Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


Feb 15: Agriculture moving north, Arrokoth's secrets, the microbiome for flight and more...

Fisheries science with indigenous perspective, slippery surface and seasons on other planets

NASA re-masters Carl Sagan's iconic 'Pale Blue Dot' image 30 years later

Bob McDonald's science blog

Wheat and potatoes in Nunavut? Climate change could bring agriculture to the North

A new study finds that most of Canada's north will be suitable for farmland as the climate warms. But researchers caution this could be disastrous for the area and its people if not done sustainably.

Arrokoth reveals how the solar system's building blocks were built

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft continues its exploration past Pluto

Canadian scientists engineer self-cleaning surface that can repel dangerous bacteria

This material could help prevent bacterial contamination from spreading in the food and healthcare industries

The secret to flight in birds and bats is not just wings, it's guts

Birds and bats share a commonality in their microbiome that may mean they carry lighter loads.

Bringing 'two eyed seeing' — Indigenous knowledge and science — to fisheries conservation

Fisheries scientist Andrea Reid has embraced her Indigenous roots and is committed to giving back to her community by sharing her experience and scientific knowledge

Do other planets in the solar system have orbital tilt and seasons?

All but Mercury have orbital tilt, and there are some long and extreme seasons on other planets

Feb 8: Coronavirus treatment, parentese helps baby talk, seals clap back and more…

Splicing damaged nerves, getting astronauts to Mars healthy and sane and smoke on glaciers

A trillion trees will not be enough if emissions continue to rise

Bob McDonald's science blog

Treating the coronavirus: improvising now, but with real hope on the horizon

The company behind the 'very potent inhibitor of coronavirus replication' - Remdesivir is ramping up production in anticipation of future needs

'Parentese' is not just baby talk. It boosts baby's language skills

Babies whose parents used the exaggerated speech style had a larger vocabulary by the age of 18 months.

Gunshot-loud underwater clapping could be how grey seals intimidate rivals and attract mates

It's like chest-thumping for the agile marine mammals.

New implantable nerve guide tricks severed nerves into growing together again

'After a year we saw close to 80 per cent return to function with our nerve guide'

Pathway to Mars — Can we get astronauts to Mars sane and healthy?

In Part 3 of our Mars series, Astronaut Robert Thirsk and NASA's head doctor weigh in on radiation risks, the mental strain of isolation and the wasting effects of microgravity

Will soot and smoke from the Australian wildfires make their way to the Antarctic?

Soot and smoke do settle on glaciers, and can increase their melt rate

Feb 1: Understanding the coronavirus, cyborg jellyfish, judging cat pain and more...

An AI knows how you dance and Canada’s newest and youngest astronaut
Bob McDonald's blog

One big eye on the sky closes, but bigger one is on the way

The Spitzer Space Telescope brought us new images of the cool universe

Tracking coronaviruses post SARS: How science has made for rapid response

New molecular diagnostic tools means new viruses can be identified and studied nearly as fast as they appear

Wiring jellyfish for speed — what modding a sea creature can tell us about the ocean

Scientists are creating turbocharged jellyfish to swim faster and more efficiently than modern marine robots.

Me-owch — could resting cat face tell us about kitty's pain?

Canadian scientists developed a 'Feline Grimace Scale' to objectively measure acute pain in cats.

Forget face recognition — an AI can tell who you are by how you dance

A machine learning algorithm was able to identify individuals by their dance moves regardless of the music

How fire scientist Jenni Sidey-Gibbons became Canada's youngest astronaut

After graduating from NASA’s astronaut school, Jenni Sidey Gibbons looks ahead to the future of Canada’s role in space exploration.

Jan 25: Intermittent fasting, the math of espresso, biological bricks and more …

Scurvy in modern Canada, snake venom sans snakes and hot food tolerance
Bob McDonald's blog

How a U.S. company plans to cut spaceflight costs by throwing satellites into space

A U.S. company called Spinlaunch has plans to use a high-tech mass accelerator to "throw" satellites into space.