Health, Science, Environment

St. Louis on the Air
4:30 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Is Time Running Out To Address The World’s Population Explosion?

Alan Weisman, author of Countdown.
Credit media photo

In “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth,” author Alan Weisman explored what it would take to bring the world’s population down to a sustainable level. The book is a sequel of sorts to Weisman’s bestselling “The World Without Us.”

The idea of “The World Without Us,” said Weisman, was to see how nature could recover from the effects of climate change without humans around to get in the way. But his hope in writing the book was to inspire the discovery of a way to add humans back into the equation.

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Medicaid Expansion
1:52 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Despite Setbacks, Bond Isn't Giving Up Medicaid Expansion Fight

Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and his wife Linda talk to reporters at an event Monday at the Danforth Plant Science Center. Bond was hired by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce to press for Medicaid expansion.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond was tapped by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce to get Medicaid expansion across the finish line. 

He didn’t succeed. Despite the attempts of several Republicans in the House and Senate to pass some form of expansion this year, Bond told St. Louis Public Radio on Monday that “we were just a few filibustering senators short of getting it done.”

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Veteran Services
1:51 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Missouri Senators Question VA Over St. Louis Mental Health Services

John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis.

Missouri’s U.S. Senators are seeking answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs  about reports of lax mental health services in St. Louis’s VA hospital system.

The inquiry stems from allegations by the system’s former Chief of Psychiatry, Dr. Jose Mathews, regarding an “artificial backlog” of patient care created by staff who treat veterans for only a fraction of the workday.

According to the Associated Press, Mathews claims in a federal whistleblower complaint filed last year that he was demoted after his efforts to make employees work harder and more efficiently.

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Obituary
10:28 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Eric James Nuetzel, M.D.: Psychiatrist With An Actor’s Heart

Eric Nuetzel
Credit Courtesy, St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute

Eric Nuetzel, M.D., didn’t merely enjoy good stage and screen performances, he dissected them. He plumbed the depths of such Shakespearean classics as Othello and Macbeth, as well as timeless movies like It’s A Wonderful Life and Raging Bull, to find their meaning and relevance to the human condition.

Dr. Nuetzel, who eagerly shared his astute analyses with audiences and students, taught simultaneously in the Department of Psychiatry and the Performing Arts Department at Washington University.

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St. Louis on the Air
6:03 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

St. Louis Expert On Strokes Highlights Five Risk Factors Women Should Know About

Dr. Amer Alshekhlee of the SSM Neurosciences Institute, DePaul Health Center.
Credit DePaul Health Center

Women are both more likely to suffer a stroke, and less likely to be treated in a timely manner when they experience one. May is Stroke Awareness Month, and today on St. Louis on the Air Dr. Amer Alshekhlee of the SSM Neurosciences Institute outlined five risk factors that increase the likelihood a woman will have a stroke.

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Emerald Ash Borer
7:42 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

St. Louis Ash Trees, Be Warned: The Emerald Ash Borer Is On The Loose

An adult Emerald Ash Borer is less than a half-inch long. The invasive beetle travels on cut wood and has spread through the Midwest.
Credit (David Cappaert, Michigan State University)

Beware the Emerald Ash Borer. 

Ash trees in the St. Louis area are susceptible to attacks from the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species of beetle that has been creeping toward the area since 2008.

The green beetle, with a penchant for any kind of ash tree, has infested and killed millions of trees nationwide. The beetle is native of Asia and was first found in Michigan in the early 2000s, although recent research suggests the bug could have been here since the early 1990s.

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West Lake Landfill
9:00 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

EPA To Test Popular Bridgeton Baseball Fields For Radiation

The EPA will scan all the outdoor areas of the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex, except the parking lots, for gamma radiation. The playing fields will remain open in the meantime.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 5/9/14 after EPA press conference:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will soon begin testing a popular athletic complex in Bridgeton for radiation.

Radiation screening at the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex (BMAC) is scheduled to begin the week of May 19.

In a written statement released on Wednesday, EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said the planned testing was prompted by a need to resolve “public concerns generated by residents using donated radiation detection equipment.”

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St. Louis on the Air
5:17 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Computers In The Brain? Not So Science Fiction, Says St. Louis Neuroscientist

Eric Leuthardt, neuroscientist, author and biomedical engineer.
Credit Washington University School of Medicine

In the not-so-distant future, it will be possible, perhaps even common place, to have computers implanted in our brains, says St. Louis neurosurgeon Eric Leuthardt.

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St. Louis on the Air
5:05 am
Tue May 6, 2014

More Illinois Farmers Are Embracing High Tech Ag ― But Is 'Big Data' Too Much Like 'Big Brother?'

A farmer uses Monsanto's FieldScripts program to plant his field.
Credit Via Monsanto

Farmers have been collecting data about their farms for decades.

Now all those data are going high tech. Major agricultural companies like Monsanto, John Deere and DuPont have been developing more ways to mine that than ever before – all in the name of helping farmers make better decisions about when to plant, what to plant and how much.

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Allergy And Access
9:15 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Health, Science, Environment Rundown: Bad Air In St. Louis And Other Painful Things

The air isn't as clear as you think it is.
Credit (Flickr/Paul Sableman)

Last week, the calendar turned from April to May, bringing with it plenty of budding leaves, flowers and allergies.  

But it’s not just pollen in the air that could be causing your eyes to burn and your throat to itch. The American Lung Association also came out with its annual State of the Air 2014 report and the findings do not reflect well on the St. Louis area.

The city of St. Louis and St. Louis County received the following grades:

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