Quirks & Quarks

 
 

Quirks & Quarks

Quirks & Quarks is Canada's award-winning national science program. Every week, host Bob McDonald  presents the people behind the latest discoveries in science, technology, medicine and the environment  - from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the largest objects in the sky and everything in between.

Updated: Fridays
Download episodes from this podcast for: 6 months
Visit Show Site: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks


All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

Jul 3: Quirks & Quarks podcast on hiatus until September

Quirks & Quarks is on hiatus for the summer. Our podcast will resume with new programs in September. In the meantime, you can dig deep into the feed for programs you missed, or visit our website to listen to our archives online. Have a great summer

Download Jul 3: Quirks & Quarks podcast on hiatus until September
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June 27: The Quirks & Quarks Question show

Another episode of the always fascinating, always fabulous, Quirks & Quarks listener Question Show. We're answering questions like: do viruses have predators? What do animals taste? How do you weigh the earth, and how do bacteria eat plastic?

Download June 27: The Quirks & Quarks Question show
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Jun 20: A cosmic iceberg visit, female genetic superiority, a megadrought in the southwest and science fights Lyme disease invading Quebec

Oumuamua could be a relic from giant clouds where stars are born (1:33). Female genetic superiority: when it comes to survival, two X chromosomes beat an X and a Y (9:55). Megadrought: will the southwest part of North America be parched for decades? (24:56) How scientists in Quebec are stepping up to fight a climate-related rise in Lyme disease (32:44). Web extras: A snake with a toxic surprise (54:17), the secrets of ambergris (1:01:59), and adapting coral to climate change (1:10:02).

Download Jun 20: A cosmic iceberg visit, female genetic superiority, a megadrought in the southwest and science fights Lyme disease invading Quebec
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Jun 13: What if we hadn’t locked down? The return of race science, a dinosaur’s last meal and maybe we can go to Mars, but should we?

What if we hadn’t locked down? Studies show we saved many millions of lives. (1:36) The return of race science — the quest to fortify racism with bad biology. (9:31) A dinosaur’s s last meal of fresh ferns fossilized in incredible detail. (30:13) Pathway to Mars — is it ethical to go to the Red Planet? (38:07)

Download Jun 13: What if we hadn’t locked down? The return of race science, a dinosaur’s last meal and maybe we can go to Mars, but should we?
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Detecting COVID in sewage, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, pet dogs fail at rescue, AI sources fossil poop, and the insect apocalypse

The key to early detection of COVID-19 outbreaks might be in sewage. (1:42) SpaceX takes humans to orbit, but who loses in the new landscape of space launch? (9:05) Experiment shows dogs might be willing to help you in a crisis, but they probably aren’t able. (17:55) Machine learning helps archaeologists identify the source of ancient poop. (25:33) Can we avoid an insect apocalypse with a new appreciation for creepy-crawlies? (32:16)

Download Detecting COVID in sewage, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, pet dogs fail at rescue, AI sources fossil poop, and the insect apocalypse
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May 30: Swearing makes pain more tolerable, Mt. St. Helens 40 years later, turning plants into carnivores and COVID reopening speedbumps

The science of why bad words feel so good during painful moments (1:40). 40 years ago Mount St. Helens blew its top, here's how it got green again (10:05). Recycling spare genes was how some plants turned into carnivores (27:48). COVID reopening: hoping it goes right — watching carefully how it might go wrong (35:53).

Download May 30: Swearing makes pain more tolerable, Mt. St. Helens 40 years later, turning plants into carnivores and COVID reopening speedbumps
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May 23: Can COVID cut climate emissions permanently? Robot stand-up comedy and more, evolving animals from worm guts to fish fingers and adapting to climate change on the prairies

Turning COVID-related drop in CO2 emissions into a plan to fight climate change. A stand-up robot understands that timing is the secret to comedy. Fish fingers and bilateral symmetry — new fossils shed light critical stages of evolution. ‘Pretty much gambling:’ Canadian Prairie farmers are struggling with unstable conditions which will be worse with climate change.

Download May 23: Can COVID cut climate emissions permanently? Robot stand-up comedy and more, evolving animals from worm guts to fish fingers and adapting to climate change on the prairies
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May 16: COVID unknowns, a giant sloth graveyard, drying northern peatlands, and this is your brain on fear

COVID-19 and scientific confusion — What we don’t know and why we don’t know it. Vast boreal peatlands may dry up and burn in a warming climate. A giant sloth graveyard shows how these enormous animals died - and lived. Your brain on terror - a writer faces the science behind her fears

Download May 16: COVID unknowns, a giant sloth graveyard, drying northern peatlands, and this is your brain on fear
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May 9: COVID stress and pregnancy, a black hole in our backyard, solving koalas’ drinking problem and how to live on Mars

What the ice storm can teach us about the pre-natal impacts of pandemic stress, An unseen black hole has been lurking in our galactic neighbourhood. Now we know how koalas drink (we didn't before). Pathway to Mars - How astronauts will survive and thrive on Mars

Download May 9: COVID stress and pregnancy, a black hole in our backyard, solving koalas’ drinking problem and how to live on Mars
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May 2: COVID and social isolation, COVID and dreams, the most dangerous place on Earth, Satellite streak watcher and Coping with sea level rise in Nova Scotia

Your brain’s ‘hunger’ for social interaction and your strange COVID dreams. Scientists describe ‘the most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth.' The wrong kind of ‘constellations’ are threatening astronomical observations. Sea level’s rising faster in the Maritimes, but science can help communities plan and prepare.

Download May 2: COVID and social isolation, COVID and dreams, the most dangerous place on Earth, Satellite streak watcher and Coping with sea level rise in Nova Scotia
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Apr 25: Deepwater Horizon 10 years later, COVID-19 and understanding immunity. Invaders eat Europe’s ragweed, and making AI compatible with humans.

10 years after Deepwater Horizon — what has science learned from the spill? COVID-19 What we're learning — and what we need to know — about immunity. The threat from AI is not that it will revolt, it’s that it’ll do exactly as it’s told. Ragweed allergy sufferers in Europe get relief thanks to invasive beetle

Download Apr 25: Deepwater Horizon 10 years later, COVID-19 and understanding immunity. Invaders eat Europe’s ragweed, and making AI compatible with humans.
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Apr 18: Age, sex and COVID-19 vulnerability, learning from pterosaur flight and, Earth Day’s odd birthday, and a super-dupernova

‘Men are at a huge disadvantage’ — who is getting hit hardest by COVID-19 and why. Pterosaurs haven’t soared for 67 million years, but they can still teach us about flight. Earth Day 2020 — the 50th anniversary will be the weirdest Earth Day ever. The ‘super’ in this supernova means the biggest and brightest one we’ve ever seen

Download Apr 18: Age, sex and COVID-19 vulnerability, learning from pterosaur flight and, Earth Day’s odd birthday, and a super-dupernova
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Introducing Unlocking Bryson's Brain

Unlocking Bryson’s Brain is the latest release from CBC Podcasts. Bryson seems like a perfectly healthy baby. But soon doctors confirm his parents’ worst fears: something is wrong with Bryson’s brain. Despite dozens of tests over nearly a decade, doctors come up empty in their efforts to find a diagnosis.Then one day, everything changes. Scientists working at the cutting edge of genetics believe they know what's causing Bryson's disease — and think it could be reversed. Here’s the first bonus episode of the new CBC podcast, Unlocking Bryson’s Brain. More episodes are available at hyperurl.co/unlocking

Download Introducing Unlocking Bryson's Brain
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Apr 11: COVID-19 transmission, reliving Apollo 13 in real time, birds watch out for rhinos, toads outbreed in hard times, and sports in mesoamerica 3400 years ago.

Why speaking ‘moistly’ could be partly to blame for the rapid spread of COVID-19. Apollo 13 was a near-disaster that became a triumph — now you can experience it in real time. The birds on their backs are a distant early warning system for endangered rhinos. A desert toad chooses to mate with another species when times get tough. Play ball! Researchers find ancient ballcourt in Mexico’s highlands.

Download Apr 11: COVID-19 transmission, reliving Apollo 13 in real time, birds watch out for rhinos, toads outbreed in hard times, and sports in mesoamerica 3400 years ago.
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Apr 4 Testing for COVID-19, blood plasma clinical trials to begin, vaccine development, COVID threatens mountain gorillas and these boots were made for running

How we test for the COVID-19 virus — and how can we do it faster? COVID-19 could be treated with blood plasma from those who’ve recovered. We need vaccines for the coronavirus — here’s how we’ll make them. The coronavirus could threaten endangered mountain gorillas. Electric assist running boots may be the future of recreational jogging.

Download Apr 4 Testing for COVID-19, blood plasma clinical trials to begin, vaccine development, COVID threatens mountain gorillas and these boots were made for running
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Mar 28: Mobilizing scientists in the COVID 19 fight, riding the COVID wave, NASA's space salad and Escobar's hippos are restoring an ecosystem

Scientists are mobilizing from the ground up and the top down in our war against COVID-19. Can we control the pandemic and move from 'flattening the curve' to 'riding the wave'. Salads in space: NASA has learned to grow lettuce on the space station. How Pablo Escobar’s escaped hippos are helping to restore an ancient ecosystem

Download Mar 28: Mobilizing scientists in the COVID 19 fight, riding the COVID wave, NASA's space salad and Escobar's hippos are restoring an ecosystem
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COVID vulnerability, COVID and climate, iring a cannonball at an asteroid and a fossil ‘wonderchicken’

How aging increases vulnerability to COVID-19 and how pollution can make it worse. COVID-19 has led to huge emissions reductions — can we learn from this? ‘Wonderchicken’ walked among the dinosaurs just before the mass extinction. Japanese space scientists shoot an asteroid to learn about its past.

Download COVID vulnerability, COVID and climate, iring a cannonball at an asteroid and a fossil ‘wonderchicken’
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Coronavirus epidemiology, Greenland glaciers melt, squatting a better way to be sedentary and SmartICE supports northern life

COVID-19: Why reacting early and aggressively is the key to avoiding crisis; How the Greenland Ice Sheet is melting from the bottom up; Squat, don’t sit: The way we are sedentary could make a big difference in our health; SmartICE: Supporting Inuit knowledge of the landscape with technology.

Download Coronavirus epidemiology, Greenland glaciers melt, squatting a better way to be sedentary and SmartICE supports northern life
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New technology gives amputees a hand, a big dam proposal, your dog’s heat sensitive nose, was the Earth once a waterworld, the fight to be the first female astronaut and composting garbage

‘It’s like you have a hand again’ — A major breakthrough in robotic limb technology; Is damming the entire North Sea a realistic way to defend against sea level rise?; Your dog’s cold wet nose may help it ‘see’ in infrared; Ancient ocean crust suggests Earth was once almost entirely covered in water; The tale of the two female pilots who could have been the first women in space; Would leaving compostables in with the garbage help break the garbage down?

Download New technology gives amputees a hand, a big dam proposal, your dog’s heat sensitive nose, was the Earth once a waterworld, the fight to be the first female astronaut and composting garbage
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Coronavirus containment window closing, whale skin care, gingko trees eternal youth, does cloud seeding work, and Does cloud seeding work, and listening to the sounds of the Arctic ocean

We may have passed the tipping point in the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak; Whales may migrate to warm water for a full body exfoliation; Long-lived trees may have found the cellular secret to theoretical immortality; We've been cloud seeding for decades, but now we finally know if it works; Walrus knocking, seals trilling — these are the sounds of the Arctic; Why do some animals lay eggs, and others give live birth?

Download Coronavirus containment window closing, whale skin care, gingko trees eternal youth, does cloud seeding work, and Does cloud seeding work, and listening to the sounds of the Arctic ocean
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Introducing The Dose with Dr. Brian Goldman

The Dose is a new weekly podcast that answers everyday health questions like: What vaccines do adults need? Does your Fitbit actually make you fitter? Or, should I bother taking vitamins? Dr. Brian Goldman and the team behind White Coat Black Art bring you the best science from top experts in about the same amount of time as an appointment with your GP. Subscribe to The Dose at smarturl.it/thedosecbc

Download Introducing The Dose with Dr. Brian Goldman
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Live animal markets and viruses, largest turtle’s horned shell, a robot for Europa, jewel beetles iridescent camouflage, better talk on climate change and flying west

Tracking the spread of viruses in live animal markets by building one in a lab; The largest turtle that ever lived had fighting horns on its shell; NASA's building a robot to explore Jupiter's moon Europa - from underneath it's icy shell; Vivid and fabulous jewel beetles actually use their colours for camouflage; Why the way we talk about climate change makes some people stop listening; How can planes travel against the rotation of the Earth?

Download Live animal markets and viruses, largest turtle’s horned shell, a robot for Europa, jewel beetles iridescent camouflage, better talk on climate change and flying west
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Agriculture moving north, Arrakoth’s secrets, the microbiome for flight, isheries science with indigenous perspective, slippery surface and seasons on other planets

Wheat and potatoes in Nunavut? Climate change could bring agriculture to the North; Arrakoth reveals how the solar systems building blocks were built; The secret to flight in birds and bats is not just wings, it’s guts; Bringing 'two eyed seeing' — indigenous knowledge and science to fisheries conservation; Canadian scientists engineer self-cleaning surface that can repel dangerous bacteria; Do other planets in the solar system have orbital tilt and seasons?

Download Agriculture moving north, Arrakoth’s secrets, the microbiome for flight, isheries science with indigenous perspective, slippery surface and seasons on other planets
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Coronavirus treatment, parentese helps baby talk, seals clap back, splicing damaged nerves, getting astronauts to Mars healthy and sane and smoke on glaciers

Treating the coronavirus: improvising now, but with real hope on the horizon; ‘Parentese’ is not just baby talk. It boosts baby’s language skills; Gunshot-loud underwater clapping could be how grey seals intimidate rivals and attract mates; New implantable nerve guide tricks severed nerves into growing together again; Pathway to Mars — Can we get astronauts to Mars sane and healthy?; Has smoke and soot from the Australian wildfires made its way to the Antarctic?

Download Coronavirus treatment, parentese helps baby talk, seals clap back, splicing damaged nerves, getting astronauts to Mars healthy and sane and smoke on glaciers
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Understanding the coronavirus, cyborg jellyfish, judging cat pain, an AI knows how you dance and Canada’s newest and youngest astronaut

Tracking coronaviruses post SARS — how science has made for rapid response; Wiring jellyfish for speed — what modding a sea creature can tell us about the ocean; Me-owch — could resting cat face tell us about kitty’s pain?; Forget face recognition — an AI can tell who you are by how you dance; Canada’s newest astronaut is a scientist fascinated by fire.

Download Understanding the coronavirus, cyborg jellyfish, judging cat pain, an AI knows how you dance and Canada’s newest and youngest astronaut
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Intermittent fasting, the math of espresso, biological bricks, scurvy in modern Canada, snake venom sans snakes and chile tolerance.

Intermittent fasting — why not eating (for a bit) could work for weight loss and health; Brewing a better espresso with less coffee and more math; Bringing biology to bricks — concrete details on how to grow building materials; Avast! Scurvy is still a health issue in 21st century Canada; Fangs very much. Scientists use stem cells to make snake venom — without the snake; How come I can’t tolerate spicy foods, but my kids can?

Download Intermittent fasting, the math of espresso, biological bricks, scurvy in modern Canada, snake venom sans snakes and chile tolerance.
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Ancient gum preserves genome, a living robot, wolf puppies play fetch, rattlesnakes skin holds raindrops for drinking, science of imagination and quiet snow.

Ancient chewing gum reveals reveals identity of chewer and what she ate; Scientists create a robot made entirely of living cells; Wolf, fetch! How scientists discovered a ‘domesticated’ trait in wolves; Rattlesnakes have skin that's sticky for raindrops so they can sip from their scales; Exploring the science of imagination, so we can build a creative computer; Why does a snowfall damp sound so well?

Download Ancient gum preserves genome, a living robot, wolf puppies play fetch, rattlesnakes skin holds raindrops for drinking, science of imagination and quiet snow.
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