This month in Nature, an international team of researchers released some of their key findings after a first-of-its-kind study of the genome of the California two-spot octopus. The team found a massive and unusually arranged genome, with many genes unique to the octopus that could provide clues to the unusual animals. One of the researchers, University of Chicago neurobiologist Cliff Ragsdale, joins Chicago Tonight to discuss the ongoing project.
Recent reports in science journals point to a mass extinction currently underway. Field Museum senior conservation ecologist Doug Stotz joins us to discuss the phenomenon and his work in South America with the museum's Science Action Center. He'll also share specimens of extinct birds from the Field collection, including the passenger pigeon and the Carolina parakeet.
Printing 3-D Food, Health Benefits of Trees, & Smartphones' Impact on CommutingJul 23, 2015 | | Post a Comment > >
Is food printing tipped to become the killer app that puts 3-D printers in every kitchen? Rabiah Mayas is back to discuss printed pizza and other developments in the world of science.
Perfect Pitch, Trap-Jaw Ants, Virgin Births & Shrinking Mount EverestJun 10, 2015 | | Post a Comment > >
Once thought impossible, new research suggests people can learn perfect pitch. University of Chicago paleontologist and science explainer extraordinaire Neil Shubin is back to discuss that, the unique way trap-jaw ants avoid predators, “virgin births” in sawfish, and the shrinking of Mount Everest.
The World Health Organization warns that the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or "superbugs" means that we could be on the brink of a "post-antibiotic era" in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill. They say the situation is "so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine." We talk with two experts about the scale of the threat and what we can all do to try and contain it.
Ohio State University biologist Stanley Gehrt has followed more than 800 coyotes in Chicago over the past 15 years using GPS tracker collars. Where they turn up might just surprise you. Gehrt joins us to discuss Chicago's thriving urban coyotes.
Caltech Astrophysicist Mike Brown was one of the scientists who, in 2006, led the successful crusade to get the former planet Pluto downgraded to the status of dwarf planet. He joins us to discuss what he's found far, far away in our solar system.
Dogs, Mini-Mammals, Crowd-Sourcing & the Planet's Inner CoreFeb 17, 2015 | | Post a Comment > >
What can ancient dogs tell us about early human migration to the Americas? And how are scientists using earthquakes to scan our planet's inner core? University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin joins us with a roundup of local science news.
Ocean Extinction, Conception Sparks, Brain Generosity & EpilepsyJan 20, 2015 | | Post a Comment > >
Our science guy, Neil Shubin, talks about the latest science stories, including a study on the health of the world's oceans, why sparks really do fly at the moment of conception, and a new study finding that generosity can be "written" in the brain.
It's an exciting time for nature lovers. The world's largest flower – along with its notoriously horrible odor – is about to bloom for the first time ever in the Chicago area. Over at Montrose Beach, a rare carnivorous plant has taken root. Chicago Tonight digs deeper into these mysteries of Mother Nature.
Its Tevatron particle collider may have been superseded by the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland, but Fermilab remains at the cutting edge of research into the origins of the cosmos. It is now home to research focusing on neutrinos, nearly massless particles that rarely interact with anything – in fact trillions pass through our bodies every second -- but scientists believe they may have been fundamental to the formation of our universe.
Scientist Neil Shubin is back to tell us why the U.S. Military is so interested in the bombardier beetle, why taking a hands-on approach is a better way to learn science, and why astronomers may want to avoid using the microwave when heating their lunch.
The 25th anniversary of the Hubble telescope is this month, scientists find a potential breakthrough in our understanding of Alzheimer's disease, and the likelihood of finding life on Mars just went up. Rabiah Mayas, Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at the Museum of Science and Industry, rounds up the top local and international science news.
It's Brain Awareness Week -- a global campaign designed to highlight the importance of brain research. University of Chicago neuroscientist Peggy Mason is here to enlighten us all. Take a Brain Quiz!
Author Steve Levine had fly-on-the-wall access for two years to "the battery guys" at Argonne National Laboratory -- America's team in an international competition to build a battery that will change the world. Levine joins us to talk about his new book, The Powerhouse.
It's said that with age comes wisdom, but unfortunately that wisdom is accompanied by a long list of possible age-related health issues. Local experts weigh in on how to maintain your health into your senior years.
A NOVA special called Big Bang Machine about the Large Hadron Collider airs at 9:00 pm Wednesday on WTTW11. Don Lincoln, one of the top scientists from the documentary, joins us to discuss the role of Fermilab -- located just outside of Chicago -- in the experiments at CERN in Switzerland.