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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Global Health
6:00 pm
Sun September 18, 2011

What's so controversial about cancer? Ask the U.N.

Some of the leading disease experts from Seattle are visiting the United Nations this week. They’re at a "High-Level" meeting to discuss whether poor countries should start worrying about cancer and diabetes – as much as malaria or AIDS. 

That's a controversial idea, says KPLU’s Humanosphere blogger Tom Paulson.  He's in New York to cover the meeting. Before he left he explained the controversy to KPLU’s Keith Seinfeld.

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9/11 Anniversary
12:28 pm
Thu September 8, 2011

Solidarity and fear, the legacy of 9/11 in local Muslim community

Jeff Siddiqui, photographed at his home in Lynnwood, Wash., wonders when Muslims will be treated as "American" as everyone else.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

“Right after nine-eleven there was a peak of hostility toward Muslims. It kind of went down a bit, but over the years it’s gone up again.”

That’s how local Muslim-American Jeff (Jaffar) Siddiqui summarizes the decade since the Sept. 11th attacks.

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painkillers and addiction
6:00 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Better monitoring for prescription painkillers

Be.Futureproof Flickr

A new approach to prescription painkillers at Group Health Cooperative could become a model for other medical providers. 

Painkillers have become a national concern because they're addictive and there’s been an uptick in overdoses. The number of people who have long-term prescriptions for painkillers has doubled over the past decade. 

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Food and Diet
8:12 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Healthy food costs is barrier to a better diet among poor

New research shows processed foods that are less healthy are cheaper for people to buy. Thus, 'People who ate more costly foods, and had a more costly diet, had more healthy diets.'
Associated Press

Eating a nutritious diet appears to mean spending a bit more on your groceries. That means poor people face an extra challenge trying to eat well, according to a new study of about 1,100 King County residents.

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Business
2:35 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Farmer: Without illegal immigrants, strawberry farms fail

Per Ola Wiberg Flikr

A crackdown on illegal immigrants would put local strawberry farmers out of business.

That’s what one leading farmer in Skagit County told the Bellingham Herald

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Global Warming
6:25 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Seattle spring was the coldest, one of the cloudiest on record

Scientists have confirmed what many suspected about this year’s weather. It was the coldest spring on record for Washington and one of the cloudiest. 

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Healthy living
11:17 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Follow-up: $800,000 ad campaign designed to help us choose healthy

Public health leaders have concluded that we struggle most when the healthier choices take more effort than the unhealthy ones.
Public Health Seattle & King County

Why spend $800,000 to advertise what seems like common knowledge?  That smoking is bad for you, that eating nutritious foods is better than a diet of fast-food and physical activity is a good idea?

Because too many of us have trouble following those golden rules.

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bus ads
5:00 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Why Metro Transit refuses to run a public health message

This healthy living campaign is okay for billboards, but not for buses.
Public Health Seattle & King County

A major ad campaign launches this week to promote healthy living, with advertisements featured on Seattle-area television, radio and billboards. Just about the only place you won’t find the ads is on Metro buses.

The transit agency says the advertisements violate its new policy regarding public service announcements. The policy, adopted April 8th, prohibits ads that express a viewpoint on “matters of public debate about economic, political, religious or social issues.”

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oral health
12:43 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Rotting toddler teeth targeted by pediatricians, dentists

Dan Hatten Flickr

Your average American’s teeth may be whiter and straighter than they were a generation ago, but for very young children, tooth decay is still one the biggest health problems. 

Dentists and pediatricians are meeting this week at the University of Washington to find ways to reverse the trend.

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Weather
5:40 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Why no summer? Will it end?

Lower than normal pressures (in blue) and higher (in green) correspond to where temperatures are below and above normal.
National Weather Service, 7-15-11

Grouchy Northwesterners are starting to call this 'The year of no summer.' While we may be secretly glad to miss the heat wave that’s punishing the Midwest, we're wondering why we’re stuck with clouds … and when will it end?

When I talked to experts, the first thing they told me: It is no coincidence.

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Electronic health records
1:40 pm
Mon July 18, 2011

Program gives doctors access to records wherever they are

Paper copies of medical records are becoming a thing of the past. Now, there is a state and national effort to make electronic records accessible by doctors no matter where they are.
Flickr

If you’ve ever been to a hospital or doctor who can’t seem to get your medical records, be thankful for a new web-service launching this month. It allows doctors, hospitals and health insurers to quickly send medical records to each other, even if they're not in the same network.

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Cancer research
11:36 am
Wed July 13, 2011

Research 'factory' added to downtown Seattle's science hub

Cancer researchers will be growing specialized immune cells in this former biotech factory on Boren Ave. in Seattle
Jake Ellison KPLU

You may associate downtown Seattle with its shopping, hotels and offices, but the city's core also has a growing medical research community. From global-health focused non-profits to the University of Washington, it seems scientists all want to be near downtown.

The latest addition is a combination cancer research lab and bio-factory. Seattle Children’s Research Institute plans to open the new lab and "factory" in the Denny Triangle next month.

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childhood immunizations
7:40 am
Mon July 11, 2011

Injecting personal values into vaccine policy

Three-year-old Jeffery Trzeciak grimaces bravely as a doctor prepares to give him an anti polio inoculation in New Kensington, Pa., Feb. 23, 1957. The shots were given as part of " Victory Over Polio Day."
Associated Press

Parents who are hesitant about giving their children all the required immunizations have an unusual chance to share their views Tuesday. The national committee that decides when kids should get vaccines is taking testimony in Shoreline, north of Seattle -- inviting the public into a discussion of values. It’s just the second time they’ve asked for input.

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health care costs
6:01 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

Washington praised for how it cares for the poor and sick

Same as the South? Washington's health care spending for disabled Medicaid beneficiaries is among the lowest in the nation.
Todd Gilmer and Kronick Health Affairs (journal)

When it comes to caring for its poorest and sickest people, Washington state appears to be doing better than the rest of the country. At least, that’s the view from a new study that looks at Medicaid spending.

Public spending on health-care is a hot political topic these days, as states and the federal government try to balance their budgets. Researchers were wondering: How do the 50 states compare in their spending on Medicaid, which covers low-income people? Do some states spend more because they pay doctors higher fees?

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Tax for Homeless
9:22 am
Wed July 6, 2011

Kitsap considering tax to benefit homeless

Tim Hamilton Flickr

Advocates for the homeless in Kitsap County say there’s not enough money to provide services – so they’re talking about the possibility of a new tax. 

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