By Holly LaFon
Illinois may have missed the fracking boom, as oil prices simmer near $50 a barrel. But a heated drama to reclaim the gold rush is playing out downstate with a cast of environmental activists, big oil, farmers, politicians and Saudi Arabians.
Only one company, Strata-X signed up to apply for a permit to drill in Illinois to date. The boomtown era of just three years ago eroded rapidly over the past six months as oil prices lost half their value. Continue reading
By Lizz Giordano
Citizen scientists are leading astronomers to new clues about star formation.
Citizen scientist volunteers discovered the more than 900 mysterious bright yellow objects that became the subject of recent paper in the Astrophysical Journal. Continue reading
By Adriana Cargill
Chicago’s first permitted large-scale commercial green roof farm is set to open in the West Loop this summer. The two Chicago companies behind the project will begin planting in mid to late April. They hope this will be the start of something big.
According to City of Chicago Data from 2010, there is the equivalent of 95 football fields’ worth of green roofs in Chicago and that number grows every year.
By Meg Anderson
Young moms chatted between cloth diaper displays, with wide-eyed babies dangling and cooing in carriers. But amid the heady odor of lotion samples and soiled diapers, the threat of measles loomed in many minds at MommyCon, a natural parenting convention.
“Honestly, it pisses me off that we have to worry about it,” said Michelle Pizarro, 30, as she sat feeding eight-month-old Mila at the Feb. 21 convention in Rosemont.
By Jamie Friedlander
After spending six weeks in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2006, I returned home incredibly sick. I had sallow skin, dark circles under my eyes, severe fatigue, abdominal pain and more than anything, I had to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes. My parents took one look at me when I got off the plane and knew something was wrong.
My pediatrician assumed I had contracted some sort of parasite in Mexico, but after months of testing, he was stumped. He sent me to a gastroenterologist, who specializes in diseases of the digestive tract. But she couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was still sick. I knew the doctors were worried because for several months (brace yourself) my stools were pale peach. Continue reading
By Dawnn Anderson
A recent health survey revealed a significant number of the HIV workforce is ill-informed about the virus. Of the 135 AIDS workers in Chicago who participated in the HIV Workforce Study, they scored 63 percent, equivalent to a “D” average.
More than 3,600 people participated in the study nationwide and scored 61 percent. Officials at the Black AIDS Institute say it is too early to determine whether one’s lack of knowledge will directly affect clinical practice regarding prevention and treatment.
“Before, it wasn’t incumbent of the HIV workforce to know about science and treatment, because medical doctors were initially charged with the task of informing the public,” said Anthony Guitierrez, BAI’s mobilization manager. Continue reading
By Dani Anguiano
Several health care professionals have said that a recently released CDC report, which revealed that on average, six people die from alcohol poisoning each day in the United States, while jarring – doesn’t show the full societal cost of excessive drinking.
According to the CDC report released earlier this year, researchers found that the majority of people dying are middle-aged, white males who aren’t alcoholics. Continue reading
By Siyao Long
Paradise 4 Paws, a Chicago-based pet resort, offers Spot or Kitty massage therapy with handmade scents at $27 for 15 minutes and $47 for 30 minutes.
Pet owners say the therapy provides flexibility and eases the aches for aging pets.
According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $55.7 billion on their pets in 2013, and most likely spent more last year.
By Siyao Long
While snow salt does its job, some people worry about the lingering pollution of the white residue it leaves behind.
The salt ends up in the sewage system and goes to water treatment plants. But there’s no special treatment process to remove the salt, according to Antonio Quintanilla, who works for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.