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In the Headlines

May 2015

The New York Times (April 29)

Chinese Babies Born During Pollution-Light Olympics Heavier

chinese babyWomen in the Chinese capital in the final stage of pregnancy during the 2008 Beijing Olympics — when officials strictly controlled air pollution — gave birth to heavier babies than in years when the city was smoggier, a study said Wednesday. The study, led by epidemiologist David Q. Rich of the University of Rochester Medical Center and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that babies born to Beijing mothers in their eighth month of pregnancy during the 2008 Summer Games were on average 23 grams (0.8 ounce) heavier than those born either a year earlier or a year later. (Also reported in: Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Report, USA Voice of America, Yibada, HealthDay, Albuquerque KRQE TV CBS 13, Australia Daily Telegraph, Science Daily, Singapore Today, Davenport KWQC, Newsweek,, Fox News, Salon, The Boston Globe, Al Jazeera, The Blaze, Taiwan Taipei Times, el Nuevo Herald, States Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Asian Scientist Magazine, The Washington Post )

Newsweek (May 13)

Don't Dump on the Humanities, They Help Us Think Creatively

arts posterToday, it is hard to imagine that the national government would spend millions of dollars to put unemployed artists to work for the good of the country. But that is precisely what happened in the United States at the height of the Great Depression. There has been a lot of talk lately about the “worth of the humanities” and of the creative arts in particular. A. Joan Saab is associate professor of art history/visual and cultural studies at University of Rochester. This article first appeared on The Conversation. (Subscription required)

(Also reported in: The Epoch Times )

New Scientist (May 6)

Pop history's pivotal moments: Has big data settled the debate?

billboard 100
by John Covach
We live in a world where big data is big news. It may come as no surprise, then, that scholars of data science have turned their attention to music. One result is a new paper that makes some pretty big claims. The evolution of popular music: USA 1960–2010 (Royal Society Open Science, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150081) focuses on 17,094 songs in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in an attempt to discover patterns in the history of pop via information retrieval and text mining. John Covach is director of the University of Rochester Institute for Popular Music in New York.

The New York Times (May 14)

The Last Day of Her Life

old woman on a pierOn June 22, her 65th birthday, Sandy returned to the University of Rochester for another three-hour consultation. This time it was with a senior neurologist, Charles Duffy, to evaluate not only her cognitive abilities but also her mood and functional status...Duffy began to reminisce about his own life. His mother had had Alzheimer’s, he said, and his time nurturing her through her decline profoundly shaped him as a physician, as a researcher and as a man. He said that Sandy — who had spent her career examining and describing her own life with frank insight and clarity — might have a lot to contribute to the world just by experiencing her disease and giving others a glimpse of how it felt to have it.

NPR (May 12)

Climate Denialists In Congress Acting As NASA's Kryptonite

NASA logo, man with green blockBy Adam Frank Quick: List the first four words that pop into your mind when hear NASA. If you are like most folks, you hit some mix of astronauts, moon landings, space telescopes and Mars probes. Those are pretty positive images representing accomplishments we can all feel proud about...If you are intent on convincing people there is no climate change, then the last thing you want is NASA — with all its heroism and accuracy — telling folks climate change is real. So, faced with this dilemma, climate denialist's have come up with a clever solution: Get NASA out of climate change science. 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: WAMC Albany FM 90.3 )

ABC News (May 20)

Small Business Is Key in Presidential Campaign Playbook

small business, big voteBUZZ WORDS When candidates say "small business," they're talking about creating jobs, telling voters something they want to hear, says David Primo, professor of political science and business at the University of Rochester. "It's almost like making education a plank of your campaign. Who's going to argue that you shouldn't have better education?" Primo says.

(Also reported in: KRON Channel 4 San Francisco, KLFY 10 Lafayette, Butte Montana Standard, Albuquerque KRQE TV, Pendleton Times Post, WTEN ABC10 Albany )

Science News (May 17)

Quantity counts for baboons

baboonMonkeys can’t count. But they can mentally keep track of and compare approximate quantities that increase one item at a time. That shows that monkeys use a kind of reasoning that also underlies human counting, researchers report May 7 in Psychological Science. In a series of trials, two baboons watched from behind a barrier as one to eight peanuts were placed one by one into a container. Researchers then began singly dropping varying numbers of peanuts into a second container. The animals continually updated and compared that second inexact amount to the first quantity, enabling them to choose the larger cache of nuts as a snack an average of 68 percent of the time, psychologist Jessica Cantlon of the University of Rochester in New York and colleagues report. (Subscription required)

England BBC News (May 15)

Why do we sleep?

man sleeping on benchAt the end of each day we become unconscious and paralysed. Sleep made our ancestors vulnerable to attack from wild animals. So the potential risks of this process, which is universal among mammals and many other groups, must offer some sort of evolutionary advantage. Research in this area was slow to take off. But recently there has been a series of intriguing results that are giving researchers a new insight into why we sleep and what happens when we do it. Why do I sleep? And sleep is also an opportunity for the brain to be cleared of waste. A group led by Prof Maiken Nedergaard at the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York discovered a network of microscopic fluid-filled channels in rats that clears waste chemicals from the brain.

The New York Times (May 15)

Rescuing North Africa's Migrants

census formToward a census based on class Re “Race, class and neglect” (May 5): Paul Krugman challenges readers to recognize that poverty and alienation from society are not uniquely black experiences. He observes that if we are really going to face national issues concerning health and mortality, then we need to shift from race thinking to class thinking. To do so will require new kinds of data from the United States Census Bureau. I would note that a former director of the Census Bureau, Kenneth Prewitt, has recognized this need in his book “What Is Your Race?” He proposes to eliminate race and ethnicity questions in the 2020 census and instead focus on getting the data needed to think in terms of class. Lawrence Lundgren Linkoping, Sweden The writer is a professor emeritus of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at the University of Rochester.

Huffington Post (May 27)

America's 8 Most Overlooked Small Cities

Rochester, NY Population: 210,000 Ask most people to name a city in New York State, and they'll say N.Y.C. (for obvious reasons). Maybe they'll say Buffalo, because that town's famous for hot sauce and losing Super Bowls. What they won't do, though, is bring up Rochester, despite the presence of quality restaurants like Lento and The Revelry, and local breweries Genesee Brewing Company and Swiftwater Brewing. It's also the home of the Garbage Plate -- a Frankenstein's Monster of a dish that tastes way better than it sounds. named it the fattiest dish in New York state. If that's not a sign of approval, then what is?

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 27)

New Golisano Children's Hospital to open soon

The largest capital project in the University of Rochester's history will soon be open to the community. The new Golisano Children's Hospital was dedicated Wednesday with media taking a first look at the eight-story, $145 million hospital with 245,000 square feet of new space.

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

Rochester Business Journal (May 22)

The next generation of pediatric care arrives

Thirteen years after Paychex Inc. founder Thomas Golisano donated $14 million to fund a pediatric intensive care unit, the hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center that bears his name will reach a long-awaited milestone. A May 27 dedication will celebrate the new eight-story Golisano Children’s Hospital tower. And when it opens July 14, the 245,000-square-foot facility will rank among the nation’s top children’s hospitals. “This wonderful story begins with Tom Golisano, whose vision and generosity fueled creation of Rochester’s original Golisano Children’s Hospital,” UR president Joel Seligman said.

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

Fauquier Now (April 28)

Money in politics: What do donations accomplish?

An unethical, quid pro quo relationship between legislators and their donors is hard to prove and, experts say, unlikely for the vast majority of lawmakers. Every year in Virginia, hundreds of millions of dollars get donated to politicians running for local, state or federal offices. Everyone agrees that candidates need money to get their names out and win elections, but opinions differ on the lasting effect a check in the pocket of a politician can have. The commonwealth puts no limit on the amount of money an individual or business can donate to a politician. The system relies on disclosure of campaign donations and gifts to prevent unethical relationships from forming. Lynda W. Powell, author of “The Influence of Campaign Contributions in State Legislatures,” said most politicians “might not be aware of influence.” “Even the best intentioned legislator might be unknowingly influenced by listening to one side of the case more than the other,” Ms. Powell, a political science professor at the University of Rochester, said in an interview.

(Also reported in: Loudoun Times-Mirror )

WXXI PBS News (May 10)

UR Plans Institute For Performing Arts

"We have a very strong group of music, theatre and dance faculty that put on amazing productions but don't collaborate as much as they possibly could," said the Dean of the University of Rochester's College of Arts and Sciences, Gloria Culver. By next spring, the school will launch an Institute for Performing Arts, hoping to embrace the school's strengths in STEM programs, and stoke the interest by many students to sing, act, dance or play music.

Los Angeles Times (May 5)

Best Translated Book Awards announces shortlist

The shortlists for the 2015 Best Translated Book Awards were announced Tuesday at Three Percent, the website of the program in international literature at the University of Rochester in New York. Ten works of fiction and six books of poetry were named finalists for the awards.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 22)

Q&A: UR dean says big data is a big deal

Here is an edited transcript of an interview with Rob Clark, who is also dean of UR's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. How do you define big data? Clark: Big data relates to databases or information that is so large that you can't load into your machine and look at it all at once on a personal computer. Most people work with Excel spread sheets. Big data is data sets that are so large that you couldn't load them onto a spreadsheet. Within the last couple of years, we have generated more data than has ever been generated in our entire history. The accumulation of data is tremendous. So we are trying to develop tools that automate the analysis of the data sets.

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 22)

Steve Gadd's school days at Eastman

Steve Gadd's rare talent as a drummer has taken him far and wide in the music industry...The precise rat-a-tat-tat on Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover" is Gadd, too. The Irondequoit native, who is coming home to play the 2015 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, has appeared on hundreds of albums and worked with music's biggest stars, from Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton to The Bee Gees, Bette Midler and James Taylor (Gadd is actually touring with him now). But back in 1968, he was simply one of the Eastman School of Music's first percussion majors. Here, he and fellow student Ruth Cahn get a lesson from professor John Beck.

The Atlantic (May 14)

The Technology That Saved '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'

It's been 50 years since The Rolling Stones released “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.” The song's iconic guitar riff—those three irresistibly fuzzy notes—came to Keith Richards in a dream. “On the road, he would use the little cassette machines with the batteries to put his song ideas on the cassette,” the music historian John Covach told me. “He gets up one morning and he notices the cassette machine has gone all the way to the end but he doesn't remember recording anything. So he rewinds and listens. He hears himself getting up in the middle of the night, playing ‘(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction,’ and then there's a half-hour of snoring.” Editor's note: John Covach is director of the University of Rochester Institute for Popular Music

Rochester Business Journal (May 6)

Focusing on Alzheimer's: Putnam, onetime CEO of hospital here, now plays a national role

Funded by some $1 million in grant money, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers are involved in 15 Alzheimer’s-related studies. One URMC project, a clinical trial that began in 2007, announced a breakthrough in diagnosing Alzheimer’s last year that could be a key turning point in the disease’s treatment: a way to recognize biomarkers that could identify physiological changes well before the cognitive and memory-related symptoms, which are usually Alzheimer’s patients’ first clue, manifest. URMC researcher Mark Mapstone M.D. was lead author of a 2014 scholarly journal article detailing the discovery.

Science Magazine (May 13)

How long should a woman wait to freeze her eggs?

2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine announced that it was no longer “experimental” for a woman to freeze her eggs simply because she wanted to wait to have a child. Since then, demand for the procedure has skyrocketed, even though its costs remain high. Now, scientists say they have figured out—taking economic and biological considerations into account—the best age for women to freeze their eggs if they want to get pregnant as late in life as possible. “The data inputs for these models are some of the best I’ve seen,” says Wendy Vitek, a reproductive endocrinologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. “Besides, women want these answers now. Modeling is an effective way to get the data that we’re interested in now.”

Scientific American (April 27)

Does Artificial Food Coloring Contribute to ADHD in Children?

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese—that favorite food of kids, packaged in the nostalgic blue box—will soon be free of yellow dye. Kraft announced Monday that it will remove artificial food coloring, notably Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6 dyes, from its iconic product by January 2016. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains artificial food dyes are safe but some research studies have found the dyes can contribute to hyperactive behavior in children. Bernard Weiss, professor emeritus of the Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center who has researched this issue for decades, says he is frustrated that the FDA has not acted on the research showing the connection between artificial dyes and hyperactivity. "All the evidence we have has showed that it has some capacity to harm," he says.

(Also reported in: Salon )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 21)

Finger Lakes council seeks $500 million prize

Four members of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council visited the Democrat and Chronicle's editorial board Thursday to discuss the task of competing for a share of $1.5 billion from the state's Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester, and Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans Food Markets, co-chairs of the council, along with Anne M. Kress, president of Monroe Community College, and Mark S. Peterson, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise, outlined the process and the issues they face in trying to win one of three $500 million prizes in the initiative, an economic development idea devised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

NPR (April 28)

Why Video Games Matter

Adam Frank Human beings are storytellers. This basic, constant instinct is evident throughout history — from creation narratives told around the night's fire to Greek playwrights to the first novels to the flickering images of early motion pictures. What has changed, though, is how we tell stories. Each of our technologies, from the printing press to celluloid film, has opened up revolutionary new possibilities that have fundamentally altered the way stories can be told. That revolutionary role of technology is at work again now, and it's why we should be paying attention to video games. 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 )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 14)

Danny Wegman named chairman-elect of UR board

The CEO of the area's largest grocery store chain has been picked as chairman of one of the area's largest universities. Danny Wegman of the Gates-based Wegmans Food Markets was elected to a five-year term as chairman of the University of Rochester Board of Trustees recently. Wegman, who has served on the board for more than 15 years, will take over for current chairman Edmund A. Hajim in May, 2016. Also, four new members were elected to the board.

(Also reported in: WXXI )

San Francisco Chronicle (May 27)

What Apple has learned from ResearchKit so far (APPL)

Apple operations chief Jeff Williams says that ResearchKit the suite of medical research tools for the iPhone that Apple launched in March has already helped researchers make a lot of interesting discoveries. William's said on stage at Re/code's Code Conference on Wednesday that data from the Parkinson's app in particular has already surfaced some valuable insight for researchers. The Parkinson's app, called Parkinson mPower (which stands for Mobile Parkinson Observatory for Worldwide, Evidenced-based Research), was developed by the non-profit research organization Sage Bionetworks in partnership with two University of Rochester physicians, Dorsey and Karl Kieburtz, and Aston University mathematics professor Max Little.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 26)

Update is needed for patient privacy protections

pole. This should have been obvious to the physicians at Greater Rochester Neurology when a new employee — a nurse practitioner from the University of Rochester Medical Center — brought thousands of patient records with her. The doctors should have instructed her to immediately delete each and every one of the files before pointing her back out the door

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 12)

UR joins national sport concussions study

University of Rochester researchers have joined what is billed as the largest sports concussion study in history - an expansive, nationwide effort that seeks to understand how the brain recovers in the near-term and over a lifetime. "What this consortium asked us to do is follow not just athletes involved in contact sports but the golfers, the crew (team), everybody," said Dr. Jeff Bazarian, an emergency medicine professor with the concussion and research program at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 18)

UR trustee donates $3M to Children's Hospital

Richard "Rick" T. Aab, a University of Rochester trustee, has made a $3 million commitment to the Golisano Children's Hospital Building Fund. The pledge brings his total support for The Meliora Challenge, the University's $1.2 billion comprehensive campaign, to $7 million.

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

Jacksonville Business Journal (April 29)

Are Nanoparticles the New Secret Weapon Against Tooth Decay?

As new methods and treatments continue to be explored, such as the fascinating possibility of using nanoparticles to reduce plaque, simple, traditional methods continue to yield positive results. According to new research being led by the University of Rochester and the University of Pennsylvania's School of Dental medicine, the therapeutic agents currently used to reduce dental plaque and prevent tooth decay are nowhere near as effective as they could be due to one important factor: saliva. The natural build-up of saliva in one's mouth followed by swallowing prevents the anti-plaque agents found in items like tooth paste from sticking efficiently to the surface of the teeth. Researchers suggest using a new delivery method to deliver an antibacterial agent—called farnesol—to targeted sites within the plaque.

The Chronicle of Higher Education (April 27)

Weekly Book List, April 24, 2015

FILM STUDIES The Poitier Effect: Racial Melodrama and Fantasies of Reconciliation by Sharon Willis (University of Minnesota Press; 255 pages; $79 hardcover, $22.50 paperback). Explores the "iconic usefulness" of Sidney Poitier in such roles as the laborer in Lilies of the Field, the teacher in To Sir With Love, and the fiance in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and considers the continuation of the "Poitier effect." Editor’s note: Sharon Willis is a professor of art history/visual cultural studies at the University of Rochester

Oregon Public Broadcasting (May 20)

Foundations To SEC: Force Corporations To Disclose Political Giving

Secret money in politics, especially the corporate variety, has been controversial ever since the Supreme Courts 2010 ruling in the Citizens United case. Now, about 70 charitable foundations are asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to end that secrecy. The foundations make their case in a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor and corporate law attorney. Transparency advocates have turned to the SEC because, in effect, its the only regulatory player still on the field. Republican majorities in Congress oppose additional disclosure rules, and the enforcement agency, the Federal Election Commission, routinely deadlocks on big issues. David Primo, a professor of political science and business administration at the University of Rochester, said the foundations are addressing the wrong agency.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 30)

Dr. David Satcher presents awards at URMC

Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher will present awards named in his honor to three individuals at the University of Rochester Medical Center who have made a difference in the health of the community. Dr. Michael Keefer of the medical center, Amina P. Alio in the Department of Public Health Sciences and Precious Bedell of the Department of Psychiatry, will receive the sixth annual Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvements Awards in a noon ceremony.

(Also reported in: WXXI )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 27)

Healthy Life: Prenatal fears fact and fiction

"Pregnancy is a challenging time because you recognize that you don't have a ton of control," said Dr. Loralei Thornburg, a high-risk pregnancy expert and assistant professor at the UR Medicine. "When women are pregnant, they reach out for different things to try to exert some control." Before making any decisions about what she should or should not do, a pregnant woman needs good information. "Don't consult Dr. Google," said Dr. Maggie Vill, a high-risk pregnancy expert at The Women's Health Center at Rochester General Hospital and assistant clinical professor at the University of Rochester. "So much of the information we find online is not valid. What they need to do is ask their doctor."

Democrat & Chronicle (May 26)

UR investigated for handling of assault complaint

The University of Rochester is under investigation for how it handled a student's sexual assault complaint. "We received a letter from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights," said UR in a statement Tuesday. The statement says that UR will cooperate fully with the investigation and that when the Office of Civil Rights receives such a complaint, it undertakes a comprehensive review of how the college has handled sexual misconduct complaints over a period of years.

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

Rochester City Newspaper (May 20)

UR drug may improve memory

A team of scientists at the University of Rochester, led by Dr. Harris Gelbard and Stephen Dewhurst, UR vice dean of research, may have developed the first drug to improve memory and cognitive ability in patients with certain types of illnesses. And a new company, Camber NeuroTherapeutics, has been founded to usher the drug called URMC-099 through human trials in 2016.

Wilmington News Journal (May 7)

Making way for the digital house call

In the last year, neurologist Ray Dorsey estimates he's seen 50 to 100 people living with Parkinson's disease at the University of Delaware's specialty clinic. Unlike typical visits, though, Dorsey's patients don't get to shake his hand at the end of a consultation. Dorsey isn't physically in Delaware. The neurologist, with a specialty in diagnosing movement disorders, is based more than 300 miles away at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

Rochester City Newspaper (May 13)

UR takeover of East nears

In a little over a month, the University of Rochester will be handed the keys, so to speak, to East High School. The State Education Department approved the UR-East deal last year in an attempt to turn around one of the state's lowest performing schools. Steve Uebbing, a professor at the UR Warner School of Education, is East's superintendent and has overseen months of planning for the school's reinvention. East has been reorganized into a Lower School for grades 6-8 and an Upper School for grades 9-12.

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester City Newspaper )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 30)

83 East High teachers expected to stay put

The University of Rochester team taking over at East High School has made offers to 176 applicants for teaching positions as of Tuesday, including 83 current teachers at the troubled campus. Steve Uebbing, the Warner School of Education professor who will serve as East's superintendent, said 63 positions were offered to teachers from other Rochester city schools. Another 30 offers were made to applicants from applicants outside the district, including candidates from other states, he said.

(Also reported in: WHEC-TV, WROC-TV )

Rochester Business Journal (May 1)

UR team gets $3.8 million National Eye Institute grant

A team of researchers at the University of Rochester has received $3.8 million from the National Eye Institute to fund a project with the objective of leading to the next generation of cures for blindness, university officials said. The Rochester team and its partners are designing an optical system to image responses to light of large numbers of individual cells in the retina. It builds on technology previously developed to improve vision through laser refractive surgery and contact lenses, said principal investigator David Williams, the William G. Allyn Professor of Medical Optics and director of the Center for Visual Science.

(Also reported in: Phys.Org, Your, National Institutes of Health )

Finger Lakes Times (May 21)

FL health care providers could share $565M

Can providers in the Finger Lakes and Rochester regions change the way health care is delivered to more than 300,000 Medicaid patients? It's a $565 million question. “With the many changes in health care, we recognize the importance of regional collaboration to support this important transformation,” said Kathy Parrinello, chief operating officer for Strong Memorial Hospital and FLPPS board chair. “Our region shares a history of health care innovation and we look forward to our collective success in developing this integrated network.”

Rochester Business Journal (May 22)

UR researchers get grant to develop app for monitoring Ebola

Researchers from the University of Rochester have received a grant to develop an app to track the spread of Ebola and other infectious diseases, officials announced Friday. The grant from the National Science Foundation will allow the researchers to conduct a pilot study this summer in Lagos, Nigeria, UR officials said. The researchers will use the app for Android phones to complement traditional forms of monitoring Ebola and other diseases in tracking their spread, helping victims find help more quickly.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 20)

Study: Let kids pick their own books

Of course children will read better if they're allowed to decide for themselves what to read! The news came from an experiment conducted by University of Rochester medical resident Erin Kelly beginning in 2013. The students' reading level was tested before they left for the summer, and again when they returned. The students who chose their own books did significantly better than those who didn't.

(Also reported in: WXXI, Elmira Star-Gazette, Benton Evening News, WHAM TV ABC 13, Stroudsburg Pocono Record, Time Warner Cable News )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 26)

University of Rochesters Effort to Bring Public Art to Campus

On Thursday, May 14, a new 12-foot tall sculpture was installed in Jackson Court on the University of Rochester's River Campus, as part of an effort to bring public art to campus. Artist Sabri Gokmen's CALYX was selected from a pool of more than 120 submissions received from an international call for proposals. "Our goal with this project was to identify an experienced artist, like Gokmen, who makes site-specific art that reflects the surrounding environment and its history," says Allen Topolski, professor of art and a member of the University's selection committee.

Ship Technology (April 30)

Researchers transform metals into super-hydrophobic materials to build water repellent superyachts

Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York have successfully transformed metals into water repellent or super-hydrophobic materials using lasers. This new development will make a significant change in superyacht industry, where the vessels are constructed from metal, including steel, aluminium or a composite. Transforming metals into super-hydrophobic materials will help to achieve waterproof, rust-free superyachts in the future.

Medical Daily (May 20)

Imitation Game: We Unconsciously Mimic The Speech Patterns Of People Who Think Like Us

When we talk to a companion, psychologists tell us, we unconsciously mirror their posture, behavior, and speech patterns — monkey see, monkey do. New research from University of Rochester shows how certain social factors can modify this automatic behavior. When we judge someone to be similar to us, we more closely align ourselves with their speech patterns. And, those of us with a compromising nature also will more meticulously mimic others.

(Also reported in: Science Daily )

Rochester Business Journal (May 20)

University of Rochester CFO to retire in 2016

University of Rochester stalwart Ronald Paprocki will retire after 45 years of service, President Joel Seligman said Wednesday. Paprocki, who is chief financial officer, senior vice president for administration and finance, and treasurer, is scheduled to leave UR in January 2016. A national search is underway for his Paprocki’s replacement.

IEEE Spectrum (May 5)

2-D Materials Produce Optically Active Quantum Dots for First Time

Tungsten diselenide (WSe2), which belongs to a class of 2-D crystals known as transition metal dichalcogenides, is proving to be an attractive platform for producing solid-state quantum dots for emitting light. While graphene has become increasingly used for optoelectronic applications, researchers at the University of Rochester claim that the work they have done with tungsten diselenide represents the first time that 2-D materials have produced optically active quantum dots.

Rochester Business Journal (May 20)

University of Rochester CFO to retire in 2016

University of Rochester stalwart Ronald Paprocki will retire after 45 years of service, President Joel Seligman said Wednesday. Paprocki, who is chief financial officer, senior vice president for administration and finance, and treasurer, is scheduled to leave UR in January 2016. A national search is underway for his Paprocki’s replacement.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 28)

New VP of communications at UR named

Elizabeth Stauderman, who has been chief communications officer at Yale University, will be the new vice president for communications at the University of Rochester. Stauderman, who will begin full time at UR in August, will fill the vacancy left by Bill Murphy, who is retiring. He has served as chief spokesman for the university since 2006.

(Also reported in: New Haven Yale Daily News )

The Conversation (May 18)

How BB King's days in radio helped shape his career and music

Author John Covach Director, Institute for Popular Music at University of Rochester BB King is remembered as one of the most important artists in the history of blues, with a long career that spanned seven decades and included classic hits such as Three O’Clock Blues (1951), The Thrill is Gone (1969) and 1989’s When Love Comes to Town (recorded with U2). Widely considered one of the most influential guitarists of the 20th century, he became, in his later years, a celebrated icon of blues authenticity. Had it not been for his early days in radio, however, things might have turned out differently for a young Riley King.

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester (May 7)

Go Green Report: Oil spill study

It was five years ago when an explosion sent 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. University of Rochester Professor and Chemical Oceanographer, John Kessler, just returned from a research trip to the Gulf, where he studied the lasting environmental effects. "We tried to look at the release from the sea floor in a very fundamental sense, and get that understanding on where things might go in the future and what it's ultimate fate might be," explained Kessler. His team used a robotic submarine to explore the floor of the Gulf.

The Conversation (April 28)

What tourists need to know about earthquakes and other geohazards

Author Cynthia Ebinger Professor of Geophysics at University of Rochester The Himalayas region is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes. But Nepal is only one of many popular destinations that carry similar dangers, many of which tourists can prepare for. Shaky ground The earthquake in Nepal was no surprise. Mount Everest and other mountains along the length of the Himalayan mountain range were formed by wedges of rock shoved on top of other rock layers, much like snow stacks up on shovels. This stacking, or thickening, occurs during infrequent, but devastating earthquakes. Students from the Geohazards and their Mitigation class at the University of Rochester contributed to this article.

USA Today (May 25)

Medical marijuana in N.Y. remains out of reach

The 10-year-old girl stood smiling at the governor's side as he signed a medical marijuana bill into law last July. But the good feelings from the event have gradually subsided, and ill patients are increasingly frustrated that, nearly a year later, they still can't access medical marijuana in New York.

(Also reported in: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Elmira Star-Gazette, Press & Sun-Bulletin )

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 28)

13 things to know about biomedical research at UR

The Democrat and Chronicle was one of 12 Gannett newspapers that partnered with a USA Today investigation, Biolabs in Your Backyard, about the concerns and dangers that can accompany biomedical research. The investigation focused on more than 200 high-containment biomedical labs around the nation that are equipped to handle select agents and other dangerous research. The University of Rochester has one high-containment lab at its medical center that in recent years has worked with Francisella tularensis, which is a Tier I select agent, the highest level of concern.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (April 30)

Regional council faces 'contest on steroids'

Four years of work under its belt, the job of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is about to get a lot tougher. "This is the contest on steroids," University of Rochester President/council co-Chairman Joel Seligman said Thursday as the council started its latest round of work in earnest. "The contest" is how Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2011 remade how New York approaches economic development, with the state divided into 10 regions that vie against one another for tens of millions of dollars in state cash and tax breaks — last year, the Finger Lakes region was awarded $82 million. The "steroids" came in January, when Cuomo upped the ante by $1.5 billion with the Upstate Revitalization Initiative — seven of those 10 state regions separately competing for one of three pots of $500 million.

(Also reported in: Rochester Business Journal, WXXI )

WXXI PBS News (May 4)

Coming up on Connections: Monday, May 4th

First hour: Monthly Science Roundtable In our first hour, it's our monthly science roundtable. This month, we look at how science can solve real-world problems. University of Rochester seniors have partnered with local companies to tackle engineering problems, and they're showcasing what they've done.

Brighton-Pittsford Post (May 6)

University of Rochester's Brittany Grage named Division III National Pitcher of the Week by NFCA

Rochester senior righthander Brittany Grage has been selected as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III Pitcher of the Week by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. She is a resident of Pittsford and an alumna of Pittsford Mendon High School. Grage threw back-to-back shutouts as Rochester defeated Skidmore, Rensselaer and Union to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs. For more information, visit

Fox Rochester (May 4)

U. of R. Hajim Design Day

More than 100 students at the University of Rochester are getting ready to show off some of their innovations at the annual Hajim School Design Day. We're getting a preview of some of the creations that will be on display.

Rochester City Newspaper (May 13)

POP | Grey Light

Grey Light strikes me as an experimental band that got it right with the first try. At the top of the list of compelling, undeniable qualities are Alicia Ault's vocals as they float bell-like in the bands well-rooted ether. And speaking of rooted, the band got its start while its members were studying at the Eastman School of Music. Grey Light performs Thursday, May 14, at Flour City Station, 170 East Avenue. 9 p.m. $3.;

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (May 6)

Andreatta: The most unique degree in UR history

Of the nearly 15,000 diplomas conferred by the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, the one granted to Gerald Gitner on Tuesday was by far the most unique. For one thing, the diploma was dated 1968, before the school was named for William F. Simon. For another, it bore the signatures of the university's current president, Joel Seligman, who was barely out of high school at the time, and the business school's dean, Andrew Ainslie, who was 9 years old. "This has got to be the single most unusual story I've heard in 20 odd years in academia," Ainslie said.

Huffington Post (May 2)

5 Bits Of 'Harry Potter' Magic That Actually Exist Now

It's not over, aspiring wizards. So if you want to engage in some cool parts of the "Harry Potter" universe without the threat of Dark Lord unspeakable cursing you, check out the following: 2. Invisibility Cloak Harry Potter's invisibility cloak lets him vanish from sight in many a moment of need. In real life, there's not exactly a piece of cloth we can drape over ourselves to low-key break into banks (which is probably good in terms of, like, upholding society). But, disappearing from sight isn't quite impossible. Scientists at the University of Rochester have developed a device which uses a series of lenses to hide objects from view.

Inside Higher Ed (May 9)

U. of Rochester Helps Students Celebrate Mother's Day

The University of Rochester celebrates Mother's Day by devoting its home page to photographs of students who pose and share their wishes for their mothers. The university added a video this year as well. Happy Mother's Day to our readers who are mothers.