Shahla Farzan

Shahla Farzan is a general assignment reporter and weekend newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio. She comes most recently from KBBI Public Radio in Homer, Alaska, where she covered issues ranging from permafrost thaw to disputes over prayer in public meetings. A science nerd to the core, Shahla spent six years studying native bees, eventually earning her PhD in ecology from the University of California-Davis. She has also worked as an intern at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and a podcaster for BirdNote. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, combing flea markets for tchotchkes, and curling up with a good book. 

With temperatures expected to climb into the 90s this weekend, volunteers are stepping in to care for the city’s homeless population.

People who live on the streets are likely to become dehydrated and experience heatstroke — because there are few places they can find relief from the heat. Religious organizations and other nonprofits in St. Louis fill the gaps in homeless services, providing meals and opening their doors to the city’s unhoused population.

When Amy Papian bought her three-bedroom house in University City 31 years ago, she thought she’d never leave.

Her bedroom had a large window that overlooked the backyard — and in the summertime, the sweet smell of honeysuckle drifted inside the house. 

But then four floods invaded her home over 15 years, and she decided she’d had enough. After the last flood in 2008, a neighbor’s body washed up in her backyard. Papian and her daughters moved out, and the city purchased their home through a voluntary buyout program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Lead was removed from most consumer products, like pencils and pipes, long ago.

There’s still one product where lead is used routinely — ammunition.

This final holdout is becoming more heavily regulated, however. Beginning this spring, hunters in Missouri will no longer be allowed to use lead shot in specific conservation areas across the state. State officials say the rules are meant to protect wildlife from lead poisoning.

The number of new HIV cases in Missouri is on the rise — and a disproportionately large number are in rural counties.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified Missouri as one of seven states with a “substantial rural burden” — noting that it has more than 75 cases and 10 percent or more of diagnoses in rural areas. Public health researchers say the concentration of cases likely is due to several factors, including lack of access to health care.

A common chemical used to kill bacteria is making them more capable of surviving antibiotics.

According to new research from Washington University, triclosan has a protective effect on strains of E. coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The chemical — which is added to hundreds of consumer products — also interferes with the antibiotic treatment of urinary-tract infections in mice.

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