Health, Science, Environment

St. Louis on the Air
5:18 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

The Battle Between Your Body Clock And The Mechanical Clock

Our internal clock is in tune with the cycle of night and day.
(via Flikr/Stephen Bowler)

It's not easy to adjust to a new time zone or work schedule. Our body has a natural sleep/wake cycle and disruptions to it can lead to more than just feeling tired or exhausted.

Washington University professors Paul Gray and Erik Herzog are studying the biology behind our daily internal clock, or circadian rhythm. Sometimes referred to as the body or biological clock, Herzog defined it as "the entity within the body that synchronizes with an environmental cycle." This is not to be confused with the biological clock some refer to when thinking of a woman's desire to conceive. 

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Childhood Obesity
4:43 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

CDC Report: Obesity Rates Down Slightly Among Low-Income Preschoolers In Missouri

Rates of change in childhood obesity (ages 2-4) from 2008 to 2011.
Credit U.S. CDC Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, 2008-2011. *Represents statistically significant annual decrease or increase in obesity.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.  to adjust y-axis units on graph and to add second map.

It's not a big change, but it's at least in the right direction.

According to a new report released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity among low-income preschoolers (ages 2-4) declined by at least one percentage point over the period from 2008 to 20011 in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Public Health
5:39 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

St. Louis County Officials Call For Stricter Regulation Of Ameren's Meramec Power Plant

Map showing the location of Ameren's Meramec Power Plant.
Credit (via Google Maps)

Updated at 3:45 p.m. on August 14, 2013 and at 11:10 a.m. on August 15, 2013 (to add comment from Ameren).

Another St. Louis County official is calling for tighter pollution controls at Ameren's Meramec power plant.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley today released a letter he sent to the Environmental Protection Agency, urging the agency to pursue sulfur dioxide controls at the Meramec plant.

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Industrial Pollution
5:14 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Public Meeting To Discuss Environmental Contamination In Sauget, Ill.

The Sauget, Ill. area.
(Missouri Department of Natural Resources)

State agencies from Illinois and Missouri are holding a public meeting Tuesday evening in Cahokia, Ill. to discuss plans to address environmental pollution in and around Sauget, Ill.

Tom Heavisides of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says old landfills and industrial facilities in the Sauget area of St. Clair County have contaminated soil and water.

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Science
2:25 am
Mon August 5, 2013

When Treating Abnormal Breast Cells, Sometimes Less Is More

Sally O'Neill decided to have a double mastectomy rather than "do a wait-and-see."
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:39 am

When Sally O'Neill's doctor told her she had an early form of cancer in one of her breasts, she didn't agonize about what she wanted to.

The 42-year-old mother of two young girls wanted a double mastectomy.

"I decided at that moment that I wanted them both taken off," says O'Neill, who lives in a suburb of Boston. "There wasn't a real lot of thought process to it. I always thought, 'If this happens to me, this is what I'm going to do.' Because I'm not taking any chances. I want the best possible outcome. I don't want to do a wait-and-see."

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Following In Darwin's Footsteps
5:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Two Young Women Scientists From UMSL Forge Their Futures In The Galapagos

Maricruz Jaramillo (standing) and Samoa Asigau wait for their ride back to the Charles Darwin Research Station after an early morning of catching birds in an agricultural area on Santa Cruz Island.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Charles Darwin revolutionized science. His theory of evolution was based on careful observations of birds and other wildlife in places like the Galapagos Islands.

One thing that has been really slow to evolve is the gender mix in science. Men still dominate many scientific fields, just like they did in Darwin’s day, more than 150 years ago.

But gradually, more women are breaking in.

I met up with two young women scientists in ― where else? ― the Galapagos. Here are their stories.

Maricruz Jaramillo fulfills a dream

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Science
6:15 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Danforth Plant Science Center To Grow

The Danforth Plant Science Center.
Credit (Courtesy of the Danforth Plant Science Center)

The Danforth Plant Science Center is adding another 79,000 square feet and eventually another 100 jobs.

The St. Louis research institute announced the $45 million dollar project Monday.

The center’s president, Dr. James Carrington, says the new space will be more flexible.

He says that that means cabinets and benches won’t be bolted down, giving room for new research that include automation and robotics.

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Carter Carburetor
5:19 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Toxic Carter Carburetor Site In North St. Louis To Be Cleaned Up -- At Last

EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks (at podium) speaks at the Carter Carburetor announcement in St. Louis on July 29, 2013.
(Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A toxic eyesore in North St. Louis is finally going to be cleaned up.

The old Carter Carburetor Superfund site on North Grand Boulevard will undergo a long-awaited $30 million remediation, the Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday.

The cleanup is the result of separate settlement agreements between the EPA and Carter Building, Inc., and ACF Industries, LLC. The two companies will cover most of the costs of the remediation.

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Science
9:39 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Pioneering Sex Researcher Virginia Johnson Is Dead At 88

Virginia Johnson, of the famed sexual research duo Masters and Johnson, has died at the age of 88.
(Courtesy Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine)

Updated 10:52 a.m., 11:33 a.m., 11:53 a.m., 12:11 p.m., and 4 p.m. May be updated further.

Virginia Johnson, one half of the famed Masters and Johnson research team on human sexual behavior, has died at the age of 88, her son Scott tells St. Louis Public Radio.

Johnson was a resident of The Altenheim senior living community in St. Louis. The facility has also confirmed her death.

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Ameren - Coal Ash
5:33 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

National Report Condemns Coal Ash Water Pollution From Ameren's Labadie Plant

Residents of Saint Louis, Franklin County and Jefferson County staged a “Miss and Mr. Toxic Water Pollution” pageant on the banks of the Mississippi River on Tuesday to draw attention to the issue of water contamination from Missouri's coal-fired power plants.
Credit Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio

A new report released Tuesday by a coalition of environmental groups focuses on the need to revamp national water pollution standards for coal-fired power plants.

The report cites Ameren's Labadie power plant in Franklin County as one of the worst waterway polluters in the nation.

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