Health, Science, Environment

Water Pollution
4:01 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

EPA releases new online tool for mapping water pollution

Eads Bridge connecting St. Louis and East St. Louis over the Mississippi River. A new tool from the Environmental Protection Agency allows the public to access information about pollutants released into local waterways.
(via flickr/benclark)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a new tool that allows the public to access information about pollutants that are released into local waterways.

The Discharge Monitoring Report Pollutant Loading Tool brings together millions of records and lets users search for and map water pollution.

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Agriculture - Genetics
12:54 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Local researcher awarded $1.3 million to study corn genetics

(via Flickr/Alternative Heat)

The National Science Foundation has awarded a local researcher $1.3 million to study the genetics of how corn plants take up nutrients.

The ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of fertilizer needed to grow the ubiquitous crop.

Ivan Baxter, a U.S. Department of Agriculture research scientist and assistant member at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, will lead the research.

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Health, Science, Environment
11:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Doughnut hole discounts help seniors; health exchanges on hold in Missouri

Last year's fight between Walgreens and Express Scripts over prescription drug prices overshadowed the much bigger issue of whether health reforms have eased drug costs for many seniors, as well as whether state lawmakers should set up a health insurance exchange.

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Child Health - Asthma
4:25 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Acid reflux medication doesn't help kids with asthma, new study shows

About nine million children in the United States have asthma.
(National Institutes of Health)

For years doctors have prescribed acid blockers to children with no symptoms of acid reflux to try to help control their asthma.

But a new study shows the anti-reflux medicine isn't helping.

The research followed more than 300 children between the ages of 6 and 17. In addition to an inhaled steroid, about half the children were given an acid blocker for six months, and half a placebo. None of the children had symptoms of acid reflux.

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Food & Agriculture
6:35 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Analyzing what we eat: a conversation with author and food activist Michael Pollan

Author and self described "food advocate" Michael Pollan.
(Ken Light)

Michael Pollan thinks of himself as a writer, professor…and eater.  But many people would call him a food activist. The author of controversial books like The Ominvore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, Pollan is known for his vivid critiques of industrial agriculture and the modern American diet.

Pollan is in St. Louis today for the St. Louis Speakers Series presented by Maryville University. He recently spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra about his views on food and agriculture – starting with what he sees as a healthy diet.

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Ameren Missouri
5:08 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Ameren Missouri plans to boost energy efficiency

(via Flickr/lobo235)

Updated 5:42 p.m. with comment from Ameren.

Ameren Missouri is pledging to increase its energy efficiency programs starting in 2013.

The company's filing today with the Public Service Commission would represent a complete change of course for Ameren, which had cut its energy efficiency programs from $33 million in 2011 down to as low as $5 million this year.

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Health - smoking
4:01 am
Thu January 19, 2012

American Lung Association: Missouri's smoking policies fail to protect

(Via Flickr/meddygarnet)

A new report by the American Lung Association puts Missouri near the bottom of the list when it comes to state tobacco control policies.

The report grades states according to their spending on tobacco prevention and control programs, smoke-free air laws, cigarette taxes, and coverage of programs to help smokers quit.

Missouri was one of six states to receive an “F” grade in all four categories.

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Climate change - greenhouse gases
2:29 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Power plants top the list of greenhouse gas emitters in St. Louis region, nationwide

A map showing the numbers and locations of Missouri greenhouse gas emitters included in the new EPA data set. You can interact with the map and find more specific data by location and facility via the link in the story below.
(EPA.gov)

Power plants are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the U.S., followed by petroleum refineries.

That's according to data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The data set shows 2010 emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases from more than 6,700 of the largest sources in the U.S., including large industrial facilities and suppliers of certain fossil fuels and industrial gases.

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Energy / Claire McCaskill
6:09 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

McCaskill visits St. Louis, Wash. U. on state-wide energy tour

Senator Claire McCaskill (at right) takes a look at an ultrafast laser system with Christine Kirmaier, PhD, (at left) research professor of chemistry, at Washington University in St. Louis' Ultrafast Laser Facility.
(Joe Angeles/WUSTL)

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill was in St. Louis Monday as part of her state-wide energy tour.

The Democratic senator participated in a roundtable discussion at Washington University about the nation's energy future. At the table were some of Missouri's energy industry leaders, along with university administrators and researchers.

McCaskill says their feedback reinforced for her the need to keep all energy options on the table.

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Prostate cancer screening
5:05 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Annual prostate cancer screening not needed for most men, but some can still benefit

Diagram showing the anatomy of the prostate, a gland of the male reproductive system that produces fluid for semen.
(National Cancer Institute)

There's more evidence that most men don’t need an annual prostate cancer screening.

Washington University chief urologist Dr. Gerald Andriole has been leading a clinical trial involving more than 75,000 men over the age of 55.

The study has tracked the men for over a decade, to see whether getting an annual prostate-specific antigen, or PSA test, makes someone less likely to die from prostate cancer.

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