Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


Jan 19, 2019 — Tuskless elephants, room temperature superconductors, how space changed a man and more…

Men, women and pain, climate change means stronger waves and whither glacial water?
Bob McDonald's blog

Evidence that laws actually work to save (some) endangered species

A study confirms the U.S. Endangered Species Act does actually save species.

Elephants are evolving to be tuskless after decades of poaching pressure

In at least two national parks in Africa, where poaching has been a huge problem, most female elephants are now born without tusks.

Discovery of near room temperature superconductors could bring floating trains and more

A superconductor can transmit electricity with no loss of energy

Scott Kelly spent a year in space — and it literally changed him

Kelly's been back from space for almost 3 years, yet his DNA expression remains different

Repeated pain makes men more sensitive — but not women

Researchers think our memory of pain could be key to understanding and treating chronic pain

Waves are getting stronger and more dangerous thanks to climate change

The warming of the upper ocean water has an influence on the strength of winds, which in turn creates dangerously powerful waves

Will Edmonton run out of water as the Columbia Icefield continues to melt?

The City of Edmonton could be impacted if less water flows into the North Saskatchewan River as a result of less snow and the shrinking Columbia Icefield.

Jan 12, 2019 — Medieval woman painters, houseplants eat pollution, viruses that kill superbugs and more...

Antarctica turns researchers into zombies, fresh water is getting saltier and which planets are we missing?
Bob McDonald's blog

The future needs the energy of new ideas

We need to fund more innovative research to solve our fossil fuel conundrum

Blue pigment found on a medieval woman's teeth suggests she was a skilled, literate artist

Tiny particles of lapis lazuli pigment found in the dental plaque of a medieval women indicate that she was involved in the creation of medieval religious manuscripts

A genetically modified houseplant could suck up dangerous indoor air pollution

The modified plant can absorb and break down benzene and chloroform

Viruses that kill superbugs could save lives when antibiotics don't work

Antibiotic resistant bacteria could be treated with the viruses that attack them in nature, which are harmless to humans.

Zombies in Antarctica — Isolated researchers enter 'psychological hibernation'

Scientists think this state of 'psychological hibernation' is a way to protect our mental energy.

We're making our fresh water salty by massively changing the landscape

At least one third of U.S. streams and rivers have gotten saltier over the last 100 years

For every exoplanet we see transiting a star, how many go unseen?

Exoplanets are identified by the dimming of light as they pass in front of their star, but there are many other non-transiting planets that we can't see from Earth.

Jan. 5, 2019 — The Quirks & Quarks Listener Question show

Does climate change cause earthquakes? Why is it blurry underwater? Do animals do math? And more
Bob McDonald's blog

Terra Incognita: Continuing to explore the great unknown

Robotic spacecraft are carrying on the tradition of past explorers who ventured out over the horizon to see what's there.

Dec. 29, 2018 — Water on Mars, lab-grown lungs and more: The biggest science stories of 2018

From lab-grown pigs' lungs to a liquid lake on Mars, this is the year in review for the stories you haven't yet viewed — or heard — on Quirks & Quarks.

TESS, the planet hunting space telescope, is on track to discover a sky full of exoplanets

NASA has already announced the discovery of two new exoplanets, and is expected to find at least 10,000 more.

Lab grown lungs are transplanted in pigs today, they may help humans tomorrow

Bioengineered lungs successfully transplanted into pigs may eventually provide new options for humans awaiting a transplant

The year in climate change: Fires and heat-waves show things are heating up

'2018 is a year that will go down in history as a year of unprecedented extreme weather events'

Billions of viruses are raining down on you from the upper atmosphere every day

The next time you go outside and take a deep breath of fresh air, think about this: as you stare up into the sky, billions of tiny invisible viruses are raining down on you.

Even kids as young as four want to punish freeloaders

Younger children were much more negative towards freeloaders than older kids.

A lake of water was found on Mars — and may be the first of many

'We think we have some evidence that there might be more.'