Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


May 25 — Sharks on a bird diet, fossils of fungus, 'lifelike' machines and more…

Giant beaver extinction, the beauty of calculus and oil spill dispersants

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

Neuroethicists warn of extraordinary claims from 'neurowearables'

The claims of manufacturers are often ahead of the neuroscience

Flying food for fish? Tiger sharks are somehow eating songbirds

Migrating birds who fall into the ocean become fast food for baby tiger sharks

Fungus fossils shows the complexity of Earth's life a billion years ago

Tiny fossils of fungal spores that lived in an ecosystem dominated by bacteria

Scientists create robot-like biomaterial with key traits of life

The DNA-based material can metabolise, self-assemble, and potentially even evolve

Ancient beavers as big as bears died out because of their woodless diet

As the landscape dried up 10,000 years ago this dam-less beaver couldn't create it's own home

No, really, calculus can be beautiful and this mathematician will tell you why

Steven Strogatz wants you to share his enthusiasm for calculus, 'the language of the universe'

What happens to oil spills after dispersant is used?

Chemical oil dispersants help speed up the natural biodegradation of oil

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
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.