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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Health and History
5:29 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

How to talk health during T-Day

If you’re looking for a conversation starter this Thanksgiving, the country’s top public health doctor has a suggestion – find out about your family’s health history.

Talking about diseases might not be your family's ideal topic for a holiday – but US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin says one approach is to start very general.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:10 am
Fri November 16, 2012

A little rain this weekend, but Monday gets drenched

sea turtle Flickr

We're entering the wettest two-week period of the year, says Cliff Mass, KPLU weather expert and professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. And this year should not disappoint.

The rain we've been hearing about this weekend will really just be light showers, says Mass, unless you're on the coast or in northwest Washington, where you'll get blasted with high winds.

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Science
10:34 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Whooping cough epidemic nearly over, questions linger

Whooping cough can be life-threatening for an infant, and lead to "the hundred day cough" for adults
Hamilton Cty, NY Public Health

Washington’s worst epidemic of whooping cough in 70 years appears to be winding down. The number of cases is a fraction of the peak last May.

A briefing Wednesday afternoon at the State Board of Health highlights the ongoing investigation into what happened.

A team of about 50 federal scientists spent the summer visiting doctors' offices, reviewing patient records, and compiling evidence.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:03 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Chilly temps continue, may fall into 20s in the hollows

It'll begin warming up on Sunday, as a front brings in showers by Sunday evening. And by Monday, it'll be mostly dry and back up into the 50s.
Jon Madison Flickr

That's right, KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says those who live in "these low spots, places where the wind doesn't get into, these hollows" could see temperatures in the 20s early Saturday morning.

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Homelessness
2:03 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Seattle's mentally ill on streets helped by 'roaming counselor'

Street counselor Larry Clum, with street 'ambassador' Carlo Garcia in downtown Seattle, near a few belonging left chained to a sign by a homeless woman
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

If you’ve been to downtown Seattle, you’ve probably seen people talking to themselves on street corners, or shouting at strangers. Now there’s a fresh face trying to help those in psychiatric crisis.

He’s a roaming mental health counselor, hired by the Union Gospel Mission and downtown’s business-funded Metropolitan Improvement District.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:19 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Mild but damp weekend coming

The heavy rain we saw earlier this week was part of an "atmospheric river" carrying moisture across the Pacific, but it's gone now, and off-and-on showers will be the norm for the next few days, says Cliff Mass, KPLU's weather expert and a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

Northwest dampness comes as the rest of the country is drying out, and Mass says that's good news for President Obama. He cites research that shows Republicans do better when it's rainy on Election Day, and Democrats do better when it's dry.

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medicine
4:18 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Rising abuse has doctors pushing for fewer painkiller prescriptions

The more drugs such as OxyContin are prescribed, the more overdose deaths there are every year, one doctor said.
Adam Gerard Flickr

If you have a condition or injury that leaves you in non-stop pain, for months or years, your doctor might prescribe a powerful painkiller, such as Vicodin or OxyContin. Many doctors are looking for alternatives to these narcotics, and they're sharing approaches this week at a “National Opioid Summit” in SeaTac. 

Concerns about painkillers are rising, because abuse, addiction and overdose deaths are up.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:17 am
Fri October 26, 2012

A break from drizzle coming Sunday, as the East preps for destruction

We'll get a break on Sunday, but another front is coming in Monday.
C4Chaos Flickr

Lots of rain in the forecast, but a surprising break is coming on Sunday - at least if you're north of the Tacoma area.

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health care
12:20 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Obamacare coming to life in state; eyebrows rise over funding

A new name, logo and slogan for Washington's version of the federal health law.

Far from the campaign trail, President Obama’s health-care law is chugging toward implementation in Washington state. A new agency is emerging, with a new name – and some questions about how to fund it.

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Elections
3:57 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Where is Washington’s newest seat in Congress?

If you’ve looked at your ballot, you may have noticed that you're in a new Congressional district.

If so, you're hardly alone. More than a million western Washington residents have been reassigned to new Congressional districts.

That's true for every resident of the new 10th district – which was added to the state because of population growth in the 2010 census.

As both the Democrat and Republican in the race explain, the dominant symbol for this area is Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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food and nutrition
4:12 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Do calorie-counts on menus reduce the urge to super-size it?

docpop Flickr

If you tend to ignore the calorie listings on menus, you’re not alone. The extra info at King County restaurants is proving of limited value in the fight against obesity. On the other hand, some restaurant chains are toning down the message to super-size it.

Chain restaurants in King County – that’s mostly fast-food chains, plus some coffee shops such as Starbucks – are something of a test case. Along with New York City, they were the first in the country to be required to post a calorie-count for each item on their menus.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:06 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Drip, drop of rain continues, and early snow coming to Cascades

Neil Banas Flickr

The pattern has shifted, and rain is here to stay, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

By this evening, we'll be in an "occasional showers" mode, which means you might find dry spells this weekend to rake leaves and be outside.

Want to avoid getting caught in a shower? Mass suggests using the local weather radar, to check the latest status.

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2012 Elections
2:28 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Latest poll: Charter schools, same-sex marriage lead; governor race in virtual tie

The KCTS Washington Poll results were released today. More than 3.85 million ballots began to be sent to voters Wednesday.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Voters in Washington are likely to approve two ballot measures that have failed in the past. A new poll shows both charter schools and same-sex marriage are leading by healthy margins.

The KCTS 9 Washington Poll also shows a statistical tie in the Governor’s race between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna.  

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Food
6:20 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Experimental treatment for peanut allergies debated

Josh Kenzer Flickr

Peanut allergies have been rising dramatically – enough so that many elementary classrooms have banned peanuts. About four times as many children have peanut allergies today as 20 years ago.

The severe form of peanut allergies can be deadly, which is why thousands of people must carry around an adrenaline shot (called an epinephrine pen, or "epi-pen").

Now, allergy doctors are debating whether they should offer an experimental allergy treatment. It was a topic this past weekend, at the 2012 Northwest Allergy Forum in Seattle.

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Politics
5:04 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Arena gets approval, but "final" isn't final

Celso Tolman, vice president of ILWU Local 52, wears a jacket with his union's logo as he listens to attorneys and other union representatives talk to reporters Monday about their intent to file a lawsuit on behalf of the union
Ted S. Warren AP

A new basketball arena appears to have the green light. Both the Seattle City Council and King County Council voted Monday in favor of an agreement with investor Chris Hansen.

However, more studies – and votes – lie ahead.

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