Health, Science, Environment

Cicadas - entomology
6:35 am
Mon June 13, 2011

Cicadas: the science behind the invasion

Two cicadas hang upside down on a branch, facing in opposite directions, to mate.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

They’re back. And if they’re out in your neighborhood, they’re pretty hard to miss.

I’m talking about the periodical cicadas. In the past few weeks, they’ve emerged by the billions in states from Maryland to Georgia to Oklahoma.

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Tourism - China
4:32 pm
Thu June 2, 2011

Missouri Botanical Garden to host Chinese lantern festival

Lantern sets representative of those that will be in the exhibition at the Missouri Botanical Garden next year. You can see artist renderings of the actual lanterns to be featured in the exhibition in the slideshow in the story below.
(via Karen Hill/Missouri Botanical Garden)

The Missouri Botanical Garden will host a Chinese lantern festival next year.

The exhibition—the first of its kind in the United States—will feature 26 large, brightly-colored lantern displays from China's Zigong province.

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Elk restoration
4:18 pm
Thu June 2, 2011

Elk released from holding pen, some with new calves

The elk brought to Missouri early last month as part of a restoration project have been released from their holding pen.

The Missouri Department of Conservation released the 34 elk along with five newborn calves on Wednesday.

The adult elk and calves have been fitted with GPS radio collars as part of a cooperative research project with the University of Missouri-Columbia. The collars will help researchers track the elk's health, movement patterns and preferred types of vegetation.

Medical research
3:05 pm
Sat May 28, 2011

Wash U zebrafish facility opens doors to large-scale genetic research, collaboration

The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a tropical freshwater fish belonging to the minnow family.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Washington University is now home to one of the largest zebrafish research facilities in the world.

The one-inch long, striped tropical fish serve as models for studying human development and disease, from birth defects to heart disease to cancer.

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Hepatitis C
6:00 am
Fri May 27, 2011

New drugs promise higher cure rates for hepatitis C

High magnification micrograph of a liver with cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a condition caused by hepatitis C.
(via Wikimedia commons)

In the past couple of weeks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two new drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C, a virus that can cause liver damage and cancer.

The new drugs should greatly improve cure rates for the more than three million Americans affected by this potentially fatal disease.

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"Lean Healthcare"
5:35 am
Fri May 27, 2011

"Lean Healthcare:" Using mechanical systems for medical efficiency

The strategy room at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Pink sticky notes on the wall represent points in a process where a patient has to wait. This giant chart is used to track progress of the "Lean Healthcare" method.
(Sarah Kincade)

Throughout the country a number of hospitals have been looking to Toyota auto plants to learn how to make healthcare safer and more efficient. Among the dozens of institutions adapting the Toyota Production system to healthcare is Barnes-Jewish Hospital here in St. Louis.

Reporter David Weinberg brings us the story of how Far East auto plants are changing the face of hospitals in the west.

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Stroke Care
4:55 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Analysis suggests racial and ethnic disparities in stroke care

A new analysis suggests racial and ethnic minorities are not getting equal treatment when it comes to strokes.

At the request of the American Heart Association, a group of stroke experts led by Saint Louis University neurologist Dr. Salvador Cruz-Flores examined the scientific literature for racial and ethnic disparities in stroke care.

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From St. Louis on the Air
2:08 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Cold winter, strong jet stream combine for an unusual tornado season

National Weather Service risk map
(Mike Smith)

This morning as the National Weather Service upgraded the tornado risk to "high" for the St. Louis area this afternoon, meteorologist and severe weather expert Mike Smith joined us for St. Louis on the Air.  Smith called this the "worst tornado season" since the 1950's and cautioned that complacency about risk can be one of the deadliest factors during any storm. 

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Water Pollution - Mississippi River Flooding
2:50 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

EPA looks for water contamination near Birds Point levee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers breached the levee at Birds Point as part of the activation of the floodway on the night of May 2, 2011.
(via Birds Point New Madrid Floodway Joint Information Center facebook page/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking for possible water contamination in Southeastern Missouri, in the area affected by the Birds Point levee breach.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blew up a Mississippi River levee at Birds Point on May 2 to protect upstream communities like Cairo, Ill.

The levee breach flooded 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland, including a confined animal feeding operation.

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Agriculture
4:05 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

International ag conference showcases emerging companies to potential investors

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is hosting the Ag Innovation Showcase.
(Donald Danforth Plant Science Center)

An event starting Monday at the Danforth Plant Science Center is looking to match up investors with emerging agricultural technology companies from across the globe.

The third annual Ag Innovation Showcase will draw international venture capitalists and corporate agricultural investors like Monsanto, Syngenta and Dupont.

Showcase organizer Mark Gorski says sixteen agricultural start-ups from the Netherlands, India, and a number of other countries will be vying for their attention.

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