Kate O'Connell, WXXI


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

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Last month’s budget proposal address saw Governor Cuomo put pressure on local governments to consolidate in order to reduce property taxes and save money.

The New York State Association of Counties is holding its legislative conference in Albany this week, and a new report on government consolidation is on the agenda. But, not everyone is convinced the move is a money saver.

Kate O'Connell

The science community was buzzing this week with news of a breakthrough in stem cell research. Stem cells have the potential to transform into any tissue in the body, and are being explored as treatment options for trauma and degenerative diseases.

When we’re born, our cells are programmed to carry out a specific role. They automatically become muscle cells, skin cells, nerve cells, and that role can’t be changed.

Jim Day/WXXI

In his State of the Union address President Barack Obama tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead a reform of the country’s training programs to ensure the skills in the workforce match employers’ needs.

Biden traveled to upstate New York Wednesday promoting the President’s agenda. Speaking at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, he said community colleges are a vital part of the process of reinventing the nation’s workforce training.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Researchers have identified a new treatment option for people suffering from sleep apnea, a common disorder that causes multiple pauses in a person’s breathing during the night. And, this new approach is repurposing an old technology.

Surgeons have been implanting pacemakers since the late 1950s. They’re most commonly associated with treating heart disease by regulating a person’s heartbeat. But now the same technology could offer hope for people with sleep apnea.

Corning Inc Gorilla Glass

Upstate glass manufacturer Corning Inc. has developed the first antimicrobial glass for our proliferating smart devices, lap tops, and TVs. The glass is more resistant to bacteria but, doubts are emerging about the benefits of antibacterial products.

We use touch screens constantly. They’re on smart devices, on ATMs, at self-check-outs, and in airports. And, according to Corning’s David Velasquez, we’re transferring the germs from everything we touch right onto those glass surfaces.