Health and Science

10th Ward Residents Vote: Ban Pet Coke Now

By Sarah Kramer and Lizz Giordano

Residents of Chicago’s 10th Ward voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ban the storage of petroleum coke, a byproduct of the oil refining process.

Nearly 86 percent of  voters favored the ban in Chicago’s Southeast Side 10th Ward. The referendum vote is non-binding, but it’s another loss for Koch Industries-owned KCBX Terminals Company, which has been engaged in a battle with City Hall over the handling of the dusty black piles. Continue reading

VIDEO: Chicago’s electric refuse truck, first in the country

By Jennifer Leonard

Chicago is the first city – not only in the United States but in North America – to own an electric refuse truck. Drive Clean Chicago, an incentive program funded by The Department of Transportation, is trying to make Chicago more sustainable by helping the city implement hybrid and electric vehicles into its transportation system.

Drive Clean Chicago works with Chicago fleet owners and offers voucher programs to make the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles more accessible and affordable. Continue reading

Working on the railroad: Chicago copes with worst rail congestion in years

By Bryce Gray

Chicago railroads are teeming with activity, routing 1,300 trains daily.  Travelers fill 800 passenger trains, while another 500 haul freight cars filled with corn from Iowa, coal from Wyoming, wheat from the Great Plains, oil from North Dakota and so many other commodities.

Currently the nation’s railways are the busiest they’ve been in years, causing logjams at spots throughout Chicago – such as 63rd and State, and along 75th Street. The bottlenecks reverberate throughout the economy and across the country.

“The railroads are moving more traffic than at any time since 2007 and the last recession,” said Ed Greenberg, a spokesman for the American Association of Railroads. Greenberg reported that 2014 saw more than 28.7 million carloads, containers and trailers take to the railways.

Continue reading

Female Athlete Triad can lead to serious consequences

By Katherine Dempsey

Tina has only gotten her period once during college.

The 21-year-old runner at a Big Ten university remembers seldom menstruating in high school or in college. Diagnosed with anorexia during her freshman year of high school, Tina – whose real name has been changed to protect privacy – spent several weeks out of school for treatment and to escape from the academic pressure that she says sparked her eating disorder.

Tina didn’t participate in track her freshman year of high school, and she says she remembers weighing less than 90 pounds at her lowest weight. With running, the anorexia also related to a her focus on eating right to run well and that turned into limiting the kinds of foods she ate. Continue reading

Hacking – How to fight back and protect yourself

By Zachary Vasile

Like birth and death, hacking became a new form of the inevitable in 2014. Of course, it had bubbled to the surface time and again, stewing in and out of personal computers, government databases and the sci-fi imagination.

During the last 12 months however, hacking broke through to the banner headlines and shows little sign of relinquishing the threatening power it wields in every field from engineering to electronic eavesdropping to entertainment. Continue reading

Electronic health records help the healing

By Mary Lee

Ocean-themed décor splashes the walls of La Rabida Children’s Hospital in a room filled with bright, plush chairs contoured like the candy Dots. But perky colors can’t erase the worry on Maria Gallegos’ face as she sits in the room waiting for her 6-year-old daughter to finish her appointment.

She’s lost count of the routine check-ups after dipping in and out of hospitals since her daughter’s conception. Born seven weeks premature, Lindsey championed through multiple surgeries including a tracheostomy, which helped her breathe; and a gastrostromy (G-Tube), which channeled nutrients through her body via an inserted tube. At eight months old, Lindsey and her twin Mackenzie were diagnosed with Achondroplasia dwarfism, a form of short-limbed dwarfism. Continue reading