexpected that my University of Rochester colleague, Eric Mamajek, had just stumbled into. Adam Frank is a co-founder of the 13.7 blog, an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester, a book author and a self-described "evangelist of science." You can keep up with more of what Adam is thinking on Facebook and Twitter: @adamfrank4.

(Also reported in: WNYC 93.9 )

International Business Times AU (February 21)

Benefits Of Breastfeeding

Breast milk is an ideal source of nutrition for an infant. Hence, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly advise mothers to breastfeed their children. The National Resource Defence Council (NRDC) further states that there can be no substitute for breast milk. It has everything an infant needs and it contributes to the health of both mother and the child. Calorie Incinerator Infant-nutrition expert Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and OB-GYN at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y., and the author of Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession (Elsevier-Mosby) told that breastfeeding burns calories. According to WebMD, breastfeeding can help a mother burn the extra fat she put on during the pregnancy. The website also states that it benefits the mother tremendously in other ways as well. When the infant is breastfed, the hormone oxytocin is released which helps the uterus to return to its original size.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (February 22)

Wives of the famous portrayed at MAG

The lessons of history are invaluable, but the stories can grow stale over time, the deeper meanings lost with each re-telling. A series of events at the Memorial Art Gallery on Sunday afternoon took aim at that problem by helping breathe new life into those stories. Black History Month Family Day featured a variety of activities, including music and dance performances, guided tours, and international culture displays celebrating the rich and varied contributions of African Americans. All of these events, some somber and some vibrant and noisy, helped bring the events of Black History Month out of the dusty pages of history books and into life right before the eyes of visitors to the Memorial Art Gallery.

(Also reported in: WROC-TV )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (February 18)

February leaves a trail of frozen psyches

If he worked in the elements, David Wright might not be so enthusiastic about snowshoeing in temperatures barely above zero. "Because I have an indoor job, I look forward to getting outside," said the 68-year-old mechanical engineer. "I think it gives me a positive attitude. It reduces some stress. There's a certain beauty, going out after the snow falls. The sky is blue. The sun is out. The snow on the trees, you can't beat it." "If you are in a good mood, bad weather wouldn't alter it much," Woods said. Many studies looking at the role of vitamin D in mood disorders have been observational rather than randomly controlled clinical trials, said Dr. Kevin Fiscella, a professor of family medicine and public health science at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He said there was no high-quality evidence that vitamin D supplements improved mood, and any benefit would probably come from the exposure to the sun.

Deccan Herald (January 31)

Common pesticide may increase risk of ADHD

Exposure to a common household pesticide may increase the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, a new study has found. Researchers from Rutgers University and colleagues from Emory University, the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Wake Forest University found that mice exposed to the pyrethroid pesticide deltamethrin in utero and through lactation exhibited several features of ADHD. The ADHD-like behaviours persisted in the mice through adulthood, even though the pesticide, considered to be less toxic and used on golf courses, in the home, and on gardens, lawns and vegetable crops, was no longer detected in their system

WXXI (February 11)

Federal Government May Remove Recommendations to Avoid Foods High in Cholesterol

When the federal government updates its guidelines this year on what constitutes a healthy diet, there could be a big change. An advisory committee is recommending that cholesterol should no longer be avoided. Dr. Charles Lowenstein, chief of cardiology at UR Medicine, says he's all for that recommendation, based on research in recent years. There's no evidence that eating a lot of cholesterol is bad. There's plenty of evidence that high levels of cholesterol in your body are bad, he said. Your body makes cholesterol. In fact, it makes a lot more cholesterol than when you eat cholesterol.

(Also reported in: 13WHAM-TV )

The New York Times (February 1)

From the Idea of a Germ

Injy Artense Carpenter and Dr. Timothy Francis Nichols Sullivan were married Saturday evening at India House, a private club in Manhattan. The Rev. Lissa Gundlach, a Unitarian Universalist minister, officiated. The groom, 34, is an infectious-diseases physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. He graduated from the University of Rochester and received a medical degree from Georgetown. The couple met in May 2010, at a mutual friend’s party in Brooklyn. “I noticed her first, she was adjusting music on the stereo,” Dr. Sullivan said. “I thought she was really pretty so I decided to go over and introduce myself.” During their initial conversation, Dr. Sullivan, an internal medicine resident at the time, mentioned his plans to pursue a career as an infectious diseases specialist and gave some examples of infections that he had seen in the hospital. “Little did he know, he was speaking to a self-professed germaphobe,” Ms. Carpenter said.

Rochester Business Journal (February 24)

Alaris, UR partner to digitize Susan B. Anthony letters

Kodak Alaris Inc. has partnered with the University of Rochester to digitize a large collection of correspondence between suffragist Susan B. Anthony and her friend and colleague, Rachel Foster Avery. The collection’s workflow enabled scanning of 1,470 images, including some 50 photographs, in roughly 20 hours. The total collection spans from the 1880s—around the time Susan B. Anthony and Rachel Foster Avery began their friendship—to 1919, about the time of Avery’s death. UR officials believe this is the largest collection of letters written by Susan B. Anthony to any single person.

(Also reported in: 13WHAM-TV )

WROC-TV (February 6)

U of R Receives Sizeable Donation for its Institute for Data Science

The University of Rochester has received a sizeable donation for its Institute for Data Science. Rochester natives Robin and Tim Wentworth have pledged $3 million to endow the directorship for the institute. The donation furthers the university's $1.2 billion campaign -- "The Meliora Challenge" -- and its commitment to expand data science research. U of R computer science professor Henry Kautz will be the first endowed director.

(Also reported in: Rochester Business Journal, WXXI )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (February 11)

Memmott: A quiz filled with firsts

It's Black History Month, a good time to have a quiz based on the contributions and achievements of African-Americans here. All of the people mentioned here are in the list of Remarkable Rochesterians that can be found in Interactive: Take the quiz! 1. Famed singer William Warfield, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, grew up in Rochester where his father was: A. A teacher. B. A pastor. C. A scientist. 3. Beatrice Amaza Howard became the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Rochester in: A. 1870. B. 1931. 5. Dr. Walter Cooper, a civil rights advocate and former member of the New York State Board of Regents, received a University of Rochester doctorate in: A. Biology. B. Physical chemistry. C. Management.

Rochester Business Journal (February 26)

Ganatra family donates $1.5M to establish pediatric cardiac surgery chair

The family of Tansukh Ganatra retired Rochester and North Carolina telecommunications executive has donated $1.5 million to establish a University of Rochester Medical Center endowed chair of pediatric cardiac surgery, URMC officials said Thursday. A veteran of Rochester Telephone Corp. and onetime president and chief operating officer of the Rochester-based long distance carrier ACC Corp., Ganatra along with fellow ACC veteran and URMC benefactor Richard Aab later co-founded US LEC Corp. Now North Carolina residents, Ganatra, his wife Sarla and son Rajesh are jointly funding the endowed chair in appreciation of services rendered to their family and friends by URMC physicians, URMC officials said. The doctors at Strong Memorial Hospital were there as our friends, our allies and our advisers, Tansukh Ganatra said. Whenever we needed help, they were there.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (February 10)

UR joins national sexual assault prevention campaign

The students' concerns were evident in the words on the T-shirts worn by some of them involved in the It's On Us campaign launched Tuesday at the University of Rochester. Emily Sumner's T-shirt said, "Stop. Ask. Clarify," in reference to the need of students to have a clear understanding of consent before entering into a sexual relationship. Collaborating with UR's office of communications, the Students' Association has made a video to increase public awareness and, working with student groups, plans to hold various events in the months ahead.

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

WXXI PBS News (February 9)

Two People With Eastman Music School Connections Win Grammy Awards

Two people with connections to the Eastman School of Music are among the winners of the Grammy Awards, which were announced Sunday in Los Angeles. Paul O’Dette, professor of lute at the Eastman School of Music, and Eastman alumnus and mastering engineer Robert (Bob) Ludwig won their categories.

(Also reported in: WROC-TV )

WXXI PBS News (February 2)

Connections: Notable UR Scientists Under The Age Of 30

Listen Listening... / 51:14 Two young U of R scientists earning praise for the work they've done It's our monthly science roundtable, and we'll meet two scientists earning accolades for their impressive work before the age of 30. One studies the way infants learn to speak; the other works in the field of neuroscience. In studio: David Paul, graduate student at the University of Rochester Elika Bergelson, University of Rochester assistant professor

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle )

WHAM TV ABC 13 Rochester (February 25)

Local allergist responds to peanut study

A new study is giving hope to those with peanut allergies. The study, published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, says infants and toddlers who were at high risk for getting a peanut allergy were far less likely to develop peanut allergies if they consumed peanuts in their first years of life. Today we spoke with Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo, who serves as the Director of the Center for Food Allergy at Golisano Children's Hospital. She said this does not, we stress "not" mean, parents should make any changes now. New guidelines might come out in a few months. Dr. Jarvinen-Seppo stressed this should be discussed with a doctor and, right now, the study was only targeted at high risk kids.

(Also reported in: WROC-TV )

Rochester City Newspaper (February 25)

Compressed expansiveness

Four decades of work by ceramic artist Wayne Higby are represented in the Memorial Art Gallery's show, "Infinite Place," and honestly, there's not a thing he's done that I didn't feel all swoony about. The exhibition begins with a trio of examples from Higby's early work, created in the late 1960's, and inspired by world travels. "The pot, like a footprint in stone, signifies the presence of humanity," Higby says in a provided statement. His "Inlaid Luster Jar" carries spiral motifs ubiquitous throughout the planet's ancient cultures, has nubby vestigial handles, and shimmers darkly with a subtle opalescence.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (February 6)

ROCLives: History vs. the law. And history won

Thomas Slaughter, Professor of History, University of Rochester. "I think my interest in history comes from a clear sense that it's a path to understand everything that's going on around me. I don't think there is anything on the front page of the newspaper that I couldn't understand better if I understood it's longer history. I think that's always been at the root of my focus on historical roots of experience. When I developed an interest in history as a young person, I thought that was a precursor to becoming a lawyer, so I always thought I wanted to become a lawyer right up until the point where I realized that all I really wanted to do was to get accepted to law school. Once I got accepted at law schools and tried to decide which one I wanted to go to, I started thinking about what lawyers that I knew, or knew about, actually do, and that didn't sound anywhere near as interesting to me as sticking with the history sounded.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (February 11)

Susan B. Anthony luncheon takes STEM focus

The idea that a woman would one day be in space probably seemed far-fetched even to Rochester suffragist Susan B. Anthony. But Wednesday's luncheon in honor of her 195th birthday - themed 'Thanks to Susan B., we can reach for the stars' - saluted Anthony for laying the groundwork that eventually would make that a reality. Lynne Maquat, director of the Center for RNA Biology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, came to the luncheon to show her support for the Susan B. Anthony House. 'I'm a woman in science, and there aren't too many women in science,' she said. 'Women wouldn't be where we are today without the contributions of Susan B. Anthony.

Time Warner Cable News (January 30)

Rochester Named 1 of 3 Finalists for Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute

The Department of Defense announced Friday that Rochester is one of three finalists in the running for millions in federal dollars to fund the nation's first Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute. We already have the edge on them. We’ve had the edge on them for a couple generations," said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-25th District. “Going back to Kodak, and Bausch and Lomb and Xerox and all those other companies, what we have here is expertise that no other community can put together.” “It’s really about making sure that we remain the optics capital of the world and that’s what Rochester stands for," said Rob Clark, Dean of the University of Rochester School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

(Also reported in: WXXI, )

Music School Central (February 3)

In NYC's Premiere Music Conference, One Old School Presents New, Groundbreaking Ideas

If You Don’t “Get” Technology, Don’t Worry – Your iPhone May Be All You Need To Get Started Having live videos of your performing can be incredibly valuable for your music career. Unfortunately, the multi-camera approach can cost over $2,000 if you choose to buy multiple premium cameras for your shoot, like four GoPro cameras. Luckily, according to Michael Reed, Eastman faculty member who teaches musicians how to integrate technology into their careers, you don’t need more than your iPhone and your friends’ iPhones. The answer to having a great music career couldn’t be laid out any more clearly than at Eastman’s pre-conference presentation at Chamber Music America. Times are changing very rapidly, and as musicians, we must adapt or our potential careers could perish. It is truly inspiring to see schools that do have such strong ties to tradition, like the Eastman School of Music, allocate energy to building strong resources for modern, career-first musicians.