Kate O'Connell, WXXI

WXXI/Finger Lakes Reporter for the Innovation Trail

Kate Oââ

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized their Federal emission standards for cars and gasoline Monday, putting them in line with programs already in place in California.

The cleaner fuel and car standards will be rolled out starting in 2017. Once fully in place, the EPA estimates they’ll lower overall pollution levels and help avoid up to 2,000 early deaths per year.


Rochester is the fifth poorest city in the country among the top 75 metro areas, according to a new report from the Rochester Area Community Foundation and ACT Rochester.

Author of the report, Ed Doherty says the city’s poverty rate ranks second among cities of a comparable size, just ahead of Buffalo.

And, he says, children and minorities are bearing the brunt.

The Cuomo administration is continuing its program for promoting upstate produce with new legislation that aims to support the marketing of New York wines. The new laws permit wine to be sold at roadside farm stands and expand wine trail designations along state roadways.

People can already buy New York wines at farmers markets, but the new laws mean you’ll be able to find them at roadside stands too. That is, as long as the wines being sold are produced within 20 miles of the stand.

The federal government shutdown has impacted funding for a range of Research and Development (R&D) sectors. And, a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington DC says the interruption will compromises the innovative capacity of the US economy.

The shutdown is in its early stages, but according to the ITIF’s Stephen Ezell, even if the interruption only lasts for a short time, the damage has already been done.

One of the most widely used classes of insecticides in the world, known as neonicotinoids, may be killing our bee populations, and harming other pollinators, according to a new study.

The report by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation found that high levels of these insecticides can be lethal to bees, and even low levels of exposure can make them more susceptible to other diseases.

New York state has one of the lowest suicide rates in the nation. But, that still translated into more than 1,600 deaths in 2011, and upstate rural communities have been identified as the most at risk.

Now the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) has released a free iPhone app designed to extend the reach of their suicide prevention initiative.

The U.S frozen food market is on the rise, with expectations it will become a 70-billion-dollar industry within the next two years.

Last year upstate New York got in on the action when French-based company Bonduelle acquired three facilities to expand their production of canned and frozen vegetables. They took over the floundering Allen's plants in March 2012, with the intention of repairing and developing the facilities.

The vast majority of the state’s county-run nursing homes are losing money and facing a shaky financial future according to the findings of a new study by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR).

As a result, most counties are looking for alternatives to deal with an aging population.

Upstate researchers have found a way to predict the likelihood of getting sick after visiting a particular restaurant. The system is called nEmesis and it monitors the tweets from restaurant patrons and detects likely cases of foodborne illness in close to real-time.

Many people tweet on devices that are GPS enabled, and nEmesis uses this to figure out which, of thousands of known restaurant locations, they ate at.

We’ve used the internet to connect computers, now how about using it to connect our brains? Researchers at the University of Washington have done just that in what they claim is the first ever brain-to-brain interface.

On August 12, researchers Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco sent a signal from one person’s brain, over the internet, to remotely control the hand movement of the other individual, making his index finger move on a keyboard.

Rao sat in his lab wearing a cap with electrodes hooked up to an electroencephalography (EEG) machine, which reads electrical activity in the brain. Stocco sat in his lab across campus wearing a swim cap marked with the stimulation site for the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) coil that was placed directly over his left motor cortex, which controls hand movement.