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Sep 25: Bronze age town destroyed by meteor, global warming makes animals shapeshift and more…

Flying microchips, COVID vaccines for kids, and watching out for new COVID variants
Analysis

200,000-year-old handprints may be the world's oldest artwork, scientists say

Bob McDonald's blog: The handprints and footprints were made by children near a Tibetan hot spring.

Ancient Jordanian town destroyed by a meteor blast may have inspired Biblical stories, scientists say

The site known as Tall el-Hammam preserves flattened and melted buildings and shattered human remains dating back to a very bad day about 3,600 years ago.

Animals are shapeshifting in response to climate warming, and it could be costing them

From beaks, to ears, to tails, researchers have noticed animals around the world are changing their body shape in order to help them shed body heat.

Tiny flying microchips inspired by maple seeds could help monitor the environment

Devices can be as small as a grain of sand, with tiny wings allowing passive flight

An inside scoop on how COVID vaccines are being tested on kids

An investigator on Pfizer’s vaccine trials explains how they came to the conclusion that the vaccine is safe and effective in children, and why it’s important that kids get the shot, even though they don’t get as sick with COVID-19 as adults do.

Widespread vaccination should mean the impact of COVID variants 'will be blunted'

‘Under the wrong conditions, I think we haven’t seen all of the tricks [the virus] has up its sleeve yet.’

What are the relative sources of light on a moonless night?

Light in the night sky comes from many different sources in varying amounts

Sep 18: The election and post-COVID science, toilet-training cattle and more...

Prehistoric leather making tools and how galactic spiral arms feed black holes
Analysis

Is space tourism about more than just billionaires and their toys?

Bob McDonald's blog: SpaceX's all civilian orbital flight paid for by a wealthy patron could prefigure a future of space travel for the rest of us.

Canadian science suffered from COVID. After the election, how do we bring it back better?

Research was disrupted and interrupted. Students suffered. Priorities have changed. What should be next for Canadian science?

Potty-trained cows can help solve pee pollution problem, study finds

Nitrogen in cow urine can pollute surface and groundwater and create a potent greenhouse gas, so teaching them to use a "toilet" could be an environmental win.

Fashion backward — Archaeologists find 120,000 year old tools for making clothes

Researchers describe the discovery of a treasure trove of tools that they believe were used to process leather and furs, and it just might be the oldest archaeological evidence of what our ancestors were wearing 120,000 years ago.

How does a black hole eat? With its spiral arms

A new supercomputer simulation shows how a galaxy’s spiral arms help to funnel gas into its central supermassive black hole by slowing it down and enabling it to fall inside.

Sept. 11: Here's what some Canadian researchers did during their summer of science

Whether it was canoeing on acid lakes, being bumped by belugas, or rescuing equipment from grizzlies, scientists across Canada were busy this summer.
Analysis

How I became a temporary 'environmental refugee' this summer

Bob McDonald's blog: Human-induced climate change will lead to many more displaced individuals in the years to come
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Visiting 'acid lakes' in Ontario to investigate how they're recovering from acid rain

A half a century ago, acid rain killed these lakes outside of Sudbury, Ontario, but limits on air pollution are enabling a slow recovery.
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Researchers take advantage of 'whale-palooza' gathering to study human-beluga interactions

The vast summer gathering of 60,000 whales has given rise to a whale watching industry, and researchers are observing to see if the human presence is affecting the whales’ natural behaviour
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Pesky bears complicate an investigation of a fast-moving glacier in northern BC

The Tweedsmuir glacier’s activity has enormous influence on the landscape, but an attempt to study it was interrupted when bears destroyed monitoring equipment.
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Researchers create aquariums inside wilderness lakes to safely study microplastic impacts

At the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario researchers did controlled experiments to see how microplastics affected fish, invertebrates and aquatic plants.

Sept 4 - Best of Quirks: The listener question show

How much of a lake is fish pee? What's corn silk actually for? What happens if you break wind in a space suit? And much more....

Aug 28 - Best of Quirks: Understanding the Universe

Exploring how the universe will end, mining for microbes, searching for STEVE, and a love letter to the cosmos.

Five ways the universe might die — including one that could happen at any time

From The Big Crunch to Vacuum Decay, a new book explores the ways the universe might end, at least, according to astrophysics.

Microbes may be our miners on asteroids, moons and other planets

Microbes could be put to use in future human space settlements extracting metals and rare elements from rocks, according to a researcher who designed the world's first mining experiment in space. 

Citizen scientists help reveal new features of the mysterious aurora-like phenomenon called STEVE

Canadian aurora watchers were the first to spot the phenomenon and later provided critical images to researchers studying the aurora-like steaks in the night sky.

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