Véronique LaCapra

Science Reporter

Science reporter Véronique LaCapra first caught the radio bug writing commentaries for NPR affiliate WAMU in Washington, D.C. After producing her first audio documentaries at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies in N.C., she was hooked! She has done ecological research in the Brazilian Pantanal; regulated pesticides for the Environmental Protection Agency in Arlington, Va.; been a freelance writer and volunteer in South Africa; and contributed radio features to the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. She earned a Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in environmental policy and biology from Cornell. LaCapra grew up in Cambridge, Mass., and in her mother’s home town of Auxerre, France.

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Carter Carburetor Superfund Site
5:05 pm
Wed March 30, 2011

EPA a step closer to cleaning up Carter Carburetor Superfund site in St. Louis

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The above map depicts Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club (right), across the street from the Carter Carburetor Superfund site, a former gasoline and diesel carburetor manufacturing plant which closed in 1984.

The Environmental Protection Agency is a step closer to cleaning up a contaminated industrial property on the city's north side.

In a memorandum signed today, the EPA spells out the steps it will take to clean up the Carter Carburetor Superfund site.

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Tablet Discovery
7:45 am
Wed March 30, 2011

UMSL archeologists discover continental Europe's earliest-known written record

This is the back of the 2x3 inch tablet that was discovered in Iklaina, Greece.
(Christian Mundigler)

Archeologists from the University of Missouri-St. Louis have discovered continental Europe’s earliest known written record.

The clay tablet fragment dates back to between 1490 and 1390 BC – at least 100 years before any other known writings from mainland Europe.

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HIV Photography Project
6:15 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Photography project gives women new perspective on living with HIV

Tamika Taylor Jackson decided to participate in Michelle Teti’s photography project to show how she has transformed her life since her HIV diagnosis.
(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

More than a million Americans are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. About a quarter of them are women, and in St. Louis and throughout the country, African-American women are disproportionately affected.

An HIV diagnosis can lead not just to debilitating medical problems, but to social stigma and isolation. But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra reports, a photography project is giving some HIV-positive women a new way to look at their disease and its challenges.

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Health Research
5:48 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Lab-grown gut microbes could help combat malnutrition, gastrointestinal diseases

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis were able to grow and manipulate individual collections of human intestinal microbes, like these E. coli, in the laboratory. (Wikimedia Commons/Rocky Mountain Laboratories/NIAID/NIH)

Scientists have taken another step toward understanding human nutrition.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have shown they can grow entire collections of human intestinal microbes in the laboratory.

Washington University microbiologist Dr. Jeffrey Gordon says his team then transplanted the bacterial communities into previously germ-free mice, to see how the lab-grown bacteria would respond to a human diet.

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Nuclear Energy
4:48 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Callaway is prepared for "worst case" disasters, says Ameren

View Callaway nuclear power plant in a larger map

Missouri’s sole nuclear power plant was built to handle “worst case” natural disasters.

That’s what Ameren officials told reporters Friday morning, at a press conference called in response to the nuclear crisis in Japan.

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EPA / Air Pollution
4:05 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

EPA proposes first-ever national air pollution standards for power plants

Ameren’s 2,400-megawatt plant near Labadie, Missouri, is the state’s largest coal-fired power plant.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first-ever national standards for air pollution from power plants.

The new rules would require many power plants to install technologies to control mercury, arsenic and other toxic air pollutants.

Environment Missouri's Ted Mathys says the new standards would help protect the health of Missourians.

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Ameren Missouri lawsuit
5:27 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Ameren to U.S. district court: dismiss EPA lawsuit

Ameren's Rush Island power plant near Festus, Missouri. (Google Maps)

Ameren Missouri is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the company by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The suit filed in January alleges that Ameren violated the Clean Air Act by making multi-million-dollar modifications to its coal-fired power plant in Festus without installing required pollution controls and obtaining the necessary permits.

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Superfund - Lead Pollution
4:24 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

EPA lists Washington County Lead District-Furnace Creek as Superfund site

Southeast Missouri lead district. (Wikimedia Commons user Kbh3rd)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added the Washington County Lead District-Furnace Creek site in Washington County, Missouri, to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).

The NPL is a list of the nation's hazardous waste sites with the highest priority for cleanup.

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Biotech Agriculture
12:32 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Monsanto and Sapphire Energy to collaborate on algal gene research

Flasks of Algae at the Sapphire Energy Lab in San Diego. (Sapphire Energy, Inc.)

Monsanto is entering a multi-year research collaboration with San Diego-based Sapphire Energy.

Sapphire specializes in genetically-engineering algae with the goal of producing drop-in replacements for fuels like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

The collaboration between Sapphire and Monsanto will focus on identifying genes that positively affect growth in algae and that might also increase agricultural crop yields.

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Missouri River Study
3:51 pm
Mon March 7, 2011

Corps seeks public input about report on future of Missouri River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a new report about its planned re-evaluation of the future use of the Missouri River, and is looking for more public input on the study.

The draft report summarizes the more than 1,200 comments received by the Corps last year during the study scoping period.

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