Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald

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April 20, 2019 — Human brain genes in monkeys, urine archaeology, evolving human faces and more

Sharks and heavy metals, life on exoplanets and how insects time their mating
Bob McDonald's blog

Old and new science keep Notre Dame standing

The iconic architecture has kept the building standing for hundreds of years, and survived this week's fire as well

Scientists have put a human brain gene into monkeys. Have they crossed the line?

The genetically modified monkeys performed a bit better on memory tests than non-modified monkeys

Pee-oneering archeology. A new technique uses urine to study the ancient past

Salts from urine can trace where and when domestic animals moved into villages

Why the long face? Human faces evolved to reveal emotions and communicate

Compared to our ape ancestors, our faces are more expressive and more readable

Sharks cope with levels of heavy metals in their blood that would kill other animals

Researchers studying Great White sharks have found lethal levels of mercury and arsenic

Is there life 'out there?' How we'll search for traces of life on nearby exoplanets

We know worlds are common. We need to know if they host life

How do insects like ants time their emergence so precisely?

Insects like flying ants coordinate their mating flights in response to weather events such as rainfall or heatwaves

April 13, 2019 — Black hole imaged, a new tiny human, rebuilding coral reefs and more…

Treating depression with ketamine, flipper fornicates for fun and why cats purr
Bob McDonald's blog

How Canadian astronomy made the black hole photo possible

Canada pioneered the radio telescope integration used in the Event Horizon Telescope

We have the 1st photo of a black hole. Here's how it was taken

Canadian physicist Avery Broderick, who helped photograph the black hole, explains how it was done.

A new tiny hominin discovery gives the 'hobbit' a distant cousin

Discovered in the Philippines, this new human relative changes our picture of 'out of Africa'

Collapsing coral reefs — can we rebuild them?

'If we don't engage in active restoration, we will lose coral reefs completely'

Ketamine works its magic on depression by 'stabilizing the brain in a well state'

The drug helps restore synaptic connections eroded by stress

Female dolphins may know the joy of sex, thanks to a human-like clitoris

Dolphins are known to mate outside of their reproductive period, possibly for pleasure

How and why do cats purr?

Purring is like a hug for cats — it can signal pleasure and sooth anxiety

Apr 6, 2019 —The day the dinosaurs died, Soviet race to the moon, tasmanian devils fight off cancer and more …

Roadside testing for cannabis impairment, and Arctic landslides
Bob McDonald's blog

Scientists plan to freeze ship in Arctic ice to understand melt

Disappearing ice is like a receding hairline for the planet. Canada's Arctic is going bald.

A catastrophe frozen in time — a new fossil site shows how the dinosaurs died

Incredible site has animals buried alive amid debris from the asteroid impact

The race to the moon — what the Russians were doing behind the Iron Curtain

While Apollo was working towards a moon landing, the Russians were still in the space race

Tasmanian Devils are learning to live with the cancer that was pushing them to extinction

Researchers have found changes in the devil's genome and behaviour in recent years that indicate they might be able to coexist with the cancer.

Roadside THC tests do not test for impairment. How can science help?

Unlike alcohol, THC levels can't accurately predict whether you're too high to drive

Permafrost landslides are eating great swathes of Arctic landscape

Sixty square kilometres of land has turned to muck on Banks Island

March 30 — Erasing memories, biggest T-Rex and the smell of Parkinson's and more …

Saturn’s tiny ring moons, Google glass helps autistic kids and a supervolcano eruption
Bob McDonald's blog

High technology helps kids cope with autism

Augmented and virtual reality tools can help children with autism better recognize emotions and deal with phobias.