Health, Science, Environment

Agriculture - pests
5:43 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Insect scientists urge action against growing pest problem in biotech corn

(via Flickr/snebtor)

Insect scientists say federal regulators need to take action against a growing pest problem in biotech corn.

They say corn rootworm has started to become resistant to Monsanto's Bt corn, which is genetically engineered to resist the damaging and costly pest.

The 22 scientists expressed their concerns in a letter sent to EPA earlier this week. 

University of Illinois insect behaviorist Joseph Spencer was one of them.

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Barnes-Jewish Hospital
5:31 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Barnes-Jewish Hospital to open new outpatient center

The new outpatient center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
(Timothy Mudrovic/BJC HealthCare)

Barnes-Jewish Hospital will open its new outpatient center on Monday.

The 12-story building at the corner of Forest Park Avenue and Euclid will bring together five existing outpatient clinics under one roof. Those include a primary care clinic, along with OB/GYN, psychiatric, surgical, and specialty clinics.

Dr. Melvin Blanchard directs the internal medicine residency program at Barnes.

Speaking at a dedication ceremony for the new center, Blanchard said Barnes' existing clinics provide care to the underinsured and underserved.

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Gateway Arch / Emerald Ash Borer
9:45 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Park Service to remove ash trees from Arch grounds

An adult emerald ash borer.
(David Cappaert, Michigan State University)

Nearly half of the trees on the grounds of the Gateway Arch will be removed and replaced with a different species.

The National Park Service said Thursday that more than 900 Rosehill ash trees will be taken out over concerns about the threat posed by the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that has killed millions of ash trees in 15 states. Officials at the Arch say the ash trees on the grounds are also showing signs of decline from urban factors like air pollution and less than ideal soil.

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The Salt
9:36 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Farmers Face Tough Choice On Ways To Fight New Strains Of Weeds

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 11:01 pm

OK, so this story is about weeds and weedkillers, neither of which is ever the hero of a story, but stay with me for a second: It's also about plants with superpowers.

Unless you grow cotton, corn or soybeans for a living, it's hard to appreciate just how amazing and wonderful it seemed, 15 years ago, when Roundup-tolerant crops hit the market. I've seen crusty farmers turn giddy just talking about it.

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Alzheimer's disease
4:23 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Study: new Alzheimer’s marker can predict rate of memory loss

This image from the National Institute on Aging shows the difference between the tissue structure of a healthy brain (at left) and a brain severely affected by Alzheimer's disease.
(Image courtesy National Institute on Aging)

A new marker for Alzheimer's disease can be used to predict how quickly a patient will develop memory loss and other symptoms of dementia.

Researchers at Washington University measured levels of a marker called visinin-like protein 1 in in the spinal fluid of 60 patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's then tracked their symptoms for three years.

Neurologist Dr. Rawan Tarawneh, now at the University of Jordan, led the study.

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sports concussions
4:52 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Forum on sports concussions held at Saint Louis University

(via Flickr/mel_rowling)

Coaches, athletic directors, and school nurses from across Missouri met at Saint Louis University on Thursday for a forum on sports concussions in student athletes.

The Brain Injury Association of Missouri sponsored the conference, which drew about 200 participants.

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Monsanto / From NPR's The Salt
4:49 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Judge dismisses organic farmers' case against Monsanto

Farmer Alan Madison fills a seed hopper with Monsanto hybrid seed corn near Arlington, Illinois, U.S. A group of organic and other growers say they're concerned they'll be sued by Monsanto if pollen from seeds like these drift onto their fields.
Daniel Acker Landov

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 10:37 am

A New York federal court today dismissed a lawsuit against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by thousands of certified organic farmers. The farmers hoped the suit would protect them against infringing on the company's crop patents in the future.

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields.

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St. Louis Public Radio on NPR
3:45 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Cheers! Fruit flies drink to their health, literally

Fruit flies will drink alcohol from fermenting fruit to kill off wasp parasites that can grow inside of them.
Jan Polabinski iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 1:54 pm

As humans, we sometimes pay a price for drinking alcohol — in hangovers, or worse. But if you happen to be a young fruit fly, it turns out that alcohol can be just what the doctor ordered.

The pesky little fruit flies often show up when apples or bananas are left sitting around for too long on the kitchen counter. Most folks find them annoying, but Todd Schlenke can't get enough of them.

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Science / Earthquakes
3:09 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

A second earthquake of the day occurs in southeastern Missouri

A map highlighting the two separate earthquakes that occurred today in southeast Missouri. The two incidences are represented by the two blue squares on the map.
(USGS website)

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that, in addition to the 4.0 magnitude earthquake centered near East Prairie, Mo. early this morning, a second, smaller earthquake originated today near the same location in the New Madrid Seismic Zone

The second earthquake happened around 11:05 a.m.

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MOSIRA
11:37 am
Tue February 21, 2012

New science incentives fund declared unconstitutional by judge

(via Flickr/breahn)

A Missouri trial judge has struck down a state fund designed to offer state incentives to science or technology companies.

During a special legislative session last fall, lawmakers approved the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, also often referred to as MOSIRA. The measure contained a clause that the law would not take effect without the passage of a separate measure, which was not approved.

Those challenging the science fund included the Missouri Roundtable for Life and Missouri Right to Life.

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