Health, Science, Environment

HIV Photography Project
6:15 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Photography project gives women new perspective on living with HIV

Tamika Taylor Jackson decided to participate in Michelle Teti’s photography project to show how she has transformed her life since her HIV diagnosis.
(VĂ©ronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

More than a million Americans are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. About a quarter of them are women, and in St. Louis and throughout the country, African-American women are disproportionately affected.

An HIV diagnosis can lead not just to debilitating medical problems, but to social stigma and isolation. But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra reports, a photography project is giving some HIV-positive women a new way to look at their disease and its challenges.

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Health Research
5:48 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Lab-grown gut microbes could help combat malnutrition, gastrointestinal diseases

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis were able to grow and manipulate individual collections of human intestinal microbes, like these E. coli, in the laboratory. (Wikimedia Commons/Rocky Mountain Laboratories/NIAID/NIH)

Scientists have taken another step toward understanding human nutrition.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have shown they can grow entire collections of human intestinal microbes in the laboratory.

Washington University microbiologist Dr. Jeffrey Gordon says his team then transplanted the bacterial communities into previously germ-free mice, to see how the lab-grown bacteria would respond to a human diet.

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Biotech Agriculture
5:05 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Lawsuit challenges genetically modified alfalfa

Alfalfa fields in Idaho.
(via Flickr/Sam Beebe-Ecotrust)

A lawsuit filed in California is challenging the federal government's deregulation of alfalfa that is genetically altered to withstand the popular weed killer Roundup.

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Ameren Callaway Nuclear Plant
2:24 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

NRC looks at lubrication concern at Callaway nuclear plant

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspection team is at Ameren Corp.'s Callaway nuclear plant near Fulton after concerns were raised about lubrication of an auxiliary feedwater pump.

An Ameren spokesman says the inspection is unrelated to heightened concerns at nuclear plants following the damage to the plant in Japan.

The NRC says an oil sample taken Feb. 8 showed the auxiliary pump might have been inadequately lubricated.

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Nuclear Energy
4:48 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Callaway is prepared for "worst case" disasters, says Ameren

View Callaway nuclear power plant in a larger map

Missouri’s sole nuclear power plant was built to handle “worst case” natural disasters.

That’s what Ameren officials told reporters Friday morning, at a press conference called in response to the nuclear crisis in Japan.

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EPA / Air Pollution
4:05 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

EPA proposes first-ever national air pollution standards for power plants

Ameren’s 2,400-megawatt plant near Labadie, Missouri, is the state’s largest coal-fired power plant.
(VĂ©ronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first-ever national standards for air pollution from power plants.

The new rules would require many power plants to install technologies to control mercury, arsenic and other toxic air pollutants.

Environment Missouri's Ted Mathys says the new standards would help protect the health of Missourians.

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Ameren Missouri lawsuit
5:27 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Ameren to U.S. district court: dismiss EPA lawsuit

Ameren's Rush Island power plant near Festus, Missouri. (Google Maps)

Ameren Missouri is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the company by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The suit filed in January alleges that Ameren violated the Clean Air Act by making multi-million-dollar modifications to its coal-fired power plant in Festus without installing required pollution controls and obtaining the necessary permits.

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Southwestern Illinois Levees
9:55 am
Fri March 11, 2011

FEMA shifts course on flood map modeling

A levee in Granite City, Ill.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is giving a reprieve to southwestern Illinois and other U.S. areas guarded by levees it was to have deemed functionally useless.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate told federal lawmakers Thursday that the agency would hold off on decertifying 64 miles of earthen levees protecting St. Louis' Illinois suburbs.

Fugate says the agency would stop using a questioned assessment technique and turn to a more nuanced measure of the actual protection the levees provide.

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Superfund - Lead Pollution
4:24 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

EPA lists Washington County Lead District-Furnace Creek as Superfund site

Southeast Missouri lead district. (Wikimedia Commons user Kbh3rd)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added the Washington County Lead District-Furnace Creek site in Washington County, Missouri, to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).

The NPL is a list of the nation's hazardous waste sites with the highest priority for cleanup.

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National Children's Study
1:32 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

First local baby born into National Children's Study

(via Flickr/janineomg)

Back in December 2010 we told you that St. Louis is joining the National Children's Study, the largest long-term study of child health ever conducted in the United States.

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