Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


Oct 19, 2019: Understanding the Anthropocene extinction, regenerating cartilage and more...

Autism and touch, a prosthetic that feels and where’s my Lyme vaccine?
Bob McDonald's blog

Half a century of space suit evolution

The evolution of spacesuits over the decades illustrates how hostile space really is

Understanding extinction — humanity has destroyed half the life on Earth

There's less life overall, and much of it is domesticated plants and animals instead of wildlife.

Could we prevent arthritis by regenerating cartilage?

We seem to have an innate repair mechanism, like salamanders. We just need it to work much better.

Autism anxiety may in part stem from an abnormal sense of touch

Dialing down touch over-reactivity in Autism Spectrum Disorders improves some brain and behavioural symptoms in mice

Building a better cyborg leg — adding a sense of touch to artificial limbs

Users were surprised and pleased to be able to feel their prosthetic

Why isn't there a Lyme disease vaccine for humans?

A false start caused a two decade lull in vaccine development to protect humans from Lyme

Oct 12, 2019: Canada's latest Nobel laureate and our election science policy debate

Hear from politicians discussing the issues our audience wants to hear about
Bob McDonald's blog

From theory to experiment — the search for dark matter

The Nobel prize was given, in part, for theorizing dark matter — now we need to find it

Hear from Canadian-born cosmologist James Peebles about his Nobel Prize

Manitoba-born cosmologist was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics "for [his] theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology"

The Quirks & Quarks science and environmental policy debate

The four major parties discuss fundamental science, evidence-based decisions, climate action and conservation of wilderness and species at risk

Oct 5, 2019: Is red meat bad? Deflecting asteroids, politics making us sick and more…

Growing human brains in the lab, evolution and orgasms and animals in the midnight sun.
Bob McDonald's blog

Let nature do the talking

A study using nearly 47,000 hours of audio recording reveals national parks can be noisy places

Hear from the scientist who says red meat might not be so bad for us after all

A thorough review of the evidence suggests the risk is small if it exists at all

NASA is testing a plan to deflect killer asteroids — by crashing into one

The DART spacecraft will slam into an asteroid to give it 'a little nudge'

Could modern political strife be making us sick?

A new study suggests engaging in politics can take a major toll on people's lives

We're making tiny brains in the lab — should we be worried for them?

Brain waves were detected in lab-grown brain organoids this summer. Could they become complex enough to think?

Hear how evolution may explain the female orgasm

Rabbit research suggests that the female orgasm evolved to trigger ovulation

How does 24 hour daylight impact animals in the far North?

Animals seem to adapt successfully to life under the midnight sun

Sep 28, 2019: Plastic tea-bag particles, Venus was habitable, driver memory fail and more…

Earliest North American migrants, plants ‘terraformed’ the Earth
Bob McDonald's blog

Time to move from protest to proactive on climate change

'Let's stop arguing about who's responsible for the problem and just get on with it.'

New plastic tea bags shed billions of tiny particles into the cup

Canadian researchers find hot water and plastic tea bags are not an ideal combination

Venus is a hellscape now, but might once have been blue like Earth

For billions of years Venus might have been temperate and pleasant — and even habitable

Lethal memory fail: Why drivers see, and then forget, motorcyclists

Driving simulation tests suggest that human memory, rather than negligence, may be responsible for "looked, but failed to see" collisions, a new study suggests.

Ever older remains of early migrants rewrite the story of the first North Americans

Artifacts dated to roughly 16,000 years ago mean migrants didn't wait for the ice age to end