New Lab Opening

In just a few months UAB will unveil a state-of-the art satellite imaging lab. Public health researchers will use it to better understand the way environment affects the spread of disease. And, as WBHM's Rosemary Pennington reports, the lab's created an unlikely partnership.

Olde Tyme Healing

There are a lot of old books in UAB's Reynolds Historical Library -- some 13-thousand in all. One, though, stands out a bit more than the others. Only five original copies of "The English Physician" are in existence and UAB has one of them. It's a book that, as WBHM's Rosemary Pennington found out, helped shape what would one day become the United States of America.

Dr. John Lennox

In the debate over evolution, one alternative to Darwin's theory that gets tossed around a lot is intelligent design. The idea that some grand designer is behind everything we see in the universe, including ourselves. One of intelligent design's most vocal U.K. proponents is in Birmingham.

A Safe Haven; A Safe Home

Nearly 4,800 Alabamians are homeless on any given night and there's not enough room in the state's shelters for all of them. More than 1,400 sleep on the streets. The nomadic nature of homelessness complicates life for anyone experiencing it, but for those with a mental illness having no permanent shelter can be even more devastating. No fixed bed typically means no regular counseling or medications. A shelter in downtown Birmingham is working to change that reality for some chronically homeless women in the city. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington has more.

Chevalier Burning Bright

Author Tracy Chevalier rocketed to fame after the publication of her slim, stark novel "Girl with a Pearl Earring". The book was about the creation of the Vermeer painting of the same name. It went on to become an Oscar winning movie. Chevalier's newest novel, Burning Bright , also deals with the creation of a work of art. But this time the artist is more obscure.

March Storms

March roared in like a lion across the Southeast and Midwest, bringing with it a band of bad weather. The system spawned several deadly storms that left a total of twenty people dead in Georgia, Missouri and Alabama -- including eight high school students in Coffee County.

Cut It Out

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1-in-4 American women will be abused by a partner at some point in their lives. Many of them will never report the abuse, often because they don't know where to go. A national intervention program is hoping to change that and it's using hair stylists to do so. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington reports.

God, Darwin and Dixie Part 3: Solution?

When it comes to the evolution debate it seems like, as with so many other cultural discussions, the most vocal extremes get the most attention. Many are left with the impression that to be able to buy into evolution you have to give up God -- that there's no middle ground. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington introduces us today to three men who say there is a solution to the God versus Darwin paradox -- that, even with all the vitriol surrounding the debate, there is a middle ground.

God, Darwin and Dixie Part 2: Stickers

The battle over evolution in American society almost never fails to make news. Whether it's a Pennsylvania court's ruling that intelligent design cannot be taught in science classrooms because it's not science or the opening of a museum in Ohio dedicated solely to creationist theory -- if it involves evolution or intelligent design you're going to hear about it. Here in Alabama the fight over the theory has involved, most famously, an insert in high school biology textbooks. The sticker highlights how important words are in the debate over evolution. We see those words applied as WBHM's Rosemary Pennington explores the now infamous evolution stickers.

God, Darwin and Dixie Part 1: Semantics

Evolution -- the idea that life descended from a common ancestor. There are few terms in the English language that create the verbal firestorm that one word can. And, ever since the Scopes Monkey Trial, the American discussion of Charles Darwin's theory has raged on, growing hotter by the year. In a special series, "God, Darwin and Dixie", WBHM's Rosemary Pennington explores the debate over evolution here in Alabama. She'll examine the now infamous textbook disclaimers; also how to move the conversation forward. But first she explores the semantics of the debate.

Consent Decree Lifted

For almost two decades Alabama DHR's child welfare system has been under the close watch of a federal monitor. No longer. A federal judge lifted the consent decree that put that monitor in place.

The Harp Ladies

Music is about more than what a composer puts down on paper and, then, what you hear later. There's the whole Mozart effect thing ... where listening to the prodigy's compositions supposedly improves a person's math skills. Then there are the lullabies, songs designed solely to soothe. It's that soothing that occupies the lives of two Birmingham chaplains. They're licensed music practitioners through the Music for Healing and Transition Program.

The Bodon Family Secret

During World War II no one fought the Nazis longer than the Czechs. Even after Czechoslovakia was taken over by Hitler's Germany, the Czech's fought on; the resistance moving from havens in Poland to France and, eventually, to Britain. One UAB filmmaker's father was one of those fighters. The whole time he fought the Nazis, and for the rest of his life afterward, he was keeping an enormous secret.

The Secrets of Amarna

For more than eighty years King Tutankhamun (or Tut) has been the superstar of ancient Egypt. Tut's reign was only a short one, the pharaoh died while still a teeanger, but the glittering treasure found in his tomb captured imaginations the world over. All that gold has, for years, outshone one of the more astonishing bits of Egyptian history -- the Amarna heresy, which was sparked by none other than King Tut's father.

Campaign 2006: The Results

Election Day dawned on Alabama gray and rainy but, later, the skies cleared. The mixed bag of weather seemed to fortell the evening ahead for politicos across Alabama as Governor Bob Riley's 'big coattails' didn't appear to be quite long enough for a GOP sweep in the state.

Rethinking Violence: Is it a Disease?

The homicide rate in Birmingham is on the rise. A recent study ranked the Magic City as the 6th most dangerous city in the country. A group based in San Francisco is working to fight violence by taking a public health approach and treating it as a disease; they're bringing their message to Birmingham.

Race for Alabama Governor

Alabama voters cast ballots in a number of of local and statewide races Tuesday -- not the least of which is the governor's race. Incumbent Republican Governor Bob Riley finds himself in a face-off with current Lieutenant Governor Democrat Lucy Baxley.

Green Tea and DNA

It seems almost everywhere you look these days -- in magazines, newspapers or grocery store aisles -- you're assaulted by the message that tea is good for you. Studies have shown the leaf may prevent ovarian and breast cancers as well as skin cancer. Now a study out of UAB shows that green tea may actually repair DNA damaged by UVB radiation. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington has details.

AIDS Epidemic Timeline

A timeline of the AIDS epidemic.

AIDS: The Epidemic in Alabama

More than 9-thousand Alabamians are living with HIV or AIDS; if you take into account those who've died from the illness, then more than 14-thousand Alabamians have been infected with the virus. And infection rates are expected to go up as the AIDS epidemic, so often thought of as a big city issue, becomes increasingly a rural issue and a southern issue. There are myriad challenges to getting the word out about HIV/AIDS -- there's the stigma, religion and a money shortage for starters. In a special report, 'AIDS: The Epidemic in Alabama', WBHM's Rosemary Pennington examines what people here in the state are doing to combat HIV.

Meth and AIDS

Methamphetamine is a cheap to make, cheap to buy drug. Its use is exploding in some parts of the country; the drug is called the biggest drug threat to Alabama by one agency. Some researchers are worried the increasing abuse of meth will spike another flare in the transmission of HIV. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington has more.

The MOMS Project

HIV infection rates among women are increasing at alarming rates. When a woman becomes infected and she's a mother, it changes her life and that of her children as well. A program at UAB is working to help HIV positive moms better manage stress so they can be better moms and live healthier lives. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington has more.


She was a tomboy who would grow up to write one of the seminal novels of the 20th Century. Published in 1960, Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' catapulted her into fame -- a fame from which she made a hasty retreat. There's a new biography out about Lee and the creation of her only novel. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington spoke with the author, Charles J. Shields.

One Woman’s Story

HIV, once thought of as a virus that affected mainly men, is becoming more of a women's issue. The women who do become infected typically get the virus from a husband or boyfriend. Marvelyn Brown talks about her life as an HIV positive woman in the South.

Alabama’s AIDS Orphans

You can't really have a discussion about AIDS in Africa without talking about AIDS oprhans. But a researcher here in Alabama thinks, when it comes to AIDS orphans, we should be looking closer to home.

Student Docs Debut

Documentary films are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. The big story at last year's box office, a documentary about penguins. UAB students are currently unveiling their forays into the format -- which include stories about Birmingham's Muslim community and one Native American group's struggle to retain its culture.

Babec’s Pacemaker

Most twenty-six year olds don't have to worry about heart problems unless they're a male gorilla pushing four hundred pounds. Babec, the Birmingham Zoo's senior silverback, is turning twenty-six but in the fall of 2005 it looked like he might not see another birthday. Babec was in the final stage of heart disease. While his illness was life threatening, it led to a scienitfic breakthrough -- Babec got a pacemaker. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington visited Babec to see how he's doing.

Phyllis’s Story

Last year a record number of Americans needed emergency shelter. While the Department of Housing and Urban Development is unveiling its masterplan to end chronic homelessness there are still millions of Americans needing help. In the latest installment of our Making Sense of Mental Health Project WBHM's Rosemary Pennington recently visited a Birmingham shelter where the majority of the residents have a mental illness.

Green Tea and Skin Cancer

There have been countless studies over the last few years touting the health benefits of drinking tea. Black tea appears to help prevent ovarian cancer while green tea is shaping up to be a potent weapon in the fight against several different cancers. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington recently spoke with a UAB researcher about a new study that ties green tea to skin cancer prevention.

World AIDS Day

More than forty million people the world over are living with HIV/AIDS with five million new infections this year alone. December 1st is World AIDS Day. Started in 1988 it is an international event which aims to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS issues. In this web excluse WBHM's Rosemary Pennington speaks with an AIDS educator about the day and the epidemic.

My Uncle Danny

One-percent of the global population lives with schizophrenia -- a chronic, often disabling, brain disorder. The most common type of schizophrenia is 'paranoid schizophrenia'. Paranoid schizophrenics suffer from delusions and hallucinations. It's something WBHM's Rosemary Pennington knows a bit about; her Uncle Danny has lived with it for more than three decades.

The Gospel According to Anne

Anne Rice has a rabid following; readers who've come to love her tales of vampires, witches and others 'outsiders'. But her days of writing about them are over. Rice is embarking on a new direction -- one that some think is a departure for the author. Rice talked with WBHM's Rosemary Pennington about the shift.