Science and Technology

horse
gnuru / Flickr

Missouri horse owners are on alert for signs of a rare horse disease after an outbreak in 12 horses in Nebraska earlier this month.

Equine infectious anemia, or EIA, is a viral disease spread by biting insects and the sharing of medical needles between horses. While the virus is related to HIV in humans, EIA can only be contracted by horses, donkeys, and mules.

Dr. Phillip Johnson is a professor of equine medicine and surgery at the University of Missouri. He says the most common outcome for an infected horse in North America is euthanasia.

File photo / KBIA

Missouri is facing a shortage of primary care doctors, and the strain could grow as more people soon gain health insurance under the federal health care law.

The state had just under 74 active patient care primary care doctors per 100,000 residents, according to 2010 figures from the Association of American Medical Colleges. That ranked Missouri 35th in the nation and put it behind the national per capita average of more than 79 active primary care doctors per 100,000 residents.

Teddy Nykiel / KBIA

A former health insurance company executive says he left the comforts of a padded career of corporate jets and high rise offices to speak out against unfair insurance practices.

tlsmith1000 / Flickr

Another Kansas City suburb has signed on to receive Google Fiber, the search giant's high-speed Internet service.

USDAgov / Flickr

The tree-killing emerald ash borer has been found in two more southern Missouri counties, prompting the Missouri Department of Agriculture to place quarantines on the movement of ash wood products in those counties.

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

On this week's show, we'll discuss ag runoff and community supported agriculture.

chickens
Grace Hood / Harvest Public Media

 

Last year, one of the country’s largest Community Supported Agriculture share providers went bankrupt. Grant Family Farms in Northern Colorado launched an organic CSA back in 2007 with 127 members and peaked with more than 5,000 in 2012.

A Monsanto researcher is one of the winners of the 2013 World Food Prize.

Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley will share the international honor with Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta and Belgian plant scientist Marc Van Montagu.

KBIA file photo

Thirty-five MU Health Care employees will see their hours reduced in the coming year. At Boone Hospital Center, seven employees’ hours will be cut, while 13 full- and part-time employees will lose their jobs.

In Boone Hospital’s case, the layoffs came in a system-wide package. The hospital’s parent company, St. Louis-based BJC Healthcare, recently announced it is cutting 160 jobs from its hospitals. This is the first time BJC has ever made system-wide layoffs. June Fowler, vice president for corporate and public communications at the company, said several factors led to the layoffs.

“BJC is experiencing reductions in our reimbursement for the healthcare services that we provide,” Fowler said.  “We’ve also seen a decrease in inpatient hospitalizations.”

MU Nuclear Research Reactor
University of Missouri

The University of Missouri’s Research Reactor has successfully completed its annual drill.

The reactor staff worked with public-safety and health professionals yesterday to simulate a scenario involving a small fire and radiation exposure to two individuals.  The police and fire departments participate in the drill every other year.

It has been just over three months since the federal spending cuts known as sequestration first took effect.

A handful of programs were spared — but not scientific research, which amounts to about $140 billion in annual government spending.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra found out, at universities here in St. Louis, some scientists are worried about what the budget cuts will mean for their research — and for their students.

"I had to let go of some science."

University of Missouri Health Care

University of Missouri Health Care will lay off or cut the hours and pay for 35 employees and eliminate 90 unfilled jobs in the coming year.

MU Health Care spokesperson Mary Jenkins told The Columbia Daily Tribune the job losses are due to cuts in federal health care payments from Medicare and the failure of legislators to expand Medicaid eligibility.

She says many of the 90 jobs that will be eliminated have been unfilled for most of the past year.

MU Nuclear Research Reactor
University of Missouri

The University of Missouri will be conducting a drill Monday morning at its research nuclear reactor center. The center is located south of Stadium Boulevard and west of Providence Road in Columbia. The drill is meant to simulate what could happen during an emergency situation at the reactor.

Sonya Kullman / Mercy Springfield

A large jar sits inside a white refrigerator in the pharmacy at Mercy Springfield.  Inside that jar are what are classified as medical devices by the US Food and Drug Administration:  about 20 medical grade leeches that are kept in case they’re needed, which is usually once or twice a year.

Maggots used to treat wounds that won't heal

Jun 13, 2013
mcalamelli / Flickr

Liliane Sparks of Hollister has health problems that prevent her from using a hyperbaric chamber to help heal her wounds.  But without the proper treatment of the deep wounds on her feet, she faced amputation.  Her doctor, Bob Dorsey at CoxHealth in Branson, suggested maggot debridement therapy.

hospital room
Fotos GOVBA / flicker

  Compared to their urban counterparts, rural hospitals serve a population that tends to be older, sicker, uninsured and have less income. Rural hospitals provide a lot of uncompensated care and run on more narrow profit margins.

To stay open, these hospitals depend on special federal designations that give them a higher rate of reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid. For example, when a hospital designated as a critical access hospital, Medicare reimbursements can make up to a third of its entire revenue

The management of an early childhood fund by the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) has received a "poor" rating in a state audit released Monday.

State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) said the Early Childhood Development, Education and Care Fund provided more than $170,000 to three child care facilities that failed to open or expand their facilities as planned.

Bacteria, flooding close more Missouri public beaches

Jun 6, 2013

Flooding and concerns about water quality have prompted the closings of more public swimming beaches in Missouri.

The Department of Natural Resources says tests found high levels of bacteria at the day-use beach at Harry S. Truman State Park and the Grand Glaize Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The beach at Mark Twain State Park is closed because of flooding and bacteria. The beaches at Thousand Hills State Park in Kirksville and Lake Wappapello in southeastern Missouri have been shut down by flooding.

MU campus smoking ban on track for July 1st

Jun 6, 2013

The University of Missouri’s policy to make its campus completely smoke free is on track to start on July 1st.

The policy came about from a student-run movement that called for the change and several organizations around campus support the ban.

MoDOT
File photo / MoDot

Missouri is one of 13 states that will get federal grant money to improve road conditions.

As a part of the Everyday Counts initiative Missouri was granted $150,000 to implement new road technology to improve road safety. Travis Koestner, Assistant District Engineer at Missouri Department of Transportation, says this money will go towards a road re-surfacing project using High Friction Surface Treatment. 

Harum Helmy / KBIA News

African American and Hispanic Missourians trail behind whites when it comes to health indicators. The nonprofit Missouri Foundation for Health published reports Tuesday on the health disparities of the two minority groups. 

f2n_downtown / FLICKR

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources temporarily shut down the beaches at three state parks this week. Samples showed elevated levels of bacteria in the water. The affected beaches are located at Finger Lakes Park in Columbia, Harry S. Truman Park in Warsaw and Wakonda Park in La Grange.

Thousand Hills Park in Kirksville was closed because of flooding.

Missouri S&T

As avid explorers of drone technology ourselves, we were excited to hear about Missouri S&T's experiments using drones to aid in bridge inspection. Full Disclosure: I run the Missouri Drone Journalism Program, which is no stranger to controversy.

Callaway nuclear plant reopens after 50 day closure

May 31, 2013
Ameren Missouri

The Callaway Energy Center just outside Fulton is back in service this week after a routine shutdown for refueling and maintenance. The plant was out of commission for 50 days while several new modifications were made in addition to normal inspections and tests.

Barry Cox, the senior director of nuclear operations for the plant, says the improvements mean it will take a few days for the plant to get back to full capacity.

File / KBIA

After several days of heavy rain across the lower Missouri River basin, the amount of water released into the river is being reduced to help minimize flooding.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it began reducing the amount of water flowing into the Missouri River on Sunday because of concerns about flooding downstream. On Sunday, the Corps decreased the amount of water being released from Gavins Point Dam, located on the South Dakota-Nebraska state line, from 24,000 cubic feet per second to 12,000 cubic feet per second.

“… that will help the peak stages on the river in some locations and also shorten the duration of the high flows,” the Corps’ Jody Farhat said.

Archaeologists unearth more clues from ancient Cahokia civilization

May 29, 2013
KBIA

On a blustery day in April, Italian archaeology student Marco Valeri stepped into an archaeological dig at the Cahokia Mounds

Missouri's lax regulations on meth-lab cleanup

May 29, 2013
Leah Shafer / Flikr

 


   Missouri’s meth problem is no secret. In 2012, the Show-Me State has the highest number of meth-lab seizure in the country.  But beyond the busts — Missouri has no statewide regulation on what to do with former meth labs. 

On AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad,’ meth cooks prepare a batch in a trailer in the desert or a dirty and  abandoned house. But this image of secrecy and seclusion isn’t always true. Timothy Sigmund is a real estate attorney from Jefferson City. He says many meth labs aren’t where pop culture might suggest they are.

“Apartment buildings, nicer homes,” Sigmund says. “It can be happening in many different places, and it doesn’t matter. It’s not that it’s some run-down shack in the middle of the woods.”

 

trafftoo / Flickr

A southwest Missouri county health department has posted health advisories for three waterways because of high bacteria levels.

stethoscope
vitualis / Flickr

Jefferson City hospital is planning a $35 million expansion that will increase the space at its main building by about one-third.

Fried Dough / Flickr

On this week's show, we'll take a closer look at smoking bans in Missouri.

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