Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


July 21, 2018 -Bread came before agriculture, driving drowsiness, and more…

Science of ‘Ant-Man,’ geese race north, dolphins avoid the bends, Jupiter’s new moons and a question of symmetry

A bread recipe from 14,000 years ago: wild oats, barley, wheat and roots

Scientists discover bread crumbs made by people who were baking bread 4,000 years before farming began.

Your car might be trying to kill you by lulling you with sleep-inducing vibrations

Just 15 minutes after drivers get behind the wheel in a vibrating simulator, their alertness plunged.

The science behind 'Ant-Man' — Did they really just put 'quantum' in front of everything?

While the film is mostly fantasy, thanks to the film's science adviser, when the characters say 'quantum,' there's at least a taste of real science behind the story.

Migrating geese are losing the race north - and their chicks are paying the price

As the planet's arctic regions warm, the barnacle goose -- a smaller European cousin of the Canada goose -- is being forced to race to its breeding grounds faster than normal. As a result, the birds are arriving exhausted and depleted, and the survival of their chicks is in jeopardy.

Diving a kilometre down and not getting 'the bends' — how dolphins do it

Dolphins have remarkable control of their physiology that allows them to keep nitrogen from entering their bloodstream and forming damaging bubbles as they decompress.

Jupiter has 12 new moons — including one really weird one

Astronomers have discovered 12 new moons in orbit around Jupiter, the largest planet of our solar system. Of the newly-discovered moons, the oddest is a small rocky world dubbed "Valetudo." Just one kilometer across, Valetudo goes "the wrong way" and could one day smash into one of its neighbours.

The reason why most animals are symmetrical has to do with their locomotion

Most animals are symmetrical and although scientists don't know why, they do know bilateral symmetry has evolutionary advantages

July 14, 2018 - A biotech rescue for the northern white rhino, smarty-pants parrots brain structure, and more…

High-energy neutrino source found, night shifts disrupt our brain and gut clocks, and sizing up human roars

Lab-made hybrid embryos could save the northern white rhino from extinction

Scientists create first ever hybrid white-rhino embryo to prevent species extinction.

Parrot's unique brain structure explains why they're so smart

Parrot smarty-pants challenge 'bird brain' insult

Freshly detected 'ghost particle' offers a new way to observe the universe

Detection of a neutrino from 'the most violent astrophysical processes' gives scientists a new way to understand the cosmos.

Night shifts put your brain and gut clocks out of whack

Clocks in the digestive system have a 'mind of their own'

Humans can judge a person's strength from their aggressive roars

Men and women differ at estimating each other's strength from vocalizations, scientists find

Incredible dandelions could hold the key to growing plants on the oilsands

Fungus treated plants can turn hydrocarbons in oilsands' tailings into CO2 and water.

Why do predatory dinosaurs have eyes on the sides of their head?

Most meat-eating dinosaurs had limited depth perception because their eyes were on the sides of their heads, but not all, including T-Rex.

July 7, 2018 - Curbing violent thoughts and Arctic archaeological treasures at risk

Also on the show: Chernobyl’s wandering wolves, tracking Asian hornet bee-killers, our tree-climbing ancestors, the genetics of divorce, and more.

A tiny zap of electricity to the brain could reduce violent intentions, study suggests

Scientists hope that one day this technology might curb violent behaviour.

The Arctic is melting — putting thousands of archeological sites at risk

Arctic archaeologists are racing against time to save the sites from looters and from being destroyed by natural forces.

A wolf was spotted leaving Chernobyl's 'exclusion zone'

The abandoned villages around the doomed Chernobyl Nuclear Plant have turned into a 'wildlife reserve.'

Asian hornets chop off the heads of honeybees

Scientists use tiny tags to seek and destroy hidden nests of invasive predators in the U.K.

Toddler's fossil foot opens window into human evolution

Why an ancient toddler was likely able to scamper up trees better than her parents

Genetics is a big reason divorce runs in families

Divorce can be transmitted across generations because of genetic personality traits like high levels of extroversion or neurosis.

Where exactly are we in the Milky Way Galaxy?

We're in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy, so when we look at it from Earth, we're seeing the centre

June 30, 2018 - A comet from the stars, microbiome and arthritis, polar bear treadmill and more

Also decompressing fish, finding past civilizations and how much sleep do animals need?