Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


Nov 9: Lionfish are super digesters, Voyager 2 goes interstellar, carbon capture and more …

AI reads scientific literature, fear, trauma and inheritance and animal heart attacks
Bob McDonald's blog

'We sent a spaceship to the stars!'

NASA's Voyager 2 passed into interstellar space 41 years after its launch.

The lionfish is an Olympic athlete of digestion — and that's an ecological disaster

An invasive fish outcompetes rivals by beating them at eating.

After a 42-year journey, Voyager 2 goes interstellar

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft has joined its twin Voyager 1 and crossed out of the heliosphere and into interstellar space

'We have to do everything:' Why capturing carbon shows real promise

Capturing CO2 to store or make useful products could be a win for the planet and businesses, scientists say in a new review.

AI is reviewing scientists' old work and discovering things they missed

Scientists hope this AI system that turns words into math can help speed up the discovery process

Fear and trauma are useful for animals — can we learn from them how to live without it?

PTSD may be partly rooted in our evolutionary past as animals constantly threatened by predators

Do animals ever have heart attacks or is it just humans?

It is very rare for animals like dogs and cats, to experience heart attacks as we know them, but they do get various heart diseases

Nov 2, 2019: Roadway pollution, fungus promotes pancreatic cancer, the bang in the Big Bang and more…

Infant eels magnetic migration and the pathway to Mars
Bob McDonald's blog

Moon and Mars are tough places to drill

NASA's InSight mole has unexpectedly popped out of its hole

Pollution sniffing investigators find air near roads is high in contaminants

A report found a 'soup' of pollutants from traffic on major Canadian roads.

A common fungus may drive tumour growth in pancreatic cancer

Scientists hope this discovery could better help them monitor and treat this deadly cancer

The universe was full of cold goop, then came the Big Bang

New simulations worked through the period of cosmic 'reheating' that made the universe we know today.

Infant eels use the moon and an internal compass to finish their transocean migration

European eels cross the Atlantic Ocean twice in their lifetime, once after birth, and once to breed
Pathway to Mars

How we'll get to Mars — what's the biggest challenge, money or technology?

A new Quirks series looks at what we'll have to do to put humans on the red planet

Oct 26, 2019: World's loudest bird, a six-fingered lemur, a microbrewery in your gut and more…

Earthworms and the climate underground, a patient researcher and a question of indigestion

Females flinch from the mating call of the world's loudest bird

In a case of sexual selection gone wild, the white bellbird of the Amazon has the loudest bird call ever recorded

A lemur from Madagascar has been hiding a sixth finger on its hand

Naturalists have studied the aye-aye for two centuries — and missed its extra finger

Beer belly: A rare yeast infection makes the gut into a microbrewery

Auto-brewery syndrome occurs when a disturbance to the gut microbiome results in the fermentation of carbohydrates

Climate science goes underground to understand the implications for earthworms

Climate may affect essential earthworms worldwide, but Canada's story is a little different

The patient researcher: a scientist's cancer diagnosis changes her life's work

A young researcher's experience is helping her help others deal with many aspects of the disease

What is indigestion and why is it so painful?

Indigestion can be caused by many things such as eating too much or too fast, or eating spicy foods that you're not used to

Oct 19, 2019: Understanding the Anthropocene extinction, regenerating cartilage and more...

Autism and touch, a prosthetic that feels and where’s my Lyme vaccine?
Bob McDonald's blog

Half a century of space suit evolution

The evolution of spacesuits over the decades illustrates how hostile space really is

Understanding extinction — humanity has destroyed half the life on Earth

There's less life overall, and much of it is domesticated plants and animals instead of wildlife.