Chicago Botanic Garden’s “seedy” preservation project

Visitors to the Chicago Botanic Garden's seed library read about the seed saving process. (Robin J. Carlson/Chicago Botanic Garden)

By Claire Donnelly This library never worries about anything overdue.  But expect to  give back from what you borrow. This is a seed library established by Leora Siegel, director of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lenhardt Library. Visitors can “check out” different seed varieties like heirloom tomatoes, mesclun greens, peppers, peas and beans. The library, housed […]

Climate change threatens national parks

The Yellowstone River flows through the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is one of many national parks that is threatened due to climate change. (NPS)

By Claire Donnelly The glaciers in Glacier National Park are melting. Snowpack in Yellowstone National Park is decreasing. Blueberry bushes in Acadia National Park are flowering weeks earlier than they did more than 100 years ago. These are just some of the ways that climate change is threatening the national parks.

Scan, cook and serve: Smart oven turns up the heat on home meals

The Tovala oven cooks salmon to perfection. (Courtesy of Tovala)

By Claire Donnelly Your microwave is about to get very jealous. Chicago startup company Tovala has designed a new smart oven that cooks meals to perfection by simply reading a barcode. The company launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign with a $100,000 goal Tuesday to help fund  production costs and raised $90,957 by 6:42 p.m. The […]

“Otterly” awesome – Shedd Aquarium’s new pup

Pup 719 was found by a beachgoer on Carmel Beach, who alerted authorities. Sea otter rescue experts at the Monterey Bay Aquarium attempted to locate her mother, but were unsuccessful. They spent the next several weeks tending to the otter in the Intensive Care Unit. (Brenna Hernandez/Shedd Aquarium)

By Claire Donnelly Shedd Aquarium’s rescued sea otter pup is one lucky baby. Pup 719 – as she is known until she gets a name – arrived in Chicago this winter after turbulent waves stranded her on a beach in California. The orphaned pup received almost two weeks of care at Monterey Bay Aquarium. “Shedd […]

Spider-Man can’t do whatever a spider can, researchers say


By Claire Donnelly What if instead of evading the evil Dr. Octopus by scaling the nearest wall, Spider-Man found himself stuck to every object he passed? According to some scientific researchers, that’s exactly what would happen if Spider-Man’s sticky pads were correctly proportioned to his body weight. In a study published in the January issue […]

The long and (very) short of bonsai


By Claire Donnelly Chris Baker has 269 children. His children are green, grow leaves and live at the Chicago Botanic Garden. They’re bonsai trees.