Tropical butterflies swarm around you in one winter spot of Chicago

By Chencheng Zhao Hundreds of butterflies clad in wings of every shade glided across the serene pools and landed on flowers and tropical trees while Orange-breasted Waxbills and Green Honeycreepers watched them. This isn’t a tropical rain forest but the Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum where visitors pack the haven for the […]

New technique changing eyes from brown to blue sparks debate

blue eyes

By Chencheng Zhao “Underneath every brown eye is a blue eye,” said Gregg Homer, the inventor of the first noninvasive cosmetic surgery that transforms brown eyes to blue by low-energy laser. The new procedure, known as Stroma, is raising questions about potential side effects from the technique as well the ethics of performing an elective […]

Transforming photography into art —Alfred Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession


By Chencheng Zhao Visitors walk through 19th-century photographic history marked by the change of canon to accept photography as art in the exhibit “Alfred Stieglitz and the 19th Century” at the Art Institute of Chicago. Today, photography graces the walls of art museums, galleries and the pages of fine art magazines.

Secondhand smoke puts hookah bar employees at risk, new study shows.

hookah bar

By Chencheng Zhao Employees in hookah bars face health risks from secondhand smoke from the water pipes, New York University researchers are reporting. Environmental medicine researcher Terry Gordon and his colleagues investigated indoor air quality in some popular hookah bars in New York and the health effects of secondhand hookah smoke on the bar workers.

Thumbnail-sized chip delivers powerful laser, Northwestern researchers report

By Chencheng Zhao Smaller can be better. A new laser developed by Northwestern University researchers can pack a lot of punch into a single thumbnail-sized chip. Unlike a laser used for a laser pointer, the compact laser developed at Northwestern emits in the mid-infrared spectral region. One of the primary appeals of mid-infrared lasers is […]