Medical research, sustainability, agriculture, healthcare jobs, health policy, and biotechnology stories from across upstate New York.

Over two million American workers are exposed to silica dust in industries like construction, mining, road repair and sand blasting. WXXI’s Michelle Faust reports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - OSHA - is now pushing for tougher limits on how much silica dust they can be exposed to in the workplace. But the proposed rules will come too late for many workers who’ve already contracted the potentially fatal lung disease, silicosis. 

Tooth decay is the number one most common chronic childhood disease. It can lead to bacterial infections, malnourishment, and a number of other dangerous outcomes. For families living in rural areas that don’t have access to reliable transportation it can be extremely difficult to see a dentist on a regular basis. And that makes treating pediatric dental disease an even bigger challenge. Need to Know’s Michelle Faust shows us a high tech solution helping children who live far away from a dentist. (Video after the jump.)



This week in our latest Innovation Trail report, Jenna Flanagan visits one downstate company hoping to grow and distribute medical marijuana after the state passed legislation allowing it last year.

New York's decision has companies from all over the country (let alone the state) trying to get one of the five licenses the state will grant this summer.  The Department of Health wants the facilities, once they're named, to be up and running by January 2016. Video preview after the jump.