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In the Headlines

November 2012

Scientific American (November 20)

Quantum Dots of Many Colors

nanocrystals glowing in vialsEarlier this month, Technology Review reported that scientists from the University of Rochester have figured out how to use nanoscale crystals called quantum dots to enhance the longevity of artificial photosynthesis. Artificial photosynthesis is exactly what it sounds like – a means of using the energy in sunlight, combined with water and air, to produce fuel, by incorporating light-absorbing nanoparticles into the mix.

Chicago Tribune (November 7)

Simple programming change to defibrillators saves lives: study

“But even more importantly it was associated with a 55 percent reduction in total mortality, and that’s on top of the 40 percent reduction in mortality that you ordinarily see with the defibrillator,” Dr. Arthur Moss, who led the study, said in an interview. “This makes the defibrillator not only safer, but it also saves more lives, so it’s a pretty significant finding,” said Moss, a professor of cardiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center who presented the data at the American Heart Association scientific meeting in Los Angeles.  (Also Reported in: Bloomberg Businessweek, CNBC, Yahoo! News, Science Daily, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Toronto Sun, and others)

MSNBC (November 15)

Rare, gem-studded meteorites were born in asteroid crashes

The space rocks known as pallasites, first discovered in 1794, are very rare, with only about 50 known. These meteorites are mixtures of iron-nickel metal and translucent, gem-quality. “How you get a mixture of metal and these gem-like crystals has been a longstanding mystery,” lead study author John Tarduno, a geophysicist at the University of Rochester in New York, told “Because of the density differences of these materials, you’d normally think they’d separate into two different groups.”  (Also Reported in: e! Science News, Yahoo! News,, Science Daily, Huffington Post, Sky & Telescope,, and others)

Marketplace (November 15)

10 Highly Selective Colleges Form Consortium to Offer Online Courses

Leaders of the effort say it will give students a wider selection of course options. A student at the University of Notre Dame with an interest in music, for example, will be able to take an online course from the University of Rochester’s music department for credit.  (Also Reported in: New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Chronicle of Higher Education, Seattle Times,, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg Businessweek, Washington Post, UPI, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester Business Journal, 13WHAM-TV, and others)