Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald

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Dec. 8, 2018: Why are users taking fentanyl, making stuff with moon dust, an app to detect anemia and more ...

Why octopuses are smart, the real bad guy in Alzheimer’s and an absence of volcanoes?
Bob McDonald's blog

Planting a red flag on the far side of the moon?

China's ambitious moon exploration program is taking its next big step

Drug users aren't choosing dangerous fentanyl — they don't know what's in their drugs

Research interviews of users show it's not demand that's driving the fentanyl poisoning epidemic.

Making it on the Moon — 3D printing useful stuff with moon dust

Lunar regolith or soil could be an important resource for building and supporting a moon base

Selfies for health — a smartphone app can detect anemia

Biomedical engineers have developed a non-invasive test for anemia using only a smartphone photograph of a person's fingernails.

The octopus might have traded its shell for intelligence

A new hypothesis suggests intelligence is a "kind of weapon" octopuses use to avoid being eaten.

Have researchers been wrong about Alzheimer's? A new theory challenges the old story

The protein that forms Alzheimer's plaques might be trying to protect your brain against infection

What would happen to Earth if there were no volcanoes?

Volcanoes release heat from the interior of the Earth, and even when they've been stopped temporarily, the heat eventually escapes

Dec. 1, 2018: Genetically edited babies, Fast Radio Bursts, Spinal Injury patients walk again and more ...

Improving the science around medical devices, what makes words funny and bon voyage David Saint-Jacques
Bob McDonald's blog

Canadian eyes open in space, both human and robotic

"Space is part of the fabric of Canada," says Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques

Will the 'rogue science' that created genetically edited babies lead to backlash against research?

'What He did now makes all scientists look irresponsible,' said Canadian bioethicist Vardit Ravitsky.

Mysterious fast radio bursts from space: Five explanations for what they could be

Scientists have long been puzzled by what appears to be a strange phenomenon from space known as fast radio bursts (FRBs): short, bright flashes of radio light that appear to be coming from almost halfway across the universe.

Spinal injury patients take steps again thanks to spinal pacemaker

The scientists programmed the device to stimulate the muscles in a certain sequence for walking

A lack of scientific data behind medical implants could seriously hurt Canadians

We're not collecting the information we need about bad outcomes to make good risk decisions

That sounds funny — the science behind why certain words make us laugh

The meaning of a word and the form a word takes are key to getting a giggle

Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques will get to watch the world go around

On Monday, David Saint-Jacques began his journey to the International Space Station, becoming the ninth Canadian in space. Before blasting off, he spoke to Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald about the mission.

Nov. 24, 2018: Accidental domestication, an electric airplane, the science of gender identity and more

InSight lands on Mars, bat and dolphin sonar crosstalk and how birds find seeds
Bob McDonald's blog

Missions to Mars: We've had many successes, but lots of failures too

Failures at launch, failures in space and crash landings have meant that roughly half the missions to Mars don't succeed, which underlines how hard these efforts are.

Captive rearing can accidentally change animals so they may not survive in the wild

Animals in captivity can become domesticated, making reintroduction challenging.

A new plane with no moving parts flies by electrifying the air

A small aircraft flies for the very first time with a system of propulsion that uses electrically charged ions to generate thrust.

Scientist refutes notion that gender identity is an 'unscientific liberal ideology'

A controversial motion proposed at an Ontario PC convention labelled gender identity an "unscientific liberal ideology," but behavioural neuroscientist Sari van Anders says otherwise.

Mars-quakes may shake the red planet, and NASA's new lander will detect them

The InSight lander carries a seismograph and other instruments that will look inside Mars

How bats and dolphins use their sonar when everyone's talking at once

'These animals can do something that we humans think is an impossible task'

Question: How do birds find seeds?

Most seed-eating birds are able to find seeds primarily through vision, but they also rely on memory, social learning and even calling out to one another.

Nov. 17, 2018: Greenland asteroid impact, short people in the rain-forest, reef islands and sea level and more

Stealth moths, walking on water and climbing the walls and is the night sky changing?