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SUNY tuition deal struck, tiny microbes in the spotlight

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The University at Buffalo is still trying to get the state to sign onto its downtown expansion, as part of a tuition deal in the state legislature.

A deal worked out yesterday in the dwindling legislative session could allow SUNY tuition to creep up by 30 percent in the next five years, reports Tom Precious at the Buffalo News:

Officials have agreed to hike tuition $300 per year in each of the next five years, raising it from the present $4,970 annual charge to $6,470 for in-state, undergraduate students. The University at Buffalo, however, is still pressing to get specific language into a final bill to smooth the way for its $375 million plan to relocate its medical school to the downtown Buffalo health care corridor. UB will have access to $35 million in state "seed" money for the move as proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, but the university also is looking for legal authority to enter into public-private partnership deals and to make it simpler and cheaper to borrow for the downtown project. Officials said talks are continuing on that matter.

Meanwhile, CUNY doesn't want a tuition increase, it wants a milionaire's tax, reports Casey Seiler at Capitol Confidential.

Yum!

The University of Rochester hosted a conference on "mouth microbes" this week, reports Kate O'Connell at WXXI:

They live, they thrive, they die. And they do it all in your mouth. Hundreds of species of bacteria are active in our mouths every day and this week Rochester is helping to dig a little deeper into the goings on between our teeth. Conference chair, Dr. Robert Quivey says the main aim of the conference is to build new relationships between the best minds both within, and outside, the oral biology community. With up to 1,000 species of bacteria swimming around in everyone's mouths, there certainly is a lot to talk about. These species collectively have around two million genes and Quivey says those attending the conference hope to gain some understanding of how these genes affect our mouths, and the rest of our body.

Grosser still (or maybe less gross?) is the work of a Cornell researcher who's looking at how to prevent pathogens like E. coli from sneaking into our food supply.  Rachel Stern reports at the Ithaca Journal:

"We are looking at what the highest risk entry points for pathogens are," [microbiologist Randy] Worobo said. "The goal is to come up with the most effective practice that farmers can implement to reduce the risk of pathogens from entering into the finished product, which affects all consumers." The research will not only help to prevent E. coli, but also salmonella, listeria and other parasites or viruses, he said. Factors, such as irrigation water, weather, animal proximity and worker training are being studied.

Brain drain

Rust Wire has the details on a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland that tells cities not to obsess about losing college graduates (certainly we're not guilty of that).

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