Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


Dec 5: A mysterious light from the universe, undoing cellular ageing, feather talking and more…

A smartwatch predicts COVID, the path of the polar bear and moon volcanoes

New 3D map of the Milky Way continues a quest that began in Canada

Bob McDonald's blog: The map includes data from more than 1.8 billion stars

Pluto probe finds mysterious night light in the universe

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has detected light with no obvious source coming from beyond our galaxy.

Your smartwatch might be able to detect early signs of COVID-19

Scientists can detect signs of possible infection up to 10 days before symptoms appear

These birds communicate through feather flutters - and even have different accents

The fork-tailed flycatcher is a tiny yet feisty bird that flutters its feathers to pick a mate or challenge a threat. A new study shows how they make these sounds, and that they're different between subspecies.

Scientists reverse aging in retinal cells by removing genetic 'rust' to restore vision

The findings suggest that cells retain a memory of their genetically programmed youthful state

Ice Walker — a mother polar bear's precarious existence in the changing Arctic

Naturalist James Raffan's new book is a fictional account of real risks face by bears

Why does Jupiter's moon Io have volcanoes but our moon doesn't?

Jupiter's powerful gravity creates tidal friction that drives Io's volcanoes

Nov 28: Quick tests for COVID, rat hides poison in its fur, neuroscientists see how we see colour and more…

Our planet’s climate zones are changing and why the hottest temperatures are in Death Valley

Chinese sample return mission to the moon harkens back to 1960s lunar race

Bob McDonald's blog: Robot mission will return first moon rocks since 1976

Could quick COVID 'antigen' tests break the back of the pandemic?

A new study suggests frequent rapid antigen testing could control the spread of the virus within weeks.

This gorgeous African rat combs poison into its fur to deter predators

Researchers observed the rats chewing poison bark, and don't know how they are unaffected

Neuroscience suggests that yes, when you see purple, it's the same purple I see

Brain imaging study shows patterns of activation are similar between individuals

The world's major climate zones — polar, temperate and tropical — are transforming as we watch

Several recent studies look at how climate change is redrawing the map.

Why are the hottest temperatures measured in Death Valley?

Death Valley is more accessible than the Sahara desert which makes recording temperature much easier.

Nov 21: Microbial mining in space, baby birds get the boot, palm oil substitutes and more…

Deep sea squid says ‘g’day’, Canada’s place in space and how do fans make cool air?

Famous Arecibo telescope was the first to send a signal to alien civilizations

Bob McDonald's blog: Damage to historic instrument means it will be dismantled

Microbes may be our miners on asteroids, moons and other planets

Microbes could be put to use in future human space settlements extracting metals and rare elements from rocks, according to a researcher who designed the world's first mining experiment in space. 

Songbird parents manipulate their chicks out of the nest before they're ready to go

Parents will lure their fledglings out of the nest with food or by calling them

Canadian food scientists develop eco-friendly substitutes for palm oil

Technique involves transforming liquid oils into solid fats

Super rare deep sea squid spotted in Australian waters for the first time

Magnapinna, or bigfin squid, is the size of a hotdog bun, but with filaments up to 7 metres long.

Canadian technological ingenuity and astronaut talent has been our ticket to space

New book tells the tale of Canada’s involvement in international space exploration, and how the Canadarm became 'Canada's space currency.'

Why do fans make the air feel cooler?

Air flow from a fan makes the air feel cooler due to convection and evaporation

Nov 14: COVID vaccine & immune durability, wallabies in the UK, ancient female hunters and more …

Humans are cooler than we used to be, Herzberg gold medal winner and how old are circadian rhythms?

Would hyperloop transportation technology work in Canada?

Bob McDonald's blog: Travelling by hyperloop could theoretically get you from Toronto to Montreal in 1 hour, or Edmonton to Calgary in 30 minutes