ENCORE: Life-Threatening Food Allergies; Young Evangelicals And Climate Change; Discoveries On Black Holes

September 11, 2019
 

A pharmacist holds a package of EpiPen epinephrine auto-injectors, used to treat allergic reactions.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Continuing our science and technology encore week, we spoke with Illinois scientists and doctors about their research on working to prevent life-threatening food allergies. Also, a new generation of evangelical Christians is hoping to move the needle on climate change action within their congregations, including at Wheaton College. Plus, we spoke with researchers about gravitational waves detections that helped shed light on entire populations of black holes.

Life-Threatening Food Allergies

How many of you have a food allergy? Or maybe your child does? Then you know the anxiety that comes with it. I’m talking about the constant worry that you or your loved one may take one wrong bite.

Life-threatening allergic reactions to foods have increased by five times over the last decade, according to a new analysis of private insurance claims. 

But there is hope in terms of understanding why and developing solutions, and that hope is coming out of Illinois. 

Chicago Magazine Editor Lauren Williamson investigated this issue. Dr. Ruchi Gupta is a Professor of Pediatrics at Lurie Children's Hospital & Northwestern Medicine and is director of the Science and Outcomes of Allergy and Asthma Research Team. Cathryn Nagler is a food allergy researcher and professor at the University of Chicago. 

Young Evangelicals And Climate Change

Last December, leaders from nearly 200 countries gathered in Poland to try to move the ball forward on batling climate change as part of the UN Conference of Parties. 

And here at home, we have our own internal battle when it comes to climate change not just along political lines, but philosophical ones, as well. While Democrats are not surprisingly fairly unified in their beliefs on climate change, a Pew report found that there’s a huge divide when it comes to older Republicans and their millennial counterparts.

Younger voters are more likely to support pro-environment policies. And the same can be said for Evangelical voters, long a political powerhouse.

Meera Subramanian wrote about this young crop of Evangelicals fighting against climate change for Inside Climate Change News. Diego Hernandez, a sophomore at Wheaton College profiled in Meera’s piece. Riley Balikian is a member of national steering committee for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, a geophysicist at the Illinois State Geological Survey and also a Wheaton Grad.

New Discoveries On Black Holes

Twin telescopes in Hawaii captured a bright anomaly 200 million light years away in the summer of 2018. It was there, then it was gone, just as quickly. 

It turns out, that moment might have been a star becoming a black hole.

That comes after other news last December of new gravitational waves detections that helps shed light on entire populations of black holes. 

Shane Larson and Chris Pankow, two astrophysicists at Northwestern University, are studying this.