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In the Headlines

November 2009

rift in earth's surfaceUPI (November 4)

Scientists: Africa desert could become sea

Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York, along with colleagues from the United States, Britain, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France and Yemen, say they’ve confirmed the volcanic activity beneath the rift, discovered in 2005, is nearly identical to that at the bottom of the world’s oceans. That, they said in an article on the University of Rochester Web site, means the rift is likely the beginning of a new sea. (Also Reported in: Fox News, MSNBC, ABC Science Online, NPR, New Scientist, NBC Nightly News, Discover Magazine, Slashdot,, Yahoo! News, Science Daily, and others)

Newsday (November 6)

6 college towns worth visiting

Here are six college towns within easy driving distance of Long Island that score A+ for their attractions on and off campus …
3. ROCHESTER, N.Y.: University of Rochester, 300 Wilson Blvd, 585-275-3221,

Los Angeles Times (November 16)

Softeners in plastics may affect masculinity in young boys

boy playing in ball pitPhthalates, which block the activity of male hormones such as androgens, could be altering masculine brain development, according to Shanna H. Swan, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and lead author of the new report. (Also Reported in: Time, UPI, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, England Independent, Toronto Star, Australia Broadcasting Corporation, Fox News, BBC News,, News Track India, Medical News Today, and others)

ABC News (November 10)

Experts: Placebo Power Behind Many Natural Cures

“It has a pejorative implication—that it’s not real, that it has no medicinal value,” said Dr. Robert Ader, a psychologist at the University of Rochester in New York who has researched the phenomenon. (Also Reported in: ABC News, CBS News, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, FOX News, BusinessWeek, MSNBC, Newsday, Washington Post)

Bloomberg News (November 25)

Have Fewer Headaches, More Sex: Tips From an Armchair Economist

Steven E. Landsburg’s latest book of economic brain teasers resembles one of those Hanayama metal puzzles that you’re supposed to pull apart: They drive me crazy, yet I can’t put them down. Landsburg is the University of Rochester professor who brought us “The Armchair Economist” and “More Sex Is Safer Sex.” He put the pop in popular economics long before “Freakonomics” came along.