Life of a science freelancer: Lisa Palmer

COLUMBIA, MO. – Lisa Palmer spends her days writing, interviewing and reporting from the comfort of her own home in Maryland. As a full-time freelance writer, Palmer created a career for herself writing about science for publications across the country and around the world. Palmer spoke with the Science Health and Environmental Writing class via…

The true cost of solitary confinement

By Caleb O’Brien COLUMBIA, Mo. — In 1842, Charles Dickens visited an American prison devoted to the perfection of solitary confinement. “I believe that very few men are capable of estimating the immense amount of torture and agony which this dreadful punishment, prolonged for years, inflicts upon the sufferers,” Dickens later wrote. “I hold this slow…

Burning wood for energy leads to debate over its carbon emissions

By Heidi Li COLUMBIA, Mo. — On an average weekday, 16 tractor-trailers drive to the MU’s Combined Heat and Power plant and two to three drive to the Columbia Municipal Power Plant, each containing 25 tons of wood chips. To reduce reliance on coal, the MU power plant started to burn wood chips in 2006 and the city power…

Weight maintenance requires consistency and discipline

  By Elise Moser COLUMBIA, Mo. – Lily Escobar* starting gaining weight in high school. For years, the 65-year-old St. Charles, Mo. resident let her weight creep up without paying much attention to it. Her first home didn’t have any full-length mirrors, and she avoided looking at her body.  “When I moved into our condo…

In a ‘culture’ of hysterectomy, is informed consent enough?

By Meghan Eldridge  COLUMBIA, Mo. — The uterus, at once remarkably powerful and quietly hidden deep within a woman’s body, not only serves as a dwelling for a baby from conception to birth, but also plays a role in maintaining women’s overall health. The most controversial piece of real estate in the female body, it’s…

Mind does matter

By Rebecca Dell   COLUMBIA, Mo. — Mental illness afflicts 18.6 percent of the U.S. adult population, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey, and college-level athletes and coaches are not immune. Their stories in the media range from hopeful and triumphant to sad and tragic: Former Michigan defensive lineman Will…