Health, Science, Environment

Children's Health Study
4:22 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Community update Wed. for St. Louis in national children's health study

On Wednesday, St. Louis will get a progress report on local participation in the National Children’s Study.

The study – which is currently in a pilot phase – will examine how environmental factors affect the health and development of more than a 100,000 children nationwide, by tracking them from before birth to age 21.

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Developing: St. Louis-area E. coli outbreak
2:48 pm
Thu October 27, 2011

E. coli outbreak strikes St. Louis area

Low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria, magnified 10,000 times. Each individual bacterium is oblong shaped.
(Via Wikimedia Commons/Eric Erbe, digital colorization by Christopher Pooley, both of USDA, ARS, EMU)

Updated October 28, 1:50 p.m. to update information related to St. Louis City. Updated October 28, 12:30 p.m. to add information about the U.S. CDC team.

An E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 21 people in the St. Louis area.

Confirmed cases include 16 in St. Louis County, two in St. Charles County, two in Jefferson County, and one in St. Clair County in Illinois. The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services is investigating three suspected cases in St. Louis City. At least nine people in St. Louis County have been hospitalized.

The director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health, Dr. Delores Gunn, confirms that the toxic strain of E. coli is being spread through contaminated food, but says her department is still investigating its origin.

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Science
3:08 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

UMSL conference explores "Science in the City"

(University of Missouri-Saint Louis)

The University of Missouri-Saint Louis kicks off its 17th annual "What is a City?" conference on tomorrow. This year’s two-day conference is all about the relationship between cities and science.

Topics range from how to develop science-based public policy to how to think about a city as an artificial life form.

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Ameren Coal Ash Landfill Debate
2:38 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Franklin Co. vote opens door for Ameren to build coal ash landfill

Franklin County residents show their opposition to the landfill regulations prior to the Commission vote.
(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 4:43 p.m.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners has approved its controversial landfill zoning regulations, opening the door for Ameren to build a coal ash landfill in Labadie, Mo.

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Conservation - Forests
6:30 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Why live indoors? A conversation with naturalist Michael Fay

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Michael Fay.
(Photo by Mark Christmas courtesy of National Geographic)

Naturalist Michael Fay spent part of his early career in St. Louis, going to graduate school at Washington University and working with the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Peter Raven.

Since then, Fay has worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society and National Geographic.

He’s probably best known for his large-scale surveys of plants and wildlife. In 1997, he set out on the MegaTransect, a survey that would take him more than 2,000 miles on foot across the forests of the Congo Basin in Central Africa.

Fay is back in St. Louis this week for some speaking engagements. St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra talked with him about his African journey, and what it did for international conservation efforts.

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Around the Nation
11:07 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Revolutionary oil skimmer nets $1 million X Prize

In a large tank set up to test oil-skimming devices, rows of spinning plastic disks separate oil from water.

Elastec/American Marine

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 11:01 pm

A breakthrough in oil cleanup technology allows crews to skim spilled oil off the water's surface at a much faster rate. The new device wasn't developed by Exxon, BP or any of the major oil companies — it's the work of Elastec/American Marine, based in Illinois. And the design won the company a rich award from the X Prize Foundation.

Oil is attracted to plastic. And water is not. That, in essence, is the basis of Elastec's new skimmer.

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Health - secondhand smoke
5:32 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

In Missouri, rural male workers at highest risk from secondhand smoke

(via Flickr/Drongowski)

A higher percentage of Missouri's workers are exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke than in any other state.

A 2007 telephone survey funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health looked at the tobacco use, health, and demographics of close to 24,000 indoor Missouri workers.  About 12 percent were exposed to secondhand smoke, compared to about 7 percent of workers nationwide.

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St. Louis Zoo
11:19 am
Fri October 7, 2011

Baby miniature burro makes big entrance at St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo's new arrival, "Nina," a miniature burro, with her mother, "Miss Barney," on Oct. 4, the day the foal was born.
(Michael Abbene/Saint Louis Zoo)

Cute alert!

St. Louis has a new resident - at the St. Louis Zoo's Emerson Children's Zoo.

"Nina," a miniature burro, was born Tuesday, Oct. 4 in front of staff and visitors. Her mother, "Miss Barney," came to the St. Louis Zoo this summer.

The little foal weighs 31 pounds and stands 23 inches tall. The Zoo says ancestors of the mini burro, or miniature donkey, come from the island of Sicily near the Mediterranean Sea.

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Labadie Coal Ash Landfill
11:16 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Franklin County completes draft of coal ash landfill regulation; revised version posted

Ameren’s 2,400-megawatt plant near Labadie, Mo., is the state’s largest coal-fired power plant.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Update: 9:45 a.m. Oct 6:

Projected schedule for the Franklin County landfill zoning regulation:

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Conservation - Endangered Species
2:23 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Giant Ozark salamander now officially endangered

Ozark hellbenders are a subspecies found only in Missouri and Arkansas.
(Jill Utrup, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has listed the Ozark hellbender as a federally endangered species that cannot be harmed, killed, or bought and sold as a pet.

The Ozark hellbender is found only in the streams of the White River system in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Ozark hellbender populations have dropped by 75 percent since the 1980s, with fewer than 600 remaining in the wild.

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