Science and Technology

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.

The top military officer in charge of managing the Missouri River system says the agency needs help from states to improve its ability to predict water runoff.

'Cocaine? No thanks!'

May 23, 2012

Back in the late 1980s, while the nation was in the grips of the war on drugs, some courts started experimenting with alternative sentencing programs they hoped would be cheaper and more effective than incarceration.  This week, the most recent batch of offenders graduated from the Boone County drug court, which is seen as a national role-model.

Missouri River placed on endangered list

May 23, 2012

The nation’s longest river has found its way onto America’s Most Endangered Rivers list.

A Columbia hospital says it will close its adult intensive care unit next month because it is not being used enough.

One in five Americans has some sort of disability according to a study done in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This could include disabilities having to do with hearing, sight, mobility, learning, development or mental health. But not all disabilities are perceived the same way. Drew Graham has a unique perspective on this. He has both a physical and mental disability and has determined over the years that the stigma associated with mental disability carries more weight.

The mental health care system is faced with diminishing resources, making it harder for people with psychiatric illnesses to find help. From police officers to school counselors, people outside of the system are working to fill the gaps. Project 573’s Angela Case explains how community hospitals are dealing with the problem, and takes you inside two units that provide this much-needed care.

A new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council shows that the frequency of severe storms across the Midwest has doubled over the past 50 years.

The report analyzed precipitation data from more than 200 weather stations in eight Midwestern states.

7000 miles bicycling and banjo-ing against war

May 16, 2012

Afghan war veteran Jacob George is a self-proclaimed hillbilly farmer from the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. After three tours as a combat engineer, he now spends his days bicycling around the country protesting U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. He recently passed through Missouri on his way to protest the NATO summit taking place in Chicago next week.

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would bar local governments from interfering with the day-to-day operations of alternatives to abortion agencies.

Stories from prison: roar!

May 15, 2012

In Missouri state prisons, about 60 percent of inmates have kids. That's 18,000 moms and dads behind bars – and tens of thousands of kids on the other side. To help those parents and kids connect, volunteers make their way through the metal detectors at Missouri state prisons with big tubs of blank tapes and CDs, stamped envelopes, and lots of children's books. 

A new report by the advocacy group American Rivers says when it comes to managing flooding along the Missouri River, the US Army Corps of Engineers should rely on floodplains and wetlands, not levees and dams. But the Corps doesn't see flood management as an "either/or" proposition.

How to be happy

May 10, 2012

On today’s show, we’ll hear about an unlikely place to get small electronics repaired, and learn more about the key to being happy.

A jeweler with cutting edge technology

May 10, 2012

Personal technology is getting cheaper, better, smaller.  But have you ever tried to get fixed a broken cell phone or mp3 player?  When I broke my portable USB flash drive, I brought it to a computer repair technician, unsure if he’d simply turn me away or not.  Those little “thumb” drives are just so small.  No moving parts really, they’re all circuitry.  Turns out that getting it fixed wasn’t an impossibility.  I just had to go to some unusual places.

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