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
Quirks Podcast Segments Quirks & Quarks - Segments


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Shopping for souvenirs on an asteroid, new Cambrian explosion fossils, the gut-brain axis, why we can say 'f' words, green icebergs from Antarctica and the length of a dream

A Japanese spacecraft visits an asteroid - and will bring back a souvenir; "Weird wonders" in China - new half-billion year-old fossils from the dawn of animal life; Your gut bacteria are actively involved in your emotions, how you think, and even behave; Our farming ancestors are the reason we can say 'f' words today; Mysterious green icebergs from Antarctica might be fertilizing the southern ocean; How long does it take to dream a dream?

Download Shopping for souvenirs on an asteroid, new Cambrian explosion fossils, the gut-brain axis, why we can say 'f' words, green icebergs from Antarctica and the length of a dream
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Inside actors brains, inactive ingredients aren't, Super solar storms, butterfly's toxic backup, secrets life of bone and wind turbines and climate.

Actors' brains have different activity patterns when they're in character; Inactive ingredients in your meds might not be so inactive after all; Super-powerful solar storms hit Earth in the past - and could recur in the future; When a butterfly's disguise fails, its backup plan is poison; 'Skeleton Keys' - a new book explores the secret life of bones; Do wind turbine farms have an effect on climate?

Download Inside actors brains, inactive ingredients aren't, Super solar storms, butterfly's toxic backup, secrets life of bone and wind turbines and climate.
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Science of awe, blue whales and sonar, chromosomes and sleep, ancient aquaculture on the west coast and dogs and human sperm quality

Exploring the powerful emotion of awe - how it can be awe-some and aw-ful; Military sonar puts blue whales off their feed; Your brain may need sleep to repair your brain's DNA 'potholes'; Clam gardens have been cultivated by indigenous people for millenia; Man and man's best friend have both been experiencing declines in sperm quality.

Download Science of awe, blue whales and sonar, chromosomes and sleep, ancient aquaculture on the west coast and dogs and human sperm quality
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The Goodness Paradox, secrets in poop, converting carbon to coal, countdown to the moon landing, selecting hygienic bees and a question of cow methane

The Goodness Paradox - Why humans are so good and so bad; Potty talk: the secrets Kim Jong Un could be hiding in his private portable toilet; Creating coal from CO2 - undoing fossil fuel burning to save the climate; Countdown to the Moon landing - How Apollo 9 tested the lunar lander in Earth orbit; How selecting for genes to keep the hive clean could help honeybee survival; Do cows produce more methane than rotting grass?

Download The Goodness Paradox, secrets in poop, converting carbon to coal, countdown to the moon landing, selecting hygienic bees and a question of cow methane
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Tiny tyrannosaur, art acne, what zebra stripes do, ageing your DNA, hacking photosynthesis and sinking in the Sun

Tiny tyrannosaur fossil helps scientists understand how T-rex grew so large; Art gets a bad case of acne and it has conservators concerned; Zebra stripes confuse tiny predators, not the big ones;Scientists can read the 'rust' on a person's DNA to predict when they'll die; Hacking photosynthesis to re-engineer crop plants and feed the world; What would it be like to stand on the surface of the sun?

Download Tiny tyrannosaur, art acne, what zebra stripes do, ageing your DNA, hacking photosynthesis and sinking in the Sun
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Vaping safety, breast milk pumping, evolution experiments and field mice, a needle you swallow, cosmic catastrophes and animal dementia

Flavour chemicals in e-cigarettes could damage lung tissue; Canadian researcher proves Darwin right by jailing mice in Nebraska; Breast milk is best, but is there a problem with pumping?; Swallowing needles packed in a turtle shell to treat diabetes; 'Earth Shattering' - all the ways the universe is trying to kill us; Do animals suffer from dementia as we do?

Download Vaping safety, breast milk pumping, evolution experiments and field mice, a needle you swallow, cosmic catastrophes and animal dementia
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Psychology of solitary confinement, mind over genes, genocide and climate change, searching for Shackleton's ship, a waterproof sweat sensor and how birds hunt blind.

Months locked in a tiny box - how solitary confinement can erode mental health; When is your brain stronger than your genes? How the mind can fool the body; 50 million deaths in the New World drove cooling in the the Little Ice Age; Searching for Endurance: Antarctic researchers hunt for the relics of Antarctic adventurers; A stick-on sensor sucks in sweat and can reveal dehydration and more; How do birds find their prey when hunting in muddy water?

Download Psychology of solitary confinement, mind over genes, genocide and climate change, searching for Shackleton's ship, a waterproof sweat sensor and how birds hunt blind.
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Rocking good sleep, music and body language, the first feathers for flight, Where's my death ray? A 300 million year old fossil walks again and sound in cold air.

Rocking yourself to sleep improves sleep quality and memory - even in grownups; Body language could be the secret behind the sweetest music; The first feathers for flight? A 160 million year old dinosaur might have had them; How to build a death ray - a new book looks attempts to make the ultimate weapon; A Robot reconstruction of a 300-million-year-old fossil shows how it walked; Does the speed of sound change with temperature?

Download Rocking good sleep, music and body language, the first feathers for flight, Where's my death ray? A 300 million year old fossil walks again and sound in cold air.
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The power of super poop, preventing PTSD, counting down to Apollo 11, predators in cold water and termites conserve the rainforest

Not all poop is created equal, and 'super-poopers' could be life savers; Preventing PTSD with a 'video game' that trains soldiers to control their brains; Countdown to the moon landing - re-live the missions that led to 'one small step for man'; Why warm-blooded predators thrive in the coldest places on Earth; Termites may be hell in your house, but they help protect the rainforest from drought.

Download The power of super poop, preventing PTSD, counting down to Apollo 11, predators in cold water and termites conserve the rainforest
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Tuskless elephants, room temperature superconductors, how space changed a man, Men, women and pain, climate change means stronger waves and whither glacial water?

Elephants are evolving to be tuskless after decades of poaching pressure; Discovery of room temperature superconductors could bring floating trains and more; Scott Kelly spent a year in space - and it literally changed him; Repeated pain makes men more sensitive - but not women; Waves are getting stronger and more dangerous thanks to climate change; Will Edmonton run out of water as the Columbia Icefield continues to melt?

Download Tuskless elephants, room temperature superconductors, how space changed a man, Men, women and pain, climate change means stronger waves and whither glacial water?
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Medieval woman painters, houseplants eat pollution, viruses that kill superbugs, Antarctica turns researchers into zombies, fresh water is getting saltier and which planets are we missing?

Blue pigment found on a medieval woman's teeth suggests she was a skilled, literate artist; A genetically modified houseplant could suck up dangerous indoor air pollution; Viruses that kill superbugs could save lives when antibiotics don't work; Zombies in Antarctica - Isolated researchers enter 'psychological hibernation'; We're making our fresh water salty by massively changing the landscape; For every exoplanet we see transiting a star, how many go unseen?

Download Medieval woman painters, houseplants eat pollution, viruses that kill superbugs, Antarctica turns researchers into zombies, fresh water is getting saltier and which planets are we missing?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:41]


The Quirks & Quarks Question Show

The Q & Q Question Show for 2019 features 10 scientists each answering one listener question.

Download The Quirks & Quarks Question Show
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:28]


Planet hunting telescope, bioengineered lungs, the year in climate science, flying viruses, kids punish freeloaders and a lake of water on Mars

TESS, the planet hunting space telescope, is on track to discover a sky full of exoplanets; Lab grown lungs are transplanted in pigs today, they may help humans tomorrow; The year in Climate Change: Fires and heat-waves show things are heating up; Billions of viruses are raining down on you from the upper atmosphere every day; Even kids as young as four want to punish freeloaders; A lake of water was found on Mars - and may be the first of many.

Download Planet hunting telescope, bioengineered lungs, the year in climate science, flying viruses, kids punish freeloaders and a lake of water on Mars
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:27]


Quirks Holiday Book show - Science of the voice, talking about the weather, epigenetics and a new view of evolution and dust and rain

A writer and sound engineer investigates the science of the human voice; Our atmosphere is a thin veneer on our planet, but this writer says it's where the action is; A revolution in evolution is turning back the clock more than 200 years, says new book; How important is dust to making it rain?

Download Quirks Holiday Book show - Science of the voice, talking about the weather, epigenetics and a new view of evolution and dust and rain
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:33]


Is China winning the race to the moon, Pig heart transplants, cute aggression, dust is alive, frogs sing in the city and science engineers the perfect christmas tree

China's race to the moon - their new lander is a small step towards a great leap; A transplanted pig's heart lives for months in a baboon - is a human trial next?; Is that baby so adorable you want to eat it up? You're committing 'cute aggression'; Your dust bunnies are alive but fighting them with antibacterials is a bad idea; Frogs sing a rich song in the city but a simpler tune in the country; Science gets the holiday spirit and produces the perfect Christmas tree; Cognitive abilities vary among humans, is the same true of other species?

Download Is China winning the race to the moon, Pig heart transplants, cute aggression, dust is alive, frogs sing in the city and science engineers the perfect christmas tree
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Why are users taking fentanyl, making stuff with moon dust, an app to detect anemia, why octopuses are smart, the real bad guy in Alzheimer's and an absence of volcanoes?

Drug users aren't choosing dangerous fentanyl - they don't know what's in their drugs; Selfies for health - a smartphone app can detect anemia; Making it on the Moon - 3D printing useful stuff with moon dust; The octopus might have traded its shell for intelligence; Have researchers been wrong about Alzheimer's? A new theory challenges the old story; What would happen to Earth if there were no volcanoes?

Download Why are users taking fentanyl, making stuff with moon dust, an app to detect anemia, why octopuses are smart, the real bad guy in Alzheimer's and an absence of volcanoes?
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Genetically edited babies, Fast Radio Bursts, Spinal Injury patients walk again, Improving the science around medical devices, what makes words funny and bon voyage David Saint-Jaques

Will the 'rogue science' that created genetically edited babies lead to backlash against research?; Mysterious fast radio bursts from space: Five explanations for what they could be; Spinal injury patients take steps again thanks to spinal pacemaker; A lack of scientific data behind medical implants could seriously hurt Canadians; That sounds funny - the science behind why certain words make us laugh; Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques will get to watch the world go around.

Download Genetically edited babies, Fast Radio Bursts, Spinal Injury patients walk again, Improving the science around medical devices, what makes words funny and bon voyage David Saint-Jaques
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Accidental domestication, a solid-state electric airplane, the science of gender identity, InSight lands on Mars, bat and dolphin sonar crosstalk and how birds find seeds.

Captive rearing can accidentally change animals so they may not survive in the wild; A new plane with no moving parts flies by electrifying the air; Scientist refutes notion that gender identity is an 'unscientific liberal ideology'; Mars-quakes may shake the red planet, and NASA's new lander will detect them; How bats and dolphins use their sonar when everyone's talking at once; How do birds find seeds?

Download Accidental domestication, a solid-state electric airplane, the science of gender identity, InSight lands on Mars, bat and dolphin sonar crosstalk and how birds find seeds.
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:32]


Greenland asteroid impact, short people in the rainforest, reef islands and sea level, stealth moths, walking on water and climbing the walls and is the night sky changing?

An asteroid impact on Greenland left a massive crater under the ice; Will coral reef islands rise or fall? It's a greenhouse-gas paradox; How moths evolved a kind of stealth jet technology to sneak past bats; Tiny people have evolved in rainforests because it's where tiny steps are better; The mysteries of animal movement - how they walk on water and climb up walls; What are the visible changes in the night sky in the last 3,000 years?

Download Greenland asteroid impact, short people in the rainforest, reef islands and sea level, stealth moths, walking on water and climbing the walls and is the night sky changing?
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Bitcoin's energy costs, beatboxers invent new sounds, wind farms change lizards, chucking salmon for science, piranha barking, smells and mapping, and heat and humidity.

Bitcoin mining uses more energy than mining for real gold; Beatboxers have invented whole new ways of making sounds; Wind farms in India are driving a population boom of skinny, fearless lizards; For 20 years, scientists have been chucking fish into the forest. Here's why; Barking piranhas and screeching catfish are the sounds of the Amazon River; Sniffing your way around - our brains are built to navigate by scent; Why does humidity make us feel hotter in the summer and colder in winter?

Download Bitcoin's energy costs, beatboxers invent new sounds, wind farms change lizards, chucking salmon for science, piranha barking, smells and mapping, and heat and humidity.
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Tai Ask Why: Bonus

We interrupt your usual Quirks & Quarks podcast feed with a little bonus this week. It's called "Tai Asks Why" and it's hosted by a curious young fellow named Tai Poole - an 11-year old! - who's on a mission to solve the mysteries of life, love and science.

Download Tai Ask Why: Bonus
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Politics puts the Amazon at risk, the problem with probiotics, biggest bird was blind, transforming robots, the origins of chocolate and why fish aren't salty.

The 'Trump of the Tropics' is now in charge of the lungs of the planet. Here's why that's scary; Probiotics probably aren't making you well, and they could make you sicker; The biggest bird in history might have been blind as a bat; A step towards Optimus Prime - transforming robots can reshape themselves; Aged chocolate: Archeologists find evidence of 5000 year old chocolate drink; Why are salt water fish not salty to eat?

Download Politics puts the Amazon at risk, the problem with probiotics, biggest bird was blind, transforming robots, the origins of chocolate and why fish aren't salty.
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Neanderthal nursing, Antarctica's singing snows, Fish and hook injuries and more, Our purple planet, Evolution goes to town and why two ears don't hear louder than one.

Neanderthals nursed their sick and injured back to health with ancient medicine; Listen to the Antarctic ice sheet sing a song of melting ice; There's a catch to 'catch and release:' hook injuries interfere with fish feeding; Purple reign: life on Earth might once have been dominated by purple micro-organisms; Evolution is going uptown as plants and animals adapt to city life; Why is the sound we hear in two ear buds not twice as loud as the sound from one?

Download Neanderthal nursing, Antarctica's singing snows, Fish and hook injuries and more, Our purple planet, Evolution goes to town and why two ears don't hear louder than one.
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Climate change and beer shortages, an omnivorous shark, the dung beetle's babysitting STI, biological explorers in the BC back-country, why you don't go blind when you blink and why you don't sneeze when asleep.

Beer shortages could be a consequence of climate change thanks to barley crop failures; A dung beetle's genital worms will help care for its offspring; A meat eater chooses a side of seagrass - this shark's an omnivore; Rain, spiders and bears are all part of discovering Canada's backcountry biology; Why you don't go momentarily blind when you blink; Why don't we sneeze when we're asleep?

Download Climate change and beer shortages, an omnivorous shark, the dung beetle's babysitting STI, biological explorers in the BC back-country, why you don't go blind when you blink and why you don't sneeze when asleep.
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The Great Canadian Ganja Experiment - The Science of Cannabis: Quirks & Quarks explores the questions researchers want to answer with the dawn of legal recreational use

Cannabis and the brain: the knowns and the big unknowns; What's in a pot plant? Exploring the genes of your favourite ganja; Cultivating cannabis: Five tips on how to grow your own a bit better at home; Cannabis in a van: American researchers get creative to study high-potency products; Addiction and cannabis: it's real and this is what you need to know about it.

Download The Great Canadian Ganja Experiment - The Science of Cannabis: Quirks & Quarks explores the questions researchers want to answer with the dawn of legal recreational use
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Canada's newest Nobel laureate, reading surgeons' minds, sniffing out shark water, a moon in an alien solar system and women and autism underdiagnosis

Canada's latest Nobel winner is a 'laser jock' who loves the lab; Researchers are reading doctors' brains to see how good they are at surgery; 'Smelling' for shark DNA to see if it's safe to go back in the water; Watching a moon rise - in a solar system 8000 light years away; Thousands of women with autism may be going undiagnosed because it's a 'male disorder'.

Download Canada's newest Nobel laureate, reading surgeons' minds, sniffing out shark water, a moon in an alien solar system and women and autism underdiagnosis
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:15]


Narcolepsy shows the importance of sleep, bird voiceboxes, neutron star nuclear pasta, manta rays and filtering water, a UV sensing wristband and the colour of bird poop

What this man with narcolepsy can teach us about getting better sleep; Bird song is unique as well as beautiful - no other animal makes noise this way; 'Nuclear pasta' on a neutron star could support mountains centimetres tall; How manta rays eat could be the secret to filtering pollution from water; No more sunburns: a simple wristband helps us get just the right amount of sun; Why is bird poop white?

Download Narcolepsy shows the importance of sleep, bird voiceboxes, neutron star nuclear pasta, manta rays and filtering water, a UV sensing wristband and the colour of bird poop
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:36]