Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald

Latest

Apr 11: COVID-19 transmission, reliving Apollo 13 in real time and more...

Birds watch out for rhinos, toads outbreed in hard times, and sports in mesoamerica 3400 years ago.
Analysis

Travel to far-off places and far back in time through VR

Bob McDonald's science blog: Here are some exotic locations you can visit virtually while you're physically distancing at home.

Why speaking 'moistly' could be partly to blame for the rapid spread of COVID-19

Aerosol scientists warn the SARS-CoV-2 virus could potentially be transmitted by airborne microdroplets

Apollo 13 was a near-disaster that became a triumph — now you can experience it in real time

A website launched for the 50th anniversary of the heart-wrenching mission allows you to experience the mission through audio and video.

The birds on their backs are a distant early warning system for endangered rhinos

The red-billed oxpecker sounds an alarm call when it sees humans and warns the short-sighted rhino of a potential threat.

A desert toad chooses to mate with another species when times get tough

Under certain environmental conditions, the female plains spadefoot toad chooses the best male of another species to give its offspring the best chance of surviving.

Play ball! Researchers find ancient ballcourt in Mexico's highlands

3,400-year-old ballcourt is a real game changer for the history of the Mesoamerican ball game

Apr 4: Testing for COVID-19, blood plasma clinical trials begin, vaccine development and more ...

COVID threatens mountain gorillas and these boots were made for running
Analysis

Escape from isolation by exploring space from home

Bob McDonald's science blog: A few ideas to take your mind off the situation on the ground by thinking about our place in the stars

How we test for the COVID-19 virus — and how can we do it faster?

A chemist gives us an understanding of why COVID-19 tests take so long, and how lab tests are different from the new automated tests popping up on the market

We need vaccines for the coronavirus — here's how we'll make them

Scientists around the world are working on different strategies to develop a safe and effective vaccine as quickly as possible

COVID-19 could be treated with blood plasma from those who've recovered

A Canadian clinical trial plans to test if virus-fighting antibodies in plasma can help the sick

The coronavirus could threaten endangered mountain gorillas

Gorillas share about 98 per cent of our DNA, making them susceptible to contracting COVID-19, according to Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, a wildlife veterinarian and conservationist.

Electric-assist running boots may be the future of recreational jogging

Researchers have designed an ankle “exoskeleton” that makes running easier.

Mar 2: Mobilizing scientists in the COVID 19 fight, riding the COVID wave and more...

NASA's space salad and Escobar's hippos are restoring an ecosystem
Analysis

Our golden connection to a cosmic explosion

Bob McDonald's science blog: A neutron star merger 100 million years ago may be the source of Earth’s gold

Scientists are mobilizing from the ground up and the top down in our fight against COVID-19

Canada’s Chief Science Advisor says our bottleneck in our testing is due to not enough personnel and test ingredients, but that help is on the way.

COVID 19: Can we control the pandemic and move from 'flattening the curve' to 'riding the wave'?

Epidemiologists at the University of Toronto are working on modelling ways we might manage the COVID-19 pandemic after we've "flattened the curve," so we can return to some semblance of a normal life.

Salads in space: NASA has learned to grow lettuce on the space station

Lettuce grown on the International Space Station is just as nutritious as the stuff grown on Earth.

How Pablo Escobar's escaped hippos are helping to restore an ancient ecosystem

Hippos are an example of how so-called invasive species shape their habitats in a similar way to long-extinct megafauna.

Mar 21: COVID 19 vulnerability, COVID- and climate and more

Firing a cannonball at an asteroid and a fossil ‘wonderchicken’
Analysis

As entertainment shuts down, take in the spectacle nature has to offer

Bob McDonald's science blog: Immersing yourself in nature can have positive effects on your physical and mental health.

How aging increases vulnerability to COVID-19 and how pollution can make it worse

Your body's ability to fight off viruses naturally declines as you get older, becoming more weak and less targeted, and pollution exposure makes it even worse.

COVID-19 has led to huge emissions reductions — can we learn from this?

A global pandemic is not how we'd choose to reduce emissions, but scientists are studying how COVID-19 is affecting climate change, and how climate change could affect COVID-19.

Japanese space scientists shot an asteroid to learn about its past

The tiny, rocky asteroid Ryugu, in orbit between Earth and Mars, gives up some of its secrets.