Science and Technology

Health & Wealth Update
9:35 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Rural post offices hoping for a break

Old-timey post office boxes in Arrow Rock hearken back to a time before Facebook, when snail-mail was king.
Austin Fax KBIA

The US Postal Service is hemorrhaging money – over the past year, it lost more than $5 billion. To staunch the negative cash flow, the postmaster general is looking at closing nearly 3,700 post offices – the vast majority in rural America. In this week's Health & Wealth update, KBIA's Austin Fax checks in to some very small towns where post offices may be on the chopping block.

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Science, Health and Technology
4:36 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Under the Microscope: November 24, 2011

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An accent ‘test-drive’ of the iPhone’s new digital assistant. Plus: at what age do babies start engaging in mind-reading? One MU researcher thinks she’s got it figured out.

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Science, Health and Technology
6:29 pm
Wed November 23, 2011

New ambulances acquired by MU Children's Hospital

The University of Missouri Children's Hospital inducted two new 'kid friendly' ambulances into its fleet.
Creative Commons Flickr

The University of Missouri Children’s Hospital has inducted two new ambulances into its fleet. The new vehicles also have side-loading doors instead of back doors that allow for two patients to be transported at the same time.

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Health & Wealth Update
7:56 am
Wed November 23, 2011

Rural women diagnosed later

Faustine Williams

Women in rural Missouri are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a late stage than women in urban or suburban counties. In this weekly Health & Wealth update, the urban / rural disparity in breast cancer detection. 

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Health & Wealth Blog
8:23 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Should Medical School Be Free?

Peter Bach is a doctor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
mskcc.org

Heck yeah!! So should lunch. But two researchers say making medical school free could send more young doctors into primary care and rural practice, thus solving one of the big challenges facing health care today. And they've got a way to pay for it too.

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Health & Wealth Blog
9:30 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Missouri Health Premiums Below National Average

Missouri families pay close to twenty percent of income on health insurance premiums. If that sounds like a lot, stay away from Mississippi. Families in that state pay the highest percentage of their income toward health insurance: 28 percent. This, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund.

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Science, Health and Technology
2:19 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Under the Microscope: November 17, 2011

The Center for Disease Control says that Missouri is missing vital legislation to combat prescription drug abuse.
Pink Sherbert Photography Flickr

This week on the show: the University of Missouri sponsors the Suicide Prevention Week. Plus: Missouri is ill-equipped to deal with prescription drug abuse.

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Health & Wealth Blog
12:13 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

It's Rural Health Day!

celebratepowerofrural.org

To celebrate, experts from non-profits and government agencies are holding a live webinar on some of the challenges and rewards of providing health care to rural America.

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Health & Wealth Update
10:03 am
Wed November 16, 2011

One Person's Travelocity is Another's Government Takeover

The left-leaning crowd in St. Louis waved signs as senators listened to over three hours of testimony.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Backers compare health insurance exchanges to Travelocity or Expedia. Websites where you can quickly compare prices and features to get the best deal. But detractors oppose them as a federal intrusion into the health care market. In this weekly Health & Wealth update, Missourians debate the merits of Obama's health reform law, as state lawmakers try to decide whether to authorize an exchange.

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Science, Health and Technology
10:11 am
Tue November 15, 2011

MO Mental Health System Still Facing Challenges

A report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, said Missouri will see a slight increase in next year’s funding for mental health treatment and services. Despite this, the report said the state is still in the midst of a mental health crisis.

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Health & Wealth Report
9:09 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Six Months After the Storm, Runners in Joplin Get Back on Their Feet

The Joplin Road Runners, after a pre-dawn run.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Six months ago, an EF5 tornado plowed through the center of Joplin, leaving about one-fifth of the city's population without a home. Now, people are slowly getting back to normal. For some, normal means lacing up the running shoes and hitting the streets.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Co-Founder Of Facebook Rival, Dies At 22

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 1:37 pm

When the Diaspora project was first announced, it made huge waves in the tech world. A group of students from New York University were asking for money to create a social network that rivaled Facebook, but without the privacy concerns. They wanted a place where users had full control of their content and they raised more than $200,000 to do it.

Over the weekend, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the founders, died at age 22. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
5:38 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

A Family's Fight To Clear The Air

Jeff Galemore leans on his pickup truck near the Ash Grove Cement plant in Chanute, Kan. He and his family are concerned about the toxic emissions and are fighting for independent testing downwind.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 4:00 am

Every polluted place in America probably has people like the Galemores, who are alarmed by the sicknesses around them, the strange substances falling from the sky, and the industrial facility on the north side of town.

They become environmental activists out of necessity.

"We're not really tree-hugging liberals," says Selene Hummer, 51, who shares a home-decorating business with her mother and drives around with a Sarah Palin 2012 bumper sticker on the rear window of her pickup.

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Science, Health and Technology
5:22 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Poisoned Places, Neglected Communities

A screenshot of NPR's interactive "Poisoned Places" map. Find your community in the interactive map below.
NPR

Congress strengthened The Clean Air Act over twenty years ago, but air pollution is still a concern in cities and towns all over America.  NPR's special investigation, Poisoned Places looks at some of the factories and power plants that are polluting the air and poisoning communities.

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Health & Wealth Blog
10:06 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Senators Get an Earful on Health Reform

From front to back: Senators Scott Rupp, Jane Cunningham, Joseph Keaveny, and Jim Lembke.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Missouri state senators listened to over 3 hours of impassioned testimony on health care reform yesterday. The hearing was supposed to be on the rather mundane question of whether Missouri should set up an online health care exchange starting in 2014, or let the federal government do so. But the hearing quickly became a forum for debating the merits of health reform itself. After the jump, two interviews with senators on the committee: a Democrat representing one of the state's most liberal districts, and a Republican who has been at the forefront of Missouri's pushback against "Obamacare."

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Global Journalist
5:52 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Taking a Look at Femicide

Global Journalist explored femicide in India and China.

More than 160 million women were never born as a result of sex-selective abortion. That's more than the entire female population of the United States.

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Science, Health and Technology
3:05 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Under the Microscope: November 10, 2011

Kansas farmer Jason Ochs still has to man his tractor to plant winter wheat. If an autonomous tractor were planting the wheat, Ochs would be free to attend to his corn and sorghum, and prepare for the winter freeze.
Eric Durban Harvest Pubic Media

This week on the show: a popular conservation program may fall victim to the 2012 Farm Bill. Plus, robot tractors.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
11:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

N.Y. Plant's Neighbors Expose Regulatory Gaps

John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 8:58 am

Part 4 of a four-part series, Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities

Jeani Thomson has been pleading with New York state officials for more than 30 years to protect her neighborhood from the foul-smelling "blue fog" that settles in her yard. She has long suspected the source is an industrial facility about a mile from her house called Tonawanda Coke.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
4:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

EPA Regulations Give Kilns Permission To Pollute

The Ash Grove Cement Kiln, as seen from an aerial photograph, sits on the northern edge of Chanute, Kan.
David Gilkey NPR

Part three of a four-part series, Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities.

The smokestack stands more than nine stories above the southeastern Kansas prairie and the small city of Chanute, and it's bright, white flashing lights are like a beacon in the night sky.

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Health & Wealth Update
3:18 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Audrain Voters Plump for Public Health

Voters came out 60 percent in favor of the health center initiative.
Garrett Bergquist KBIA

Missouri is ranked 50th among the states in funding for public health, spending about one third of the national average. Audrain County spends even less, just $7.90 per person. In this weekly Health & Wealth update, voters in Audrain went to the polls yesterday and approved a new property tax that will keep the county's struggling health department afloat. I spoke with reporter Garrett Bergquist, who has been driving around Audrain talking to voters.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
4:02 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Secret 'Watch List' Reveals Failure To Curb Toxic Air

The Continental Carbon plant sits on the southern outskirts of Ponca City, Okla. Until August, the plant was on an internal EPA "watch list," for violating rules of the Clean Air Act.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 1:02 pm

Part 1 of a four-part series, Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities

The system Congress set up 21 years ago to clean up toxic air pollution still leaves many communities exposed to risky concentrations of benzene, formaldehyde, mercury and many other hazardous chemicals.

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Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities
4:00 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Oklahoma Town Battles Powdery Carbon Pollution

The Continental Carbon plant sits on the southern outskirts of Ponca City, Okla. Residents blamed the plant, which produces a black dust known as carbon black, for polluting their city.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 12:55 pm

Part 2 of a four-part series, Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities

Karen Howe couldn't believe her luck. As a single mom working a minimum-wage job and living with two kids in a crowded one-bedroom apartment in Ponca City, Okla., she was desperate for a three-bedroom house and a lawn.

Howe, a member of the Ponca tribe, was offered tribal housing in a small, tree-lined subdivision of 11 homes on the southern, rural edge of the city.

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Health & Wealth Blog
10:12 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Political Points vs. Sound Policy?

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has long been a critic of health care reform.
governor.ks.gov

Republican lawmakers in red states are in a pickle. The Affordable Care Act requires each state to set up a health care exchange designed to bring down insurance costs for consumers. Republicans want no part of anything related to Obama's health care reform law, which they see as a federal intrusion on states rights. But if state lawmakers don't set up an exchange, the federal government will. In September, Republican senators in Missouri prevented the state from accepting $21 million of federal money to lay the groundwork for an exchange. Next door, the Sunflower State is in a similar quandary, reports Bryan Thompson of Kansas Public Radio.

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Global Journalist
5:27 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Reporting on Pandemics and Contagious Diseases

Journalists discussed their experiences covering emerging infectious diseases.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization warned in August about “a possible major resurgence” of the bird flu because a mutant form of the virus was recently found in Vietnam and Cambodia. Other flu viruses, including strains of swine flu, are occasionally resurfacing in different parts of the world.

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Under The Microscope
12:02 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Under the Microscope: November 3, 2011

Brett O’Brien checks an ash tree branch for signs of infestation in a Columbia Parks and Recreation Department workshop.
Camille Phillips KBIA

This week on the show: do you know what's living in your firewood? Plus, new cultivars could change Missouri's wine industry.

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Health & Wealth Blog
11:47 am
Thu November 3, 2011

Full Interview with Lt. Governor Kinder

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder.
TeamKinder

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder takes aim at "Obamacare," and Democratic rivals. We discuss his legal challenge to what he calls "the federal health control law," and why he thinks his lawsuit will likely end up before the Supreme Court. We also cover some political turf: Kinder compares his style of leadership with that of Governor Jay Nixon. Missourians, says Kinder, "want a fighter, not someone who will lie down and just take dictation from our federal masters."

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Health & Wealth Update
6:10 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Health Reform Moves Toward the Supreme Court

ltgov.mo.gov

Missourians have never been in love with health reform. A year ago, Missouri was the first to pass a state law prohibiting an individual insurance mandate. It was a largely symbolic rejection of the Affordable Care Act, but now, more serious obstacles are looming. Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder is one of dozens of officials from around the country challenging "Obamacare" in the courts.

In this weekly Health & Wealth update, the Affordable Care Act moves toward the U.S. Supreme Court. 

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Science, Health and Technology
12:34 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

In Kansas, Politics Over 'Obamacare' Strains Policy

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback answers questions in July about his policy regarding the new federal health care law. During his campaign for the governor's office last year, he said: "What we'll do in Kansas is we'll do what we're required to do, but we're gonna fight it all the way."
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 5:40 pm

A few months ago, Kansas seemed ahead of the game in preparing for an important requirement of the federal health law. The state had started to plan for exchanges — online marketplaces to help individuals and small businesses compare and buy health insurance.

But politics is intervening.

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Science, Health and Technology
5:45 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

School of Medicine Receives Military Training Grant

MU’s School of Medicine has received a $5.3 million grant to research the effectiveness of current military medical training methods.

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Science, Health and Technology
5:29 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Missouri Authorities Investigate E. Coli Outbreak

Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria.
Microbe World Flickr

Missouri authorities are investigating an E. coli outbreak that has led to nine hospitalizations and 33 confirmed ill.

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