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People around the world use more than a trillion plastic bags every year. They're made of a notoriously resilient kind of plastic called polyethylene that can take decades to break down.

But a humble worm may hold the key to biodegrading them.

It was an accidental discovery. Scientist and beekeeper Federica Bertocchini was frustrated to find that her beehives were infested with the larvae of Galleria mellonella, commonly known as a wax worm.

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Wednesday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

On Wednesday, St. Louis on the Air’s monthly legal roundtable returns to address pressing issues of the law with a panel of local legal experts.

Joining the panel this time around:

Read and Listen to More Stories from NPR and KBIA
MDC Forest Pathologist Simeon Wright

Late spring evenings often bring the sound of buzzing and crashing at windows, doors, and porch lights. This week on Discover Nature, we’ll take a closer look at June bugs reappearing in Missouri.

This week on Intersection, we continue our look at Columbia's new Unified Development Ordinance. 

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KBIA Wins 10 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

5 hours ago

The Radio and Television Digital News Association has awarded KBIA 10 prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards for our work as a small-market radio station in region 5. These awards recognize "the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world."

GEORGE KENNEDY: The NRA's Influence is a Danger to us All

5 hours ago
Missouri School of Journalism

Editor's Note: George Kennedy is a retired professor and writes an unpaid column for the Missourian. His views are his own and not necessarily those of the Missourian or the University of Missouri.

- Mike Jenner, executive editor, Columbia Missourian

Our Missourian carried two articles about guns on the same day last week.

One, from the Associated Press, reported that a man carried a pistol into a special education classroom in San Bernardino, California, and shot to death his estranged wife, an 8-year-old student who happened to be standing beside her and then himself.

The other, from a Missourian reporter in Jefferson City, reported that a House of Representatives committee was discussing a Republican-sponsored bill to allow guns to be carried by nearly anyone into child care centers, public universities and churches.

A Democratic member of the committee had the temerity to ask its sponsor, “Is this for show, or is it for real?”

Read the complete column at the Missourian.

 

Today Paul Pepper visits with MEGAN McCONACHIE, Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, about the total solar eclipse happening this August. "This is a great tourism opportunity for Columbia, so we're really going to take advantage of that." Get details on what's sure to be a festive couple of days! At [4:29] student actors LAUREN WAGNER and ETHAN SOLOMON invite everyone to come see Hickman High School Theatre's production of "Peter and the Starcatcher." 'Peter' is 'Peter Pan', and as with any good origin story, "everything is explained." See it this weekend only! April 25, 2017

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

A Missouri senator says he's moving out of a room he rents from a lobbyist following questions from a co-worker.

St. Joseph Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf said he's staying at a hotel Monday as he searches for a new place to stay.

Columbia Republican Sen. Caleb Rowden questioned him days earlier about renting from a lobbyist and sponsoring a bill the lobbyist is pushing.

Schaaf says that contributed to the appearance of a culture of corruption in Jefferson City, then called to strengthen ethics laws and ripped into Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' ethics.

File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri House has passed stricter requirements for tracking fetal tissue after abortions.

The bill passed Monday with a 117-40 vote. It now moves to the Senate.

The proposal prohibits anyone from donating fetal tissue from an abortion to scientific research and sets stricter standards for pathologists to record and track fetal tissue after an abortion procedure.

The Columbia Public Works Department is conducting a public survey to test new bike marking at four major city intersections. The city is making improvements to the bike markings after complaints from the public that the old markings were confusing.

The Public Works Department is working with the Federal Highway Administration to test the markings. The department tested a simulated version of the markings at the University of Missouri’s ZouSim testing lab in 2015.

Barry Dalton is the Public Information Officer for the Public Works Department.

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