Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


May 26, 2018 - Cheating on the ozone treaty, nano-nutrients for crops, why birds almost died out

Sports excellence needs great brains, not enough sleep or too much awake and lightning zig-zags
Bob McDonald's blog

With Hawaii's Kilauea erupting, here's how one Icelandic town fought a volcano and won

The townspeople of Vestmannaeyjar in Iceland fought lava with water and saved their town in 1973.

Scientists discover secret polluters may be eroding the ozone layer

Illicit emissions of ozone-destroying CFCs may be coming from Asia

Dino-killing asteroid also took out the trees — and the birds that lived in them

Only ground dwelling birds survived the impact, giving rise to all the birds living today

Cancer researcher uses medical nanotech to deliver nutrients to hungry crops

The nanoparticles can penetrate the plant to deliver much needed nutrients to increase crop yield.

Great athletes have high performance brains, as well as bodies

Neuroscience is being used as a new way of identifying and evaluating athletic potential.

The sleep deficit puzzle - is it not enough sleep or too much being awake?

A clever experiment answers the question by shortening the day

Why doesn't lightning travel in a straight line?

Lightning tries to find the path of least resistance as it travels down to the ground.

May 19, 2018 - Psychadelic science, understanding Kilauea up close, hippo poop kills fish

Also pain enables flesh eating bacteria, green blooded lizards and genes for ethnicity?
Bob McDonald's blog

Protected areas need to be truly protected

A new study suggests many wildlife protected areas are being overexploited.

Michael Pollan on the science of how psychedelics can 'shake your snow globe'

The mind-altering drugs may 'reboot your brain' and help disrupt ruts and unproductive mental habits

Kilauea's lava has been flowing for 35 years - what's science learning from the latest eruption?

Lava is bursting through the earth 20 kilometers away from the main volcano cone, which gives scientists the chance to study the volcano like never before.

Flesh eating bacteria stun the immune system into silence - with pain

This hints at why necrotizing fasciitis is so painful, and why the body doesn't fight it better

Flushing hippo toilets smother fish in African rivers

Hippos load their pools with poop, which then washes downstream creating temporary 'dead zones'

Green-blooded reptiles are on the edge of poisoning themselves

The blood is coloured by toxic bile pigments, which may be a defence against blood parasites

Is there a genetic marker for ethnicity?

More and more commercial DNA companies are popping up, But what do they actually tell you?

May 12, 2018 - James Hansen's 'I told you so', elephant earthquakes and third-hand smoke

Also digging into Mars, New Brunswick floods and health risks and could humans get heartworm?
Bob McDonald's blog

Why Kilauea is not a killer volcano

Hawaiian volcanoes are slow and steady eruptions that have been bubbling away for tens of thousands of years and will continue to do so in the future.

'Father of global warming' worries the climate young people inherit will be out of their control

James Hansen: ‘We could get multi-metre sea level rise on the timescale of 50-150 years’

Listening for elephant earthquakes might help us save pachyderms from poachers

Low frequency vibrations from elephant footfalls and vocalizations are being monitored using seismic equipment

'Third hand smoke' can leap from clothes and surfaces into the air you breathe

Researchers found that in a non-smoking room, up to one-third of the aerosols in the air were originally from smoke.

InSight lander will use seismology to see what's shaking on Mars

The InSight Lander will look below the surface of Mars for seismic activity as well as signs of water

Flood waters up in B.C., down in N.B. - what health concerns do they leave behind?

Post-flooding risks include bacterial and chemical contamination, and significant mental stress.

Why don't humans get heartworm like our canine friends?

Humans rarely get heartworm because our immune system is better equipped to recognise and destroy the parasitic worms than that of dogs

May 5, 2018 - Preserving brains for uploading, coral reefs sound sick, South American child sacrifice and more

A ray gun to stop rogue vehicles, the first bird beak and the Earth’s "dark side."