Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald

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Mar 23 - Shopping for souvenirs on an asteroid, new Cambrian explosion fossils, the gut-brain axis and more...

Why we can say ‘f’ words, green icebergs from Antarctica and the length of a dream
Bob McDonald's blog

Cobbling together planets one piece at a time

Scientists studying asteroids look at the leftovers from planetary formation

A Japanese spacecraft visits an asteroid - and will bring back a souvenir

Samples from the asteroid Ryugu may help scientists learn more about the ingredients for life available in the early solar system

'Weird wonders' in China — new half-billion year-old fossils from the dawn of animal life

More than 2,000 pristine fossils have been found and half are animals completely new to science.

Your gut bacteria are actively involved in your emotions, how you think, and even behave

'There is no limit really on what aspects of emotion could be modulated by the microbiome'

Our farming ancestors are the reason we can say 'f' words today

The consistency of food we eat has an effect on our jaw growth, and in turn, the sounds we can easily make

Mysterious green icebergs from Antarctica might be fertilizing the southern ocean

Scientists now think the unusual green colour in these icebergs is due to high concentrations of iron

How long does it take to dream a dream?

The passage of time in a dream may be slower than it feels

March 16, 2019 — Inside actors' brains, inactive ingredients aren't, Super solar storms and more...

Butterfly’s toxic backup, secrets life of bone and wind turbines and climate
Bob McDonald's blog

How to improve education: move the classroom outdoors

Exposing children to nature while they learn can benefit their learning, development, and sense of environmental stewardship.

Actors' brains have different activity patterns when they're in character

'The more you become someone else, the less there is of you'

Inactive ingredients in your meds might not be so inactive after all

Research shows that over-the-counter and prescription capsules and pills can contain a broad range of ingredients, some of which can cause allergy or sensitivity in some people

Super-powerful solar storms hit Earth in the past — and could recur in the future

A massive solar storm today could create electrical chaos in our modern technological society

When a butterfly's disguise fails, its backup plan is poison

Viceroy butterflies mimic a queen butterfly's awful-taste, but only when they aren't around

'Skeleton Keys' — a new book explores the secret life of bones

Writer Brian Switek looks at the sometimes macabre but always fascinating secrets of our skeletons

Do wind turbine farms have an effect on climate?

Turbines don’t increase the temperature, but they redistribute heat that is already in the air

Mar. 9, 2019 — Science of awe, blue whales and sonar, chromosomes and sleep and more…

Ancient aquaculture on the west coast and dogs and human sperm quality
Bob McDonald's blog

Searching for the missing Milky Way: Canada may find it

Scientists have calculated the mass of the Milky Way galaxy, most of which is made up of dark matter.

Exploring the powerful emotion of awe — how it can be awe-some and aw-ful

Awe has a transformative effect on people's brains and subsequent behaviour

Military sonar puts blue whales off their feed

Deep diving whales abandon their foraging

Your brain may need sleep to repair DNA 'potholes'

The brain catches up on a backlog of neural chromosome repairs when asleep.

Man and man's best friend have both been experiencing declines in sperm quality

Researchers in the U.K. have found a link between the fertility declines in domestic male dogs and similar problems that have been widely reported in human males.

Clam gardens have been cultivated by Indigenous people for millennia

Archaeologists have dated the oldest clam gardens to 3,500 years ago.

Mar 2, 2019 — The Goodness Paradox, secrets in poop, converting carbon to coal and more...

Countdown to the moon landing, selecting hygienic bees and a question of cow methane
Bob McDonald's blog

Canadian astronauts will face a lonely existence on the new Lunar Gateway

Canada's most visible contribution will literally be a helping hand — the Canadarm 3