A new high-tech analysis of the fossilized jaw bone of Haramiyavia clemmenseni, one of our earliest ancestors, is shedding new light on the mammalian family tree. University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin was one of the lead authors of the study and he joins us in studio to talk us through the findings.
Simulating the evolution of the cosmos. A local physicist is here to talk about using supercomputers to delve into the mysteries of the universe.
What can a mutant fruit fly can tell us about sleep? Why might forests in Alaska be contributing to climate change? And is Jupiter's Great Red Spot shrinking? University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin is back to discuss these stories and more.
A new baseball statistic that could help the Chicago Cubs win, a new tool that could revolutionize the surgical removal of cancerous tumors and new images of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. Museum of Science and Industry director of science and integrated strategies Rabiah Mayas joins us with these stories and more.
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 Commuting
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.
Its Tevatron particle collider may have been superseded by the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland, but Fermilab remains at the cutting edge of research into the origins of the cosmos.
Perfect Pitch, Trap-Jaw Ants, Virgin Births & Shrinking Mount Everest
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.
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 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.
Dogs, Mini-Mammals, Crowd-Sourcing & the Planet's Inner Core
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 & Epilepsy
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.
Rabiah Mayas of the Museum of Science and Industry talks about the future of commercial space travel and identifying food poisoning via Twitter on Chicago Tonight.
Intelligence has given humans an advantage over other forms of life. But could human intelligence soon be surpassed, and what would this mean for the human race?