Patrick Skahill

Reporter

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science with an emphasis on health care and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009 and won a PRNDI award in 2011. 

He writes about science for The Beaker. 

Patrick's reporting has appeared in The New York Times and on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He worked for two years as a print reporter at Stonebridge Press in Massachusetts where he covered crime and education. 

A graduate of Villanova University, Patrick holds a bachelor's degree in history with a concentration in Arab & Islamic Studies and a minor in Classical Studies. He holds a master's degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. He knows way too much about Seinfeld and is a devoted fan of comedian Hannibal Burress.

He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@wnpr.org.

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Medicine
3:09 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Connecticut Company Ships Ebola Vaccine to NIH for Testing

Protein Sciences will ship its ebola vaccine to the National Institutes of Health for testing next week.
Huntstock Thinkstock

Meriden-based Protein Sciences has completed work on a preliminary Ebola vaccine, and will ship its creation to the National Institutes of Health on Monday.

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Stellar Cocoons
8:45 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Observatory in Chile is Wesleyan Radio Astronomer's Answer to Hubble

The Atacama Large Millimeter Array in northern Chile has 66 antennae, seen here in June 2014.
A. Marinkovic Creative Commons

A Wesleyan astronomer has just returned from a conference in Tokyo, Japan, where she discussed research from the ALMA space telescope -- a radio observatory partly funded by the National Science Foundation -- which is just finishing construction.

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Environmental Law
11:57 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Strengthening Connecticut Environmental Law to Target First-Time Offenders

The state is inspecting gas stations more frequently, leading to more frequent environmental violations.
John Phelan Creative Commons

Should state regulators be more aggressive in punishing first time violators of environmental law? That's a question the Council on Environmental Quality hopes lawmakers wrestle with in the upcoming legislative session. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Sizzling Space Spectacular

Meredith Hughes is an assistant professor of Astronomy at Wesleyan University
Chion Wolf WNPR

When it comes to space, there’s a lot to be excited about. Telescopes are scanning the farthest reaches of our galaxy and we’re learning more than ever before about the origins of planets.

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Brain Games
12:23 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Researchers Say More Needs to Be Done Analyzing Effectiveness of Brain Games

mrbichel Flickr Creative Commons

Can playing a game make a person smarter, more alert, and better able to learn? Well, the science on that question isn't clear.

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Theater
9:28 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Hartford Stage Presents Autism-Friendly Rendition of Christmas Classic

Hartford Stage

Hartford Stage produced its first-ever "sensory-friendly" performance this week. The staging of "A Christmas Carol" was geared toward audience members on the autism spectrum.

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Science Publishing
1:40 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Is Nature’s Move to "Free" Publishing a Step Toward Open Access?

Annthea Lewis
Nature

The journal Nature announced last week it will offer free access to a number of its articles online.

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Climate Change
6:09 am
Tue December 9, 2014

How 3.6 Degrees Became a Global Warming Tipping Point

A team of scientists in 2012 from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island, explores the waters near the Helheim Glacier in Greenland before using an autonomous undersea vehicle to study glacial ice melt.
U.S. Navy

As the United Nations climate change talks in Lima enter into their second week, one measurement that's coming up a lot is 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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Particle Man
3:50 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

At Yale Lab, an Era of Particle Research Comes to an End

Yale University

Over the next year, the giant blue particle accelerator that for years has been at the center of Yale University's Wright Lab, will be scrapped. 

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Sexual Assault
9:21 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Jimmy Carter Says Yale University Mishandled Sexual Assualts

Yale President Peter Salovey, left, listens to former President Jimmy Carter, right. Carter was at Woolsey Hall at Yale University to discuss his latest book.
Yale University

America's 39th President Jimmy Carter, 90, was critical of Yale University's handling of sexual assaults during a visit to the campus this week. 

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Bottles, Bottles, Everywhere
8:25 am
Tue December 2, 2014

"Washed Ashore" Exhibit at Mystic Aquarium Features Ocean Trash

An exhibition features ocean creatures sculpted from collected beach refuse.
Mystic Aquarium

A new exhibition at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut is using trash from the ocean to create art. It's an effort to highlight the importance of recycling plastic.

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Look Up
1:48 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Yale Recruits the Crowd in the Hunt for New Planets

This section of the Milky Way captures Kepler's field of view.
Carter Roberts NASA

If you're looking for life elsewhere in the universe, there's a lot to look at, and computers are pretty good at it. At least, they're good at analyzing the stuff you tell them -- for example, the brightness of stars in our sky.

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Mental Health
4:25 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Newtown Shooter Adam Lanza's History Reviewed in New Report

Some of Adam Lanza's belongings as discovered by police in his home.
State of Connecticut

Nearly two years after the shooting at Sandy Hook, officials are still looking for answers. A new report from the Office of the Child Advocate provides a window in the mental health of the gunman, Adam Lanza. 

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Lyme Disease
8:57 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Scientist Who Identified Origin of Lyme Disease Dies at 89

Dr. Willy Burgdorfer identified the bacterium responsible for Lyme Disease.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

Dr. Willy Burgdorfer, the Swiss-born researcher who gained international recognition for discovering the origins of Lyme disease, has died.

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Underwater Archeology
10:36 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Discovery of 17th-Century Shipwreck Provides Window Into Violent Past

Kroum Batchvarov, assistant professor of maritime archaeology at UConn, measures a cannon under water.
Dean Winter

There's only so much history you can learn from books. Sometimes, you just need to go underwater and travel back in time.

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Beetle Invasion
7:45 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Changes Are Coming to Connecticut's Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine

Beginning Dec. 5, Connecticut will join a federal quarantine zone restricting the movement of ash firewood.
USDAgov Flickr Creative Commons

It looks like the Emerald Ash Borer has won. Since 2012, the tiny invasive green beetle has spread to dozens of towns, posing a deadly risk to ash trees and resulting in six counties falling under wood quarantines. Now, with winter just around the corner, the state has announced it will modify those rules to make it easier for consumers to transport firewood around the state. 

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Climate Change
4:05 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

U.S. and China Announce Historic Climate Change Agreement

Flickr Creative Commons / why 137

A new agreement between China and the United States to reduce carbon emissions will send strong signals to the global community, according to a Wesleyan professor who has studied climate change for the Obama administration.

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Exploration
11:54 am
Wed November 12, 2014

For First Time in Human History, Spacecraft Lands on Comet

This image was captured when the Philae lander was just 3km from the surface of the comet.

The European Space Agency made history on Wednesday morning, landing the first man-made object on the surface of a comet. 

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That's Cold, Man
3:22 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Those Fall Shivers in Connecticut Aren't From the "Polar Vortex"

A typical polar vortex from November 2013.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Polar vortex is a phrase you've probably heard a lot, but what does it actually mean?

"I think, sometimes, people sort of misunderstand the polar vortex and they think it's this giant amoeba of cold that sits over the North Pole that just gets dislodged and heads right over Chicago," said Ryan Hanrahan, meteorologist at NBC Connecticut. "That's not really what happens."

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Elephants
2:10 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Limits On Ivory Sales, Intended to Protect Elephants, Stir Debate

Creative Commons

The Quinnipiac Law Review will hold a symposium this weekend about ivory trafficking, focusing on controversial ivory laws that went into effect last February.

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Close Race
1:46 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Tom Foley Concedes in Connecticut Governor's Race

Tom Foley admits that he probably lost, but did not concede, at the Hyatt in Greenwich. With him at left is his wife Leslie Fahrenkopf Foley, at right his running mate Heather Somers.
Mara Lavitt WNPR

Republican Tom Foley conceded the Connecticut governor's race on Wednesday afternoon to incumbent Governor Dannel Malloy.

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Election 2014
1:42 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Quinnipiac Poll: Malloy Up By Three Points

Tom Foley, left, and Gov. Dannel Malloy.

The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows that Governor Dannel Malloy has a three-point lead over Republican challenger Tom Foley.

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Syrian Civil War
3:11 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Syrian Peace Activist Reflects on How Civil War Changed His Country

Rami Nakhla, a Syrian pro-democracy activist and Yale World Fellow.
Credit Yale University

Speaking Tuesday on WNPR's Where We Live, Rami Nakhla, a noted Syrian peace activist, said the Syrian Civil War started as a pro-democracy uprising, but has since changed, facilitating the rise of groups like the so-called Islamic State. 

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Climate Change
1:20 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

How Should Connecticut's Candidates Talk About Climate Change?

iStock Thinkstock

With the gubernatorial election one week away, lots of issues are on the minds of voters: the economy and jobs, taxes, gun policy, and education -- but what about climate change? 

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Green Green Money
8:33 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Connecticut Joins Growing List of States Issuing Green Bonds

Credit Adam Gault/Photodisc / Thinkstock

When you think of ways to combat climate change, a few things probably jump to mind. Clean energy. Recycling. But investments?

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Election 2014
8:35 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg Meet in Second Debate

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg debated in Waterbury on Tuesday.
File Photo

Democrat Elizabeth Esty and her republican challenger, Mark Greenberg, touched on a wide array of issues during their second debate: the economy, transit, climate, and Social Security. That last topic has been a point of contention among the two candidates following a controversial television ad from the Esty campaign.

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Conservation
10:01 am
Tue October 21, 2014

A Plan to Prioritize and Manage Troubled State Wildlife

The Northern long-eared bat is one of several threatened species in the state that has not yet qualified for federal EDA protection.
Steven Thomas / NPS

The state's wildlife action plan aims to provide management options for animals and plants that don't quite qualify for federal protection. Take for instance the Northern Long-eared bat or New England Cottontail rabbit. They're not listed on federal endangered species lists, but their numbers have dropped in recent years due to things like disease and habitat loss.

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Election 2014
2:53 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Connecticut Gubernatorial Race Is Most Negative in Nation, Study Finds

A clip from an attack ad against incumbent Governor Dannel Malloy.
YouTube

A new report from the Wesleyan Media Project says Connecticut's gubernatorial contest is now the most negative race in the nation.

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Homecoming
4:56 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

EPA Head Gina McCarthy Tours Connecticut

Gina McCarthy, at left, visiting the Sound School in New Haven with Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Gina McCarthy, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, visited Connecticut on Tuesday.

It was a homecoming of sorts for McCarthy, who was commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection from 2004 to 2009. 

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Parakeets
3:04 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

An Unusual, Non-Lethal Idea to Deal With Connecticut's Pesky Monk Parakeets

Monk Parakeets get their name from the distinctive cowl over their heads. They're also known as "Quaker Parrots."
Kevin Burgio

Kevin Burgio remembered the first time he saw monk parakeets. He was out bird watching "and I ran across this puddle that had like five or six monk parakeets drinking from it," he said. "I'm like, what the hell is that? Did someone lose, like, five parrots? I didn't know there were parrots here."

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