Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald

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May 18, 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

Quirks & Quarks public debate: Should we have humans in space?

On June 11, join us in Toronto to attend a live taping of this Quirks & Quarks special program or catch it on our livestreams
Bob McDonald's blog

Kissing Kuiper belt objects produce a planetesimal

Ultima Thule's two lobes came together in a gentle collision that allowed them to stick together without breaking up

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.

'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

Moonquakes show the moon is still geologically 'alive'

The moon might still be shrinking and so its skin is wrinkling

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

May 11, 2019 —Zapping the brain to improve memory, the mission that almost landed on the moon and more

Does a dull sweet tooth make us fat, whale barnacles, and STEVE’s shining secret
Bob McDonald's blog

Finding the fingerprint of human influence on climate

Scientists created a global, historical 'drought atlas' showing a clear pattern of warming associated with emissions

Cutting-edge experiments show an electrical zap improves memory in older adults

Mild electrical stimulation gives older adults the memory performance of 20-year olds

Countdown to the moon landing: Apollo 10 — the mission that came so close to the moon

50 years ago this month, Apollo 10 came within 14km of the moon, and paved the way for the landing

It's all about the sugar fix: Eating too much sugar causes fruit flies to eat even more

Eating too much sugar diminished the sweet sense of taste in fruit flies, causing them to overeat

Barnacles stuck to ancient whales kept an itinerary of whale migration routes

Barnacle shells preserved a chemical signature of the journeys whales took

The secret of STEVE's glow — understanding the purple pal of the aurora borealis

STEVE’s mauve streaks caused by heating of charged particles high up in the atmosphere

May 4, 2019 — Brain resuscitation, Hippos supply algae skeletons, slug surgical glue and more...

Air conditioner carbon capture, coral reef halos and size and quantum mechanics.
Bob McDonald's blog

Ups and downs of commercial spaceflight

This year — the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing — will be a landmark year for commercial space flight

How late is too late to revive a brain? Pig brain study raises questions

Scientists partially revive pigs’ brains 10 hours after they were decapitated

Hippo poop provides a key mineral for vital algae's tiny skeletons

Silica from grass on land is vital to producing aquatic diatom's glassy shells

Stitching up surgical cuts with slug slime

The Dusky Arion slug produces a sticky goo to protect itself from small predators, but the defensive goo turns out to have excellent qualities as a medical adhesive

How air conditioners could keep you cool and capture carbon

Researchers propose modules attached to AC fans to help suck carbon out of ambient air

Holy coral reefs? They've got a 'halo' that could show if they're healthy

Reef patches are surrounded by rings of bright sand that's been cleared by reef fish

How big is too big for quantum mechanics?

The behaviour of both large and small objects can explained with quantum mechanics, it just gets really complex with bigger objects.

April 27, 2019 —Oilsands emissions underestimated, Chernobyl's wildlife, a comet trapped in an asteroid and mo

Mice run laps in zero-g, taking the uncertainty out of quantum, and species invading from Canada.