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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Should we have humans in space? A Quirks & Quarks public debate

In our first ever Quirks & Quarks public debate, recorded live in Toronto, astronaut Chris Hadfield, cosmologist Renée Hložek, planetary scientist Marianne Mader and space flight historian Amy Shira Teitel weigh in on whether we should leave space to the robots. An extended podcast edition includes Q&A segments not in the radio broadcast.

Download Should we have humans in space? A Quirks & Quarks public debate
[mp3 file: runs 01:06:03]


A diet of microplastic, Canada's northern limits, elephants smell numbers, depression genetics, magnetic therapy for concussion and aurorae on other planets.

We're consuming a lot of plastic and have no idea of the risks; Canada is using science to lay claim to the North Pole; The elephant's mathematical trunk can smell numbers; Depressing conclusion as new research reverses 25 years of research; Concussion symptoms reversed in mice using magnetic therapy; Do auroras occur on other planets and moons?

Download A diet of microplastic, Canada's northern limits, elephants smell numbers, depression genetics, magnetic therapy for concussion and aurorae on other planets.
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The benefits of video games, composting corpses, brewing ancient beer, right whales in the wrong place and supernovas and bipedalism

Video games aren't corrupting young minds - they may be building them; Don't bury or cremate - soon you may compost your corpse; Drink like an Egyptian - 5000 year old yeast is resurrected to brew ancient beer; Right whales were in the wrong place because of the wrong climate; Did our ancestors evolve to walk upright because of supernovae?

Download The benefits of video games, composting corpses, brewing ancient beer, right whales in the wrong place and supernovas and bipedalism
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Sharks on a bird diet, fossils of fungus, 'lifelike' machines, giant beaver extinction, the beauty of calculus and oil spill dispersants

Flying food for fish? Tiger sharks are somehow eating songbirds; Fungus fossils shows the complexity of Earth's life a billion-years-ago; Scientists create robot-like biomaterial with key traits of life; Ancient beavers as big as bears died out because of their woodless diet; No, really, calculus can be beautiful and this mathematician will tell us why; What happens to oil spills after dispersant is used?

Download Sharks on a bird diet, fossils of fungus, 'lifelike' machines, giant beaver extinction, the beauty of calculus and oil spill dispersants
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Solving our plastics problem, Mystery of the missing brain cells, overeating processed food, smartphones detect ear infections, moonquakes, and why geese honk while migrating

We need plastics - how do we avoid choking the planet with them?; Learning from tragedy - a baby lacking critical brain cells and a medical detective story; Processed food is full of bad stuff, but the real problem is you eat too much of it; 'Siri, does my baby have an ear infection?' An app does medical diagnosis; Moonquakes show the moon is still geologically 'alive; Why do Canada geese honk while migrating?

Download Solving our plastics problem, Mystery of the missing brain cells, overeating processed food, smartphones detect ear infections, moonquakes, and why geese honk while migrating
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Zapping the brain to improve memory, the mission that almost landed on the moon, Does a dull sweet tooth make us fat, whale barnacles, and STEVE's shining secret

Cutting-edge experiments show an electrical zap improves memory in older adults; Countdown to the moon landing: Apollo 10 - the mission that came so close to the moon; It's all about the sugar fix: Eating too much sugar causes fruit flies to eat even more; Barnacles stuck to ancient whales kept an itinerary of whale migration routes; The secret of STEVE's glow - understanding the purple pal of the aurora borealis.

Download Zapping the brain to improve memory, the mission that almost landed on the moon, Does a dull sweet tooth make us fat, whale barnacles, and STEVE's shining secret
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Brain resuscitation, Hippos supply algae skeletons, slug surgical glue, air conditioner carbon capture, coral reef halos and size and quantum mechanics.

How late is too late to revive a brain? Pig brain study raises questions; Hippo poop provides a key mineral for vital algae's tiny skeletons; Stitching up surgical cuts with slug slime; How air conditioners could keep you cool and capture carbon; Holy coral reefs? They've got a 'halo' that could show if they're healthy; How big is too big for quantum mechanics?

Download Brain resuscitation, Hippos supply algae skeletons, slug surgical glue, air conditioner carbon capture, coral reef halos and size and quantum mechanics.
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Oilsands emissions underestimated, Chernobyl's wildlife, a comet trapped in an asteroid, Mice run laps in zero-g, taking the uncertainty out of quantum, and species invading from Canada.

CO2-sniffing plane finds oilsands emissions higher than industry reported; Cataracts, small brains, and DNA damage - Chernobyl's wildlife 33 years after the meltdown; Mice reinvent the hamster wheel in zero gravity; A comet fragment trapped inside an meteorite captures a time capsule of the early solar system; Transcending the uncertainty of quantum mechanics in 'Einstein's Unfinished Revolution'; Have species from Canada invaded other places?

Download Oilsands emissions underestimated, Chernobyl's wildlife, a comet trapped in an asteroid, Mice run laps in zero-g, taking the uncertainty out of quantum, and species invading from Canada.
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Human brain genes in monkeys, urine archaeology, evolving human faces, Sharks and heavy metals, life on exoplanets and how insects time their mating

Scientists have put a human brain gene into monkeys. Have they crossed the line?; Pee-oneering archeology. A new technique uses urine to study the ancient past; Why the long face? Human faces evolved to reveal emotions and communicate; Sharks cope with levels of heavy metals in their blood that would kill other animals; Is there life 'out there?' How we'll search for traces of life on nearby exoplanets; How do insects like ants time their emergence so precisely?

Download Human brain genes in monkeys, urine archaeology, evolving human faces, Sharks and heavy metals, life on exoplanets and how insects time their mating
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Black hole imaged, a new tiny human, rebuilding coral reefs, Treating depression with ketamine, flipper fornicates for fun and why cats purr

Seeing the first black hole - and what we'll see next; A new tiny hominin discovery gives the 'hobbit' a distant cousin; Collapsing coral reefs - can we rebuild them?; Ketamine works its magic on depression by 'stabilizing the brain in a well state'; Female dolphins may know the joy of sex thanks to a human-like clitoris; How and why do cats purr?

Download Black hole imaged, a new tiny human, rebuilding coral reefs, Treating depression with ketamine, flipper fornicates for fun and why cats purr
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The day the dinosaurs died, Soviet's race to the moon, tasmanian devils fight off cancer, Roadside testing for cannabis impairment, and Arctic landslides.

A catastrophe frozen in time - a new fossil site shows how the dinosaurs died; The race to the moon - what the Russians were doing behind the Iron Curtain; Tasmanian Devils are learning to live with the cancer that was pushing them to extinction; Roadside THC tests do not test for impairment. How can science help?; Permafrost landslides are eating great swathes of Arctic landscape.

Download The day the dinosaurs died, Soviet's race to the moon, tasmanian devils fight off cancer, Roadside testing for cannabis impairment, and Arctic landslides.
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Erasing memories, biggest T-Rex and the smell of Parkinson's, Saturn's tiny ring moons, Google glass helps autistic kids and a supervolcano eruption

How to remember to forget - the new science of erasing memories; Big, old and banged-up - Canada is home to the world's largest Tyrannosaurus Rex; A woman who can smell Parkinson's disease could hold the key to early diagnosis; Meet the odd little moons that interact with Saturn's spectacular rings; Google glasses could help kids with autism read emotional cues in people's faces; What would happen if the Yellowstone supervolcano exploded?

Download Erasing memories, biggest T-Rex and the smell of Parkinson's, Saturn's tiny ring moons, Google glass helps autistic kids and a supervolcano eruption
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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?
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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
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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
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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]