Sarah Boden

Science, Health And Tech Reporter

Sarah Boden covers health, science and technology for 90.5 WESA. Before coming to Pittsburgh in November 2017, she was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio where she covered a range of issues, including the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

Sarah’s reporting has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Saturday and WBUR's Here and Now. She has won multiple awards, including a regional Edward R. Murrow for her story on a legal challenge to Iowa's felon voting ban.

Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ

Robots designed by teams of teens from 53 schools in southwestern Pennsylvania will compete in a two-day, gladiator-style tournament starting Friday.

The aim of the Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ competition, which is being hosted at California University of Pennsylvania, is to get high schoolers to think creatively and collaboratively, while also exposing them to careers in manufacturing.

BotsIQ executive director Michel Conklin said the robots are judged on a variety of criteria.

Dank Depot / Flickr

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana dispensaries may eventually be permitted to sell the product in plant form for vaping, after a vote by the state's medical marijuana advisory board recommended a change in the regulations. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Kelsey Bushnell just turned a year old. Like most babies, she’s very interested in grabbing new things and putting them in her mouth. On the day I visited her home, she was particularly fascinated with my microphone cord.

SUBCONSCI PRODUCTIONS / Flickr

Members of Pittsburgh's immigrant and refugee communities are dealing with a variety of issues that can make health care treatments challenging, according to a forum on Thursday hosted by Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Screenshot / Google Maps

A new University of Pittsburgh study asks whether a revenue model set to be introduced in six rural Pennsylvania hospitals next year can both reduce patient admissions and increase profits.

The program is expected to be implemented in 30 rural hospitals by 2023. Data from Pennsylvania's Department of Health Innovation shows that in 2015, 47 percent of all rural hospitals in Pennsylvania had negative operating profit margins

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

At the offices of Pittsburgh’s Creative Nonfiction Foundation in Garfield, high schoolers experiment with writing in the style of a storied American literary institution—The Onion, a satirical online newspaper.

AP Images

Later this year, the site of the D. T. Watson Home for Crippled Children will receive a historic marker from Pennsylvania’s Historical and Museum Commission; the Allegheny County facility was the first site where the polio vaccine was tested on humans. 

In the early 1950s, Dr. Jonas Salk and his team at the University of Pittsburgh were working to develop a vaccine using dead strains of the virus.

BLUE COAT PHOTOS / Flickr

The city of Pittsburgh’s technology staff have been closely watching the ransomware attack that rendered Atlanta’s municipal computers useless for nearly a week.

SalFalko / Flickr

Social Security numbers are used for just about everything--financial records, medical information, legal documents.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

It’s Wednesday and Chef Amy Reed, the general manager of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Café, is chopping cilantro. Around her are peels of salad carrots, red peppers and seasonings for Friday’s sold-out “Waste Not Dinner," a gourmet meal made from discarded foods.

“The peels are gonna go straight into the vegetable stock that we use to make to make the carrot risotto,” said Reed.

brian donovan / Flickr

A new report finds that Pittsburgh tech companies received $687 million in investments in 2017, which is the highest for a single year in the past decade.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Shouts of surprise and joy erupted Friday at noon from graduating students at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Garisha Peoples stands in the kitchen of her first floor Rankin apartment while preparing a Russet potato for lunch. She cuts off the ends of the fist-sized tuber and then pops it in the microwave.

Subconsci Productions / Flickr

People who retire early may be tempted to purchase so-called “skinny” health insurance plans before Medicare kicks in because they’re less expensive, but Pennsylvania’s Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman told an AARP audience in Penn Hills on Wednesday that they should be careful when considering this type of insurance, as it’s not compliant with the Affordable Care Act.

Charlie Riedel / AP

If everyone on the road is driving like a lunatic and your coworkers seem to be moving a little slower this week, take a deep breath, as many people probably haven't had enough rest due to the start of Daylight Saving Time.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

People marched through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon, holding signs and chanting slogans in support of paid sick leave.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Erika Strassburger made history Tuesday night as the first woman elected to represent Pittsburghers living in Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze on Pittsburgh’s City Council with 64 percent of the vote.

Keith Srakocic / AP

After less than a month of medical marijuana being sold in Pennsylvania dispensaries are running out of product.

“I would almost call it like a ‘growing pain,'” said Rocco Levine, the general manager of Solevo Wellness in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh’s sole dispensary, which sold the last of its marijuana over the weekend.

Uwe Lein / AP

It's clear that genes play a significant role in shaping the human face — just look at your biological parents or children. But scientists are just starting to figure out which genes determine the arch of your brow bone, or the point of your chin.

"The face is very complex, just like the brain is very complex," said University of Pittsburgh anthropologist Seth Weinberg, who contributed to the research.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

At the northeast corner of US Route 30 and Agnew Road in Westmoreland County, there’s a sloping, nine-acre lot of mostly gravel and overgrown brush.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

There are few options available to adults with autism spectrum disorder who want to improve their social or communication skills, but a study from the University of Pittsburgh that looks at two types of interventions has produced some promising results.

NorthWest EMS

It’s about a quarter to midnight on a Sunday at the NorthWest EMS Helen Street station in McKees Rocks. EMT Edd Keisling just clocked out after working a 40-hour shift.

diane cordell / Flickr

Preliminary results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show what everyone had suspected, this year’s flu vaccine isn’t very effective.

Final numbers might change slightly, but the vaccine’s effectiveness rate is only 36 percent.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

At about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, the door at the Solevo Wellness medical marijuana dispensary in Squirrel Hill opened, allowing in a line of patients that wrapped around the building.

University of Pittsburgh

A new biotech incubator specializing in immunology will open in around two years at the site of a former Ford auto plant on Baum Boulevard.

 

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Emergency medical workers in Westmoreland County will soon begin leaving naloxone and addiction treatment information with overdose survivors who refuse to go to the hospital.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department / AP

At Friday’s symposium “Responsible Reporting of Gun Violence” at the University of Pittsburgh, researchers discussed how to prevent mass shootings.

Russell Palarea, an operational psychologist who works in Bethesda, Maryland, works to thwart intentional and targeted acts of violence. He said that it’s a myth that people snap and then commit mass violence.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

The first medical marijuana dispensary in southwest Pennsylvania opened its doors Thursday.

Jessica Hill / AP

Two dental clinics in northern Pennsylvania have reduced hours due to the instability of federal funding.

Keystone Rural Health Consortia operates the clinics in Elk and Cameron counties. The Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers said KRHC is one of 50 community health centers in the state.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Highmark’s Medicare costumers can continue receiving in-network care from nine UPMC hospitals until the end of 2019, due to a Monday ruling by Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Dan Pellegrini.

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