Health, Science, Environment

Teens / Drunk Driving
3:08 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Do strict laws keep teens from driving drunk?

A chart illustrates data collected in the study, and shows the relationship between the percentage of states with graduated teen driving laws and the percentage of teens who drove after drinking themselves, or rode with a driver who had been drinking.
Patricia Cavazos-Rehg

New research out of Washington University suggests the answer is "yes" to our headline question - that laws restricting how late at night teens can drive or how many passengers they can have may also be keeping teens from driving drunk.

The study used data from 1999 to 2009 on teen drinking and driving in 45 states with graduated driving licensing laws.

Wash U. psychologist Patricia Cavazos-Rehg led the study. She says states adopted teen driving restrictions at different times, and that some states are stricter than others.

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Sewer Rate Increases
4:06 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

MSD board expected to finalize series of rate increases

The exterior of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District building on Market St. in St. Louis.

Today, the board of trustees of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is expected to finalize a series sewer rate increases - the result of voter approval of Proposition Y on June 5.

MSD spokesperson Lance LeComb says those increases will slowly phase in over the next four years, like this:

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Wildlife Conservation
11:12 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Swift fox kits born at Endangered Wolf Center

One of the swift fox kits born four weeks ago at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka.
Regina Mossotti, Endangered Wolf Center

A litter of three swift foxes, two females and one male, has been born at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka – the first in a dozen years. The four-week-old foxes will get their first round of vaccinations today.

The kits are being raised by a trio of adult foxes – the breeding female’s sister is helping the parents care for their young.

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4:31 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Finally, a map of all the microbes on your body

Lead in text: 
The associate director of Washington University in St. Louis' Genome Institute, George Weinstock, was one of this project's lead researchers. He says we have about ten times more microbial cells in our body than we have human cells. He told our reporter Véronique LaCapra today: “...there’s probably a hundred times or more microbial genes in our body than there are genes in our human genome,” Weinstock said. “So the microbes, they’re not just a small little part of us, they’re really a very, very large, perhaps almost dominant part of our body.”
The human body contains about 100 trillion cells, but only maybe one in 10 of those cells is actually human. The rest are from bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. Now, scientists have unveiled the first survey the "human microbiome," which includes 10,000 species and more than 8 million genes.
Health - Microbes
12:15 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

We’re not alone: healthy humans have more microbes than cells

The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, which lives in the human gut, is just one type of microbe that was studied as part of the Human Microbiome Project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Researchers have completed the first comprehensive census of the human “microbiome” — the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that live in and on our bodies.

The associate director of Washington University’s Genome Institute, George Weinstock, was one of the project’s lead researchers. He says we have about ten times more microbial cells in our body than we have human cells.

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Health - Cancer
4:37 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

How could dialing 2-1-1 help fight cancer?

(via Flickr/nate steiner)

A new study out of Washington University has found that the 2-1-1 phone information system could be an effective tool to fight cancer in low-income and minority communities.

Across the U.S., people can call 2-1-1 to get help with housing, food, and other social service needs.

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Ameren - Lake of the Ozarks
12:15 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Regulators OK new boundaries at Lake of the Ozarks

An aerial view of Lake of the Ozarks.
(via Flickr/John Picken)

CORRECTION: We incorrectly referred to Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's press secretary as "Steve Schwartz" in an earlier version of this post. His name is Steve Walsh. We apologize for the error.

Updated at 3:12 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. with more details.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today approved Ameren Missouri's plan to reduce the amount of land the company owns and manages along the shoreline of the Lake of the Ozarks.

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Space
8:51 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Rare Transit Of Venus 'A Beautiful Event'

Venus passes between Earth and the sun during its last transit on June 8, 2004, as seen from Manila, Philippines. The next transit of Venus will be in 2117.
Bullit Marquez AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 11:11 am

A rare astronomical event will take place Tuesday evening: The planet Venus will pass between Earth and the sun, appearing as a small black dot moving across the sun's bright disk. It's known as the transit of Venus, and it won't happen again for more than 100 years.

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Times Beach testing
4:59 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Times Beach, Mo. site of EPA dioxin tests once again

Aerial photo of former site of Times Beach, MO
Google Earth

In the 1980s, the town of Times Beach, Mo. hired a contractor to spray the town’s dirt streets with oil to cut down on dust.  That oil was later found to contain extremely high levels of dioxin, a known cause of cancer.  Tests in the town revealed levels of dioxin 300 times what is considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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ENDANGERED BEETLE SPECIES
3:56 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Beetle to make Missouri comeback tomorrow

A pair of American burying beetles prepares to bury a bobwhite quail carcass.
Dan Kirk

An endangered beetle will be making its Missouri comeback on Tuesday.

That's when about 250 American burying beetles will be reintroduced in the Wah’Kon-Tah prairie, about 60 miles northwest of Springfield.

It's a joint effort of the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the St. Louis Zoo.

It's been 40 years since a confirmed sighting of the insect in Missouri, and the director of the zoo’s Center for American Burying Beetle Conservation, Bob Merz, says he hopes it will get reestablished in the state.

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