Health, Science, Environment

Science
2:46 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

When Ice Cream Attacks: The Mystery Of Brain Freeze

NPR interns (from left) Angela Wong and Kevin Uhrmacher participate in an experiment to induce brain freeze.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 1:12 pm

If it hasn't happened to you, count yourself as lucky. For many people, eating ice cream or drinking an icy drink too fast can produce a really painful headache. It usually hits in the front of the brain, behind the forehead.

The technical name for this phenomenon is cold-stimulus headache, but people also refer to it as "ice cream headache" or "brain freeze."

The good news is that brain freeze is easy to prevent — just eat more slowly. The other bit of good news is these headaches don't last very long — a minute at the outside.

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Doe Run - Lead
1:00 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Doe Run: no new plant to replace Herculaneum lead smelter

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Doe Run announced today that it will not build a new lead processing plant in Herculaneum.

In 2010, the largest lead producer in North America announced it would close its existing lead smelter in Herculaneum by the end of 2013.

The company had proposed to build a new facility there that would use new technology to reduce emissions of air pollutants including lead and sulfur dioxide.

But now Doe Run says that won’t happen.

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Saint Louis Zoo
11:02 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Splash! New sea lion exhibit opens Saturday at Saint Louis Zoo

Two of the Saint Louis Zoo's 11 California sea lions, swimming in the new Sea Lion Sound exhibit.
Robin Winkelman/Saint Louis Zoo

Starting this Saturday, visitors to the Saint Louis Zoo will have their first chance to check out a new sea lion exhibit.

The 1.5 acre, $18 million habitat will house 11 California sea lions in a large saltwater pool. There’s also an arena for sea lion shows.

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Air Pollution Standards
5:14 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Local cement manufacturers may get extra time to meet air pollution standards

Holcim's cement manufacturing plant in Ste. Genevieve.
Holcim U.S. Inc.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to extend the deadline for cement manufacturers to comply with federal air pollution standards.

The extension could impact some local companies.

The EPA proposal would extend the deadline by two years, giving cement manufacturers until September 2015 to comply with the standards.

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Air Pollution Standards
5:54 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

US Senate upholds limits on power plant air pollution

Ameren’s 2,400-megawatt plant near Labadie, Missouri, ranks 2nd highest in mercury emissions nationwide, according to a Nov. 2011 report by the advocacy group Environment Missouri.
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:50 p.m. to add comments from Senator Roy Blunt.

The U.S. Senate has rejected a bill that would have done away with new federal limits on mercury and other toxic air pollutants from power plants.

The resolution introduced by Republican Senator James Inhofe would have eliminated the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency in December.

Missouri’s senators were divided on the issue.

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Health care
3:34 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Coming to a Missouri ballot this fall: another health care referendum

A voter leaving a voting booth in Georgia in 2010. Missouri will hold its presidential primary tomorrow.
(via Flickr/Congress of local and regional authorities)

A report from KCUR's Elana Gordon.

This fall, voters in Missouri will face a number of decisions: picking state and congressional representatives, the President.  But also on the ballot will be a measure that like two years ago, has to do with the federal health law. 

It follows months of political tension over a key component.

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Botany
12:17 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Odorous 'corpse flower' blooms again at Mo. Botanical Garden

This corpse flower is blooming in the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

A second Amorphophallus titanum has bloomed at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It’s known as the titan arum – the flower can reach over six feet tall – or the “corpse flower” for its strong smell of rotting meat. The odor attracts flies, which help pollinate the plant.

The corpse flower can go for years without blooming. When it does, the flower lasts just a few days. Fewer than 160 are known to have bloomed worldwide, in the almost 120 years since the plant was identified by scientists in Sumatra.

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Air Pollution - Diesel
5:46 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Local tugboats to run cleaner with help of federal grant

The tugboat MSY Dorothy will get cleaner-burning engines this summer, paid for in part by a grant to JB Marine Service, Inc., from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Some Mississippi River tugboats will be getting an upgrade thanks to a federal grant aimed at reducing air pollution.

The more than $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will go toward new, cleaner-burning diesel engines for the tugboats.

One of those boats was on view this morning at JB Marine Service, Inc., the barge cleaning and repair company that received the EPA grant.

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Bats
10:15 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Endangered bats on vacation in Missouri and Illinois - and why biologists are tracking them

A little brown bat showing symptoms of white-nose syndrome in Greeley Mine, Vermont (April, 2009).
(Marvin Moriarity/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Biologists are tracking the Indiana bat at their summer locations through sites in Missouri and Illinois, hoping to gather information that will help numbers rebound for the endangered species.

The bat hibernates in caves in the winter and summers in forested areas, most frequently in the central United States.

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Callaway Nuclear Power Plant
4:41 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Another legal objection filed against Callaway nuclear renewal

Ameren Missouri's Callaway Nuclear Plant.

Ameren's request to renew the operating license for its Callaway Nuclear Power Plant with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for the next 20 years, has garnered another legal challenge.

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