Keith Seinfeld

Health & Science Reporter/Assistant News Director

Keith Seinfeld has been KPLU’s Health & Science Reporter since 2001, and prior to that covered the Environment beat. He’s been a staff reporter at The Seattle Times and The News Tribune in Tacoma and a freelance writer-producer. His work has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Keith's stories prior to Nov. 2010 can be found at our old website archives. And, more stories are at his KPLU blog, Science and Wonder.

You can also check out his "Weather with Cliff Mass" weekly interviews.

Keith’s most memorable KPLU radio moment: “Watching brain surgery on a patient with Parkinson’s Disease. When the doctor pulled out a pretty hefty hand-held drill, I realized: It may be a hi-tech procedure, but you still have to put a hole in the skull, while the patient’s awake.”

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:24 am
Fri May 11, 2012

It's true: Sunshine will bring back the 80's (temps)

Sunshine - pure and simple.
Sam Reed Flickr

The rumors of imminent warmth are confirmed, by KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"The whole weekend is going to be extraordinary," says Mass, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington.

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Pre-term babies
2:31 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Doctors: No elective deliveries, extra week in womb pays off

In the last weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s brain is getting dramatically bigger, and the child is adding a protective layer of fat.
The Associated Press

More babies in Washington are entering the world at full-term. An effort to end the practice of mothers scheduling an early delivery has led to a 65% drop since 2010.

Even doctors have been “really surprised” to see compelling research that babies born just two weeks early are more likely to have medical problems, all the way up through age five, says Dr. Tom Benedetti, an obstetrics professor at the University of Washington.

Until a couple years ago, if a baby was born at 37 weeks, it was still considered full-term. 

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May Day protests
5:20 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Mayor: Safety trumped vandalism in May Day response

All that remained of May Day protests around Westlake Center on Wednesday were a few boarded up windows and lingering questions around why the violence had to break out when the vast majority of demonstrators were peaceful.
Erin Hennessey KPLU

City leaders in Seattle are thankful there were no serious injuries yesterday – only property damage. Mayor Mike McGinn says he regrets the vandalism, but he says officer safety and the safety of bystanders were his highest priorities.

The mayor and his police chief held a show-and-tell news conference today to highlight the variety of weapons they confiscated during the May Day demonstrations.

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May Day protests
1:40 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Mayor's home vandalized; emergency measures lifted; May Day fallout begins

A protester is struck druing May Day marches in Seattle.
Evan Hoover KPLU

With dozens of big, expensive windows smashed in downtown Seattle, eight arrests and reports that rocks were thrown through windows at Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn's home last night, the fallout from yesterday's May Day rallies and protests is just beginning to take shape.

This morning the mayor announced that all emergency measures put in place to respond to the rolling violence and anti-capitalist protests that paralyzed downtown have been lifted.

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health politics
10:27 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Even without health law, some reforms will stay, predicts former Obama official

A controversial former Obama health-care administrator was in Seattle this week, speaking to 1,000 people about what can be learned from medical mistakes--saying patient safety should be an ethical imperative .

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Seattle schools
5:20 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Anaheim superintendent Banda picked for Seattle schools

Updated

The Seattle School Board is asking Anaheim School Superintendent Jose Banda to lead the Seattle school district.

The district says Board President Michael DeBell contacted Banda Sunday night, and he expressed his willingness to take the job.

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food safety
6:08 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Lavender farmers want attention from foodies

Hidecote Pink Variety of culinary lavender.
Sequim Lavender Farmers Association

The area around Sequim on Washington's Olympic peninsula is known as one of the top lavender growing regions in the nation. Most of that lavender ends up as dried flowers or scented potpourri.

Nowadays, it’s also ending up in food. The growers are meeting today (April 30th) to discuss the safest ways to make those flower buds edible, using a certification process.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:43 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Could this weekend's weather be a sign of global warming? Check back, in decades

Seattle expects more clouds with sun breaks this weekend
joiseyshowaa flickr

Yet another weekend that beats the work-week, when it comes to sunshine--that's the forecast from KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, of the University of Washington.

But, it won't exactly be warm and sunny.

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Pike Place Market Remodel
5:12 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Pike Place Market renovation: An ode to new plumbing, wiring

Ben Franz-Knight of the Pike Place Market explains some of the renovations.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

You paid for it, now please come enjoy it. That’s the message the Pike Place Market is sending out, as it wraps up three years and $69-million worth of renovations.

Unfortunately, if you're the proud executive in charge, the public probably won't notice much.

"The most significant parts of the renovations are behind the walls … the seismic upgrades, electrical improvements, all new plumbing," says Ben Franz-Knight, Executive Director of the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority.

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space exploration
11:02 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Before attacking asteroids, they'll surround Earth with telescopes

This computer-generated image provided by Planetary Resources, a group of high-tech tycoons that wants to mine nearby asteroids, shows a conceptual rendering of satellites prospecting a water-rich, near-Earth asteroid.
The Associated Press

Whether they ever manage to get any platinum out of an asteroid, Bellevue-based Planetary Resources could become known for surrounding Earth with telescopes.  

That’s the first item in the “prospecting” stage of the space company’s effort to get precious metals from asteroids, using robotic space-craft.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:06 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Turn, turn, turn goes the weather, bringing sun, and uncertainty

"The spring is the most unstable time of year. That means this is the time of year we tend to get a lot of convection ... this shower and sunbreak type of regime," Cliff Mass said.
Chris Tarnawski Flickr

April showers will dry out today, and by Saturday, most of western Washington should see sunshine. But, we're not so sure about Sunday.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
1:16 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Why does Seattle still care about the World's Fair?

The Seattle World’s Fair – which opened 50 years ago this weekend – was pretty small on the global scale, compared to later World’s Fairs in Montreal or Vancouver, B.C., or Seville, Spain. It would seem tiny next to the immense Exposition in Shanghai in 2010.

But the memories of 1962 burn strong for those who attended. And historians and civic leaders say the legacy still matters today.

Even if you're brand-new to Seattle, you might have heard that once upon a time there was a World’s Fair here. Maybe, you even learned about it on an elevator ride – to the top of the 605-foot Space Needle.

Read more ...

Arts
9:20 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Next 50' is meant to remind you to check-out Seattle Center

In anticipation of the 50th Anniversary of the Space Needle’s opening at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair this Saturday, the Space Needle has been painted back to its original “Galaxy Gold” color.
The Associated Press

Fifty years ago this weekend Seattle kicked off it’s biggest event ever -- the Century-21 World Exposition. Now, city leaders are hoping the public will come check-out what the fairgrounds have become, the city's arts campus. 

Seattle Center now attracts more visitors per year than the World’s Fair did during its six-month run. That’s partly thanks to some major events, such as Bumbershoot and the Folklife Festival, as well as concerts in Key Arena.

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jobs
10:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Too many recruits can't pass trooper fitness test

Flickr

Retirements have been depleting the ranks of the Washington State Patrol. Now, the patrol finds itself scrambling to hire an extra 60 troopers this year. 

It’s not as easy as you might think to hire a trooper, especially since applicants are failing the physical exam.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:24 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Beautiful mornings, then back to "normal" on Monday

If you've been enjoying sunshine and how the light plays off the blossoms or the water -- there's more in store this weekend. But, it's not "normal," says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"It's been drier than normal this month. From April first until now, we are over an inch below normal, in terms of rainfall. We have been warmer than normal this past week," he says.

That continues through Sunday, with temperatures reaching the lower to mid-60s.

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