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In the Headlines

March 2015

USA TODAY (March 9)

Apple leverages iPhone to help doctors' research

smartphone and appApple's ubiquitous iPhone has been used for all sorts of silliness, from distracting games to idle chat. But now it's got a chance to tackle a far weightier task, such as battling Parkinson's and improving cardiovascular health. Building on a HealthKit app that debuted with iPhone 6, Apple announced Monday that it had worked with a range of doctors, hospitals and developers to create five new opt-in apps that its smartphone users can use to share personal health data to improve medical research. Of course with any data-sharing proposition comes the obvious question of the security of such personal data. Williams said emphatically that "Apple will not see your data." Although Williams didn't go into a lot of detail on the functionality of each app, he did linger on the one focused on helping both Parkinson's sufferers as well as the disease's researchers. It was developed in conjunction with the University of Rochester, Capital Medical University, Xuanwu Hospital and Sage Bionetworks.

(Also reported in: The Daily Mail,, Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dail Mail (UK), Venture Beat, Engadget, MarketWatch, Syracuse Post Standard, The FINANCIAL, The News Journal, Sleep Review, Athens Banner-Herald, Democrat & Chronicle, Inquirer, Chicago Sun Times, WXXI, 13WHAM-TV, WHEC-TV, Huffington Post UK, Huffington Post, San Diego Union Tribune, Apple Insider, Healthcare Global, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Time Warner Cable News, San Jose Business Journal )

New York Times (March 21)

Study Suggests that Hitters Production Dips After They Return from Concussions

batter misses a pitchConcussions are not as common in Major League Baseball as they are in professional football, but they happen often enough, with players getting hit by pitches, running into walls or catching a knee in the head sliding into a base. Catchers are particularly at risk — a foul tip off the mask will snap the neck back and give the brain a solid rattle. Collisions at the plate take a toll, too. Now, a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that position players in the majors who sustain concussions do not hit as effectively in their first weeks back after their injury. Baseball instituted a seven-day disabled list in 2011, specifically to let players recover from concussions while allowing the team to maintain a full roster. But there is no set time that a player must stay out after a concussion. If he passes the protocol, he is cleared to play. “I would say that what they’re doing now is a good start,” the senior author of the study, Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Rochester, said of baseball’s protocol. “But if they integrated some kind of analysis about how the player is swinging the bat, then you could see if they’re really back to where they were.”

(Also reported in: Washington Post, Scientific American, Fox News, Willmar West Central Tribune, Bend Bulletin (ORE), Montreal Gazette, Canada Globe and Mail, MSN, U.S. News and World Report, HealthDay,, WBT AM 1100 Charlotte )

Discovery (March 25)

Daily Planet: Future Tunes

students on stage with laptopsIf you've ever wondered what measles sounds like or wanted to play a drum solo with your face or wanted to dance to the music of your own body, you've come to the right place. "I decided to bring people together to create something new, something interactive, something that would catch the audience's attention." David Heid is a grad student at the University of Rochester. A place where art meets science with supersonic results. "I've always been interested in how your body could become an instrument. What would it sound like? How to be expressive. Something that's entirely controlled by the human instrument."

New York Times (March 18)

Valentin Rasputin, Russian Writer Who Led "Village Prose" Movement, Dies at 77

author and cover of book on Village ProseValentin Rasputin, a patriarch of the so-called village prose writers who emerged in the Soviet Union in the 1960s to address moral and environmental issues and depict the remains of a rural Russia about to be consumed by industrialization, died here on Saturday. He was 77. Kathleen Parthé, the director of Russian studies at the University of Rochester and the author of two books that address village prose, said of Mr. Rasputin in an email, “Like many of Russia’s best-known writers, he was always slightly out of step with the times — too bold in the 1960s and 1970s with his nostalgia for the radiant village past, too critical of the Soviet destruction of the environment around his beloved Lake Baikal, too disdainful of Western-style democracy, too bitter about those he said had brought a millennium-old civilization to an end in 1917.” She added, “As a writer he may have been a spent force, but as a cultural icon who helped legitimize the latest version of Russian authoritarianism,” he was receiving “a very grand send-off.”

CNN (March 19)

Should Americans be forced to vote?

if you don't vote you don't count stickerLet's imagine a future in which Americans must vote, or face a penalty. Today, compulsory voting exists in roughly a quarter of all democracies in the world, ranging from Western Europe and Australia to Latin America and Asia. Yet few believe that it stands any chance of being adopted in the United States. Why? Interestingly, conservatives in the late 19th and early 20th century in Western Europe and Latin America were the first to champion compulsory voting. Expansion of suffrage dramatically shifted the composition of the voting population, while industrialization swelled the ranks of the working class and created new political identities. During this period, the left's organizational ability to mobilize voters was unmatched. Parties on the right countered with mandatory voting, which aimed to bring out their natural constituencies. Gretchen Helmke is associate professor and chairwoman of the political science department at the University of Rochester. Bonnie Meguid is associate professor in the same department.

New York Times (March 22)

Stigma Around Physician-Assisted Dying Lingers

patientJack Kevorkian’s unorthodox methods drew attention to assisted suicide. Decades later, Americans still struggle with whether doctors should be allowed to help suffering patients end their lives. 5:23 Dr. Timothy Quill, University of Rochester Medical Center: There was a lot of discussion about if Kevorkian’s crazy does this mean that these kinds of acts are all crazy, or might there be a place for this in medicine? Rochester, NY internist, Timothy Quill, knows firsthand the wrenching decisions doctors make in the face of death. Just months after Kevorkian’s first case, in an effort to broaden the debate, Dr. Timothy Quill published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Democrat & Chronicle (March 25)

UR's campaign reaches $1.2 billion goal

meliora medallian with confetti
The first email that University of Rochester President Joel Seligman sent to the university community when he took office in July 2005 announced that a major fundraising effort was underway. That effort blossomed into the largest fundraising initiative in UR history and became known as The Meliora Challenge, with a goal of $1.2 billion. Meliora means "ever better" and is UR's motto. Wednesday evening, Seligman announced that the goal had been met 15 months ahead of its deadline. He did so in a working retreat at Amelia Island, off the Florida coast with about 300 faculty, staff and students, along with UR's board of trustees. Seligman called reaching the $1.2 billion mark "a major milestone" in UR's 165-year history.

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

The Conversation (March 13)

50 years ago, the Rolling Stones' first US hit evinced the band's eclectic style

Rolling Stones in 1967
By John Covach, University of Rochester
In the first weeks of 1964, the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” raced up the US charts, giving the Liverpool band its first American hit single and helping to launch the British invasion. At around the same time, the Rolling Stones were enjoying a number-three hit in the UK with “Not Fade Away,” as well as a number-one British EP. The Stones tried – but couldn’t immediately replicate – the Beatles' stateside success, lagging behind by more than a year. But “Satisfaction” was not the Stones' first top ten single in the US. In March 1965 the band released “The Last Time,” which rose to the number-nine spot stateside, while topping the charts in the UK. Unlike “Satisfaction,” the story of this song is not one of scandal and rebellion, but rather one of admiration and imitation. It possessed stylistic flairs and influences that would ultimately foretell the band’s future stardom. But the Rolling Stones' eclectic range of influences did create a uniquely broad stylistic palette, one that the band drew on as their music expanded and developed throughout the years – and as they went on to enjoy greater success and longevity than most of their contemporaries.

(Also reported in:, Cherry Creek News )

U.S. News & World Report (March 27)

Could a Diet Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?

The MIND diet combines aspects of the better-known Mediterranean diet with certain features of the so-called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, both of which call for high consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fish. But while the MIND diet stresses the importance of plant-based foods, green leafy vegetables and blueberries, it does not push much consumption of fruit, fish, dairy or potatoes. One expert said he was intrigued by the findings. "The protective impact they found is significant and substantial enough to make you do a little bit of a double-take," said Dr. Anton Porsteinsson, director of the Alzheimer's care, research and education program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York. "With a diet like this it seems that it's never too late to start," Porsteinsson said. "And that's a very important message."

(Also reported in: Health Finder, WLBT NBC 3, KTBC (FOX 7) Austin, )

Men's Journal (March 25)

E-Cigarettes May Be Just as Bad as The Real Thing

Two new studies have turned out some scary findings about e-cigarettes. The first one, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that e-cigarette vapor can harbor hidden formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — at levels up to 15 times greater than regular cigarettes. "We discovered this form of formaldehyde hidden in the tiny liquid droplets of the vapor, where it hadn't been detected before," says lead researcher David Peyton, a chemistry professor at Portland State University in Oregon. "It has the potential to distribute deeply into the lungs and collect there." The second study showed that e-cigarette vapors directly harm human lung tissue. Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York found that when the aerosol produced by heated liquid nicotine hits lung cells, it churns up disease-causing free radicals and triggers marked inflammation; they also found the presence of up to six times the level of heavy metals, like copper. What's more, they discovered that various flavor additives, which are often added to e-cigs, cause additional oxidative damage to lung tissue. This isn't after years of e-cig use, either. The negative effects "occurred after a few days of vaping," he says. "Chronic exposure may lead to even more damage."

Engadget (March 31)

Google Glass app can help socially awkward penguins speak in public

Fear of public speaking is quite common, and chances are you either know someone who has it or you suffer from the phobia yourself. This smart glass app called Rhema, created by researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the University of Rochester, was designed for people who need a bit of help addressing crowds. Rhema can listen as you speak, upload your recorded voice to a server, analyze its pace and volume, and then give you feedback in real time. To test it out, the team had 30 subjects try out several different feedback systems installed on Google Glass. These include ones that shows a traffic lights-like scheme and another that uses graphs. By the end of the testing period, they determined that the most effective way to get the message across is to display words on screen.

(Also reported in: WHEC-TV, Business Standard )

Democrat & Chronicle (March 12)

U.S. News releases graduate school rankings

(Rochester Democrat & Chronicle © 03/12/2015) Although the University of Rochester's medical school continues to be in the top third ranked by U.S. News & World Report, the school dropped 14 notches in the primary care category in new ratings. And UR's School of Nursing moved up from 32nd to 30th for its master's level programs in these rankings. No one from U.S. News was available on Wednesday to explain why the UR's School of Medicine and Dentistry's primary care ranking dropped from 21st to 35th among the 118 medical schools rated. UR Medical Center spokesman Chris DiFrancesco said that in each of the measures that U.S. News used to calculate the primary care rankings, UR's score has not changed significantly in the past four years.

(Also reported in: WHEC-TV )

Fox News (March 7)

AP Essay: Of a plane still missing, and a planet still vast

The towering Danish ship Kobenhavn set sail from Argentina one December day, bound for Australia with five dozen souls aboard. Eight days later, as it traversed the South Atlantic, it radioed a nearby ship. All seemed well. That was Dec. 22, 1928. The vessel was never heard from again. “Never in the history of shipping has a missing vessel been searched for more thoroughly,” Associated Press correspondent Alex Gerfalk wrote then. “Science has exhausted its resources in an attempt to find a plausible explanation for the complete disappearance of the largest sailing vessel in the world.” With Flight 370, you can make a case that the constituency of grief is a pretty large chunk of humanity. So policy decisions made around the search — should it continue, and for how long? — extend beyond the realm of policy itself. “So much of the world’s been touched by this event in some way,” says Alisa Hathaway, a trauma expert at the University of Rochester’s Mt. Hope Family Center. Searchers, policymakers, aviation experts: “All of those layers of people are affected by this process and all of the emotion that goes along with it.”

(Also reported in: The Washington Post, Santa Fe New Mexican, Gadsden Times )

USA TODAY (March 20)

Which airlines do best on Facebook and Twitter?

Airlines are right up there with hotel chains and online travel agents as some of the most active companies using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to engage with customers as they make their all-important purchasing decisions. But which airlines do it best? Montreal-based Engagement Labs ran some numbers, giving U.S. airlines an ranking based on engagement, impact and responsiveness, and says American Airlines is the top performer on Facebook. Meanwhile, a study of Twitter data from four large North American airlines (United, American, Delta and Air Canada) conducted by the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester found that, when it comes to addressing complaints and compliments on Twitter, airlines answered less than 40% of requests they received for engagement and were more likely to engage with customers who have a high number of followers.

Innovation Trail (March 17)

WATCH: NY med schools seek more investment to retain top biomedical researchers

Medical Schools in New York State are asking the legislature to include $50 million for faculty development in the state budget. University leadership calls the NYSTAR Faculty Development Program an investment needed to grow programs that will attract high-profile entrepreneurial biomedical researchers. Doctor Stephen Dewhurst, Vice Dean for Research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, is concerned without an investment from the legislature New York Medical Schools won't be able to compete with programs offered in other states. "The fact is that other states are ahead of us in this enterprise. So, Texas, for example, has been picking off faculty from the state of New York and recruiting them to the state of Texas. And we'd like to be able to do the same thing in turn. We'd like to be able to recruit the best and the brightest right here to New York State, and to this community," said Dewhurst

Democrat & Chronicle (March 30)

UR dean receives White House award

A dean at the University of Rochester is one of 15 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Beth Olivares will receive her award at the White House later this year. Since July, she has served as dean for diversity initiatives in arts, sciences and engineering and continues to head the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity at UR. In addition to being honored at the White House, the award winners receive awards of $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

(Also reported in: WROC-TV, Kansas City infoZine,, National Science Foundation, New Orleans NOLA Live )

The Economist (March 5)

Out of the groove

A simple treatment using a laser can produce surfaces with the ability to clean themselves Chunlei Guo and Anatoliy Vorobyev, physicists at the University of Rochester, in New York, have become experts in using femtosecond lasers to make surfaces with hierarchical structuring. Unlike industrial lasers, femtosecond lasers release their energy in pulses leaving no time for a material to heat up appreciably. As that energy dissipates, single atoms and clusters of varying sizes evaporate off the surface, leaving nanometre-scale bumps and valleys where the laser has removed differing amounts of material. By scanning a laser beam repeatedly across samples of metal, the researchers are able to cut arrays of grooves about 100 millionths of a metre wide (the width of a human hair). Within each of the grooves, though, lies structure at the nanometre scale. That arrangement, as the pair have shown in a paper in the Journal of Applied Physics, results in an astonishing level of superhydrophobicity on platinum, brass and titanium. It is not just that water dropped onto the surfaces does not stick; it actually bounces.

WHAM TV ABC 13 Rochester (March 26)

U of R research: more effective chemo

University of Rochester researchers found a way to make chemotherapy more effective. The mechanism is called an NMD, or nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, and it works to eliminate mutated mRNAs. It destroys products that could be toxic to cells and cleans up some of the mistakes cells make on a daily basis. "It is the quality control mechanism that detects abnormal products of our genome, our genetic blueprint," Lynne Maquat said. "We're also able to, for example, inhibit this pathway so that cancer cells are more responsive to chemotherapy."

(Also reported in: WHEC-TV, Biocompare, Science Daily, Medical Xpress )

Discovery (March 24)

Daily Planet

March 18th episode, 12:25 Deep in the basement of his Hogwarts-like academy someone is practicing the dark arts by making things disappear. In reality John Howell (physics professor at the University of Rochester) and his team aren't working magic. They're working physics.

U.S. News & World Report (March 3)

10 National Universities Where Students Usually Live on Campus

The University of Rochester and Case Western Reserve University haven't always made this list in the past, but this year they're in the middle of the top 10. At Rochester, 93 percent of undergrads lived on campus; 89 percent of students seeking a bachelor's degree lived on campus at Case Western Reserve. Below is a list of the 10 National Universities that had the highest percentage of undergraduates living on campus during fall 2013. Schools that were designated by U.S. News as Unranked were not considered for this report. These schools did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked. National University (state), Percent of undergrads living on campus, U.S. News rank Harvard University (MA), 99, 2 Princeton University (NJ), 97, 1 Columbia University (NY), 94, 4 (tie) University of Rochester (NY), 93, 33 (tie) Stanford University (CA), 91, 4 (tie) Case Western Reserve University (OH), 89, 38 (tie) Dartmouth College (NH), 88, 11 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 88, 7 St. Mary's University of Minnesota, 88, 181 (tie) Yale University (CT), 87, 3

(Also reported in: Yahoo! News )

The Wall Street Journal (March 15)

It's Time for Grown-Ups to Get Their Shots

A new push is on to get more adults vaccinated against devastating diseases like pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough. Public-health officials and infectious-disease experts are working with physicians, health plans and drugstore chains to better educate adults about what shots they need—and make sure they follow up. State health departments are expanding the use of registries to better document patient vaccine records, and using strategies such as standing orders that authorize nurses and pharmacists to administer recommended vaccines without a doctors exam or prescription. The CDC website has an easy-to-read consumer version of the vaccination schedule (adapted in the accompanying chart), which also includes immunizations for two types of hepatitis and meningitis. Still, with so many immunizations and footnotes, it can be complicated territory to figure out, says Ann Marie Pettis, a nurse who is a member of the APIC board and director of infection prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. Pharmacists role. Pharmacists can be very helpful in explaining the schedule to customers, Ms. Pettis says, and are already administering annual flu shots to many of them. (Subscription required)

USA Today (March 9)

N.Y. college seeks identities of Yik Yak users

University senior counsel Richard S. Crummins sent a letter Thursday to Yik Yak, a popular social networking app, making the demand for information, along with screenshots of the posts the university wants to have identified. Yik Yak allows users to post anonymously. The postings are seen within a 1.5- to 10-mile radius of the user. Dean of Students Matthew Burns said that there was no way to know for sure that the postings were done by University of Rochester students, but he noted: "Some of the postings seem to contain information that only students were aware of."

(Also reported in: Wall Street Journal, Democrat & Chronicle, WXXI, WXXI, Cleveland Examiner )

WXXI (March 16)

NY Lawmakers Postpone Mandate for Electronic Prescriptions

New York lawmakers have delayed a deadline that would require prescription medications to be electronic. Many doctors in the state needed more time to put the necessary technology in place. Many prescribers in New York already submit scripts electronically, but federal requirements mandate a higher level of security for electronically prescribed controlled substances to prevent fraud. Lisa Nelson, a pharmacist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, told WXXI "especially for private practitioners" meeting the federal Drug Enforcement Administration electronic standards is a challenge.

USA TODAY (March 19)

Emerging countries say Internet bad for morality, study finds

Many people in developing countries think the Internet has a positive influence on education and a negative influence on morality, according to a report released Thursday from the Pew Research Center. The majority of users, 64%, said the Internet has a positive influence on education. However, 42% also thought the Internet was bad for morality, with only 29% saying the Internet is a good influence. Peoples definition of morality differs from country to country, according to Randall Curren, professor of philosophy at University of Rochester. "It's natural for adults to worry about their children's morality," Curren says. "There are certain spheres of interaction and influence that are beyond parents control, and the Internet is a new sphere for many cultures. It's this new exchange of information and images that parents themselves don't have easy control over."

(Also reported in: Cleveland WKYC-TV FOX 8, News Every day )

New York Post (March 22)

Cancer drug shortage sends patients on grim search

A global shortage of a key bladder-cancer drug is forcing patients into a deadly race to find the treatment. BCG is currently sold by just one company, Merck, which doesn't expect to churn out enough of the life-saving drug until next year. BCG is the standard treatment for those with aggressive early-stage bladder cancer. Patients often need the therapy for months or even years. According to Dr. Edward Messing, chairman of the Urology Department the University of Rochester Medical Center, two patients at his clinic were treated with a substitute medication during a period when the hospital could not get the drug. They are now facing surgery to remove their bladders. It is devastating, Messing said. (March 25)

How PARC Saved Xerox

Xerox invented the core technology that made personal computing easy and funthe mouse, the graphical user interface and the ethernetbut it was Steve Jobs who built the Macintosh and profited. By now, the story has become so well known that is almosta cliche. In the early sixties, Xerox was working on a new technology called long distance xerography, which was basically like a big industrial version of a fax machine. It was great for specific jobs railroads would use it to transmit bills of lading but overall, it was limited. It could only transmit 3-4 pages per minute at low resolutions. Gary Starkweather, who had recently gotten his Masters degree in Optics at the University of Rochester, was assigned to improve the technology and had an idea about how to do it. Instead of using a cathode ray tube (the same technology used in old fashioned TVs), it seemed obvious to him that lasers were just the right tool for the job.

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.

Scientific American (March 18)

A new gamma ray detector opens in Mexico

With its 300 water tanks, placed on 20.000m2 of the Sierra Negra volcano, in Puebla, Mexico, HAWC aims to map out the sky at high energies In the construction, design and data analysis team of HAWC there are also scientists interested in dark matter. “We are able to detect very high energy gamma rays, so we can also search for very masive dark matter particle that are hard to observe,” says Segev Benzvi, a University of Rochester professor, who hopes to observe "something totally unexpected." Un nuevo detector de rayos gamma abre sus puertas en México Con sus 300 tanques de agua, ubicados a lo largo de 20.000m2 de las laderas del volcán de Sierra Negra, en Puebla, México, el HAWC busca dibujar el mapa del cielo de altas energías En el equipo de construcción, diseño y análisis de datos de HAWC también hay científicos interesados en materia oscura. “Somos capaces de detectar rayos gammas de muy alta energía, por eso también podemos buscar partículas de materia oscura muy masivas que son difíciles de observar”, declara Segev BenZvi, profesor de la Universidad de Rochester (EE. UU.), que espera observar “algo totalmente inesperado”.

NPR (March 24)

What If Web Search Results Were Based On Accuracy?

By Adam Frank Imagine, for a moment, that every web search gave only accurate, verified information. Imagine that questions concerning real facts about the real world returned lists of websites ordered by how well those site's facts matched the real world. In today's world, web searches rank sites based on their popularity — in terms of links made from other sites to the site in question — as well as the "quality" of those links. Recently, however, researchers at Google published a remarkable paper demonstrating how rankings in a web search can be driven by something entirely different — the veracity of the facts the sites contain. 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.

New York Daily News (March 6)

Suicide by suffocation, hanging increasing among U.S. youths: study

Young Americans are increasingly using suffocation and hanging to commit suicide, according to government data released on Thursday. Unlike suicide attempts that involve poisoning, suffocation and hanging are much more likely to result in death, the researchers noted. "A person's first attempt may be their last attempt," said Dr. Eric Caine, director of the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, who was not involved in the new report.

(Also reported in: Science Recorder, Columbus Dispatch, Science World Report, )

VOA (March 6)

Small Star Passed Through the Edge of Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago

An international group of astronomers found that a dim star known as a red dwarf skimmed through the outskirts of our solar system, coming within 8 trillion kilometers of Earth some 70,000 years ago. A member of this group is Dr. Eric Mamajek, from the University of Rochester. He talks about this amazing discovery on today's One on One segment.

WXXI (March 19)

WATCH: Implantable Sensor Would Detect Changes in the Body, Before Symptoms Appear

At 59 years old, Michael Froome just got a new heart. His problem goes back 20 years after a chest pain led his doctor to order a cardiac stress test. “When they put on the last electrode so the monitor comes live with your data, someone in the room goes, ‘Oh! That’s not good,’” Froome recalled. Spencer Rosero, a cardiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, is one of Froome’s doctors. He has an idea that could cut the number of hospital visits patients like Froome have to make. Rosero’s answer: a tiny “living chip” implanted in the body that is bioengineered to talk to cells and report back to doctors in real time. It could be customized to both the individual patient and the part of the organ where it’s used.

(Also reported in: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Medscape, Mt Shasta Area Newspapers )

Mashable (March 2)

Why millennials are increasingly cutting the cord

A family of six sits crouched over a tiny 13-inch screen. Ed Sullivan — charming and poised — speaks directly to what felt to be all of America. Television programming was conceived to bring families together. And at the time, that was exactly what we needed. It was revolutionary for millions of households across the country to feel like a single, cohesive unit, reacting in unison. From 1950 to 1960, the number of American households with a television set climbed from 9% to 90%. Today, however, the trend is reversing. A recent survey conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates showed that among 18-to-34 year olds, TV as the primary medium for entertainment is down 40% to 21%. At the same time, those who can't live without their smartphones is up from 22% to 50%. A shift that demonstrates where priorities lie. And while this distaste for traditional television increases, so does the amount of "over-the-top" content, and 76% of cord-cutters are simply satisfied with the content that they're getting OTT. Mitch Lovett, professor of marketing at Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, says that most people are still watching many hours on a traditional TV format. "However, as options become better for the live events, the bundled 'must-view-live' and 'happy-to-delay' programming will be broken. This is on the horizon. This change is likely to have profound impacts on viewing and content creators."

Globe and Mail (March 25)

Secrets of the cell

This year’s winners of the Canada Gairdner International Awards are known for scientific discoveries that reach deep into the inner workings of cells. As Ivan Semeniuk reports, they also offer insights that may help thwart diabetes, autoimmune disease and a range of cancers. 4) QUALITY CONTROL The discovery: A watchdog that keeps bad information from derailing cells and provides a window on the causes of genetically based disease Winner: Dr. Lynne Maquat, director, Center for RNA Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y. “All cells make mistakes,” says Lynne Maquat, who discovered that cells have a mechanism for identifying and eliminating the bearers of bad instructions, which are called nonsense messenger RNA.

(Also reported in: Victoria Times Colonist, Laboratory Products News, Toronto Star, Aldergrove Star )

Wall Street Journal (March 6)

The New Tech-Stock Temptation

The Nasdaq is back. Is it better than ever? A midwinter rally has pushed the Nasdaq Composite Index near a record 15 years after the Internet bubble burst. The index, which includes Apple , Google and other technology powerhouses, is up 5.2% in 2015 through Thursday, and is on track to outpace the S&P 500 for the fourth year in a row. There also are other ways of identifying fast-growing companies that may be good investment opportunities. Robert Novy-Marx, a finance professor at the University of Rochester, has written about “gross profitability”—revenue minus routine expenses, adjusted for the size of the company’s assets—as a way of helping investors find companies that may or may not look cheap based on their stock price but have strong growth potential. Mr. Novy-Marx is a consultant with Dimensional. (Subscription required)

WXXI (March 27)

WXXI-TV Wins Four Telly Awards

WXXI has won four Telly awards – three bronze awards for its national health care series, Second Opinion, and a fourth bronze for its documentary Music for Life: The Story of New Horizons. The Telly Awards Competition recognizes distinction in local, regional, and cable TV programs and commercials, as well as video and film productions. The award winning episodes were “Childhood Cancer,” “Addiction to Pain Medications,” and “PTSD.” Second Opinion is produced in partnership with the University of Rochester Medical Center and West 175 Productions. Music for Life: The Story of New Horizons shares the heartwarming stories of a group of seniors who rekindled, or found for the first time, their passion for music and performing through the formation of the New Horizons band. The documentary was funded in part by Eastman School of Music, New Horizons, and the Waldron Rise Foundation.

Rochester City Newspaper (March 18)

JAZZ | Harold Danko

The title of Harold Danko's upcoming concert, "Solo Piano Improvisations and Contrafacts" may cause a bit of head scratching. It's well known that Eastman professor Danko is a keyboard master who has played with Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, and Chet Baker, so the solo piano part needs no explanation. But some may wonder, what's a contrafact? It's the name for a new tune built on the chord structure of an existing tune. So in a concert featuring nothing but Danko compositions, we may find out just where those originals originated. Harold Danko performs Thursday, March 19, at Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs Street. 8 p.m. $10 (free with UR ID). 274-1100;

WROC TV CBS 8 (February 26)

Student Program Donates $20,000 to Help Kids Overseas

Local students are making an impact felt across the globe. Today at the U of R Medical Center, students from the Kids Reaching Hearts through Performing Arts program donated $20,000 dollars to help children in India get surgical care for cleft palates. A cleft palate is a malformation that happens when there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area, and the tissue that is available doesn't join together properly. The money will support an organization known as Chirps where Rochester plastic surgeons go to India to perform surgeries on children with cleft palates.

Democrat & Chronicle (March 13)

Giving Back: How Philanthropy Enables Innovation

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Robin and Tim Wentworth - two Rochester natives, and graduates of Monroe Community College, who have made a $3 million commitment to establish the Robin and Tim Wentworth Directorship of the Institute for Data Science at the University of Rochester. Tim and Robin were at the University to celebrate the formal installation of my colleague, Henry Kautz, as the inaugural Wentworth Director - and to receive the grateful thanks of a packed house of faculty members from across the institution. The Wentworth's generous gift will allow Henry to focus his full attention on building the new Institute for Data Science, and on pursuing his most innovative ideas. Ideas like using social media such as Twitter to track outbreaks of infectious disease and to discover lifestyle behaviors that impact health.

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 )

WXXI (March 11)

Eastman Names New Director For Its Institute For Music Leadership

The Eastman School of Music has named James Doser as Director of its Institute for Music Leadership. That program provides courses, internship, mentoring and other activities that focus on development musicians' leadership potential and help bridge the gap between the academic and professional worlds. Doser is an alumnus of the Eastman School of Music, receiving degrees in music education and saxophone.

(Also reported in: Inside Higher Ed )

Democrat & Chronicle (March 16)

UR names East High principals

Current East High School principal Anibal Soler Jr. will keep his position at the school under the University of Rochester, while veteran administrator Marlene Blocker will become principal for grades 6-9, the college announced Monday. For Soler, it completes a wild swing in job prospects over the last year. When the New York State Education Department announced in March 2014 that it was requiring drastic change at East, it was widely assumed that Soler, its principal since 2009, would be replaced. But the UR takeover team asked the state to retain him in 2014-15 for the transition, then chose him to lead grades 10-12.

(Also reported in: 13WHAM-TV, Time Warner Cable News, WXXI, WHAM 1180, WROC-TV, WHEC-TV, Time Warner Cable News13WHAM-TV )

Rochester City Newspaper (March 18)

ALBUM REVIEW: "Crossing Paths"

In the history of jazz there are many notable pairings of pianists with saxophonists (Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, Bill Evans and Stan Getz) but most, including the above mentioned, involve a rhythm section and are not strictly duets. Still, they are meetings of distinct musical personalities designed to draw out creative interplay as the musicians react to each other. "Crossing Paths," the title of the new album by saxophonist Alexa Tarantino and pianist Dariusz Terefenko, alludes to the potential in such a pairing. The album, consisting entirely of duets, fulfills that promise beautifully. Tarantino got to know Terefenko while studying at the Eastman School of Music where he teaches. Terefenko is well known for his Art Tatum-like brilliance at the keyboard, and over the years in the school's jazz ensembles, Tarantino's reputation for bold solos grew exponentially. (At last year's Jazz Festival, she blew the crowd away soloing with Earth, Wind Fire.) On this CD, they interact wonderfully on standards like "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning" and "Dolphin Dance." Both display a talent for composition, notably on Tarantino's gorgeous "Final Breaths" and Terefenko's playfully complex "It's You and Me." They also venture into the sort of classical-jazz hybrid one might expect from Eastman musicians with two wonderful arrangements of works by composer Alban Berg.

WHEC TV NBC 10 (March 10)

Simon School lands spot on national top business schools list

US News and World Report released its latest list of top business schools in the country, and the University of Rochester's Simon School is on it. Today we learned the Simon School is tied for number 37 in the overall rankings. Thats the same ranking it received last year. The survey also ranks Simon 12th in finance. Thats up two spots from last year.

(Also reported in: Philadelphia Business Journal )

Democrat & Chronicle (March 5)

UR basketball center Alexandra Leslie named UAA Rookie of Year

Alexandra Leslie did something this winter no University of Rochester basketball player — male or female — has ever done. The 6-foot-2 center is the first UR freshman to earn first-team all-league honors and to earn University Athletic Association's Rookie-of-the-Year honors.

(Also reported in: Democrat & Chronicle )

WXXI (March 4)

Connections: What's Going On In Russia?

Listen Listening... / 50:51 Is Putin starting to lose his grip in Russia? Is Putin losing it? What's going on in Russia? Top opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was murdered this past weekend, gunned down within sight of the Kremlin. His own mother had recently expressed concern that Putin would have him killed. Now we're told that Putin himself will lead the investigation. Is he finally losing his grip and his claim to legitimacy? Our panel includes two very smart observers from the University of Rochester: * Randall Stone, director of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies * Matthew Lenoe, associate professor of history

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (March 3)

Upstate business leaders press for $2.5B fund

Upstate business leaders are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to increase his $1.5 billion proposal for an upstate economic development competition to $2.5 billion, saying the area needs the greater infusion of cash. In an op-ed signed by about 50 business leaders being sent to newspapers across New York this week, the group urges Cuomo and lawmakers to boost the funding by another $1 billion. The supporters included several heads of the regional councils appointed by Cuomo in 2011 and his former lieutenant governor, Robert Duffy, who now heads the Rochester Business Alliance. Others who signed the letter included Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester, who co-chairs the Finger Lakes region council; Tom Tranter, president of Corning Enterprises, who co-chairs the Southern Tier council; and Kent Syverud, president of Syracuse University, who co-chairs the Central New York council.

(Also reported in: Elmira Star-Gazette, Troy Record )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (March 2)

Gillibrand, students discuss sexual assault bill

Students and community advocates sat down Monday at the University of Rochester with U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to discuss the latest version of her bipartisan bill regarding campus sexual assault. Nearly 40 people, including Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli and Mayor Lovely Warren, learned about the key provisions of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which was reintroduced last week, and asked Gillibrand questions about its application. "Every single person here will make a difference," said Gillibrand during her opening remarks. "Only when we all stand up together will Washington finally listen."

(Also reported in: 13WHAM-TV, WHEC-TV, WXXI, Finger Lakes Times, WXXI, WHEC-TV 3-1-15, WHEC-TV 3-2-15, NY State of Politics, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Time Warner Cable News )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (March 2)

Palestinian doctor aims to send message of hope at UR

When Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish speaks at the University of Rochester Monday evening, he will be urging peace in the Middle East because he knows how devastating war can be. "War is not a just solution," said Abuelaish, in an interview. He went on to say: "I'm coming to Rochester to send a message of hope. We need to work together."

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

Rochester City Newspaper (March 30)

Writing in ROC: Five local authors Rochesterians should have on a bookshelf

Jennifer Grotz Jennifer Grotz, an award-winning poet and writer, moved to Rochester from Texas seven years ago to take a job as an Associate Professor at the University of Rochester. "I've written quite a few poems with snow in them since my arrival," she joked. Poems from her many collections have been featured in The New Yorker as well as the Best American Poetry anthologies in 2000, 2009, and 2011. She also recently won a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, a $25,000 fellowship that she said has allowed her to concentrate on her poems in a way she hadn't been able to previously. Joanna Scott Scott is a professor of English at the University of Rochester and teaches courses in fiction writing, and modern and contemporary literature. Currently, the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation at Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester is hosting an ongoing exhibit called "To Travel Is To Live," which features many of the letters, diaries, and pictures that inspired Scott's most recent novel, "DePotter's Grand Tour." "The curators have done a terrific job arranging the materials," she said.

WXXI PBS News (March 2)

Connections: Science Roundtable - Biofuels and Biomass

Listen Listening... / 50:21 The March Science Roundtable discusses biofules and biomass Our monthly science roundtable tackles the growing research into biofuels and biomass; potential for alternative energies; impact on climate change; and more. In studio from the University of Rochester: * Dr. Shaw Chen * Dr. David Wu * Dr. Alex Shestopalov * Jack Baron

Rochester City Newspaper (March 4)

LECTURE | "Breaking the Sound Barrier"

As part of its ongoing Identities at Eastman series, Eastman School of Music will host Aaron P. Dworkin, the founder of the Sphinx Organization. He will speak on the subjects of race, classical music, and his work with the non-profit organization. The Sphinx Organization works to provide access to music education and competitions to musicians of color, and attempts to increase diversity in classical music culture. "Breaking the Sound Barrier," a lecture by Aaron P. Dworkin, will take place on Wednesday, March 4, at Eastman School of Music's Howard Hanson Hall, 26 Gibbs Street. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Free.

WXXI PBS News (February 27)

Connections: Higher Ed as an Economic Driver

How are colleges and universities becoming economic drivers for regions? Higher education is becoming a major economic driver in many areas, including here in Rochester, where the University of Rochester is now the largest employer (remember when Kodak was?). So what does this mean for economic growth across the country? What roles do higher education institutions play in communities. We discuss this with our guest, Laura Anglin, president of the Independent Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Cleveland Plain Dealer (March 24)

Alarm Will Sound forging connections across stylistic, geographic boundaries with concert at CSU

Alarm Will Sound doesn't just talk the talk. No, as its concert here Monday makes clear beyond doubt, it also walks the walk. Exhibit A in the case for AWS and artistic director Alan Pierson embodying the spirit of contemporary music: the fact that their program Monday contains two works by Cleveland composers. Of all the music it could have programmed, given its high profile and almost limitless potential as a chamber orchestra founded at the Eastman School of Music, AWS chose pieces by Andrew Rindfleisch and Clint Needham, composition professors at Cleveland State and Baldwin Wallace Universities, respectively. The former wrote a calm, reverential piece titled "Vesper Voices" while the latter penned a virtuoso showpiece called "Urban Sprawl."

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (March 29)

Sundays area college results

Sam Slutsky knocked in seven runs to power the University of Rochester to a doubleheader sweep of Bard in Liberty League baseball on Sunday. Brian Munoz hit two home runs, each in Game 2, and finished with six RBI on the day for UR (7-7, 3-1), which won 16-9 and 21-7.

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.

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.

NPR (March 17)

How A Soggy Solar System Can Spark A New Human Future

By ADAM FRANK Let's begin with your great-great-great-etc.-grandparents. I'm talking eight or nine of those "greats," meaning your ancestors living around the first decades of the 1800s. Here is what I want you to consider: Those guys never raced across the sky, 5 miles above the planet, at 400 miles an hour, in a chair, in a pressurized tube. They didn't carry around little boxes in their pockets that gave them instant access to every corner of the planet, as well as to the entire storehouse of human information. They didn't live in cities fully illuminated at all hours of the night. They never saw pictures of the insides of their bodies, or inside their brains, when they went to a doctor (if they ever went to a doctor). 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: WCQS )

Buffalo Rising (March 11)

Backstage with Elias | Emily Helenbrook

My friend, and vocalist Cory Gallagher called me one day and asked if I can give him input on lighting for a Christmas concert he was having at a local South Buffalo church. I accepted, and met him the day before the show, during rehearsals. I arrived and was quickly introduced to pianist Frank Scinta, and vocalist Emily Helenbrook. Cory and I went about our business as the two musicians began rehearsing. As we spoke about lighting ideas towards the back of the church, I hear this beautiful operatic voice coming from the stage. I found it difficult to focus, it was powerful, well trained, and basically I dropped my jaw to the ground. “My aunt took me under her wing, gave me the proper repertoire, made sure I wasn’t hurting my voice.” Emily says. At 11 or 12 years of age, Emily auditioned for Eastman Community Music School. She studied with Patricia Alexander, the mother of renowned vocalist and 4 time Grammy Award winner Renee Fleming, in Rochester. She was a part of it for 6 years, took piano, music theory, and performed with her grandpa, and aunt. It was sometimes called 3 Generations of Music. “Some of the best times of my life,” recalls the 20 year old soprano. Currently, Emily is a junior at Eastman School of Music, also studying at the University of Rochester, in pursuit of a dual degree in vocal performance and political science. She is also in a certificate program called Arts Leadership program.

The Telegraph (UK) (March 10)

Lew Soloff, jazz trumpeter, dies aged 71

Jazz trumpeter and educator Lew Soloff has died of a heart attack at the age of 71. Soloff, who died in New York on March 8, 2015, was best known for work with jazz-rock pioneers Blood, Sweat and Tears. He joined the band in 1968 and played on the Grammy-winning self-titled second album. He performed at Woodstock with Blood, Sweat and Tears, contributing prominently to the hit Spinning Wheel. He was born in Brooklyn on February 20, 1944, and began learning the trumpet at the age of 10. Soloff attended Juilliard Preparatory, then the Eastman School of Music.

(Also reported in: Sherman-Denison Herald Democrat )