Nanotech, biotech, energy, transportation, infrastructure and innovation stories from across upstate New York.


Proponents of the optics and photonics institute that Vice President Joe Biden will formally announce during a visit to Rochester Monday have been working for years to achieve this result. They can be forgiven then, if they sometimes get into the weeds when it comes to explaining what optics and photonics are all about. So here's a quick elevator speech to help.

Optic and photonics technologies drive computer and smartphone displays and are used in virtually every sector including medical research, engineering, aerospace and the automotive industry.

(Watch the great video explainer after the jump.)


I used to cross the US-Canada border so often, it felt like “Anything to declare, ma’am?” was playing on repeat in my mind.

My all-time favorite encounter was on a bus trip with my sister from Toronto to Cleveland, when one of the Customs guys in blue noticed my Jamaican heritage listed in my Canadian passport and asked, “Are you bringing over any ackees?”

(Video after the jump.)

Central New York-based medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn is being acquired by Chicago-based Hill-Rom, also a medical device manufacturer, for $2.05 billion in cash and stock, the companies announced Wednesday morning.

Starting as early as the end of the summer, all officers in the City of Ithaca Police Department are going to wear body cameras. City of Ithaca Police Chief John Barber presented the department’s camera policy to common council members earlier this month. The policy includes rules for operating the cameras, storing the videos and releasing them to the public.

Jennifer Forbes works at the Southside Community Center, in a mostly African-American neighborhood in Ithaca. She says the cameras are a good idea if they lead to transparency.


Alex Crichton/WXXI News

The George Eastman House's Technology Collection has been recognized as an Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, or ASME.

The collection houses some 16-thousand photographic and cinematographic equipment, according to curator Todd Gustavson.

"Our collection is pretty much the history of photography, soup to nuts. We start with some pre-photographic items, the oldest camera is a drawing device camera from the 1820s and the newest things are things that are currently manufactured."