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"Mayfly - atalophlebia" by Taken byfir0002 / flagstaffotos.com.auCanon 20D + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 + Canon MT 24-EX - Own work. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mayfly_-_atalophlebia.jpg#/media/File:Mayfly_-_atalop

Last month, a bridge between Illinois and Iowa had to be closed because it was knee-deep in mayflies. Yes, knee-deep.  Now some Wisconsin researchers are doing everything they can to increase mayfly numbers in parts of their state. 

The Illinois State Museum

A mysterious fungus is threatening to wipe out some isolated populations of rare rattlesnakes. 

In Illinois, the fungus infects about 15 percent of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes: it kills up to 90 percent of those that contract it. There are only about 300 of the snakes in Illinois, mostly in Clinton county. The swamp rattler has also been found in Cook, DuPage, and Will counties. It was already a candidate for the federal endangered species list before the fungus was discovered. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Renewable energy may be getting a boost from President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. For one business owner in Rockford, it’s part of his mission.

Lee Schreiner shows off the meter connected to his new solar panels at 201 7th Street. On a fairly sunny July afternoon, it was producing six to seven thousand watts of power. And Schreiner was happy.

There are a lot of unfamiliar aircraft in the skies over northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin this week. They’re on their way to the annual Experimental Aircraft Association get-together in Oshkosh. 

Tony Molinaro is with the Federal Aviation Administration for the Great Lakes region. He says as many as ten-thousand small planes converge on the small Wisconsin airport.

You’ll see them in the skies much more often. And not just the regular Pipers and regular planes, you know, the Cessnas. You’ll see the aircraft from WWII and all sorts of unusual planes.

KWMU

Women who are an unhealthy weight during their first pregnancy might have a false sense of security if their babies are born with no complications. But a new study out of Saint Louis University suggests complications can still arise when the women get pregnant for a second time — even if, by then, they have reached a healthy weight.

niaid.nih.gov

Researchers at Washington University near St. Louis have found that some multidrug-resistant bacteria intentionally get rid of the genes that protect them from antibiotics. That discovery could eventually provide a new way to treat deadly infections. 

Microbiologist Mario Feldman says some strains of a bacterium known as Asinetobacter baumannii are resistant to all antibiotics.

JJ Harrison / CC BY -SA 3.0

Mosquitoes have been plentiful -- and voracious -- this summer, thanks to heavy rains that have created perfect breeding habitats for the blood-suckers. Now researchers at the University of Illinois may have found a way to reduce future mosquito populations with the help of some native Midwestern plants.

Farmers Could Face More Violent Weather In Future

Jul 3, 2015
Abby Wendle / WIUM

Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.  "Does it look hazy up there?" he asked. "We only had a 20% chance today. We shouldn't get any rain."

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

“It seems like it rains for three or four days and after it rains, we get one day of sunshine,” Plenge said. “And then it rains again.”

burpee.org

One of Rockford’s top tourist attractions turns ten this weekend. Burpee Museum of Natural History is holding a birthday party for “Jane,” the world’s most complete juvenile T-Rex.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The word “hacker” can strike fear into the heart of anyone who has a credit card, a computer, or a smart phone. Saturday, June 6th, thousands of “civic hackers” across the country will reclaim the art of accessing data. Northern Illinois University is one of the sites where people can get together to observe the National Day of Civic Hacking. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with Tracy Rogers-Tryba of NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies.

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