Health, Science, Environment

St. Louis on the Air
6:45 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Wash U Has Four Of The World’s Top Researchers

Professor Richard K. Wilson, Director of the Genomics Institute at Washington University in St. Louis
(Courtesy: Washington University in St. Louis)

Four of the top twenty-one influential researchers in the world live in the St. Louis area.

The researchers are from Washington University in St. Louis and all are in the field of genomics.  The findings come from Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch, an open web resource for science metrics and analysis.

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Natural Gas
4:11 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Lambert Upgrading Vehicle Fleet To Run On Natural Gas

Groundbreaking for a new CNG station at Lambert Airport.
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Lambert St. Louis Airport is upgrading the way it fuels its fleet of vehicles. Monday the Laclede Group and Siemens held a groundbreaking for a new natural gas fueling station at the airport.

The station will serve 160 fleet vehicles that run on compressed natural gas - a fuel that's considerably cheaper than gasoline.

Laclede Group CEO Suzanne Sitherwood says the station will also be available for the public to use.

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Solar Aircraft
11:58 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Watch An Interview At 5,000 Feet (And Climbing) From Within A Solar-Powered Plane

Solar Impulse’s pilot Bertrand Piccard prepares for the flight from Dallas to St. Louis and says farewell to pilot on the ground André Borschberg.
Credit (via Solar Impulse)

Updated 3:13 p.m. June 4  with landing   

A one-of-a-kind airplane is en route from Dallas to St. Louis Lambert International Airport. It’s an aircraft called Solar Impulse and it derives all of its power from the sun.

The plane began its cross-continental journey in early May, traveling from San Francisco to Phoenix.

It’s due to arrive in St. Louis around 1 a.m. Tuesday, and our science reporter, Véronique LaCapra, spoke with the Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard earlier today as he was flying the plane.

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Endangered Species
4:30 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Saint Louis Zoo Continues Efforts To Restore Endangered Beetle

American burying beetles eat carrion. When they are ready to mate, they find a small dead animal and bury it in an underground nest to feed their young.
Credit Dan Kirk/Saint Louis Zoo

For a second year, the St. Louis Zoo is continuing efforts to bring back an endangered beetle to southwestern Missouri.

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Bridgeton Landfill
8:24 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

EPA: Radioactive Wastes At West Lake Landfill Not A Health Risk

A fire has been smoldering underground at the Bridgeton Landfill (labeled "Former Active Sanitary Landfill" in this image) since late 2010. There is radioactive waste in the two purple regions labeled Operable Unit 1 Area 1 and Operable Unit 1 Area 2.
Credit Environmental Protection Agency report p. 15

The Environmental Protection Agency says radioactive wastes at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton are "contained" and "do not pose public health risks."

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Ameren - Coal Ash
5:53 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Environmental Groups Demand Groundwater Testing Near Ameren Power Plants

The approximate locations of drinking water wells in Franklin County (shown in red).
Credit (Map created for the Labadie Environmental Organization based on Missouri Department of Natural Resources well location data)

Environmental groups are once again urging state officials to require groundwater monitoring at Ameren’s coal-fired power plants in eastern Missouri.

The Sierra Club and Labadie Environmental Organization submitted a letter to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on Thursday asking the state not to allow Ameren to build new coal ash landfills before testing groundwater for contamination.

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Elk Restoration
11:46 am
Wed May 22, 2013

39 More Elk Arrive In Missouri, Plus Another Born On The Way

These are among the 40 elk temporarily being kept in holding pens at MDC's Peck Ranch Conservation Area.
Missouri Department of Conservation

A total of 40 additional elk have arrived at Peck Ranch in southeastern Missouri, including a male calf born en route from Kentucky.

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Global Health
5:40 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Wash U To Engineer Bacteria To Kill Intestinal Parasites

An adult female roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) can reach over a foot in length.
Credit U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

A Washington University researcher has received a $100,000 global health grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support research focused on preventing the transmission of parasitic diseases in developing countries.

Although there are drugs to help kill parasitic worms and their eggs in the human body, stopping their transmission in the environment is challenging.

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St. Louis on the Air
1:57 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Genetics Counseling For Cancer And The Decision To Have Preventive Surgery

DNA Double Helix
(Courtesy: National Human Genome Research Institute)

Cancer is cruel and it impacts the lives of far too many people and their families.  According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer kills 458,000 people each year.

Recently, actress and director Angelina Jolie, in a New York Times op-ed entitled My Medical Choice, announced she received a double mastectomy in order to minimize her risk of getting breast cancer.

Jolie has a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.  Her mom died from the disease at the age of 56.

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Bridgeton Landfill
4:30 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Odors Expected To Worsen During Bridgeton Landfill Construction

A new phase of construction slated for May 20 to June 14, 2013, is expected to increase gas emissions and odors at the Bridgeton Landfill.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Wednesday, May 22, 5:30 p.m.: The Department of Health & Senior Services is also posting its evaluations of the air monitoring data here. The regulatory standards that DHSS is using to estimate the health risks from landfill fumes are here.

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