Health, Science, Environment

Doe Run
1:18 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Plan seeks new uses for Doe Run site in Herculaneum

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An eastern Missouri lead smelter scheduled to close next year could eventually make way for commercial and industrial uses.

Doe Run Co. operates the smelter in Herculaneum. It will close in 2013 after years of wrangling over environmental concerns.

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Mississippi River Basin - Nutrient Pollution
2:46 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Environmental groups sue EPA to limit nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin

This image shows water quality changes in the Gulf of Mexico. Reds and oranges represent high concentrations of algae and river sediment. Under certain conditions excessive algal growth can result in a "dead zone" of low oxygen.
(via NASA/Goddard SVS)

Updated 4:43 p.m. with comment from Glynnis Collins of the Prairie Rivers Network.

A coalition of environmental groups is taking legal action to push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to limit nutrient pollution.

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St. Louis Zoo
1:55 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

St. Louis Zoo to buy Forest Park Hospital property

This artist's rendering shows potential expansion plans for the St. Louis Zoo on the 13.5-acre Forest Park Hospital site just south of Highway 40.
(via Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated 4:36 p.m. with comment from Jeffrey Bonner.

The Saint Louis Zoo has announced plans to buy the Forest Park Hospital site on Oakland Avenue, just south of Highway 40. The acquisition would allow the zoo to expand its parking, research, and office space.

The Saint Louis Zoo Association signed a conditional contract with the site owner, Medline Industries, Inc., on March 8. The price and contract terms were not disclosed.

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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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