Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Chicago


Misalignments between endogenous circadian rhythms and the built environment (i.e., social jet lag, SJL) result in learning and attention deficits. Currently, there is no way to assess the impact of SJL on learning outcomes of large populations as a response to schedule choices, let alone to assess which individuals are most negatively impacted by these choices. We analyzed two years of learning management system login events for 14,894 Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) students to investigate the capacity of such systems as tools for mapping the impact of SJL over large populations while maintaining the ability to generate insights about individuals. Personal daily activity profiles were validated against known biological timing effects, and revealed a majority of students experience more than 30 minutes of SJL on average, with greater amplitude correlating strongly with a significant decrease in academic performance, especially in people with later apparent chronotypes. Our findings demonstrate that online records can be used to map individual- and population-level SJL, allow deep mining for patterns across demographics, and could guide schedule choices in an effort to minimize SJL’s negative impact on learning outcomes.

Concepts: Learning, Knowledge, Circadian rhythm, Impact event, Learning management system, Illinois, Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University


Policymakers around the world are turning to license-plate based driving restrictions in an effort to address urban air pollution. The format differs across cities, but most programs restrict driving once or twice a week during weekdays. This paper focuses on Mexico City, home to one of the oldest and best-known driving restriction policies. For almost two decades Mexico City’s driving restrictions applied during weekdays only. This changed recently, however, when the program was expanded to include Saturdays. This paper uses hourly data from pollution monitoring stations to measure the effect of the Saturday expansion on air quality. Overall, there is little evidence that the program expansion improved air quality. Across eight major pollutants, the program expansion had virtually no discernible effect on pollution levels. These disappointing results stand in sharp contrast to estimates made before the expansion which predicted a 15%+ decrease in vehicle emissions on Saturdays. To understand why the program has been less effective than expected, the paper then turns to evidence from subway, bus, and light rail ridership, finding no evidence that the expansion was successful in getting drivers to switch to lower-emitting forms of transportation.

Concepts: Pollution, Smog, National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Air pollution, Los Angeles, Cruise ship pollution, Chicago, Air Quality Index


Immigration raids exemplify the reach of immigration law enforcement into the lives of Latino community members, yet little research characterizes the health effects of these raids. We examined the health implications of an immigration raid that resulted in multiple arrests and deportations and occurred midway through a community survey of a Latino population. We used linear regression following principal axis factoring to examine the influence of raid timing on immigration enforcement stress and self-rated health. We controlled for age, sex, relationship status, years in the county in which the raid occurred, children in the home, and nativity. 325 participants completed the survey before the raid and 151 after. Completing the survey after the raid was associated with higher levels of immigration enforcement stress and lower self-rated health scores. Findings indicate the negative impact of immigration raids on Latino communities. Immigration discussions should include holistic assessments of health.

Concepts: Demography, Population, United States, Immigration, Community, Illinois, Midwestern United States, Chicago


Every day in the United States, more than 200 people are murdered or assaulted with a firearm. Little research has considered the role of interpersonal ties in the pathways through which gun violence spreads.

Concepts: Scientific method, United States, Sociology, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Midwestern United States, Democratic Party, Chicago


Cities are economically open systems that depend on goods and services imported from national and global markets to satisfy their material and energy requirements. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprints are thus a highly relevant metric for urban climate change mitigation since they not only include direct emissions from urban consumption activities, but also upstream emissions, i.e. emissions that occur along the global production chain of the goods and services purchased by local consumers. This complementary approach to territorially-focused emission accounting has added critical nuance to the debate on climate change mitigation by highlighting the responsibility of consumers in a globalized economy. Yet, city officials are largely either unaware of their upstream emissions or doubtful about their ability to count and control them. This study provides the first internationally comparable GHG footprints for four cities (Berlin, Delhi NCT, Mexico City, and New York metropolitan area) applying a consistent method that can be extended to other global cities using available data. We show that upstream emissions from urban household consumption are in the same order of magnitude as cities' overall territorial emissions and that local policy leverage to reduce upstream emissions is larger than typically assumed.

Concepts: City, Climate change, Greenhouse gas, London, Chicago, Metropolitan area, Global city, Metropolis


In ambient particle source apportionment studies, data for holidays such as July 4 (US Independence Day) are normally removed because of the high concentrations of chemical species and unusually high particle mass concentrations that are due to fireworks. Many cultures celebrate events with fireworks. A near real-time measurement that could indicate fireworks would be useful in indicating their impact on air quality. Commonly monitored ambient pollutants include PM(2.5), CO, SO(2), O(3), 10-500-nm particle number, and black carbon (BC). Using a two-wavelength aethalometer, another parameter, delta-C (UVBC(370 nm)-BC(880 nm), aethalometer), can be calculated. These variables were continuously monitored during July 1-7, 2005-2010, in Rochester, New York. High delta-C values are normally associated with biomass combustion particles. However, statistically higher delta-C values were observed on Independence Day compared to the other period. Back trajectory analysis showed transport of local fireworks smoke to the sampling site on the night of July 4. An enhanced correlation between delta-C and BC during the fireworks episodes suggests changes from the usual BC sources. Fireworks emissions changed the ambient carbonaceous particulate species during these intervals. The delta-C value was found to be a readily measured indicator of fireworks emissions during periods when wood combustion was not likely to be present and provides a tool for monitoring such emissions where they might be more common such as amusement parks.

Concepts: United States, Chemistry, Fireworks, Biomass, Chicago, New York, United States Declaration of Independence, American Revolution


Over 25 million American children breathe polluted air on diesel school buses. Emission reduction policies exist but the health impacts to individual children have not been evaluated.

Concepts: Petroleum, Pollution, Biofuel, School bus, Air pollution, Chicago, Bus, Diesel engine


This paper presents race-specific breast cancer mortality rates and the corresponding rate ratios for the 50 largest U.S. cities for each of the 5-year intervals between 2005 and 2014.

Concepts: United States, California, Native Americans in the United States, Texas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia


The Illinois Department of Public Health mandated that all clinicians who provide care to obstetric patients participate in the Illinois Obstetric Hemorrhage Project. The aim of the current report is to describe change in knowledge among providers engaged in the project, as assessed by pre- and post-tests.

Concepts: Health care, Obstetrics, U.S. state, Barack Obama, Illinois, Chicago, Missouri, Illinois River


In this study, the authors explored the associations between dental visits and unmet dental needs of children on the basis of their insurance type in the United States.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Spanish language, Insurance, Humid subtropical climate, Chicago