Science and Technology

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forwardstl / flickr

Ameren Missouri is seeking approval to add about $1.50 to customers' monthly electric bills.

Credit Via Coldwater Creek Facts PowerPoint presentation.

St. Louis County health officials say they will hire researchers to study illness rates among residents near a creek that was contaminated decades ago by nuclear waste.

Gary Grigsby / KBIA

For a long time in this country, landowners have taken steps to preserve their land from ever being developed.


Women make up around 29% of the technology workforce nationally. Only 18 % of technology degrees were earned by women in 2012, which is down from 35% in 1985.

Clyde Bentley / Flickr

A multi-disciplinary group of city, county and environmental leaders monitoring Mid-Missouri's Hinkson Creek say the watershed is on its way to good health again.

"Help the Hinkson" is a project that started two years ago to improve the Hinkson Creek watershed. The watershed serves as a drainage point for a portion of Boone County.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources declared the creek unfit to sustain aquatic life in 1998. In 2012, a group of citizens came together, with help from city, county and federal officials, to improve the quality of the water.

Every year, more than half of the honeybee hives in the United States are taken to California to pollinate the state's almond crop.

Biologist Laurence Packer says this illustrates both our dependence on honeybees to pollinate many plants people rely on for food and the devastating decline in the domestic honeybee population in recent years.

According to new research, plants can actually hear the sounds of insects chewing. A University of Missouri study is the first work to report that plants can recognize the sound of a predator through the vibrations of their leaves. To learn more, Robert Siegel speaks with Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri.

Anton Fomkin / Flickr

The City of Columbia has added a new resource to its website to help renters make an informed decision on where to live and to increase energy efficiency. The site now allows users to search past electric and water usage and rates for Columbia rental units.

Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

You might be surprised to find out that on many a Saturday in Columbia throughout the year, kids are getting up bright and early to take part in science-related activities.

And, it's not even required!  One of these events took place in late April when some Columbia Water and Light employees in conjunction with Columbia Public Schools helped about 15 students construct solar panels. 

dnl777 / Flickr

The Saint Louis Zoo is joining a national coalition of commercial agriculture producers, conservation groups and seed companies working to address the dramatic recent decline of honeybees.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment and several solar panel companies have filed a lawsuit against the Missouri Public Service Commission in an effort to keep the state’s solar rebate program alive.

Ameren to install $145 million piece in reactor

Jun 23, 2014
Ameren Missouri

Workers at Ameren’s Callaway Energy Center near Fulton will install a new, multi-million dollar piece of equipment later this year.

Ameren said it’s a nuclear reactor vessel head, which protects important parts of the reactor, and will be installed during a refueling outage in a few months. Barry Cox, Ameren’s Senior Director of Nuclear Operations, said the outage will come around mid-October.

The piece will replace a 30-year-old vessel head, which has been in use since the reactor opened back in 1984. Ameren said it invested $145 million in the new part.

MU researchers grow stem cells in pigs

Jun 19, 2014
File Photo / KBIA

For years, medical researchers have been searching for a way to study the effectiveness of stem cell therapies without testing them on humans. But it's difficult, and many problems pop up, including the fact that many animals reject the stem cell grafts or transplants.

MU researchers Dr. R. Michael Roberts and Dr. Randall S. Prather believe they've found the answer: The two have collaborated to create a genetically modified pig with an immune system that doesn't allow rejection.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order on Wednesday, officially launching the development of a comprehensive state energy plan.

President Obama unveiled a proposal on Tuesday that would create the world's largest ocean sanctuary south and west of Hawaii, The Washington Post and The Associated Press are reporting.

Christine Karim / Creative Commons

                Researchers at the University of Missouri are working towards improving water quality throughout the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico.

You may have noticed a trend clinking around on the shelves of your local liquor store: More and more fancy craft beer is showing up in aluminum cans.

Maureen Lewis-Stump / KBIA

The Columbia Public Works Department had a problem. There were too many employees for its small parking lot. Workers would park along the street, disturbing residents living close to the department. At the end of the parking lot was an underground cavity, which was used to drain water into local creeks and rivers in the 1980s and has not been used since. But it was a good place to add onto the current lot, however there was a worry about drainage.

Jason Empey / FLICKR

A group founded last month in Columbia is trying to educate Missourians about black bears.

Veronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first-ever rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

  Ameren’s Callaway nuclear plant near Fulton is in its 30th year of operation. It has a 40-year license and is in the process of getting it renewed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC.

Missouri Coalition for the Environment is heading an effort to stop it from being re-licensed.

One of their main concerns is spent, or used, radioactive rods that are left over after making power. When they’re taken out of the reactor, they’re still extremely hot and need to be stored in a cooling facility.

stormwater drain
Thirteen of Clubs / flickr

The Columbia Public Works Department had a problem. 

Jason Empey / FLICKR

The Missouri Department of Conservation now estimates that the Show Me State’s black bear population is about 300.

Building Columbia’s first net-zero energy house

May 22, 2014

The house under construction at the corner of Ash and Sanford streets isn’t like its neighbors. Beyond the huge roof and shiny silver siding, the house is designed to produce energy as well as consume it.

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

A task force established by the Environmental Protection Agency to curtail farmland pollution that flows into the Mississippi River has reached an agreement with 12 universities.

The EPA says states already collaborate with universities on local water quality research and agricultural programs but to date there hasn't been a formal process for sharing university research and ideas across the 12 task force states.

Helping hands for Missouri Monarchs

May 21, 2014
Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

  Most of us are familiar with that icon of the insect world, the black and orange Monarch butterfly.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

As Wednesday’s rush hour dies down on Interstate 70, Scott Campbell is merging onto the highway.

“Off like a herd of turtles,” he says.

Campbell is with Missouri’s Department of Transportation and he’s spending the night here with the maintenance team to repaint the yellow stripe in the fast lane. The caravan of trucks, with mounted signs, flashing arrows and bright lights, spreads out for more than a mile creeping along at 10 miles per hour. Even all these emblazoned alerts didn’t protect Campbell when was struck by a pickup on the job two weeks ago.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Farmers can expect more challenges, thanks to climate change. That’s according to a recent report released by the White House.

Iowa State University professor Gene Takle co-authored the chapter on agriculture in the 2014 National Climate Assessment. He says expected changes in humidity, precipitation and temperature may produce more extreme weather events.

“We need to be thinking forward as to the kinds of adaptation strategies that we need to adopt while at the same time we are looking for measures to mitigate the underlying cause of climate change,” Takle says.

Lance Cheung for USDA / Flickr

Missouri's solar energy industry is rallying to resurrect a popular rebate program created by a 2008 renewable-energy ballot initiative that was curtailed when the state's largest utility said it had to cease participation to avoid rate increases capped by the voter-approved law.

Amylovesyah / Flickr

An Oregon-based medical sciences company announced this morning a multimillion-dollar plan to build a radioisotope production facility in Columbia.