Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


Intermittent fasting, the math of espresso, biological bricks and more …

Scurvy in modern Canada, snake venom sans snakes and hot food tolerance
Bob McDonald's blog

A slingshot to space

A U.S. company called Spinlaunch has plans to use a high-tech mass accelerator to 'throw' a payload into space.

Intermittent fasting — why not eating (for a bit) could work for weight loss and health

'A diet is what you eat, and fasting is how long you don't eat,' says Dr. Jason Fung

Brewing a better espresso with less coffee and more math

A coarser grind of coffee bean improves extraction of coffee resulting in a more consistent espresso

Bringing biology to bricks — concrete details on how to grow building materials

Researchers have created a 'Franken-concrete' that heals itself, grows additional bricks and could provide a green alternative to traditional building materials

Avast! Scurvy is still a health issue in 21st century Canada

A new study suggests that illness due to vitamin C deficiency may be overlooked and under diagnosed

Fangs very much. Scientists use stem cells to make snake venom — without the snake

Up to 130,000 people die from snake bites each year, mostly due to lack of access to antivenom. This technology could change that.

How come I can't tolerate spicy foods, but my kids can?

It comes down to how many heat receptors are in your mouth, which comes down to genetics.

Jan 18: Ancient gum preserves genome, a living robot, wolf puppies play fetch and more…

Rattlesnake skin holds raindrops for drinking, science of imagination and quiet snow
Bob McDonald's blog

Fly me to the moon for an out-of-this-world date

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is running a competition to find a potential life partner to join him on his trip to the moon.

Ancient chewing gum reveals reveals identity of chewer and what she ate

5,700 year-old gum preserved the genome of a dark-haired, blue-eyed woman who'd eaten duck for dinner.

Scientists create a robot made entirely of living cells

Robots made of frog skin and heart cells can crawl, move stuff and heal themselves.

Wolf, fetch! How scientists discovered a 'domesticated' trait in wolves

The simple act of retrieving a ball could be why we domesticated dogs perhaps around 15,000 years ago

Rattlesnakes have skin that's sticky for raindrops so they can sip from their scales

Nano structures on their scales help the snakes capture scarce water in their desert homes

Exploring the science of imagination, so we can build a creative computer

‘Your mind’s greatest power’ gives rise to great works of art and innovation in science and engineering: imagination

Why does a snowfall damp sound so well?

Snow has excellent acoustic damping properties because it is so porous.

Jan 11 — Fires in Australia, cuttlefish watch 3D movies, coal pollution harms crops, and more…

Fossils show ancient parenting, first evidence of cooked vegetables, and why so much poop?
Bob McDonald's blog

New telescope to be named after pioneering female dark matter astronomer

Vera Rubin will be honoured for her work in observing the anomalous motion of stars.

'A billion animals gone' — understanding the effects of Australia's fires on wildlife and people

With forests burning up and toxic smoke filling the air, scientists are looking at the long term effects of these record-setting bushfires.

Pass the popcorn — scientists are playing 3D movies to cuttlefish

Scientists are using an underwater movie theatre and tiny 3D glasses to study how cuttlefish catch their prey.

The cost of coal - pollution takes lives, but also costs food

New study finds that 570 million bushels of grain and 26,000 lives were saved by shutting down coal plants in the U.S.

Cape Breton fossils are the oldest evidence of parental behaviour

A 300 million year old animal was preserved huddled around a juvenile in a den in a hollow tree

Burned roots are the first evidence of humans cooking vegetables and sharing food

170,000 year-old remains from South Africa provide evidence for harvesting and food sharing

Why do we seem to generate so much poop?

The average human poop is mostly generated from water, while very little comes from undigested food waste.

Jan 3, 2020 — The Quirks & Quarks listener question show

Is water at the foot of Niagara Falls warmer than at the top? Are bioplastics better for the environment? Why are dinosaurs so big? And more