Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald

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Sep. 14, 2019 — Ground zero for dinosaur extinction, space archeology, toes on the brain and more…

Finding a lost jet engine on Greenland, mystery of the wandering whales and barren tablelands
Bob McDonald's blog

Generating light from darkness

New device generates electricity from the cold night sky

Rocks recovered from ground zero reveal how the dinosaurs died

Researchers have drilled deep into the crater in the Gulf of Mexico where the killer asteroid hit

Archeology from space — discovering history from a few hundred kilometres up

Researchers used to getting their hands dirty digging in the dirt, are finding ancient sites using satellite technology

The toes of foot painters are mapped in the brain as if they were fingers

Brain scans reveal that these artists have large amounts of neural tissue devoted to their toes

A jumbo jet lost an engine over Greenland — these researchers found it

Ice scientists used radar and an improvised metal detector to find components of the jet engine that self-destructed in flight in 2017

Why are right whales roaming into danger off the East coast?

A summer on the water is helping researchers start to understand the recent wanderings of endangered North Atlantic right whales

Why are the Tablelands of Gros Morne National Park barren?

The rocks at the site are rich in toxic metals that plants can't tolerate

Sep 7, 2019 — Quirks & Quarks 'science in the field' special

Venomous snakes, gigantic grizzly bears, rare plant poachers and vomiting birds are among the challenges faced by scientists doing field work this summer
Bob McDonald's blog

Chasing Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo

Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald travelled thousands of kilometres in an attempt to witness Virgin Galactic's first commercial space flight

Dodging venomous vipers and plant poachers to study how climate change impacts insects

Working in remote wilderness areas brings a range of risks, but enormous scientific rewards

Searching for dinosaurs in BC's rockies — and finding grizzly bears instead

Lisa Buckley was used to finding traces of big carnivores, but these were millions of years too fresh

When the desert doesn't bloom, fake flowers are a scientist's solution

Studying the interaction between pollinating birds and cacti results in a crafty scientist turning to fake flowers to get results when the real ones refuse to bloom

A moment of distraction leads to near disaster while studying insects in a tropical paradise

Alex Smith studies insects and climate change in Costa Rica and generally tries to avoid venomous snakes

Projectile vomiting birds are among the challenges in studying arctic lakes

A scientist was surprised by the results of lake sediment core samples from Cornwallis Island in the high Arctic, but not as surprised as he was to get covered in bird vomit

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

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

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

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.