Science and Technology

File / KBIA

The Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, or MOSIRA, has been ruled unconstitutional by a Cole County judge.

New program eases debt for rural medical students

Feb 22, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The average medical school student graduates with close to $160,000 in debt. That heavy burden is one reason why there is a long-running shortage of primary care doctors in rural America. More and more graduating students choose higher-paying specialties over rural primary care. In this weekly update, a new pilot program helps medical students pay off loans as soon as they start residency, so it's easier to choose a lower-paying, but possibly more fulfilling career path.


Eight hundred and seventy one high school students suffered concussions during last fall, according to a new survey conducted by the Missouri State High School Activities Association. Unsurprisingly, 75 percent of those concussions happened to football players.  State lawmakers made this survey mandatory last year, so there isn’t any previous data with which to compare it.

New research shows that differences in the brain development of autistic children are already visible in infants as young as six months old.

Daniel Castellano / Flickr


On this week’s show, we’ll explore what's in our food, and hear from the director of a documentary that looks at the difficult choices involved with legalized, physician assisted suicide.

Jessica Naudziunas / Harvest Public Media

Pick up your favorite packaged food and read the ingredient list.

If you stumbled over any of the words or a color jumped out at you, you might be looking at what’s known as a food additive.  

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival / Flickr

The film How to Die in Oregon, follows several terminally ill patients as they undertake the difficult decision to end their lives under the state’s controversial Death with Dignity Act.

 Former University of Missouri running back Derrick Washington has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault against an ex-girlfriend.

Bill Bumgarner / flikr

Boone County and the City of Columbia are using a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study storm-water runoff into Bear Creek, north of I-70. A task force will focus on reducing pollutants, which flow directly into the creek, untreated.  

Melanie Cheney / Flickr

On February 2, the non-profit organization Missouri River Relief will host the Wild and Scenic film festival at the Blue Note in Columbia. Festival-goers can expect to see a variety of environmental and adventure films. One of those films, Big Muddy Clean Sweep, documents the organization’s trek across the state, cleaning the Missouri River aboard a barge.

Steve Schnarr is the program manager for Missouri River relief. We spoke to him about what it was like traveling across the state, his own connection to the Missouri River and what people could expect at the festival.

On food and phones

Feb 2, 2012
Kris Krüg / Flickr


On the show this week, we’ll revisit a report that tests the iPhone 4s’s ability to recognize accents, and hear from author Michael Pollan.

Photo by Ken Light

Michael Pollan considers himself a writer, a professor and eater.  

Recruiting doctors to live and work in rural America is a chronic problem. Most health centers try to attract workers with big salaries and expensive homes.

Shots previously reported that one center in Maine was trying to lure medical students to the countryside for their final two years with the hope that they stick around.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Ever since Mormon prophet and founder Joseph Smith revealed the Book of Mormon in 1830, his followers have struggled for acceptance. If you want to understand the "why" behind this rocky relationship, the rolling farmland of northwest Missouri might be the best place to start -- the birthplace of the human race, according to Joseph Smith, and the place where Christ will first step down in the second coming. 

zensmom1 / Flickr

Demolition has begun on a Joplin hospital that took a direct hit from a deadly May 22nd tornado.

The Joplin Globe reported that about 1,000 people turned out Sunday for a ceremony at the shell of the once-bustling St. John's Mercy Hospital. Speakers talked about the history of the hospital before a wrecking ball ceremonially smacked the side of the building a few times. From there, the crowd went to a groundbreaking ceremony for the new structure. It is being built at a site three miles away.

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

This week on the show, we explore gender differences in math achievement and performance.

In this extended interview with food and nutrition writer Marion Nestle, we discuss Michelle Obama's anti-childhood obesity campaign, what food companies are doing to fight it, and how to get kids to eat their broccoli.

Two years ago, a massive earthquake decimated Haiti.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU


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

File photo / KBIA

A new report by the American Lung Association gives Missouri failing grades on all its state tobacco control policies. As St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra reports, the only bright spots were an expansion of state Medicaid coverage for smokers wanting to quit, and a surge in local community initiatives.

The exercise commonly known as 'jumping jacks'

Jan 18, 2012
kids jumping
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

In all the political coverage lately, you may have missed Missouri House Bill 1063: it would make "the exercise commonly known and referred to as 'jumping jacks'" the official exercise of the state of Missouri. In this week's Health & Wealth update, could getting more kids jumping help reduce childhood obesity?

File Image / KBIA News

Missouri's Conservation Department says hunters killed nearly 239,000 deer during the 2011-12 firearms hunting season.

mharvey75 / Flickr

A western Missouri meat company has expanded its recall to include 137 pounds of cooked head sausage.

Friday is National Amber Alert Day.  Law enforcement officials across the nation are recognizing the importance of the Amber Alert System, which is a high-speed, high-tech way of alerting the public when a child has been abducted. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there’s been some misunderstanding about the criteria that must be met before the alert can go out.

Photo courtesy Missouri Highway Patrol

The body of a Missouri highway patrolman who disappeared while watching over flooded areas last summer was found Thursday not far from the original search area, authorities said.

Rehman Tungekar / KBIA

New research out of the University of Missouri shows that when it comes to female mate preference in a certain species of tree frog, there may be more than meets the eye.  Females may actually prefer the calls of males that share the same number of chromosomes.

Rehman Tungekar / KBIA

This week on the show: a former engineer calls for an investigation of the Callaway nuclear plant. Plus, new research may provide insight into how a species of treefrog evolved.

Ameren Missouri

A former engineer at the Callaway Nuclear Plant is requesting that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, look into possible violations of the operating license at the Callaway plant, owned and operated by Ameren Missouri.

By Janet Saidi


Ameren’s coal-fired power plant in Labadie is among the top ten greenhouse gas emitters in the country. That’s according to data released today [on Wednesday] by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Véronique LaCapra reports, from St. Louis.

Another roadblock for Missouri health exchange

Jan 11, 2012
missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Last session, Republicans in the Missouri Senate blocked the creation of a state-run health insurance exchange. The online insurance marketplace is required under Obama's health reform law, but has become a political football in states like Missouri, with a Republican-controlled legislature. In this week's Health & Wealth update, Republican senators move to put one more roadblock on the path to a state exchange.