Health & Science

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For more than half a century along the Ohio River, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people. One chemical they produced is PFOA, commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound, used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and even in some food wrappers.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

Mount St. Joseph in Daviess County, Kentucky, may appear calm with the Green River flowing past  homes that dot the farmland here. But there is trouble in the air and it comes along with the smell of a large hog farm.

Sixty-three year old Jerry O’Bryan was born and raised on a farm in Daviess County. By the time he was 22 he had lost both parents and was left 150 acres to support his family.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two years in, the challenges and benefits of expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Kara Lofton reports that while the program has been overwhelmingly beneficial, coming up with funds for it is still a challenge. 

With the opioid crisis driving up overdose rates across the Ohio Valley, a once-obscure medication is becoming a household feature. Naloxone can reverse an overdose and, with training, can be administered by just about anyone. Aaron Payne reports that the drug is saving lives, but is no silver bullet for the region’s addiction problems.

wikimedia Commons / Psychonaught

The sound of sirens in Cabell County, West Virginia, has a good chance of indicating an overdose these days.

The county’s Emergency Medical Service had responded to 622 overdose calls this year as of September 24, according to ES Director Gordon Merry. Last year it was more than 900 overdoses, which surpassed the total of the previous three years combined.

People who have been affected by cuts to West Virginia's Medicaid Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities waiver program may join a lawsuit against the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by Mountain State Justice on behalf of five disabled residents over the cuts.

The program provides disabled Medicaid recipients in West Virginia money for in-home services and community-based programs.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch holds up an EpiPen while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, before the House Oversight Committee hearing on EpiPen price increases.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Even the federal government is apparently paying too much for EpiPens, along with angry patients and insurers.

The skyrocketing price of the life-saving allergy shot, which has triggered a storm of criticism, is only part of the problem. Now the federal government, responding to Congressional inquiries, says Medicaid has for years been paying too much for EpiPens because the emergency shot is classified incorrectly as a generic medicine.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Pennsylvania's natural gas is a hot commodity in energy hungry markets throughout the Northeast. But there's some concern that the radioactivity common in the state's shale deposits could be making its way into the gas--and into people's homes as radon. The Allegheny Front's Julie Grant has more.

Freedom Industries

A board of federal investigators is releasing its findings about a chemical spill into the water supply of 300,000 people in West Virginia almost three years ago.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will discuss the results of its investigation into the Freedom Industries spill Wednesday evening. The group's public meeting will take place at the Four Points by Sheraton in Charleston.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

Several more meetings are coming up to help homeowners get grants to reduce risks during future disasters in flood-ravaged areas.

Adobe Stock

A West Virginia city is teaming up police, schools, prosecutors, and community and faith-based groups for a first-of-its-kind approach to address drug abuse.

The Martinsburg Police Department and Berkeley County Schools announced The Martinsburg Initiative at Winchester Avenue Elementary on Monday.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch holds up an EpiPen while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, before the House Oversight Committee hearing on EpiPen price increases.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch infuriated lawmakers as she tried to explain steep cost increases of her company’s life-saving EpiPens.

Outraged Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday grilled Bresch about the emergency allergy shot’s sky-high price and the profits for a company with sales in excess of $11 billion.

WVU Receives $1.8M for Kids’ Clinical Trials

Sep 21, 2016

The National Institutes of Health awarded West Virginia University a $1.8 million grant. According to a WVU news release, the grant will assist in building a pediatric clinical trials network across the state. 


WVU will partner with hospitals, medical practices and pediatric health programs across the state to make treatments available to severely ill children who live in rural communities. 

Adobe Stock

U.S. attorney General Loretta Lynch is traveling to Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 20, as part of Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

According to a news release, Lynch plans on holding a student town hall at a high school, meeting with parents who have lost children to heroin overdose, and speaking at the University of Kentucky on how the administration is addressing addiction through prevention, enforcement and treatment.

Little Blue Run Coal Ash Impoundment

The U.S. Senate passed a bill today to address water infrastructure challenges. It also incorporates provisions that affect coal ash regulations.

Alexandra Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

Researchers in West Virginia and Kansas want to get a better handle on how best to manage millions of barrels of dangerous wastewater produced across the United States by the natural gas industry.

Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

It’s not just about notebooks and pencil boxes anymore: the opioid epidemic means back-to-school supplies now include things like emergency overdose treatments and drug prevention plans.

Image: Hu et al, Environmental Science & Technology Letters

A study released this week highlights how 6 million Americans are living with drinking water that’s laced with toxic chemicals. Coupled with that report - another study that shows how those chemicals suppress the immune system - especially among children.

51fifty / wikimedia Commons
The model for a sculpture being created in a cross-dicipline project at West Virginia University.
Aaliyah Brown / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For most college students, summer is the time to go home and relax from a year of hard work. But some students stayed in Morgantown to work on a unique project that brings the sciences and arts together.

Jessica Hoover created the Community Engaging in Science through Art program, also known as CESTA. She’s an assistant professor of chemistry at West Virginia University. Hoover came up with the idea to bring together students from the arts and sciences to create an installation that will live outside WVU’s Evansdale Campus Library, in Morgantown.