Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


June 23 - Lasting effects of trauma in children's brains and catching criminals with 'bacterial fingerprints'

And why fur seals can get by without REM sleep, how Antarctic is rising, and more

Trump's 'dominance' in space is playing with international space treaty

The principle of non-militarization of space is a oft-breached ideal

Separating children from parents can negatively affect brain development

Trauma alters neurological development and makes kids anxious and fearful

Antarctica's rising bedrock could stabilize the ice melt

Ice is melting and land is rising - the ups and downs of Antarctica

Seals who sleep with half their brains help explain how humans snooze

When fur seals are in the water for long period of time, they are able to survive without REM sleep for many days or weeks

Identifying criminals by the 'bacterial fingerprints' they leave behind

We leave a trail of these microbes everywhere we go, shedding about 36 million bacterial cells per hour

How long did it take to wipe out the dinosaurs?

Dr. Victoria Arbour from the University of Toronto answers this week's Quirks Question.

June 16, 2018 — Animals becoming nocturnal, cod comeback stumbles, and more...

Mantis shrimp’s brainy punch, drilling holes in skulls, to Pluto and beyond and why cereal sticks together
Bob McDonald's blog

Stephen Hawking's information sent into a black hole

A radio broadcast including his voice and tribute music sent into space

Fear of humans is driving animals into the darkness — and nocturnal life

Animals who can't avoid humans during the daytime take to the night-life

Newfoundland's cod comeback faces a setback — is fishing to blame?

The northern cod stock dropped by 30% last year — and fishing quotas have been reduced

The mantis shrimp's violent punches harness brains as well as brawn

Mantis Shrimps have the fastest punch on the planet, and they target them with care and control.

Incan doctors scraped holes in skulls with stone tools — and the patients survived

Skull surgery performed with stone tools during the time of the Inca Empire was remarkably successful

To Pluto and beyond! The inside story of a mission to the edge of the solar system

Dr. Alan Stern, the leader of the New Horizons mission to Pluto talks about his ultimate adventure.

Why do Cheerios stick together when they are floating in milk?

Cheerios stick together in a bowl of milk to reduce surface energy or tension that exists in the system.

June 9, 2018 - Rising CO2 levels make food less nutritious, neonics and bees, tricking facial recognition

And slowing cyclones, crocodiles’ brains on Bach, and more
Bob McDonald's blog

Life on Mars is hard to find

The discovery of organic molecules on Mars is tantalizing — but not proof

Rising carbon dioxide levels are turning rice and fish into junk food

As C02 in the atmosphere increases, the nutritional value of major foods like rice and fish decreases

Hurricanes are slowing down and settling in to do more damage

Cyclones are moving about 10 per cent more slowly, likely because of climate change

Scientists say restrictions on neonic pesticides aren't enough to save bees - we need a ban

Bees pollinate crops and contribute to a third of the food we consume, but a dangerous group of pesticides is threatening their survival.

AI researchers develop a way to trick facial recognition systems

Subtle distortions to the images makes them invisible to facial recognition.

Crocodile Bach - what classical music does to a reptile's brain

Playing classical music like Bach to crocodiles sheds light on the evolution of brain structure and the processing of complex sounds

Where was the Higgs boson particle 'hiding' before it was discovered?

The Higgs boson particle always existed, it was just waiting for the right tools to come along for it to be produced and then detected.

June 2, 2018 - Kids and concussions, the gene for our big brain and more

Island hopping into the Americas and animals are louder, humans are quiet
Bob McDonald's blog

Dealing with pollution that is not in our face

When we can't see it or smell it, we too often ignore it