Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Lyme" ...

  • Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons

    The first reported cases of Lyme disease surfaced in 1968; a half century later, CDC scientists believe there could be more than 300,000 new cases in the US every year. As this and other debilitating tick-borne diseases continue to spread, their origins have remained elusive. Some believe global warming is fueling the epidemic, others attribute it to human migration. But the fundamental question persists: where did Lyme disease come from? This mystery prompted Stanford University science writer and Lyme disease survivor Kris Newby to launch an investigation that led her to startling discoveries linking the outbreak to America’s clandestine biological warfare program. In BITTEN: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons (Harper Wave; May 14, 2019; ISBN: 978-006-289-6278; 352 pages; $26.99)—a riveting work of scientific reportage and biography that reads like a thriller—Newby reveals the story of Willy Burgdorfer, the man who discovered the microbe behind the disease, and his role in covering up evidence that could implicate another tick- borne organisms in the original outbreak.
  • ABC News 20/20 Brian Ross Investigates: Confessions of a Counterfeiter

    In an exclusive interview, master counterfeiter Francois Bourassa told ABC News Chief Investigative correspondent how he was able to produce millions in near perfect U.S. $20 bills, following security measures widely publicized on the U.S. Secret Service’s own website. The investigation by ABC’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross and Producers Rhonda Schwartz and Michele McPhee found that most modern currencies are manufactured from hard to counterfeit polymer materials while the U.S. twenty is still printed on easy to purchase cotton and linen paper. The U.S. Secret Service has refused comment, but Canadian authorities who arrested Bourassa say investigations into his international connections continue. Meanwhile as the U.S. is awash in counterfeit twenties, it’s the small merchants and consumers stuck with the fake small bills that banks won’t cash who are the real victims.
  • Unregulated tests

    Patients are being harmed by an increasing number of unregulated tests that guide medical treatment decisions. NECIR examined two testing arenas: Those for Lyme disease and a new generation of prenatal screening tests that identify the risk of Down syndrome and a growing list of other chromosomal abnormalities in a fetus. The stories, which took a total of six months to complete, gave readers a glimpse into the complex, confusing and highly competitive world of diagnostic tests. In some cases, patients are undergoing years of harmful, costly and unnecessary antibiotic treatment based on a questionable Lyme disease diagnosis. In others, women are terminating pregnancies because they - and their doctors - wrongly believe the results of a screening test for fetal problems are nearly 100 percent accurate.
  • No Small Thing: An investigative series on Lyme disease

    This series – testament to the power of a small newspaper, the Internet and analytical reporting -- is viewed widely as an influential force and agenda setter for Lyme disease nationwide. In eight installments in 2012, No Small Thing delineated problems of testing for and treatment and tracking of Lyme disease. In 2013, the newspaper, using 3,000 pages of government emails obtained under FOIA, exposed ties between government officials and outside scientists that influenced Lyme policy and limited debate – the installment submitted here. In 2013, the series also reported evidence that physicians are rejecting controversial guidelines, documented the death toll from Lyme disease using a database of deaths covering 13 years and drove a watershed year in the endemic. In 2013, the CDC revised contested annual case counts tenfold; investigated long-ignored deaths, and invited reform advocates to an unprecedented, high-level meeting. Three Lyme-related bills are pending in New York, where a task force has been convened. Another is pending in Congress.
  • No Small Thing

    The Poughkeepsie Journal series “No Small Thing” goes where no other newspaper or media outlet has – it challenges the mainstream medical dogma on Lyme disease. In rigorously documented articles, Projects Writer Mary Beth Pfeiffer concludes that the major actors in this public health scandal -- chiefly the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Infectious Disease Society of America – have minimized and mismanaged a burgeoning epidemic of tick-borne disease at great harm to thousands of infected people. These two powerful institutions have held – in policy and pronouncement -- that Lyme disease is easy to diagnose and easy to cure. It is neither.
  • Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic

    An investigation into "the science, history and brutal political war over Lyme disease and its co-infections." It exposes firsthand experience with the illness, while also exposing misconceptions about its unpredictability.
  • Trash-to-Energy Proposal Trashed

    A company named Green Power "proposed turning Cheyenne's trash to diesel through the process of catalytic depolymerization." The Austrian gentleman who owned the company, Michael Spitzauer, intended to "cure the shortage of diesel and America's dependence on foreign oil within a matter of years." But a background check revealed a criminal record in Austria, and a jail sentence for fraud. In addition, an expert noted that it is not possible for "a low-energy material such as trash to be turned into a high-energy product such as diesel fuel."
  • The price of beauty

    WTVJ-TV looks at an illegal plastic surgery network operating throughout South Florida. The report describes how unlicensed practitioners are giving injections of silicone to women at house parties and in offices. The shots are potentially dangerous, and leading to disfigurement or even death, the story reveals.
  • Huntsman's Odessa Syndrome

    The Texas Observer investigates claims that gas odors from the Huntsman Polymers' plastics plant is affecting the health of citizens living in nearby Odessa, Texas. The Observer reveals that the Huntsman plant has had a number of "flares" -- or brief periods of unexpected and unavoidable plant emissions that are not regulated -- in recent years that could be making residents sick. Many residents of Odessa have breathing problems.
  • (Untitled)

    This frightening account tells of infectious diseases, such as Lyme disease, the Hanta Virus, Ebola virus, measles, TSS, AIDS, etc. and the alarming speed at which they are spreading because of sanitary conditions and technological transportation, to name just a few factors. PS also reports on science and medical researchers inability to identify and develop vaccines for new viruses. (January 1996)