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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Weather with Cliff Mass
8:54 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Forecast: Showers ahead (but revel in the spectacular clouds)

Lenticular clouds make Mt Rainier's classic crown
Mike Kelley Flickr

Weekend weather will be cloudy with showers off and on ... a pretty classic Northwest late winter forecast, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass of the University of Washington. Rain should arrive by dinner-time.

Watch for a bigger storm on Monday, particularly on the coast, where winds could hit 50 mph.

The clouds we've seen so far this week have been pretty interesting. Cloud watchers got a great show yesterday of "lenticular" clouds.

Mass says they look like stacks of plates -- and may have helped set off the UFO craze.

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Three seats for congress
2:10 pm
Sun March 4, 2012

With Norm Dicks out, 3 open seats put Wash. in national spotlight

With the loss of Norm Dicks, seen here in 2010 with President Barack Obama and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Washington state lost an important power broker.
The Associated Press

Now that U.S. Representative Norm Dicks has announced he’s retiring, western Washington will have three open seats for Congress in this fall’s election. That’s unusual, and it could mean a lot of national attention for those elections.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:13 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Enjoy Sunday, possibly glorious weather ahead

On his blog, KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass writes:

Sunday should be great....sunny, much warmer air...many will see the mid-50s.   A big ridge over us....   Plan to get outdoors!

 

In general, warmer temperatures are in store, beginning this evening, says Mass in his weekly weather conversation with KPLU. You can expect a little of everything on Saturday, before it clears out on Sunday.

Next week, Mass says it will be cooler and wet again, fitting with the La Nina pattern that's settled in place.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:30 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Why are the odds of surviving a heart attack better in the NW?

Medic One launched in 1970 with a converted mobile-home as the rescue unit. That didn’t work out because it was unstable. The agency got it right, in the end.

In 1974, CBS’ 60 Minutes declared Seattle was the best place in the world to suffer a heart attack. Nearly forty years later, the reputation persists – and experts are still claiming Seattle is tops in saving victims of cardiac arrest.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Weather with Cliff Mass
8:51 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Snow? Looking likely for Sunday, but only a dusting for most

Just a dusting for most, but there will be some snow.
Shannon Kringen Flickr

That's the forecast as of Friday morning, from KPLU and UW weather expert Cliff Mass.

"I don't know if you'll wake up to it, but Sunday morning into Sunday, during the day there will be some snow showers," says Mass.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:38 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Soggy start to weekend, but some nice skiing ahead

Not for wimps: Now, that's what a real storm front looks like ... on the plains of Nebraska.
Michael Cornelius flickr

It's too wimpy to call it a storm, but wind and rain will dominate through tonight and tomorrow, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The winds will be hard to miss along the Washington coast, getting up to 60 mph. But, as Mass explains, the coastal mountains tend to cut down those winds by the time they reach Puget Sound, leaving us with merely blustery conditions.

By Sunday, it should dry out, and skiers will find a lot of fresh snow waiting for them in the mountains. Next week appears to offer more mild temperatures with occasional rain showers.

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ID check
10:15 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Fake drivers licenses common; facial recognition fights back

New computer software has made it easier than ever to forge documents. But it’s also easier for investigators to sniff them out, because the photo on your license is like a fingerprint.

The Washington Department of Licensing has photos of more than five million Washington drivers. In 2010, they launched a pilot project, with a federal grant, to compare the faces in all those photos

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:19 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Light rain falling, but can we trust those weather 'models'?

Rain and more rain ... back to normal.
Kevin Dooley Flickr

You can call it light rain or "the good rain" (after local author Tim Egan), but either way, it’s the signature of the great Northwest. And it's here through much of the weekend.

That's the forecast from KPLU expert and UW professor Cliff Mass.

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public health
9:23 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Whooping cough spiking statewide, outbreak in Snohomish

Whooping cough has made a big comeback across Washington. With more than 900 cases statewide, the illness hit its highest numbers last year since a similar spike in 2005. 

It’s reached epidemic proportions in Snohomish County. 

The situation there is serious enough that health agencies offered two free vaccination clinics last Saturday – and plan another one later this month.

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Microbes among us
3:51 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Tech innovation unveils Puget Sound's secret natural recyclers

This graphical map shows how millions of strands of DNA form a tangle of information, from bacteria, archaea, and viruses -- and helps show which ones can be grouped together.
Vaughn Iverson UW

Scientists have deciphered some of the secrets of one of Puget Sound’s natural recyclers. It’s a microbe – which likes to eat sulfur and nitrogen – and might be found near any of our beaches.  

The technique they devised could open the door to a better understanding of microbial life that abounds everywhere – in the oceans, in soils, and in the human body.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:00 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Forecast calls for sunshine with subtleties

There will be sunshine.
Flickr

Today’s forecast calls for sunshine, says KPLU’s weather scientist Cliff Mass. And, as scientists are bound to do, he also notes some interesting details not as obvious as the sun in the sky.

“We may have a lot of sunshine but there are a lot of subtleties going on in the next few days that are worth talking about,” Mass said.

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Tourism and poverty
3:55 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Gates Foundation opens the doors, a crack, with new vistor center

During the tour of the Gates Foundation's new visitor center.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

If you’ve ever been past the huge new Gates Foundation campus near Seattle Center and wondered what goes on inside – your time has come.

The foundation is opening up its doors, at least a little bit. This weekend, a new visitor center opens to the public.

Read more at KPLU's Humanosphere.

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Global Health
9:28 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Jimmy Carter helps Seattle celebrate World Affairs Council

Former President Jimmy Carter at The University of Washington in 2006.
The Associated Press

There’s a lot of talk in recent years about Seattle being a global city. That vision goes back a long ways. Seattle’s World Affairs Council is celebrating its 60th birthday this week. 

Former President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter helped mark the milestone, in front of a sold-out Paramount Theater last night. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:21 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Heading outdoors? Saturday's the day ... plus how the windstorm created a geyser at Ivar's

Winds and a high tide sent a surge of water this week toward this Ivar's Restaurant in Mukilteo -- strong enough to erupt through the floorboards.
flickr/Oran Viriyincy

The weather is so normal, it's almost boring, at least to atmospheric scientists like the UW's Cliff Mass.

"Unfortunately, next week, we just have one minor system after the other coming through," says Mass. "No real severe weather. No big snowstorms or windstorms."

With the morning fog burning off Friday, Mass sees sunshine through this afternoon.

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cardiac arrest
3:40 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

You're part of a cardiac arrest experiment in King, like it or not

If your heart stops beating and you’re treated by paramedics in the next few years, which treatment you get may depend on a coin flip. Once again, King County residents are part of  a national study of how best to resuscitate someone from cardiac arrest.

A coin flip sounds pretty random – and that’s actually on purpose. 

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