Health, Science, Environment

Pesticides
5:34 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Monsanto To Keep Selling Pesticide-Coated Seeds EPA Says Don't Help Yields ― And May Harm Bees

This blueberry bee, photographed at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Mar. 25, 2012, was the first recorded in Saint Louis since the 1930s.
Credit Ed Spevak|Saint Louis Zoo

Monsanto will continue selling soybean seeds coated with pesticides that have been linked to honey bee deaths, even though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found the seeds do not improve yields.

The seeds in question are treated with a class of chemicals called neonicotinoids, which are chemically similar to nicotine.

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Missouri Deer Population
9:16 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Missouri Deer Populations Recovering After Disease Outbreaks

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the deer population will offer plenty of hunting opportunities this year, as numbers are recovering from disease outbreaks across the state.
Credit Noppadol Paothong, Missouri Department of Conservation

It's good news for hunters, but maybe bad news for drivers: the Missouri Department of Conservation says the state will see a pretty good deer population this year.

Many parts of the state should see a "large and healthy deer herd" this season, after years of declining populations, according to the department's Jim Low. He estimates the state has more than a million deer, offering "plenty of deer hunting opportunity out there."

Recovery from disease

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Health, Science, Environment
6:33 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Nurses Union Says Ebola Prep Inadequate in St. Louis

Credit (National Institutes of Health)

As concerns over Ebola grow around the country, unionized nurses in St. Louis are asking for full-body hazmat suits with respirators and for additional training. They are also requesting that the treatment of patients diagnosed with the virus be voluntary--an extremely unusual request.

Seven members of National Nurses United [NNU] spoke with reporters outside Saint Louis University Hospital on Monday. NNU published their demands with a petition after two Dallas nurses contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed in the U.S.

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Environment
7:54 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

Volunteers Clean Up River Des Peres Watershed

Chris Weiss and John Koch load tires into a trailer at Gravois Creek near Grant's Trail on Saturday, October 18, 2014.
Credit Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

As water flows south through the River des Peres Watershed in St. Louis, trash, tires and metal gets deposited along the way. Over the weekend, hundreds of volunteers worked to pick up all that trash during the sixth annual cleanup called the River des Peres Trash Bash.

At Gravois Creek on Saturday morning, about a dozen volunteers stacked muddy tires into a trailer hitched to a four-wheeler.

Earlier, volunteers had fished the tires out of the creek using canoes. By mid-morning, volunteer Doug Geist estimated that they had collected more than twenty tires.

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Ebola
5:01 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Nixon Releases Funding, Says State Public Health Lab Authorized To Test For Ebola

Gov. Jay Nixon announces on Oct. 17, 2014, that the Mo. State Public Health Laboratory has been designated an Ebola testing lab.
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Friday that he's releasing $3.3 million previously withheld from the state budget, which will go toward local-level public health agencies around the state. St. Louis Public Radio reported this week that local health officials were concerned that withholding the funds would affect their ability to prepare for the Ebola threat. 

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Bridgeton Landfill
9:45 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

State Says Bridgeton Landfill Owner Must Do More To Contain Fire's Spread

On this map, the location of the new temperature monitoring probes that Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources wants Republic Services to install is marked with a purple line.
Credit Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Updated 10/17/14: Republic Services has confirmed that it agreed on Thursday, in writing, to comply with all of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' requirements ― although the company remains committed to its position that the additional measures are not needed.

Our original story:

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Preparing for the worst
6:12 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Preparing for Ebola in St. Louis Could Cost Millions, Health Department Director Says

Credit Adrian Clark / Flickr

After test results confirmed that a nurse in Dallas had contracted the deadly Ebola virus from a patient, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told hospitals to ‘start thinking Ebola’ when patients present flu-like symptoms.

Hospital officials in the St. Louis region say they’ve already done so. They've been working to determine protocols, train health workers and buy protective equipment. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids.

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Space Science
5:12 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Waste In Space Is A Puzzle With Millions Of Pieces

There are something on the order of 12,000 to 15,000 pieces of space debris larger than the size of a softball orbiting the Earth.
Credit NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Space debris probably isn’t at the top of your list of day-to-day concerns.

The junk we’ve left floating around in space includes everything from spent rocket stages and old satellites, to nuts and bolts ― even tiny flecks of paint.

And it’s constantly colliding with satellites and anything else in what's known as “low Earth orbit,” including the International Space Station.

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Underground Railroad
9:38 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Archaeologists Dig For Clues To African-American History In Brooklyn, Ill.

Archaeologists from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey dig at the former 1851 house site of Priscilla Baltimore in Brooklyn, Illinois.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Brooklyn, Ill., is a small, predominantly African-American town, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

What little revenue the town brings in comes mostly from strip clubs. But there’s more to Brooklyn than that.

Archaeologists from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey have been digging for evidence of Brooklyn’s pre-Civil-War past, trying to solve some of the mysteries about its origins.

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Scientific Research
8:09 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

CT Scans Reveal Surprises About Wash U And Saint Louis Art Museum's Egyptian Mummies

This CT scan of the mummy Henut-Wedjebu, an upper-class Egyptian woman who lived about 3,400 years ago, shows small shiny objects that appear to float around her head. These could be glass beads, embedded in a wig or shroud.
Washington University

Barnes-Jewish Hospital had some unusual “patients” on Sunday: three ancient Egyptian mummies.

Washington University radiologists put each mummy through a CT scanner, which uses X-rays to “see” through the mummies’ wrappings, and high-powered computing to generate detailed, 3-D images of the tissues, bones and organs underneath.

The mummies were already X-rayed in the late '60s, and two were CT-scanned in the '90s.

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