Science and Technology

Science and Technology
8:51 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Biologist Says Promoting Diversity Is Key To 'Keeping The Bees'

The decline of honeybees has been attributed to a variety of causes, from nasty parasites to the stress of being transported from state to state to feed on various crops in need of pollination.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 2:32 pm

Every year, more than half of the honeybee hives in the United States are taken to California to pollinate the state's almond crop.

Biologist Laurence Packer says this illustrates both our dependence on honeybees to pollinate many plants people rely on for food and the devastating decline in the domestic honeybee population in recent years.

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Science and Technology
5:13 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Plants Know The Rhythm Of The Caterpillar's Creep

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:15 pm

According to new research, plants can actually hear the sounds of insects chewing. A University of Missouri study is the first work to report that plants can recognize the sound of a predator through the vibrations of their leaves. To learn more, Robert Siegel speaks with Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri.

Science and Technology
8:06 am
Wed July 2, 2014

City website gives Columbia renters data on energy efficiency

Credit Anton Fomkin / Flickr

The City of Columbia has added a new resource to its website to help renters make an informed decision on where to live and to increase energy efficiency. The site now allows users to search past electric and water usage and rates for Columbia rental units.

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Missouri Environment
7:12 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Columbia kids power up on solar science Saturday

Fairview Elementary School 5th graders Abby Szydlowski, Samantha Schupp and Addy Lockett test a volt meter as part of an exercise to create a solar panel at a Saturday science program in Columbia this April.
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

You might be surprised to find out that on many a Saturday in Columbia throughout the year, kids are getting up bright and early to take part in science-related activities.

And, it's not even required!  One of these events took place in late April when some Columbia Water and Light employees in conjunction with Columbia Public Schools helped about 15 students construct solar panels. 

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Science and Technology
8:25 am
Tue July 1, 2014

St. Louis Zoo joins group hoping to solve bee shortage

Credit dnl777 / Flickr

The Saint Louis Zoo is joining a national coalition of commercial agriculture producers, conservation groups and seed companies working to address the dramatic recent decline of honeybees.

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Science and Technology
8:28 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Lawsuit Seeks To Save Solar Rebates

Solar panels on top of the Dickmann Building on South Grand Avenue in St. Louis.

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 9:28 am

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment and several solar panel companies have filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Public Service Commission in an effort to keep the state’s solar rebate program alive.

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Science and Technology
7:58 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Ameren to install $145 million piece in reactor

Credit Ameren Missouri

Workers at Ameren’s Callaway Energy Center near Fulton will install a new, multi-million dollar piece of equipment later this year.

Ameren said it’s a nuclear reactor vessel head, which protects important parts of the reactor, and will be installed during a refueling outage in a few months. Barry Cox, Ameren’s Senior Director of Nuclear Operations, said the outage will come around mid-October.

The piece will replace a 30-year-old vessel head, which has been in use since the reactor opened back in 1984. Ameren said it invested $145 million in the new part.

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Science and Technology
5:28 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

MU researchers grow stem cells in pigs

Credit File Photo / KBIA

For years, medical researchers have been searching for a way to study the effectiveness of stem cell therapies without testing them on humans. But it's difficult, and many problems pop up, including the fact that many animals reject the stem cell grafts or transplants.

MU researchers Dr. R. Michael Roberts and Dr. Randall S. Prather believe they've found the answer: The two have collaborated to create a genetically modified pig with an immune system that doesn't allow rejection.

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Science and Technology
8:26 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Gov. Nixon Launches New State Energy Plan

Gov. Nixon praised the Callaway nuclear power plant for its safety rating while speaking to reporters Wednesday.

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:57 am

Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order on Wednesday, officially launching the development of a comprehensive state energy plan.

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Environment
9:57 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Obama Proposes Creation Of World's Largest Ocean Sanctuary

This photo released by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows pink corals on the Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific. Parts of three remote and uninhabited Pacific island chains were set aside by President George W. Bush as national monuments to protect them from oil and gas extraction and commercial fishing.
Jim Maragos AP

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 1:53 pm

President Obama unveiled a proposal on Tuesday that would create the world's largest ocean sanctuary south and west of Hawaii, The Washington Post and The Associated Press are reporting.

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Science and Technology
3:52 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

MU joins task on water quality of Mississippi River

Mississippi River
Credit Christine Karim / Creative Commons

                Researchers at the University of Missouri are working towards improving water quality throughout the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico.

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Science and Technology
3:15 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Brewers Have Been All Bottled Up, But Now They're Canning It

Belmont Party Supply is Dayton, Ohio's destination for craft beer.
Lewis Wallace/WYSO

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:31 pm

You may have noticed a trend clinking around on the shelves of your local liquor store: More and more fancy craft beer is showing up in aluminum cans.

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Science and Technology
2:53 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Innovative pavement helps solve drainage problem

PaveDrain Up Close
Maureen Lewis-Stump KBIA

The Columbia Public Works Department had a problem. There were too many employees for its small parking lot. Workers would park along the street, disturbing residents living close to the department. At the end of the parking lot was an underground cavity, which was used to drain water into local creeks and rivers in the 1980s and has not been used since. But it was a good place to add onto the current lot, however there was a worry about drainage.

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Science and Technology
4:17 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Black bears moving farther north into Missouri

Jason Empey FLICKR

A group founded last month in Columbia is trying to educate Missourians about black bears.

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Science and Technology
8:49 am
Tue June 3, 2014

New carbon dioxide limits could bring changes for coal-powered states like Missouri

Coal is transported by train from Wyoming to fuel Ameren Missouri's power plants, like this one in Labadie.
Credit Veronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first-ever rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

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Science and Technology
7:04 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Missouri Coalition for the Environment raises concerns about the Ameren Callaway Nuclear Plant

The Callaway nuclear reactor
Credit Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

Ameren’s Callaway nuclear plant near Fulton is in its 30th year of operation. It has a 40-year license and is in the process of getting it renewed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC.

Missouri Coalition for the Environment is heading an effort to stop it from being re-licensed.

One of their main concerns is spent, or used, radioactive rods that are left over after making power. When they’re taken out of the reactor, they’re still extremely hot and need to be stored in a cooling facility.

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Science and Technology
5:13 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

New pavement helps solve drainage problem

A drain collecting water
Thirteen of Clubs flickr

The Columbia Public Works Department had a problem. 

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Science and Technology
8:20 am
Mon May 26, 2014

As black bear population reaches about 300, researchers shift focus

Credit Jason Empey / FLICKR

The Missouri Department of Conservation now estimates that the Show Me State’s black bear population is about 300.

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Science and Technology
3:27 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Building Columbia’s first net-zero energy house

Daniel Karlov, the architect of Columbia’s first net-zero house, explains how the vaulted ceilings will help support the solar panels on Monday March 31, 2014 in Columbia, Mo. Construction on the home began in October 2013 and is expected to be finished in May 2014.
Credit KBIA

The house under construction at the corner of Ash and Sanford streets isn’t like its neighbors. Beyond the huge roof and shiny silver siding, the house is designed to produce energy as well as consume it.

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Science and Technology
3:37 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

MU included in EPA task force on water quality

Credit File Photo / KBIA

A task force established by the Environmental Protection Agency to curtail farmland pollution that flows into the Mississippi River has reached an agreement with 12 universities.

The EPA says states already collaborate with universities on local water quality research and agricultural programs but to date there hasn't been a formal process for sharing university research and ideas across the 12 task force states.

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Missouri Environment
2:38 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Helping hands for Missouri Monarchs

Swamp milkweed at Greenscape Gardens in west St. Louis County
Credit Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

  Most of us are familiar with that icon of the insect world, the black and orange Monarch butterfly.

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Science and Technology
2:45 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Missouri tests sonic signals to alert distracted drivers [VIDEO]

Scott Campbell, an 8-year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, was hit by a distracted driver in a pickup truck while on the job in April 2014.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

As Wednesday’s rush hour dies down on Interstate 70, Scott Campbell is merging onto the highway.

“Off like a herd of turtles,” he says.

Campbell is with Missouri’s Department of Transportation and he’s spending the night here with the maintenance team to repaint the yellow stripe in the fast lane. The caravan of trucks, with mounted signs, flashing arrows and bright lights, spreads out for more than a mile creeping along at 10 miles per hour. Even all these emblazoned alerts didn’t protect Campbell when was struck by a pickup on the job two weeks ago.

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Science and Technology
2:26 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Under The Microscope: Sonic signals as a traffic alert

Scott Campbell, an 8-year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, was hit by a distracted driver in a pickup truck while on the job in April 2014.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Farmers can expect more challenges, thanks to climate change. That’s according to a recent report released by the White House.

Iowa State University professor Gene Takle co-authored the chapter on agriculture in the 2014 National Climate Assessment. He says expected changes in humidity, precipitation and temperature may produce more extreme weather events.

“We need to be thinking forward as to the kinds of adaptation strategies that we need to adopt while at the same time we are looking for measures to mitigate the underlying cause of climate change,” Takle says.

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Science and Technology
4:25 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Solar energy industry rallying to keep rebates

Credit Lance Cheung for USDA / Flickr

Missouri's solar energy industry is rallying to resurrect a popular rebate program created by a 2008 renewable-energy ballot initiative that was curtailed when the state's largest utility said it had to cease participation to avoid rate increases capped by the voter-approved law.

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Science and Technology
5:23 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Medical sciences company plans construction of radioisotope facility in Columbia

Credit Amylovesyah / Flickr

An Oregon-based medical sciences company announced this morning a multimillion-dollar plan to build a radioisotope production facility in Columbia.

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Science and Technology
4:00 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Under the Microscope: Climate change, food security and turtles

Credit Staff / Missouri Department of Conservation

The White House released a new climate change report Tuesday. It predicts threats to agriculture including severe weather, more pests and greater demands for water and energy. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports.

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Science and Technology
4:21 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Conservation dept. needs extra hands for turtle research

Credit Staff / Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation is searching for help to track the state's turtle population. Interested biology enthusiasts would help trap and release turtles in the water at the Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area south of Columbia. The department needs between two and three dozen people who don't mind getting messy in the name of science.

Eagle Bluffs manager Vic Bogosian says the information gathered during these turtle round ups are crucial to ensuring the continued well-being of the animals.

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Missouri Environment
7:52 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Universities turn food waste into compost

This trashcan full of food waste at the Plaza 900 dining hall was sent to Bradford Research Farm to be turned into compost.
Bridgit Bowden KBIA

  Food waste is something we all produce, but don’t like to think about. That’s why several large universities in Missouri are turning food waste from dining halls into compost.

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Science and Technology
5:28 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Unlocking prairie secrets from a sod house

Researchers prepare to take down a section of a sod house in Gates, Neb., in order to study the bricks made of dirt.
Credit Jackie Sojicko / Harvest Public Media

 

Ecologists in Nebraska are trying to find out what the Great Plains looked like when homesteaders settled there in the 19th century. To do that, they’re working with a team of archaeologists and historians dissecting a sod house, a house built out of bricks cut from dirt.

Larry Estes has had a sod house in his backyard in Gates, Neb., for as long as he can remember. He never really thought anything about it until a year ago when a repairman asked him about it.

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Science and Technology
5:29 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Under the Microscope: Asian carp, monarch migration

Recently processed Asian carp hang in racks at the Two Rivers Fisheries processing plant in Wickliffe, Ky. The fishing industry hopes demand from China can both create a market for, and help rid U.S. rivers of, the invasive species.
Credit Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

    

Water experts in the Midwest are worried about Asian carp. They say the invasive fish are taking over U.S. waterways -- the Mississippi River and its tributaries like the Illinois and Missouri Rivers, where they out compete native fish.

But as Jacob McCleland reports for Harvest Public Media, river watchers at their wits end have found new hope. And it lies on dinner tables in China.

Monarch butterflies are in trouble. The latest estimates show their numbers have dropped dramatically at their wintering grounds in Mexico.

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