Corpse Flower Hours Away From Big Bloom at Chicago Botanic Garden

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August 26, 2015 - Corpse Flower Hours Away From Big Bloom

The Chicago Botanic Garden is on death watch. Officials there say the famed titan arum plant, more popularly known as the "corpse flower," could bloom in a matter of hours and emit its notorious foul odor. Chicago Tonight was on the scene on Wednesday. Also, watch a livestream of the famous plant called Spike.

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Octopus Genome Reveals Sea Creature's Secrets

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August 26, 2015 - Octopus Genome Reveals Sea Creature

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.

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Field Museum Conservation Expert Discusses the Rise in Extinctions

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August 13, 2015 - Field Museum Conservation Expert Discusses

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.

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Perseid Meteor Shower A Great Excuse to Stay Up Late

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A Perseid in 2007.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Perseid meteor shower will be at peak visibility around the globe, but light pollution can greatly diminish what you see. In west suburban Sugar Grove, Northern Illinois University and a NASA ambassador have teamed up to host a free viewing party Wednesday night. Learn more about it here.

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Carnivorous Plant Discovered Along Chicago Lakefront

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(Photo by InAweofGod’sCreation)

Lurking in the still waters of the Montrose Beach Dunes is a plant unlike its neighbors. The small, carnivorous plant found earlier this month is not easy to spot, but its discovery marks the first of its kind in the area. 

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Professor's Success Required Squashing Fear of Insects

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July 27, 2015 - Professor's Success Required Squashing Fear

National Medal of Science recipient May Berenbaum is an expert in the interaction of insects with plants, the founder of an annual insect-themed film festival, and the namesake of an X-Files character and new species of cockroach. She joins us on Chicago Tonight.

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New Water Disinfection Plant Helps Clean Chicago Waterways

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July 20, 2015 - New Water Disinfection Plant Helps Clean

Swimming safely in the Chicago River is now one giant step closer to reality, according to sanitary officials. Chicago Tonight details the new disinfection process making that possible.

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Pluto Gets Its Close-up

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July 14, 2015 - Pluto Gets Its Close-Up

Pluto finally got a visitor from Earth, 85 years after the dwarf planet’s discovery. Completing a nine-year, 3-billion-mile voyage, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reached the former ninth planet of our solar system on Tuesday. We'll discuss the milestone flyby with astronomers from the Adler Planetarium.

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Brookfield Zoo Welcomes Baby Zebra

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Grevy’s zebra born at Brookfield Zoo on July 7 with her mom, Kali.

There's a new kid on the block at Brookfield Zoo. On Tuesday, a female zebra was born at the near west suburban zoo to mother Kali, 5, and father Nazim, 15. The birth marks the first addition of a zebra of this type at Brookfield Zoo since 1998.

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Corpse Flower Ready to Bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden

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The corpse flower Spike is set to bloom in August. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)

The Chicago Botanic Garden is getting ready for the big stink. His name is Spike, and the nearly 70-inch tall titan arum has been in the spotlight for weeks. Learn more about the rare plant and watch a livestream from the CBG.

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In Michigan, Crisis Looming in the Great Lakes

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August 13, 2015 - In Michigan, Crisis Looming in the Great

Next month, Chicago will host the 11th annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference. The gathering is expected to attract some 700 government, industry, and environmental activists. Among the topics on the agenda: Toxic algae blooms, an issue that could impact drinking water and the multimillion dollar economies dependent on the Great Lakes. Christy McDonald of our sister station, Detroit Public TV, reports.

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Rare Plants Take Root, Bloom in Chicago This Summer

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August, 11, 2015 - Rare Plants Take Root, Bloom in Chicago

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.

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Chicago Could Tighten Rules on Drones

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August 5, 2015 - Chicago Could Tighten Rules on Drones

Alds. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and Ed Burke (14th Ward) have proposed an ordinance that would tighten restrictions on the use of drones in the city, including limits on how close they can fly to O'Hare and Midway airports. Ald. Waguespack joins Chicago Tonight to talk about his proposal, along with Aerial Vision Chicago co-founder Anthony LaRosa.

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Scientific Chicago with Rabiah Mayas

Printing 3-D Food, Health Benefits of Trees, & Smartphones' Impact on Commuting

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July 23, 2015 - Scientific Chicago with Rabiah Mayas

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.

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Lake Michigan Water Levels On the Rise

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July 15, 2015-Lake Michigan Water Levels On the Rise

Heading to the beach? You might actually see less of it: Water levels in Lake Michigan are rising at a record pace. We’ll talk with an expert about what’s causing the rise, how it affects the lake’s ecosystem, and what it means to nearby property owners.

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Remembering the Deadly Heat Wave of '95

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July 13, 2015 - Remembering the Deadly Heat Wave of '95

This summer marks the 20-year anniversary of a brutal heat wave that hit Chicago and left more than 700 people dead. Tonight, WGN chief meteorologist Tom Skilling and Northeastern Illinois University professor emeritus Robert Starks join us to remember the summer of 1995.

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Thinking Big About Sewage

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July 6, 2015 - Thinking Big About Sewage

When it comes to treating our sewage, Chicago has a history of thinking big from reversing the flow of the Chicago River to the creation of Deep Tunnel. Jay Shefsky visited the Thornton Quarry and went to the bottom of Deep Tunnel to see where the water will flow into the new reservoir later this year. We revisit that story.    

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