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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Ahead of another 'key' primary, Romney leads Illinois polls

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Springfield, Ill., today.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 12:45 pm

This week the action in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is in Illinois, which holds its primary Tuesday.

In advance of that contest, Public Policy Polling is out with a new survey that it says shows "Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory." It has the former Massachusetts governor ahead of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 45 percent to 30 percent (with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul trailing far behind).

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The Salt
9:36 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Farmers Face Tough Choice On Ways To Fight New Strains Of Weeds

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 11:01 pm

OK, so this story is about weeds and weedkillers, neither of which is ever the hero of a story, but stay with me for a second: It's also about plants with superpowers.

Unless you grow cotton, corn or soybeans for a living, it's hard to appreciate just how amazing and wonderful it seemed, 15 years ago, when Roundup-tolerant crops hit the market. I've seen crusty farmers turn giddy just talking about it.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:15 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Majorities In Senate And Public Support Birth Control Coverage

Suitable for health insurance coverage?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 5:10 pm

The Senate has turned back an attempt to kill President Obama's new rules requiring most health insurance plans to provide contraceptives without additional cost.

The 51-48 vote against an amendment to an unrelated highway bill (Yes, that's just how the Senate works) was mostly along party lines.

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Monsanto / From NPR's The Salt
4:49 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Judge dismisses organic farmers' case against Monsanto

Farmer Alan Madison fills a seed hopper with Monsanto hybrid seed corn near Arlington, Illinois, U.S. A group of organic and other growers say they're concerned they'll be sued by Monsanto if pollen from seeds like these drift onto their fields.
Daniel Acker Landov

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 10:37 am

A New York federal court today dismissed a lawsuit against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by thousands of certified organic farmers. The farmers hoped the suit would protect them against infringing on the company's crop patents in the future.

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields.

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St. Louis Public Radio on NPR
3:45 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Cheers! Fruit flies drink to their health, literally

Fruit flies will drink alcohol from fermenting fruit to kill off wasp parasites that can grow inside of them.
Jan Polabinski iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 1:54 pm

As humans, we sometimes pay a price for drinking alcohol — in hangovers, or worse. But if you happen to be a young fruit fly, it turns out that alcohol can be just what the doctor ordered.

The pesky little fruit flies often show up when apples or bananas are left sitting around for too long on the kitchen counter. Most folks find them annoying, but Todd Schlenke can't get enough of them.

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The Road Back To Work
3:17 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

The Road Back to Work: Even When Employed, Health Care A Challenge

Casaundra Bronner, of Hazelwood, Mo., worked in marketing before being laid off in March 2010. She found a job again in March 2011 but is still uninsured and having trouble getting the health care she needs.
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:24 pm

Part of an ongoing series

Zumba is a fitness craze; a high-energy dance and exercise program. You can find it in high-end gyms and even the community center in Hazelwood, Mo., where Casaundra Bronner, 40, lives.

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St. Lous Public Radio on NPR
6:07 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

'Shake-And-Bake' Meth Causes Uptick In Burn Victims

Dennis Potter, 29, was burned in a shake-and-bake meth lab explosion in December 2009. He spent the next five weeks wrapped in bandages and underwent numerous skin graft operations over the course of his recovery.
Veronique LaCapra for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 9:35 am

Dennis Potter says he started doing meth when he was 16. Two years later, he learned how to make it.

"It's so easy," he says. "Any person can do it. You can go to Walgreens, Home Depot and Wal-Mart, and they sell every bit of the ingredients."

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Missouri Presidential Primary
2:42 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Meaningless In Missouri? Not In Santorum's View

A sign supporting former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum outside the O'Fallon, Mo., city hall on Tuesday, as the state's Republican primary was under way.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 10:31 am

For an election that shouldn't matter on paper, Missouri's primary on Tuesday may carry a lot of weight.

The state's Republican electorate tends to be both populist and conservative. That could give former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has campaigned in Missouri the most — and the most recently — among GOP presidential candidates, the chance for a strong showing.

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Animals
4:18 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Zoo Crafts Love Nest To Save Ozark's Salamanders

An adult Ozark hellbender is typically brown or green with black markings that help it blend in with its rocky river-bottom habitat.
Jeff Briggler Missouri Department of Conservation

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 5:27 pm

It's flat. It's slimy. And it hides under rocks on the river bottom. It's the Ozark hellbender, and at up to two feet in length, it's one of the world's largest salamanders.

But Ozark hellbenders are disappearing: Fewer than 600 are left in the rivers of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Scientists have been making a huge effort to get them to breed in captivity. And now, thanks to a major effort at the Saint Louis Zoo, 2012 could be the year of new hope for hellbenders.

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Around the Nation
5:40 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Experts question need for stronger cellphone ban

A driver uses a cellphone in Maine, which has laws that ban people under 18 from using cellphones behind the wheel and bar all drivers from texting.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 4:16 pm

When the head of the National Transportation Safety Board called for states to pass tough new laws banning drivers from using cellphones or hand-held devices, she said: "No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."

While Tuesday's statement by NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman is undeniable, there are those who question the advisability of such a ban. Some state lawmakers and transportation experts say it could be difficult to enforce and that there's no real evidence yet that existing laws on hand-held devices have significantly reduced accident rates.

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