Science and Technology

tigers on the prowl
Brittany Crocker / KBIA

The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, which lives in the human gut, is just one type of microbe that was studied as part of the Human Microbiome Project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Researchers have completed the first comprehensive census of the human “microbiome” — the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that live in and on our bodies.

A surprising thing happens while touring Chris Boeckmann’s turkey farm, where 50,000 birds are grown each year for Cargill Inc.

How to stay happier for longer

Jun 14, 2012

Psychology professors Kennon Sheldon and University of California-Riverside professor Sonja Lyubomirsky have published a study claiming that happiness boosts from positive life changes. 

The state of Missouri is expected to get about $100 million dollars in additional Medicaid funds over several years under a federal program intended to encourage more home- and community-based services for the elderly and disabled.

A new study conducted by a University of Missouri faculty member found families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders are paying more for health care than families of children with other medical conditions. Assistant professor Nancy Cheak-Zamora says families are paying more for fewer services: “Most of the families, she says, "spent over one-thousand dollars or more just in out of pocket costs, which is significantly higher than other families.”

In 2011, Missouri law enforcement busted about five meth labs each day on average – almost double the number of any other state. The state spends more than $2 million dollars a year on cleanup of these labs, and millions more on incarceration, child care, and drug treatment.

Boone County to upgrade 911 operation centers

Jun 12, 2012

Residents can soon expect some changes to how Boone County handles 9-1-1 calls.

A report released by the Missouri Department of Mental Health shows teens in Callaway County report higher alcohol and drug use than teens anywhere else in Missouri.

Cole County to install 15 new tornado sirens

Jun 12, 2012

Officials in Cole County have approved a proposal to add 15 new tornado sirens.

People who go camping at state parks in Missouri can now add laptops and iPads to their lists of camping gear and supplies.

Prior to this year, only Bennett Spring State Park had WiFi service, which was used mainly for live trout cameras during trout season.  Renee Bungart with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says WiFi service has now been expanded to eleven state park campgrounds.

Phone line could play role in cancer prevention

Jun 8, 2012

A new study out of Washington University has found that the 2-1-1 phone information system could be an effective tool to fight cancer in low-income and minority communities.

Across the U.S., people can call 2-1-1 to get help with housing, food, and other social service needs.

The farmer of future will grow food and raise animals with tomorrow in mind. They’ll know contributing to the food supply is not enough. If the soil, air and water they use to produce food is damaged, good luck feeding anyone. 

On this week's show, we’ll hear the third installment of Harvest Public Media’s Farmer of the future series, and revisit a conversation with author Michael Pollan.

For the past decade, Missouri has claimed the dubious distinction of the most meth busts of any state in the nation. In this week's Health & Wealth update, reporter Kyle Deas has the first in a two-part-series on Missouri's unique meth addiction.

Beetle to make Missouri comeback

Jun 5, 2012

An endangered beetle will be making its Missouri comeback on Tuesday.

That's when about 250 American burying beetles will be reintroduced in the Wah’Kon-Tah prairie, about 60 miles northwest of Springfield.

It's a joint effort of the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the St. Louis Zoo.

It's been 40 years since a confirmed sighting of the insect in Missouri, and the director of the zoo’s Center for American Burying Beetle Conservation, Bob Merz, says he hopes it will get reestablished in the state.

Drought conditions abound around much of and lawns and grass are taking a beating.

Nearly 30 years after Times Beach, Mo., was evacuated in one of the nation's most notorious environmental disasters, scientists with the Environmental Protection Agency are returning to the site for a new round of soil sampling.

Astronomy enthusiasts and members of the public are invited to MU’s campus observatory Tuesday to watch the rare planetary passage of Venus.

Missouri hospitals are providing more charity care, according to a new analysis from the Missouri Foundation for Health. But, community health centers have also been easing the strain.

The dean of the University of Missouri School of Medicine is retiring following an internal investigation by the university’s Health System revealing possible billing fraud by the Department of Radiology.

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded contracts to three firms for work to repair the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri, a levee intentionally breached by the corps at the height of spring flooding in 2011.

On robots and farms

May 31, 2012

On this week’s show, we’ll learn how robots could be used to assist farmers, and hear about an upcoming astronomical event involving Venus and the sun.

Robots on the farm

May 31, 2012

There’s always work to be done on the farm, but often it’s the same work day, after day, after day. Parts of the job must feel a bit like an assembly line.

While it’s impossible to automate farming like many manufacturers have automated their assembly lines, using robotic technology on the farm might not be so far off.

Farm robots in the classroom

Pumkpins, melons and corn

May 30, 2012

Columbia has lots of community gardens, and several school gardens. But school-community gardens? On Tuesday at Ridgewood Elementary, the school and community worked together to start planting the city's first community garden at a public school.

Community garden breaks ground at Ridgeway Elementary

May 29, 2012

Today gardeners broke ground on Columbia's newest community garden. The plot of land at Ridgeway Elementary is the city's first community garden located at a public school.

Kansas City police say the use of PCP is increasing, particularly in the city's urban core.

Officers are concerned because they say PCP users often are violent and unpredictable. The drug induces hallucinations and makes many users combative and unable to feel pain.

Police Capt. Todd Paulson calls PCP the scariest drug on the streets. He was one of six officers who were needed to subdue a PCP user in January.

The Kansas City Star reports officers used to see a brief increase in PCP arrests after a shipment came in but would then go weeks without any arrests.

Conservation agents are urging Missourians to not transport firewood in its effort to control the emerald ash borer from spreading throughout the state.

Police discuss heroin increase

May 25, 2012
Mizzou Hillel

Columbia Police started seeing an increase in the number of heroin-related arrests and overdoses beginning about six months ago. Heroin is now the number-one drug the department investigates. Last night police held a town-hall meeting to inform residents about the growing threat.

On this week's show, we'll hear about how immigrant populations are filling a gap in agricultural labor.

A new study out of Washington University suggests that women who use short-term birth-control methods like the pill are 20 times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than those who use longer-term options like intrauterine devices or implants.

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