Health, Science, Environment

St. Louis on the Air
5:11 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Update: The Archaeological Discoveries Made Possible By The New Mississippi River Bridge

Research coordinator Joe Galloy looks on as crew members excavate a large storage pit at the dig site. Archaeologists are not sure of its original function, but the Cahokians may have used it to store corn or other food.
Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

When something new is built, it can sometimes uncover something old. Such was the case with the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge opening Sunday. During construction of the new bridge across the Mississippi River, the remains of an ancient American Indian settlement was discovered hidden below East St. Louis.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:12 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Cardiologist Speaks On Snow, Sugar And Other Dangers To The Heart

(via Wikimedia Commons)

With this winter’s prolific snowfalls, slippery streets and biting cold aren’t the only dangers to be concerned about. According to cardiologist Andrew Kates, people should also think twice about shoveling snow if they aren’t accustomed to exercise. That’s because shoveling snow can cause heart attacks.

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Heroin Epidemic
12:45 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Actor's Apparent Heroin Overdose Points To Widespread Trend

The number of deaths in Missouri from heroin overdose has risen exponentially in the past four years.
(via Flickr/Michael Velardo)

Experts who study drug trends say the presumed fatal heroin overdose of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman shines the spotlight anew on the need for society to come to grips with widespread heroin abuse across the nation and in St. Louis.

Among those who have studied the issue is Theodore “Ted” Cicero, a  professor in neuropharmacology in psychiatry at Washington University Medical School. He has tracked patient trends in 150 drug treatment facilities nationwide for more than seven years.

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Childhood Obesity
10:52 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

St. Louis Plans Coordinated Approach To Fighting Obesity

(City of St. Louis Department of Health)

From the outside, Regal Meat Market, at 5791 Thekla Ave. in north St. Louis looks like a typical urban corner store. Situated in Walnut Park East, an area where few outsiders go, it has bars on the windows and a large sign next to the door advertising Newport cigarettes. 

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Healthcare and Medicaid
3:59 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Sebelius Puts A Price And Face On Health Insurance Coverage In Missouri

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius holds a press conference with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay in north St. Louis. Law student Nathaniel Carroll spoke about the benefit of having health insurance.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tried to put a price tag and a face on the government’s health reform push in Missouri when she visited the Grace Hill Water Tower Health Center on Friday. 

The price tag: $5 million a day. That’s how much she says Missouri is losing by refusing to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

The face: a local resident who praised the law for the help it is providing his family while he attends law school.

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sickle cell anemia
1:05 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

SLU Tests New Treatment For Easing Pain Of Sickle Cell Anemia

The Jones family (from left) Delores, Diamond, Davon, and Dayvin.
Credit Robert Joiner

With her oversize black frame glasses, 9-year-old Diamond Jones projects an image of being a kid who is thoughtful, inclined to study, and who loves reading and attending school. All that is true. In fact, she’s so adamant about going to school that she has been known to pout occasionally on days when her parents keep her home for health reasons. 

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Trans Fat Ban
5:00 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Ready Or Not, Local Food Shops Brace For FDA's Trans Fats Purge

Trans fats help icing hold its shape on many supermarket cakes.
Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

The Food and Drug Administration has a plan in the works that may affect your appetite. It wants to ban partially hydrogenated oils -- the major source of artificial trans fats in the U. S. food supply.

How will that impact St. Louis area bakeries, donut shops and grocery stores?

Like many mom-and-pop donut shops in St. Louis, the Donut Stop in Lemay fries with partially hydrogenated shortening – good for glaze retention, shelf life, and mouth feel.

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lack family story
2:46 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

The Immortal Tale Of The Unethical Use Of Human Cells Recounted At Maryville University

Karen Collins (center) who teaches at Webster University, was among people attending a discussion Thursday at Maryville University by Kim Lacks (left) granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks; and Veronica Spencer, great-granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks.
(courtesy of Karen Collins)

Veronica Spencer seems to thrive on speaking to audiences about the heartbreaking story of a great-grandmother who became famous because of her cells.

“I love the travel,” Spencer said, during a visit Thursday to Maryville University. “I get to see the world, visit places I never expected to go. When someone hugs me and says thanks, I realize the person they are talking about is my great-grandmother who has done all of this for the world."

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6:00 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Trumpeter Swans Flock In Record Numbers To St. Louis-Area Bird Sanctuary

It's about an hour after dawn on a cold January morning. A couple hundred trumpeter swans have spent the night on Pintail Pond at the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Alton, Illinois.
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio & The Beacon

Every winter, hundreds of trumpeter swans migrate from their breeding grounds in Wisconsin to the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, just across the Mississippi River from Alton.

This year there are about 900 of them, a record for our area.

On a recent cold, blustery St. Louis morning, I got up well before dawn to drive the 20 miles north to the sanctuary and record this audio postcard.

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Flu Season
9:23 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

St. Louis Flu Cases Down After New Year Surge

via Wikimedia Commons

After spiking in early January, cases of the flu appear to have subsided in the St. Louis area.

According to the St. Louis County Health Department, the 92 influenza-like illnesses recorded for the week ending Jan. 19 was 151 fewer than the first week of January. St. Louis City numbers for last week have yet to be released.

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