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Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and brain research

Today's editorial talks about the life sciences innovation center soon to be on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus with Albany Molecular Research Inc. as the first tenant. That will be the first phase of the biocluster hub that is jointly owned and run by the Medical Campus, the University at Albany and the Jacobs Institute.

The intent of creation of the innovation hub is to address the interface of nanotechnology and biology. 

One of the biggest challenges is interfacing two systems: nanotechnology - computer chips, sensors, medical devices and testing with the human body, which is carbon based - including and especially the brain. Tracking the brain, modeling and understanding how it operates is where the challenge and innovation is happening, said Alain E. Kaloyeros, senior vice president and CEO of SUNY Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

There are even applications now in terms of thought reading between computer models and MRIs, Kaloyeros said. Studies have been able to map up to 70 percent of what the brain looks like when people are having certain thoughts. Such mind-reading brain scans include thought-controlled cars or how to drive with your brain!

Editorial writer - Dawn Marie Bracely

Live Blog - "Truthland" Hydrofracking Forum - 7 p.m.

The screening of "Truthland" -- a "first-of-its-kind project" by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Energy In Depth -- will be open to the public at 7 p.m. tonight from the Burchfield Penney Art Center at the Buffalo State College campus.

Buffalo News Reporter T.J. Pignataro will be there live for to bring you details on the content of the 34-minute film as well as a discussion that will follow by an expert panel that will likely seek to dispel what it believes to be negative misinformation about hydro-fracking.

The panel, according to organizers, will field questions about the development of natural gas from shale.

Public presentations planned Wednesday on radioactive site

This 2005 Buffalo News file photo shows an entrance to the Niagara Falls Storage Site in Lewiston. (Charles Lewis / Buffalo News) 

A panel of local experts will hold a public presentation next week exploring options for what to do with Manhattan Project waste buried in Niagara County.

The focus will be the Niagara Falls Storage Site in Lewiston, where high activity radioactive materials are buried in a 10-acre storage cell.

The program, entitled “LOOW Site Radioactive Storage: The Experts Speak,” will include presentations from a Niagara University professor who has studied the issue for more than 30 years, as well as a representative of a citizens' advisory panel to federal regulators at a similar site in Ohio.

Prof. William Boeck, who chairs the radiological committee for the former Lake Ontario Ordnance Works Restoration Advisory Board, and Jim Bierer, former chair of the Department of Energy Citizens' Advisory Board, are each scheduled to make a presentation.

The session will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Lewiston-Porter High School auditorium, 4061 Creek Road.

"The theme of my talk is the longer you wait, the greater the cost, the increased risk," Boeck said this morning.

Listen to Boeck explain the format of the session and why it was organized:

The materials that were buried in Fernauld is the same type buried here. Last year, the Fernauld materials were moved to a storage site in Texas.

Here's Boeck on why local experts are looking to Fernauld, Ohio, as well as a possible option for what can happen with the Cold War material buried here:

Boeck's radiological committee has previously said it believes the storage cell containing the radioactive waste might be leaking, and has asked the Army Corps of Engineers to perform further analysis.

In this audio clip, Boeck describes recommendations made to federal regulators by his committee and the agency's refusal to perform one specific action the committee requested:

The session is organized by the Restoration Advisory Board for the former Lake Ontario Ordnance Works, also known as the LOOW RAB. It is also sponsored by the University at Buffalo Larkin Chair of Chemistry, Niagara University and Lewiston-Porter Central School District.

Here's a map showing the location of Lew-Port High School, as well as the Niagara Falls Storage Site:

View Lewiston-Porter High School in a larger map

--Aaron Besecker