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 "disease" ...

  • 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.
  • NPR/PBS Frontline/Ohio Valley ReSource: Coal's Deadly Dust

    Coal's Deadly Dust asked a fundamental question about an unprecedented epidemic of the advanced stage of black lung disease (Progressive Massive Fibrosis or PMF), among coal miners. How and why did this happen? How could it happen given a regulatory system designed to protect miners from the toxic dust that causes disease? The investigation documented the failure of federal regulators and the mining industry to protect coal miners from the epidemic of disease, despite clear evidence in federal data, clear evidence in mining practices, decades of recommendations to take action, and awareness of the danger.
  • WBEZ: A 'Broth of Legionella' And Why It Keeps Killing At An Illinois Veterans' Home

    Illinois law changed and the most expensive governor’s race in American history swung against the incumbent after WBEZ produced more than 40 enterprise stories in 2018 about the mishandling of recurring Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks tied to 14 deaths at the largest state-run veterans’ home.
  • NPR/Frontline: Coal's Deadly Dust

    This NPR/Frontline investigation of an epidemic of a fatal lung disease affecting more than 2,000 coal miners used 30 years of government data and internal agency memos to show that federal agency officials knew more than 20 years ago that coal miners were exposed to toxic silica dust, and were suffering severe lung disease, but did not act then or since to directly address silica exposure in coal mines.
  • Coal's Deadly Dust

    This NPR/Frontline investigation of an epidemic of a fatal lung disease affecting more than 2,000 coal miners used 30 years of government data and internal agency memos to show that federal agency officials knew more than 20 years ago that coal miners were exposed to toxic silica dust, and were suffering severe lung disease, but did not act then or since to directly address silica exposure in coal mines.
  • Science for Sale

    Corporations facing lawsuits or stricter regulation are steering millions of dollars to scientific consulting firms, to the detriment of public health. As the Center for Public Integrity explains in “Science for Sale,” industry-backed research has exploded — often with the aim of obscuring the truth — as government-funded science dwindles. The effects of this phenomenon are felt not only in courtrooms but also in agencies that issue rules to try to prevent disease.
  • Heroin Hits Home: A Search for Answers

    Ohio is ground zero of the heroin/opiate epidemic. More people die from overdoses in our state than any other (including California, which has three times our population.). WJW-Cleveland has covered the rise of the epidemic for years, but pivot here to where they think, at times, investigative journalism should go: searching for answers to problems that they reveal. In this case, those problems include: 1) a government policy that encourages doctors to prescribe more opiates in the middle of a heroin crisis; 2) a system that, on the federal level, treats marijuana very differently from opiates - many patients and some lawmakers believe legalized medical marijuana may well reduce the opiate epidemic; 3) a prioritization of public health policy that seems upside down: why is more money given to diseases that kill few Americans compared to one that is on track to become a "Vietnam" every year:? The DEA estimated 47,000 Americans would die from an overdose in 2016. Given that incredible number, they think that just reporting on the crisis as reporters do car accident deaths is today insufficient journalism. So we set out in a prime-time program to search for answers.
  • Advanced Black Lung Cases Surge in Appalachia

    An NPR investigation identified ten times the number of cases of the worst stage of the deadly coal miners' disease black lung as federal researchers reported. NPR's findings indicate Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF), as its called, strikes many more miners and at far higher rates than previously recognized. The report comes as the federal program that provides medical benefits and cash payments to miners stricken with black lung is threatened by a multi-billion dollar debt and challenges to ongoing funding.
  • How the Government Put Tens of Thousands of People at Risk of a Deadly Disease

    An in-depth investigation into valley fever in California prisons and how the state put tens of thousands of people at risk of a deadly disease. Major findings include evidence that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation did little to mitigate the problem, ignored data and internal reports suggesting the disease affected people of color more seriously and quashed a federal study of the epidemic within state prisons.
  • Chronic wasting disease impacts captive white-tailed deer in Texas

    The state of Texas has a multi-billion dollar deer hunting and breeding industry. When we first heard about the discovery of a disease that could impact thousands of people's livelihoods and all the deer herds in Texas, we wanted to tell our viewers the scope of the problem. We also wanted to know what could and should be done to contain or eradicate the disease and how it could change the industry.