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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.

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In 2011, the Chicago Park District bought 20 acres of land on the city's north side. The plot of land had sat unused and untended for many years. Nearly four years later, work on the nature preserve is moving quickly with a scheduled unveiling set for this summer. We get a preview.

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One in five parkway trees in Chicago is threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer beetle. So what can people do to stop the shrinking of the region's tree canopy? The Morton Arboretum's CEO, Gerry Donnelly, joins us to talk about reversing tree loss.

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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.

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Gov. Bruce Rauner declared DeKalb and Ogle counties state disaster areas after severe thunderstorms and tornadoes tore through the area Thursday. At least two people were reported dead in DeKalb County and dozens were injured.

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In advance of airing Power to the People tonight, we speak with Johan Norberg, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, about supplying energy to developing nations.

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The EPA has awarded more than $8 million in grants to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes. We talk with the Shedd Aquarium's Phil Willink about the $100 million a year invasive species problem.

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An Adler Planetarium astronomer tells us whether earthlings may, at long last, be hearing from other intelligent life in the universe.

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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.

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Historian Alice Dreger's new book, Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science, is a funny, surprising story of Dreger's career as an activist, researcher, and advocate for evidence-based activism. She joins us.

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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.

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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.

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It's cold. Really cold. WGN's Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling tells us if we are heading towards record-breaking weather.

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There are bison once again roaming Illinois prairies. It's been more than 175 years since the last wild bison died in this state, but as of October they are back, thanks to The Nature Conservancy project in western Illinois called Nachusa Grasslands. Chicago Tribune photographer Anthony Souffle has been covering the new Illinois bison and the restoration of the prairie on which they graze. When he returned recently to see their progress, Jay Shefsky tagged along.

Dogs, Mini-Mammals, Crowd-Sourcing & the Planet's Inner Core

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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.

The Unusual Mating Rituals of the Animal Kingdom

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Credit: Christopher Drake

The Lincoln Park Zoo is putting on a Valetine's Day-themed after hours event that delves into the unusual mating habits and reproductive traits of the animal kingdom. Jay Shefsky spoke with the zoo's general curator, Dave Bernier, about some of their animals' perplexing courtship rituals.