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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Monsanto Research
4:38 pm
Thu January 6, 2011

Monsanto announces progress on genetically-engineered crops projects

A field of soybean plants in Illinois. Herbicide-resistant soybeans are the subject of one of nine projects Monsanto discussed on a conference call with reporters today. (via Flickr/jasonippolito)
(via Flickr/jasonippolito)

Monsanto today announced progress on nine of its research projects on genetically-engineered crops.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Monsanto's vice president of biotechnology, Steve Padgette, said several collaborations with the Germany-based BASF Plant Science will be moving forward in 2011.

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Missouri Botanical Garden
6:11 am
Wed December 29, 2010

First global plant list available online

The English Oak, Quercus robur. (RBG Kew)

The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London have completed the first comprehensive list of world plant species.

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The Gateway Arch
6:11 am
Wed December 29, 2010

Gateway Arch design team to refine plan

MVVA's preliminary plans for the Arch grounds include a historic landscape pond. (CityArchRiver website)

The design team selected to reconfigure the 91 acres surrounding the Gateway Arch is refining their concept. The team is expected to present a more detailed plan next month.

A design jury selected the concept created by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in late September.

Now the MVVA team has 90 days to refine that vision and create a more detailed plan to present to the public early next year.

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Transplant Helps Diabetics
6:37 am
Thu December 23, 2010

Double transplant improves quality of life for some diabetics

Tiffany Buchta, one month after her kidney-pancreas transplant. [NOTE TO VIEWER: The other photos in this slideshow are of Tiffany’s transplant surgery.] (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Type 2 diabetes – the kind related to obesity and an unhealthy diet – gets a lot of attention these days. But there’s another, less common, form of the disease – type 1 – that can also lead to life-threatening complications.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra takes us behind the scenes at a local hospital, for the transplant operation that got one St. Louis-area woman off dialysis, and made her diabetes-free.

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Biotech Agriculture
12:52 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

USDA: Monsanto’s genetically-engineered alfalfa is safe to plant (but maybe not everywhere)

Alfalfa fields in Idaho. (Flickr Creative Commons user Sam Beebe/Ecotrust)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa is safe to plant but may need some restrictions.

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Saint Louis Zoo
9:58 am
Fri December 17, 2010

Peek-a-roo! Kanga-baby emerges at the zoo

Nokopo peeks out from her mother's pouch during feeding time at the Saint Louis Zoo. (Ray Meibaum/Saint Louis Zoo)

A baby kangaroo has begun poking her head out from her mother's pouch at the Saint Louis Zoo.

The female Matschie's tree kangaroo was born six months ago. Hidden in the pouch, she has grown from the size of a lima bean to the size of a small cat.

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Coal Landfill in Franklin County
5:32 pm
Tue December 14, 2010

Ameren to build coal ash landfill in Missouri River floodplain? No way, say Franklin County residents.

This diagram is an excerpt of “figure 1” from Ameren’s “Detailed Site Investigation”, showing the location of the company’s proposed coal ash landfill near Labadie, Missouri.
(Ameren Missouri website)

Ameren operates a coal-fired power plant in Labadie, Mo., about 35 miles west of St. Louis, and wants to build a 400-acre landfill near the plant to store coal waste.

Some Franklin County residents are definitely not happy about a possible landfill in the Missouri River floodplain and the effects it might have on drinking water.

Tonight they will once again be voicing their opposition to proposed regulations that would allow Ameren to go ahead with their plan.

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Children's Health
5:21 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

St. Louis joins National Children's Study of health

Louise Flick, DrPH, principal investigator for the National Children’s Study Gateway Study Center and professor at SLU School of Public Health, Edwin Trevathan, M.D., MPH, dean of SLU’s School of Public Health (center), & Craig Schmid, St. Louis Alderman
Chad Williams, Saint Louis University Medical Center

St. Louis is joining the National Children's Study, the largest long-term study of child health ever conducted in the United States.

The study will follow 100,000 children nationwide from before birth to age 21.

Local study leader Louise Flick of Saint Louis University's School of Public Health says more than 4,000 children from St. Louis City, Jefferson County, and southwestern Illinois will be asked to participate.

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Health
10:35 am
Wed December 8, 2010

“Whooping cough” on the rise in St. Louis County

Vaccination can help protect against pertussis.
Judy Schmidt, James Gathany CDC

Saint Louis County is seeing a surge in cases of pertussis.

More commonly known as “whooping cough,” pertussis is highly contagious, spreading through the air via small droplets when infected people cough, sneeze or talk.

One hundred and eighty-five cases have been reported in the county so far this year – two-thirds of them in the past six weeks.

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Science
10:46 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Federal judge to Monsanto: Yank the sugar beets out

A sugar beet.
(Flickr Creative Commons User Mindy.Kotaska)

Monsanto's latest lawsuit is no small potatoes - in fact, it's sugar beets.

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