Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald


May 21: Losing sleep over climate change, growing plants in lunar soil, trilobite sex and more…

The sound of biodiversity loss, carbon emissions and medical care and a question of blowing air.

Time to consider the impact of rocket exhausts on the atmosphere

Bob McDonald's blog: Researchers analyze how frequent future rocket launches could significantly impact the Earth's climate

Hot nights are disrupting our sleep — and climate change is making it worse, study finds

A new study analyzing the sleep data for thousands of people worldwide has found that we’re getting less sleep as nighttime temperatures increase, and it’s only going to get worse with climate change.

May 14: Ancient oyster mounds, seagrass' sweet secret, saving the Mekong delta and more…

Reading minds to produce sound and next-gen COVID-19 vaccines

Europe's space agency needs your eyeballs to study a comet

Bob McDonald's blog: Human eyes are really good at spotting subtle changes on a comet's surface from various viewpoints

Indigenous people harvested huge amounts of oysters sustainably through history, study finds

A recent study shows that for thousands of years, Indigenous peoples were harvesting tonnes of oysters sustainably. Researchers say this shows that it’s possible to do large-scale harvesting without harming ecosystems.

May 7: Endangered tiny porpoise, Mars-quakes, thermal batteries and more…

Bloodworm's metal fangs, finding alternatives to animal experimentation and why does coal release mercury?

Join astronomers under the stars to appreciate the magnificence of our universe

Bob McDonald's blog: May 7 is the unofficial holiday Astronomy Day, and stargazers around the world will be marking the day with public events.

Meet the Canadian researcher determined to take the animals out of lab testing

A growing number of scientists are calling for an end to the "gold standard" of animal experimentation, because not does it come with ethical concerns, increasingly it may no longer the best way to get results, thanks to technological advances that can replicate human biology for testing drugs and chemicals.

Apr 30 - Avian flu outbreak, prehistoric art and firelight, the dingo genome and more…

Joggers save calories, Canada’s space tourist and what tsunamis do to marine life

NASA will fly to an asteroid we once thought could strike Earth

Bob McDonald's blog: An asteroid we once thought was on a collision course with Earth will now be visited by a repurposed spacecraft when the space rock passes close in 2029.

'Like going to the movies': Early humans may have enjoyed animated rock art by firelight

Hunter-gatherers may have enjoyed dynamic, moving pictures long before the first movie was shown some 140 years ago, according to a study that examined engraved stone tablets created around 15,000 years ago.

April 23: Shallow water on Europa, tourists making iguanas diabetic, dolphin social netorking and more…

Working out how dinosaurs walked and what to do to save the world’s coral reefs.

Scientists say a return to Uranus should be a highest priority

Bob McDonald's blog: In 1986 Voyager flew by the distant giant planet, but we haven't been back since, and now a U.S. advisory panel says its time to give Uranus a close look.

Ridges on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa could mean water — and life

Scientists have found that Jupiter's moon Europa may have liquid water relatively near the surface, which increases the possibility of the existence of life.

New book details race to save coral reefs around the world

Coral reefs support some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, but lately they've been struggling due to pollution, fishing practices and warming oceans. Oceanographer and science writer Juli Berwald lays out the science happening around the world to save coral in her new book called Life on the Rocks: Building a Future for Coral Reefs.

Apr 16: Legless fossils, smells of the past, research with Russia and more…

Sleeping sharks and the new story of the first peoples in the Americas.

Apr 9: Arctic plastic pollution, the 'drunken monkey' hypothesis, the songs of the manatee and more…

Indigenous-led caribou conservation, the Norse in brown-land and tropical tree leaves

Does a Canadian millionaire's private flight to the space station mark a new era in space travel?

Bob McDonald's blog: Mark Pathy paid $55M for his ticket to the publicly funded space station. In the future, space tourists may be visiting a private space station.

Indigenous-led conservation program saves caribou herd from extinction

A collaboration between two First Nations in British Columbia led to a program that is being celebrated as one of the first caribou conservation success stories in the world.

Apr 2: New human genome, lion cuddle chemical, Pluto's ice volcanoes and more…

Deconstructing de-extinction, giant crocodiles in BC

Scientists sequence complete, gap-free human genome for the first time

When the human genome was first sequenced over 20 years ago, it was a huge scientific feat, often compared to the significance of putting a man on the moon. But it was only 92% complete. Now scientists have a new edition of the human genome that fills in the blanks in the old version.

Northern lights a reminder of the sun's influence on Earth

Bob McDonald's blog: This week, an enormous blob of plasma shot out from the sun like a tornado out of a thunderstorm, resulting in a beautiful light show across our skies.

Mar 26: Boa breathing, green fire retardant vampire bat evolution and more…

Building urban biodiversity and fungal leather

Genetically modified space salad could help prevent astronauts' bone loss, researchers say

Bob McDonald's blog: Scientists have developed a transgenic lettuce that produces a bone stimulating hormone. They say it could help prevent bone loss in astronauts.