Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald

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Aug. 24, 2019 — Our plastics problem, mystery of the missing brain cells, overeating processed food and more

Smartphones detect ear infections, moonquakes, and why geese honk while migrating

Learning from tragedy — a baby lacking critical brain cells and a medical detective story

'I don't think we should forget how much can be learned just from a single patient with a rare disease'

We need plastics — how do we avoid choking the planet with them?

Technologies for biodegradable and more easily recyclable plastics could help solve our plastic problem

Moonquakes show the moon is still geologically 'alive'

The moon might still be shrinking and so its skin is wrinkling

'Siri, does my baby have an ear infection?' An app does medical diagnosis

A new smartphone app can detect the presence of fluid in the middle ear, a sign of infection

Processed food is full of bad stuff, but the real problem is you eat too much of it

A new study found that people ate significantly more calories on an ultra-processed diet compared to a nutritionally equivalent unprocessed food diet.

Why do Canada geese honk while migrating?

Geese honk when they fly as a way of keeping the flock together by communicating position shifts within their V-formation

August 17, 2019 — The benefits of video games, composting corpses, brewing ancient beer and more

Right whales in the wrong place and supernovas and bipedalism

Right whales were in the wrong place because of the wrong climate

Warming water in their traditional habitat led to a collapse in their favourite prey

Drink like an Egyptian: 5000-year-old yeast is resurrected to brew ancient beer

Researchers brewed five kinds of beer, and report the Philistine brew was best

Video games aren't corrupting young minds — they may be building them

New science suggests that video games are rarely addictive, and they can help with social and intellectual development — and possibly even mental health.

Don't bury or cremate — soon you may compost your corpse

'This soil can then be used to grow new life. Eventually you could be a lemon tree'

Did our ancestors evolve to walk upright because of exploding stars?

Cosmic rays from supernovae might have destroyed forests and forced us up onto two legs

August 10, 2019 — The Quirks & Quarks Listener Question show

Does climate change cause earthquakes? Why is it blurry underwater? Do animals do math? To start the new year we present another edition of our ever-popular Listener Question Show, where we find the experts to answer your questions.

'The sky is not the limit': How the Apollo 11 mission inspired generations of scientists

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Quirks & Quarks spoke to Canadian astronauts and a variety of scientists from all disciplines about the moon landing’s legacy and how it inspired them to push the boundaries of human knowledge and achievement.

August 3, 2019 — Science of awe, blue whales and sonar, chromosomes and sleep and more

Ancient aquaculture on the west coast and dogs and human sperm quality

Exploring the powerful emotion of awe: How it can be awe-some and aw-ful

Awe is one of the most powerful human emotions we can experience. Research to understand it is showing how it has the potential to open our minds to bring us together or be used as a tool for manipulation.

Military sonar puts blue whales off their feed

Researchers studying the impact of military sonar on blue whales have found that it can disrupt their foraging at times that might be particularly important for the giant cetaceans.

Your brain may need sleep to repair DNA 'potholes'

A team of Israeli researchers has found that one of the reasons that sleep could be so important to animals — including humans — is that it takes neurons 'offline' so DNA damage accumulated during waking hours can be repaired.

Man and man's best friend have both been experiencing declines in sperm quality

Researchers in the U.K. have found a link between the fertility declines in domestic male dogs and similar problems that have been widely reported in human males.

Clam gardens have been cultivated by Indigenous people for millennia

Clam gardens have existed for a long time on the west coast of Canada, but until now, we haven't known for how long. Now, a team of Canadian archaeologists, using carbon dating, found that the gardens have existed for at least 3,500 years.

July 27, 2019 - Shopping for souvenirs on an asteroid, new Cambrian explosion fossils and more

Why we can say ‘f’ words, green icebergs from Antarctica and the length of a dream

How your gut bacteria influences your behaviour, emotions and thinking

Our gut bacteria can profoundly affect the way our brains work. Scientific research in recent years is starting to hint that our gut bacteria, known as our microbiome, is an active participant in our emotions, how we think and even how we behave.

'Weird wonders' in China: Half-billion year-old fossils from the dawn of animal life unearthed

A newly discovered fossil site in China is a treasure trove for paleontologists studying the Cambrian explosion, when life on Earth suddenly and massively expanded in diversity about 550 million years ago.

Our farming ancestors are the reason we can say 'f' words today

An international team of scientists discovered that labiodental sounds such as "f" and "v," made by touching the lower lip to the upper teeth, are a relatively recent development in human speech.

August 17, 2019 — The benefits of video games, composting corpses, brewing ancient beer and more

Right whales in the wrong place and supernovas and bipedalism

Video games aren't corrupting young minds — they may be building them

New science suggests that video games are rarely addictive, and they can help with social and intellectual development — and possibly even mental health.

Don't bury or cremate — soon you may compost your corpse

'This soil can then be used to grow new life. Eventually you could be a lemon tree'

Drink like an Egyptian: 5000-year-old yeast is resurrected to brew ancient beer

Researchers brewed five kinds of beer, and report the Philistine brew was best

Right whales were in the wrong place because of the wrong climate

Warming water in their traditional habitat led to a collapse in their favourite prey

Did our ancestors evolve to walk upright because of exploding stars?

Cosmic rays from supernovae might have destroyed forests and forced us up onto two legs

Aug. 24, 2019 — Our plastics problem, mystery of the missing brain cells, overeating processed food and more

Smartphones detect ear infections, moonquakes, and why geese honk while migrating

We need plastics — how do we avoid choking the planet with them?

Technologies for biodegradable and more easily recyclable plastics could help solve our plastic problem

Learning from tragedy — a baby lacking critical brain cells and a medical detective story

'I don't think we should forget how much can be learned just from a single patient with a rare disease'

Processed food is full of bad stuff, but the real problem is you eat too much of it

A new study found that people ate significantly more calories on an ultra-processed diet compared to a nutritionally equivalent unprocessed food diet.

'Siri, does my baby have an ear infection?' An app does medical diagnosis

A new smartphone app can detect the presence of fluid in the middle ear, a sign of infection

Moonquakes show the moon is still geologically 'alive'

The moon might still be shrinking and so its skin is wrinkling

Why do Canada geese honk while migrating?

Geese honk when they fly as a way of keeping the flock together by communicating position shifts within their V-formation