Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


Feb 22: Live animal markets and viruses, largest turtle's horned shell, a robot for Europa and more…

Jewel beetles iridescent camouflage, better talk on climate change and flying west

Canadian Space Agency searching for young astronauts

Bob McDonald's science blog

Tracking the spread of viruses in live animal markets by building one in a lab

These 'artificial ecosystem' experiments could help develop strategies to mitigate the spread of potentially dangerous viruses

The largest turtle that ever lived had fighting horns on its shell

This freshwater turtle was the size of a small car, and lived in the north part of South America 12 million years ago.

NASA's building a robot to explore Jupiter's moon Europa — from underneath its icy shell

The buoyant robot will "drive" upside down on the undersurface of Europa's ice.

Vivid and fabulous jewel beetles actually use their colours for camouflage

It was thought that the bright, shimmering colours would make the insects more obvious to predators.

Why the way we talk about climate change makes some people stop listening

If you tune out during climate change talk, it's not your fault - it's just your brain keeping you safe

How can planes travel against the rotation of the Earth?

How do planes ever arrive at their destination? Turns out, it's because the air is travelling too

Feb 15: Agriculture moving north, Arrokoth's secrets, the microbiome for flight and more...

Fisheries science with indigenous perspective, slippery surface and seasons on other planets

NASA re-masters Carl Sagan's iconic 'Pale Blue Dot' image 30 years later

Bob McDonald's science blog

Wheat and potatoes in Nunavut? Climate change could bring agriculture to the North

A new study finds that most of Canada's north will be suitable for farmland as the climate warms. But researchers caution this could be disastrous for the area and its people if not done sustainably.

Arrokoth reveals how the solar system's building blocks were built

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft continues its exploration past Pluto

Canadian scientists engineer self-cleaning surface that can repel dangerous bacteria

This material could help prevent bacterial contamination from spreading in the food and healthcare industries

The secret to flight in birds and bats is not just wings, it's guts

Birds and bats share a commonality in their microbiome that may mean they carry lighter loads.

Bringing 'two eyed seeing' — Indigenous knowledge and science — to fisheries conservation

Fisheries scientist Andrea Reid has embraced her Indigenous roots and is committed to giving back to her community by sharing her experience and scientific knowledge

Do other planets in the solar system have orbital tilt and seasons?

All but Mercury have orbital tilt, and there are some long and extreme seasons on other planets

Feb 8: Coronavirus treatment, parentese helps baby talk, seals clap back and more…

Splicing damaged nerves, getting astronauts to Mars healthy and sane and smoke on glaciers

A trillion trees will not be enough if emissions continue to rise

Bob McDonald's science blog

Treating the coronavirus: improvising now, but with real hope on the horizon

The company behind the 'very potent inhibitor of coronavirus replication' - Remdesivir is ramping up production in anticipation of future needs

'Parentese' is not just baby talk. It boosts baby's language skills

Babies whose parents used the exaggerated speech style had a larger vocabulary by the age of 18 months.

Gunshot-loud underwater clapping could be how grey seals intimidate rivals and attract mates

It's like chest-thumping for the agile marine mammals.

New implantable nerve guide tricks severed nerves into growing together again

'After a year we saw close to 80 per cent return to function with our nerve guide'

Pathway to Mars — Can we get astronauts to Mars sane and healthy?

In Part 3 of our Mars series, Astronaut Robert Thirsk and NASA's head doctor weigh in on radiation risks, the mental strain of isolation and the wasting effects of microgravity

Will soot and smoke from the Australian wildfires make their way to the Antarctic?

Soot and smoke do settle on glaciers, and can increase their melt rate

Feb 1: Understanding the coronavirus, cyborg jellyfish, judging cat pain and more...

An AI knows how you dance and Canada’s newest and youngest astronaut