Kate O'Connell, WXXI

@KateOCWXXI

WXXI/Finger Lakes Reporter for the Innovation Trail

Kate O’Connell comes to WXXI from Melbourne, Australia, and studied journalism at Royal Melboure Institute of Technology.

During her studies, Kate was a freelance journalist, reporting from Nepal and Haiti, and worked with the media team of the United Nations partner group, International Organization for Migration.

Kate's experience also includes work for the Shepparton News, Australian Broadcasting Company, Melbourne’s Channel 31, RRR radio and WIN television.

Ways to Connect

Jason Briner

A new institute designed to tackle complex environmental issues across the globe has been launched in upstate New York.

This month, the University at Buffalo announced the launch of the RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment, and Water) program.

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New data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows New York state and local government employees experienced a much higher rate of injury and illness than workers in any other industry during 2012.

It may not be something you’ve ever considered, but a lot of the time, there’s an inherent risk associated with jobs in the public sector.

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Researchers in upstate New York have developed a new cell therapy that could treat Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder which affects motor function. The study from the University of Rochester Medical Center suggests this new approach could not only halt progression of the disease, but also reverse its impact on the brain.

Approximately 1 million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease, and that number’s set to rise as the population ages.

Center for Environmental Initiatives

Community members from across western New York came together in Rochester Thursday to address the issue of pollution in the Genesee River, and create an action plan for the immediate future.

The summit, run by the Center for Environmental Initiatives, was spurred by a new study which suggests human activity along the Genesee River Basin is having a direct impact on the water quality in Lake Ontario.

Franklin gun shop

Although some states took legislative action after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings over a year ago, the debate over gun control has largely stalled at the national level. Now, a group of tech investors have launched the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation to spur innovation of gun safety technology.

The foundation is putting forward a $1 million prize pool to aid gun safety tech entrepreneurs.

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