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In the Headlines

January 2013

Time Magazine  (January 4)

Your Brain On Sesame Street: Big Bird Helps Researchers See How the Brain Learns 

elmo screenshotIn a new study, Jessica Cantlon, a cognitive scientist at the University of Rochester and her colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to look at brains of children during a normal educational activity - watching Sesame Street - to get a better of picture of how the brain changes as it develops reading and math skills.

(Also reported in: MSNBC, CNNU.S. News & World ReportFox NewsHuffington Post, MSN, England Daily MailYahoo! India News, Business InsiderHealth.comScience Daily10WHEC-TV13WHAM-TV, WROC-TVYNN, and others)

CBS News (January 1)

Space Radiation Poses Alzheimer's Risk for Astronauts

"This study shows for the first time that exposure to radiation levels equivalent to a mission to Mars could produce cognitive problems and speed up changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease," study author Kerry O'Banion, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a statement.

(Also reported in:, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, Huffington PostMSNBCU.S. News & World ReportNew York Daily News, Fox News, Yahoo! CanadaForbes, Discovery News, Voice of America, Popular Science,, and others)

Chronicle of Higher Education (January 28)

Rocker/Academic Leads New Institute for Popular Music at U. of Rochester

Mr. Covach, 53, says he wants popular music to be regarded as highly as other types of music. "Talking about the Beatles or Elvis or Springsteen should be no different than talking about Beethoven or Bach," he says.

(Also reported in: Scientific American)

England Daily Mail (January 3)

Researchers Zero In On Memory Problems Associated With Menopause

Dr. Miriam Weber, a neuropsychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, who led the study, said the findings would strike a chord with millions of women going through the menopause.

(Also reported in: MSNHuffington Post, England Telegraph, US News & World Report, Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News, and others.)

CNN (January 30)

Tracking the Flu with Technology and Twitter

The University of Rochester has turned research about predicting the spread of diseases with social media into a web application called Germ Tracker. The colorful interactive map pulls up geo-tagged Tweets that contain keywords related to illness.

(Also reported in: Orlando-WKMG)

Slate Magazine (January 15)     

Experts Say Not To Bribe Kids. I'll Give You $10 and Stale Candy If You Prove Them Wrong.

Here's Dr. Edward Deci, a longtime skeptic of child bribery, on why rewarding desired results is not the way to go. Dr. Deci, now a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said the biggest problem with tangible rewards is that they actually work, at least in the short run.

Science Daily (January 10)

Study: Model of Brain Signaling Flawed

"Our findings demonstrate that the tripartite synaptic model is incorrect," said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., lead author of the study and co-director of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Center for Translational Neuromedicine.