Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald

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Dec. 15, 2018: Is China winning the race to the moon, pig heart transplants, cute aggression and more…

Dust is alive, frogs sing in the city and science engineers the perfect christmas tree
Bob McDonald's blog

Half a lifetime to leave the solar system

Bob McDonald has spent a career following the 40 year trek of the Voyager spacecraft

China's race to the moon — their new lander is a small step towards a great leap

China's plan to place a lander on the far side of the moon early in the New Year, is a sign of much bigger space exploration plans to come.

A transplanted pig's heart lives for months in a baboon — is a human trial next?

'They've put together a sequence of advanced molecular and tissue engineering strategies to pull this off.'

Is that baby so adorable you want to eat it up? You're committing 'cute aggression'

Cute aggression is your brain's response to a potentially paralyzing adorableness overdose.

Your dust bunnies are alive but fighting them with antibacterials is a bad idea

Dust microbes have antibiotic resistance genes, probably from overexposure to household antimicrobials

Frogs sing a rich song in the city but a simpler tune in the country

The male tungara frog of the Central American rainforest calls louder and more often in urban areas because there are fewer predators to be wary of.

Science gets the holiday spirit and produces the perfect Christmas tree

It retains its needles, has a beautiful shape and a pleasant smell

Cognitive abilities vary among humans, is the same true of other species?

Just as some humans are smarter than others, the same is true of other species

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.