Health, Science, Environment

Agriculture - biofuels
4:06 pm
Wed June 15, 2011

USDA to pay Mo. farmers to plant biomass energy crops

A two-year-old stand of the Miscanthus giganteus variety "Freedom." Dr. Brian Baldwin of Mississippi State University developed this variety (pictured).
(Wikimedia Commons)

The USDA has chosen two new areas in Missouri to participate in a program promoting biomass energy crops.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the program will pay farmers to plant giant miscanthus, a perennial grass that can be used for energy production.

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Agriculture
4:35 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

Novus to host international animal agriculture roundtable

Novus International headquarters in St. Charles, Mo. Novus will host a roundtable on June 15 about animal agriculture and feeding the growing world population.
(via Novus International)

Close to 30 representatives of the animal agriculture industry are meeting in St. Louis tomorrow to discuss the challenges of feeding the world’s growing population.

The international roundtable is being hosted by St. Charles-based Novus International. Novus produces animal feed additives and nutritional supplements.

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Cicadas - entomophagy
6:30 am
Tue June 14, 2011

Cicadas. Love 'em. Hate 'em. Eat 'em?

These cicadas were collected at night, shortly after they emerged, while their bodies were still soft and white. They were then frozen for storage.
(Art Chimes)

(Have a cicada sighting to report? Share it with us on our interactive map - photos and videos welcome, too!)

Billions of periodical cicadas have emerged over the past few weeks in more than a dozen states across the Southeast and Midwest.

A food bonanza for predators

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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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