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…

Laura Ungar shared her experiences in medical reporting

By Heidi Li COLUMBIA – Without a degree in journalism, Laura Ungar started small and eventually become a sophisticated medical writer. She kept working hard since the first day she entered journalism, and now she has been a medical writer for more than 12 years. “Journalism is all about doing,” Ungar said. Laura Ungar shared her experience…

Experts discuss Colorado’s tango with marijuana legalization

By Heidi Li DENVER — In Colorado, where recreational pot was legalized this January, debates about medical ramifications of legalized marijuana continue. Four speakers from various backgrounds gave their views on March 25, at Health Journalism 2014, an annual conference of Association of Health Care Journalists. Medical marijuana refugees have fled into the state since the discovery…

The art of prosthesis: Making fake hands real

By Heidi Li DENVER — In The Empire Strikes Back, after Luke’s right hand was severed by his enemy Vader, he was fitted with a prosthetic hand. We are not far from the end of the movie, when Luke felt the pokes on his prosthetic fingers, as one might think, a bioengineering scientist said at…

Media as a messenger of science news

By Heidi Li COLUMBIA, Mo. — People who saw the two babies on the cover of TIME magazine might not think cloning is a terrible thing. It’s just an example of how the media influence the way we view scientific innovations, and now the internet has pushed that wave even further, according to Dominique Brossard, professor…

Columbia raw food guru spreads the word of “living diets”

By Heidi Li COLUMBIA, Mo. — People from all over Columbia parked their cars outside Clover’s Natural Market on a Tuesday night. They walked into the market, where a speech on raw food and a plate full of Zucchini Pesto rollups awaited them. The speaker was Jane Smith, 72, a health coach and the organizer of…