Science and the Environment

Science news

Illinois became the first state in the union to ban microbeads, the tiny bits of plastic found in consumer products like skin exfoliants and soap.

As NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, environmentalists say that when microbeads wash down the drain, they're usually missed by filtration systems, which means they become food to fish and other wildlife.

Cheryl filed this report for our Newscast unit:

Tradinghouse Power Plant Demolished, What's Next?

Jun 9, 2014
Ryland Barton / KWBU News

The old Tradinghouse power plant was demolished Friday morning. Luminant owns the plant and property and they have permits to build a new natural gas combustion plant…but they’re waiting for market conditions to improve. With the EPA trying to cut back greenhouse gases, and natural gas production at an all-time high, isn’t this a great time to build a plant? Maybe. 


Eat this, not that. Exercise daily – but don’t overdo it. Go easy on the salt. Limit your caffeine. Take the white pills in the morning with food and the yellow ones in the evening with water.

Wait – what?

Following the doctor’s orders isn’t always so easy – especially for people with chronic conditions, who often have multiple medical providers. Sometimes it's just plain confusing. Bur now a new app's come along to help with all that – and it could be a lifesaver.

Patient IO is being developed by Texas-based Filament Labs, a healthcare technology company headquartered in Austin. The new app promises to bridge the gap between patients and doctors. 

We Americans love our fried shrimp, our sushi and our fish sticks. And a lot of other people around the world count on fish as a critical part of their diet, too. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, fish now accounts for almost 17 percent of the world's intake of protein — in some coastal and island countries it's as high as 70 percent.

Popeye and our parents have been valiantly trying to persuade us to eat our veggies for decades now.

But Americans just don't eat as many fruits and vegetables as we should. And when we do, they're mainly potatoes and tomatoes — in the not-so-nutritious forms of french fries and pizza, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Living with a mental illness is difficult – not only for the sufferer, but for caregivers, friends and family.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk how it can be isolating and disheartening to interact with someone who has depression, dementia or any other mental illness – and they offer some ideas that can help.

One of the struggles in caring for friends and family with mental illness is that we have no idea what we’re really dealing with. Unlike seeing someone with a broken bone, we don’t see mental illness. It's more like a cancer in that it affects the whole family and it lasts for a long time.

Baylor Sophomore Shoots For Amateur Rocket Record

May 9, 2014
Kevin Healy

A Baylor sophomore is trying to break the record for the highest amateur rocket flight: 72 miles, that’s 10 miles into outer space. It’s called the Horizon Rocket project. Kevin Healy says the rocket science isn’t the hard part…it’s the fundraising.

A scientist's ambitious plan to create an early detection system for eye cancer using people's home cameras is coming along.

Protecting the Texas Lesser Prairie Chicken

Mar 13, 2014

Protecting the Texas Lesser Prairie Chicken

The Texas Lesser Prairie Chicken has caused a lot of drama for West Texas ranchers over the years. Agricultural, wind and oil development on the plains has threatened the species, and could force landowners to change their practices. As KWBU's Ryland Barton reports, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is deciding whether to list the bird as an endangered species.