Health, Science, Environment

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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Conservation - Birds
6:00 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

New Audubon Center north of St. Louis will facilitate bird viewing along Mississippi River

The American white pelican is one of several large birds that use the Mississippi Flyway as a migration route.
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District)

The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is opening a new information center overlooking the Mississippi River in West Alton.

Riverlands program manager Charlie Deutsch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the 3,700-acre sanctuary attracts tens of thousands of migratory birds every year.

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Listeria / cantaloupe
4:45 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

2 more illnesses reported in Mo. from cantaloupe

(via Flickr/News21-usa)

Missouri health officials say the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed two more illnesses in Missouri that are linked to tainted cantaloupe.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services said Thursday that Missouri now has had three cases of listeria that are tied to contaminated fruit grown on a farm in Colorado.

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ART - SCIENCE
6:30 am
Thu September 29, 2011

UMSL exhibition explores the nexus of art and science

Artist Brigham Dimick with part of “Waxworks 2,” a series of three self-portraits that include observation hives with live honeybees.
(Terry Suhre, director, UMSL Gallery 210)

There’s an unusual art exhibition going on right now on the campus of the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The exhibition showcases three artists from the St. Louis region whose work blurs the lines between art and science.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra talked with the artists and the show’s curator, and produced this sound portrait of the exhibition.

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Alzheimer's Disease
5:30 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Changes in marker for Alzheimer's linked to sleep cycle

Micrograph of amyloid beta plaques in the brain, as may be seen in Alzheimer disease.
(Via Wikimedia Commons user Nephron)

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have shown a relationship between daily sleep patterns and a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers found that levels of the beta amyloid protein in spinal fluid increased during waking hours and decreased during sleep.

Wash U neurologist Randall Bateman says that pattern was strongest in young, healthy test subjects. It lessened in people over sixty, and disappeared altogether in Alzheimer’s patients.

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Saint Louis Zoo - Conservation
9:33 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Baby elephant makes public debut at Saint Louis Zoo

Kenzi takes her first swim with her mother Rani on September 9, 2011
(Photo courtesy of Becky Heisler/Saint Louis Zoo)

The Asian elephant calf Kenzi is making her public debut this morning at the Saint Louis Zoo.

The three-month-old calf will be on view at the "River's Edge" habitat from 10 a.m. to noon and then again from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today through Sunday.

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