The detective search on Lake Michigan after dark might surprise you as scientists search well into the night to track dramatic environmental change on the Great Lakes. Dressed in dry suits to endure cold wind and powerful waves on an 80-foot vessel recently, they sought clues about low water levels, harmful algae blooms and invasive species that are altering ecosystems on which so many animals and people depend. Climate change is likely to make it all worse.
Chronically low water levels have afflicted lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior for 14 years and counting. Shipping, fishing and recreation all suffer with shrinking lakes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest water level forecast projects continued below-average water levels.
Weather is more than a job to the meteorologists at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. It’s an obsession. The severity of the tornadoes that devastated Washington, Ill., in November and Moore, Okla., in May makes weather a hot topic even as snow storms begin to fly.
Groups supporting senior citizens rallied at the Kluczynski Federal Building Thursday against a proposal introduced in the U.S. House Tuesday that would change the way cost-of-living increases are calculated for seniors. The new calculation would use a measurement called chained CPI, which assumes that consumers can avoid higher prices by substituting cheaper purchases.
They're watching as storms to the north produce hail across Montana. They're watching as cold air moves into the Midwest from Canada, spinning the threat of thunderstorms. They're watching as strong winds whip across dry Arizona causing arid storms. At the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center meteorologists are on staff 24 hours a day to watch for severe storm development across the entire country.
A walk in the woods can boost kids' grades, bring better health and even inspire a calmer disposition. A host of forest preserve district programs bring kids back to nature.
We all know the drill: get sick. Go to the doctor. Receive a prescription for medicine. Take the medicine until you feel better. But what if, instead of being handed a prescription for medication at the end of your appointment, you instead received a prescription for spending more time outdoors?
Staying active outdoors is good for more than muscles. Kayaking, biking and ice climbing can help in problem solving, communication and mental health. Chicago Adventure Therapy helps young people suffering from unstable homes, unsafe neighborhoods and few resources reclaim their lives, all while having fun.
Industry and environmental groups are unhappy with just-released proposed rules to control hydraulic fracturing for oil in Illinois. The first hearing on the draft regulations launched Tuesday night at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A series of hearings will allow Illinois residents to weigh in on this controversial method of extracting oil and gas from deep underground.
Extreme weather, such as the recent off-season tornadoes that damaged more than 2,400 homes, may become more commonplace in Illinois as the effects of climate change alter weather patterns in the state. Experts warn we should be prepared.
As the concussion crisis rocks football, leagues from the NFL to Pop Warner grapple with the impact. Local youth organizations cope with a changing football culture.
Gunsmith William Sharp was sitting at his workbench in the Klein’s Sporting Goods warehouse on West Madison Avenue in Chicago on Nov. 22, 1963, when he heard on the radio that the President Kennedy had been shot. Sharp had a hunch that he knew where the rifle had come from. The next day, a visit from the FBI confirmed Sharp's worst fears - he had mounted the scope on the very rifle Lee Harvey Oswald had reportedly used to kill the President of the United States.
On the day Illinois made history as the 16th state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage, the 2013 LGBTQ Health and Wellness Conference at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine discussed all aspects of LGBT health. Participants were urged to think beyond HIV/AIDS awareness and consider other health challenges the LGBT community faces. But one population was left out of discussion: LGBT senior citizens.
Putting misoprostol – a drug known for use in abortions – directly into the hands of pregnant women in the developing world is controversial. It's also life-saving. During the Global Urban Challenges conference this week in Chicago, UIC's Dr. Stacie Geller shared her research using the drug in Ghana to decrease postpartum hemorrhage, the leading cause of maternal death in developing countries.
Craft breweries and micro-distilleries are multiplying at a rapid rate across the U.S. But what of alcohol consumption’s darker side? Recovering drinkers and addiction experts alike discuss what it means to be an alcoholic.
Pat Nakamura, 26, has struggled with alcohol addiction and mental illness throughout much of his life. Here, he shares his story.
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School’s efforts to rear endangered species became a reality Wednesday night when the local school council unanimously gave it the green light to raise alligator snapping turtles starting early next year. In preparation, students at the school are designing a technology to test water quality in the turtles’ aquarium and alert caretakers to problems.
Just three days after tornadoes devastated towns in Southern Illinois, residents of Washington are already taking back their lives and painting messages of hope on hard-hit homes. "Down but not out," reads the hand-painted message on one house. “It’s kind of like God was just right there,” said a women whose mother was pulled from the wreckage unharmed.
When Chicago-area college students partnered with high school students on Chicago's South Side, the data they produced showed links between food deserts and illness, leading to a big change for one neighborhood. More than 400,000 people in the city live in areas with limited access to grocery stores with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Biotin advocates stand by the supplement loaded with B-complex and other vitamins to promote stronger and healthier-looking hair. Biotin takes you back to the farm where livestock researchers observed that it made the hooves of horses harder and stronger.
Fans took advantage of recently upgraded servers during Sunday's Soldier Field evacuation that interrupted the game between the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens. AT&T customers alone used 471 GB of data, equivalent to more than 1.3 million social media posts with photos. And the Bears won 23-20.
Adrenaline junkies are pushing extreme water sport technology to the max as they show us their moves on Lake Michigan.
Is the key to a better workout positive thinking? New research seems to think so. A recent study showed mentally and verbally encouraging yourself while exercising can keep you going and make it feel easier.
Want to design an energy efficient car? You can - at Future Energy Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry’s newest permanent exhibit. Choose engine types and transmission options, and find out the energy impacts of features such as stereo systems and paint color in an interactive simulation. The cutting edge exhibit features games and simulation aimed at teaching kids about the world’s energy challenges.
A food-safety training manual piloted in Chicago Public Schools will serve as a national model for schools seeking to grow produce for their school cafeterias. The manual looks at such things as water sources and soil content.
Goose Island Clybourn is set to release bottles of a limited-edition beer, Brettanomite, on Saturday. Master brewer Nick Barron sheds some light on the story behind the brew.
The Bears host their first home game Sunday since announcing a major upgrade to Wi-Fi and cellular service at Soldier Field. Fans will have an easier time tweeting, texting and checking fantasy football scores while at the game.
In a talk last night for Chicago Humanities Week, author Jonathan Safran Foer delved into the complexity of humans' relationship to our food and how all people -- vegetarian or otherwise -- must come to terms with the notion of "eating animals."
Getting an HPV vaccination can be costly and time-consuming, but new research from the National Cancer Institute shows that one dose has the potential to be as effective as the standard three-dose regimen, which only 33 percent of U.S. girls ages 13-17 complete. If findings are confirmed by other studies, those with limited access to care and coverage could get easier protection against high-risk cervical and anal cancers.
Tracking your asthma is as easy as playing a game on your phone. Researchers at UIC’s Electronic Visualization Lab and Rush University Medical Center just finished the first round of clinical testing of an app that may help motivate young people to take their asthma medications on a regular basis. The goal is preventing hospitalizations and deaths and improving quality of life.
Nanoparticles – designer molecules that can customize just about any product - find their way today into cancer treatments, diagnostics, batteries, solar cells and even sunscreen. But, the potential effects of these particles on the environment and the living things that inhabit it remain unknown. Preliminary research at the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology lab at Northwestern University has found that nanoparticles do affect cellular membranes and here's how scientists are finding the clues.
Veteran climate scientist Wallace Broecker coined the term "global warming." At a recent climate change conference, he warned that we can't treat the atmosphere as a garbage can. People figured out ways to take care of their sewage and trash for the public good, but when it comes to the politics of what to do about climate change, we don't have a clue.
Stemming the tide of a youth epidemic of STIs and HIV is the focus of a free public conference on Friday. The conference at the Gary Comer Youth Center brings together talks and panels to help people tackle the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS among young people.
Ant and insect enthusiasts from more than five states share the latest and greatest in ant research this Saturday at the Field Museum of Natural History.
Capturing and storing the 29 billion tons of carbon dioxide emitted annually from burning fossil fuels could help clamp a lid on climate change. At the Comer Abrupt Climate Change Conference this month, scientists shifted the focus away from capturing and storing CO2 and toward recycling it.
In today’s technology-obsessed world, there’s an app, gadget or widget for almost everything. Now, entrepreneurs are creating self-tracking technology to improve health. From smartphone calorie-counting apps to wearable impact sensors predicting concussions for athletes, the future of self-tracking is growing – and nearly invisible.
Americans will have an extra six weeks to purchase health insurance plans before facing a penalty. The Obama administration announced the extension yesterday evening, bringing the open enrollment period for health insurance until March 31 without penalty. Here’s a guide to understanding what this means for people in Illinois.
After two years of preparation and data collection, the Illinois Coastal Management Program will be offering grants to coastal restoration and preservation groups and projects. The new plan will focus on priorities of stakeholders along the Illinois Lake Michigan coastline.
Recent study from University of California-Berkeley and Northwestern University reveals a possible DNA link to marital happiness.
Bilingual education for children is more and more in the public eye as the U.S. becomes increasingly a country of immigrants. But how do kids react to learning two languages at a young age? A Chicago mother and her daughters talk about their experiences with Inter-American magnet school's Spanish immersion program.
When it comes to the Earth’s warming climate, preparing for the future means understanding the past. That’s where paleoclimate scientists come in. Paleoclimatology is the study of ancient climates. Climatologists such as Aaron Putnam with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University tell us about 800,000 years of natural climate records locked in the Earth’s ice, showing that carbon dioxide levels are far higher today than across all that time.
Scientists frequently push beyond the labs and test tubes. Sometimes they climb Mt. Everest, explore the depths of the sea or walk on the moon. Strap on your adventure boots and prepare for an adrenaline rush as modern day explorers such as astronaut Buzz Aldrin share their stories at Chicago Ideas Week.
Runners binged on doughnuts during the tasty Krispy Kreme 5K run in Evanston. They perservered through the sugar high to raise money for the Northwestern Triathlon Club.
As the percentage of senior citizens in Evanston continues to rise, “Age Friendly Evanston” will bring more senior-friendly amenities to the downtown. The program also seeks to promote awareness and respect for the aging baby boomers in Evanston.
One of the busiest airports in the country got even busier Thursday, when O'Hare International Airport opened a new runway. Travelers will see fewer delays, but local residents complain about increased noise pollution.
Students researching climate change in the outer stretches of the planet canceled trips and put thesis and dissertations on hold as they waited through the government shutdown. But even with government offices open again, their research may still be affected for months, perhaps years.
Hunger, heat stroke and violence are just a few of the health hazards that rise with the temperatures of global warming. Swapping cars for bikes, for example, could help pedal away climate change, save a cyclist hundreds of dollars in fuel and provide a way to stay active and healthy.
Global temperatures show a continuous rise since 1975, but critics of human-caused climate change recently pointed to a period of stability in global temperatures spanning the last 15 years. At a major climate change conference this week, scientists countered that oceans are temporarily absorbing heat and masking global warming. They showed how patterns from the last 200 years predict the future temperature rise.
Before uninsured Americans sign on for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, they need to pick the right plan for them. Cook County residents alone must compare some 65 plans. That's where health navigators and in-person counselors come in. They embed in communities and organizations and aid individuals in the search for better care. Here's a look into their roles on the path to the best insurance plan for you.