Health, Science, Environment

St. Louis on the Air
4:30 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Despite Funding Challenges, St. Louis Researchers Find Ways To Study Rare Diseases

A peripheral blood smear of sickle cell anemia.
(via Flikr/Ed Uthman)

Just as with most things in life, when it comes to researching diseases, there is strength in numbers. Most funding goes to researching well-known and wide-spread diseases such as cancer and heart disease. 

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Saint Louis Zoo
2:55 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

That's Not A Worm: Endangered Ocellate Mountain Vipers Born At Saint Louis Zoo

A highly endangered 7 inch baby ocellate mountain viper snake slithers across a quarter while on display at the Saint Louis Zoo on September 3, 2013.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

In a slight departure from the cute-beyond-debate baby animal post, today we bring you a look at a group of highly endangered baby snakes born at the Saint Louis Zoo. 

The Zoo says nine ocellate mountain vipers were born there on Aug. 16. The species is from northeastern Turkey.

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Food/Agriculture
5:01 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Antibiotic Use On The Farm: Are We Flying Blind?

Piglets in a pen on a hog farm in Frankenstein, Mo.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:26 pm

There's a heated debate over the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Critics say farmers overuse these drugs; farmers say they don't.

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Breast Cancer
3:24 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

For Young Women, Drinking Alcohol Increases The Risk Of Breast Cancer

Young women who average a drink per day have a 13 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than non-drinkers, according to researchers at Wash U.
Washington University

Updated on August 29 to change 13% to 11% after further clarification from study co-author Graham Colditz.

A new study out of Washington University suggests that young women who drink regularly are at increased risk for developing breast cancer.

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Bridgeton Landfill
3:18 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Mo. DNR: The Bridgeton Landfill Fire Is Moving And We Want More Temperature Monitors To Track It

A map from May 2013 outlining the then-location of the underground fire and buried nuclear waste at the landfill. The new temperature probes Mo. DNR is requesting are to be installed roughly along the edges of the landfill's narrow neck.
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:40 p.m. to add Missouri Coalition for the Environment letter and comment from Republic Services.

The fire within the Bridgeton Landfill is still smoldering and now the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is ordering the company which operates the landfill to install additional temperature monitors to track the fire.

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Science
7:30 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Scientists Say They've Confirmed A New Element

The periodic table.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:24 pm

Scientists in Sweden say they have confirmed a new, super-heavy element that was first proposed by Russian scientists in 2004. The element with the atomic number 115 has yet to be named.

In a press release, Lund University says a group of international scientists led by physicists from Lund University, made the element by shooting a beam of calcium, which has 20 protons, into a thin film of americium, which has 95 protons.

For less than a second, the new element had 115 protons.

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Plant Biodiversity
2:15 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Missouri Botanical Garden Completes Encyclopedia Of Missouri's Native Plants

The Flora of Missouri includes detailed information on all of Missouri's native vascular plants, like this purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).
Lisa Francis, Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden has completed a 26-year effort to document the state's native plants.

The three-volume Flora of Missouri contains illustrations, plant distribution maps, and a detailed description of each species, including its taxonomy, uses, and conservation status.

This encyclopedic work updates the original Flora of Missouri, first published in 1963 by the late Julian Steyermark.

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Coal Ash
3:11 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

EPA Holds Public Hearing Over Coal Ash Contamination In Jefferson County

Location of coal ash piles at Rotary Drilling Supply showing proximity to Willers Lake in Festus, Mo.
Credit (via Google Maps)

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public hearing Thursday evening about a proposed agreement to address water pollution from the illegal disposal of coal ash from Ameren’s Rush Island Power Plant.

According to the EPA, approximately 140,000 tons of ash containing heavy metals and other toxic substances contaminated Jefferson County wetlands, an unnamed tributary to Plattin Creek and a portion of Willers Lake.

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Science
11:52 am
Tue August 20, 2013

After These Docs Saw The Farm, They Didn't Want The City

A little doctoring away from it all can grow on a person.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 9:31 am

Finding doctors to work in the countryside isn't easy.

About 20 percent the U.S. population lives in rural areas, but only about 11 percent of doctors practice there. The lure of cities and suburbs has been hard to overcome. And doctor shortages, already acute in some rural areas, are expected to get worse.

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Energy - Environment
9:38 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Mo. Environmental Group Sues Army Corps Over Pipeline Project

Enbridge is proposing to build the Flanagan South Pipeline, a nearly 600-mile, 36-inch diameter interstate crude oil pipeline that will cross through parts of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
Enbridge Energy Company, Inc.

Updated at 5:00 p.m.

A St. Louis-based environmental group has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for failing to provide information about a multi-state oil pipeline project.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment says the Corps unlawfully withheld documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

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