Véronique LaCapra

Science reporter Véronique LaCapra first caught the radio bug writing commentaries for NPR affiliate WAMU in Washington, D.C. After producing her first audio documentaries at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies in N.C., she was hooked! She has done ecological research in the Brazilian Pantanal; regulated pesticides for the Environmental Protection Agency in Arlington, Va.; been a freelance writer and volunteer in South Africa; and contributed radio features to the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. She earned a Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in environmental policy and biology from Cornell. LaCapra grew up in Cambridge, Mass., and in her mother’s home town of Auxerre, France.


State News
7:47 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Study looks at women’s weight for first, second pregnancies

Being over - or under - weight during a first pregnancy can lead to complications during a second - even if the first birth went fine.  That's according to a recent study by scientists at Saint Louis University.  What's more, says lead author Maya Tabet, reaching a normal weight by the second pregnancy doesn't seem to help.

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NPR Story
6:27 am
Mon July 20, 2015

New device can inject drugs into the brain — via remote control

This diagram describes how the new wireless device functions. Source: Jeong JW, McCall JG, et al. Wireless optofluidic systems for programmable in vivo pharmacology and optogenetics. Cell, published online July 16, 2015.
Washington University | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Cell Press

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 5:53 pm

Scientists at Washington University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new tool to study how specific brain cells affect behavior.

The miniature, wireless device can inject drugs into the brains of live mice.

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5:15 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Tiny mites return to Illinois’ outdoors

The weather's been warming up, and that means it's chigger season again in Illinois.  Chiggers are tiny mites that live in grass and shrubs.  They're nearly impossible to see…but their bites leave behind rash-like bumps that can keep some people itching for weeks.  University of Arkansas biologist Ashley Dowling says there are a lot of myths about chiggers.  He says they DON'T suck blood like mosquitoes…or burrow into skin.

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NPR Story
8:10 am
Thu May 21, 2015

St. Louis is birthplace of GMOs; meet the woman who created them

Microbiologist Mary-Dell Chilton founded Syngenta's biotechnology research labs in the 1980s.

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 10:53 pm

Mary-Dell Chilton pioneered the field of genetic engineering in agriculture.

She has spent most of her decades-long career working for Syngenta, where she founded the agribusiness company's research on genetically modified seeds.

But Chilton started out in academia. And it was here in St. Louis, at Washington University, that she led the team that created the first genetically-modified plants in the early 1980s.

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State News
5:49 am
Tue January 6, 2015

New Ultrafast Camera Invented At Washington University Could Help Turn Science Fiction Into Reality

Washington University's Lihong Wang led the research team that invented a camera that can take up to 100 billion frames per second. Their work made the cover of the Dec. 4, 2014, issue of the journal Nature, where this image appeared.
Lihong Wang | Washington University

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 12:00 pm

What if we could design a camera that could take a hundred billion pictures in a second ― enough to record the fastest phenomena in the universe.

Sounds like science fiction, right?

But it’s not: a new ultrafast imaging system developed at Washington University can do just that.

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State News
6:06 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Study: Giving Teens Free Birth Control Means Fewer Unplanned Pregnancies And Abortions

IUDs and implants are 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy than short-term birth control options like the pill, patch, or vaginal ring (pictured).

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 9:37 pm

Giving teenagers access to free, long-term contraception can dramatically reduce rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion. That's according to new research out of Washington University in St. Louis.

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State News
5:22 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Midwest Energy Policy Conference in St. Louis

Representatives of a wide spectrum of energy policy interests are gathering in St. Louis this week. They'll be attending the eighth annual Midwest Energy Policy Conference.  The conference is being organized by the non-profit Midwest Energy Initiative.

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State News
6:03 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Early-Stage Wash U Vaccine Could Prevent The Most Common Hospital Infection

In hospital patients, a plastic tube called a catheter can be inserted into the bladder through the urethra, to empty the bladder of urine.

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 9:02 am

Researchers at Washington University have developed a new vaccine to prevent urinary tract infections caused by catheters. This type of infection is the most common of all infections that patients can get during a hospital stay.

The vaccine is still in its very early stages and has only been tested on mice.

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State News
7:03 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Wash U Study: Genetics Shows Schizophrenia Is Really Multiple Disorders

A Washington University study has linked dozens of gene networks to eight different forms of schizophrenia.

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:59 am

New research from Washington University suggests that schizophrenia is actually a group of eight distinct disorders, each with a different genetic basis.

The findings could eventually open the door to earlier diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating mental disorder, which affects more than 3 million people in the United States.

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NPR Story
8:03 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

What Will It Take To End The Violence In Ferguson?

Protesters are met by a line of Missouri Highway Patrol members during a protest march in Ferguson on Aug. 11.

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:08 pm

Most people want the nightly violence in the streets of Ferguson to end.

But getting there could take a while.

The protestors who have been gathering daily in Ferguson since the shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9 say they just want justice done.

For many, that means seeing police officer Darren Wilson arrested and imprisoned.

But Washington University public health professor Darrell Hudson said short of that, providing more information about the investigations would help.

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