Quirks & Quarkswith Bob McDonald


Jan 12, 2019 — Medieval woman painters, houseplants eat pollution, viruses that kill superbugs and more...

Antarctica turns researchers into zombies, fresh water is getting saltier and which planets are we missing?
Bob McDonald's blog

The future needs the energy of new ideas

We need to fund more innovative research to solve our fossil fuel conundrum

Blue pigment found on a medieval woman's teeth suggests she was a skilled, literate artist

Tiny particles of lapis lazuli pigment found in the dental plaque of a medieval women indicate that she was involved in the creation of medieval religious manuscripts

A genetically modified houseplant could suck up dangerous indoor air pollution

The modified plant can absorb and break down benzene and chloroform

Viruses that kill superbugs could save lives when antibiotics don't work

Antibiotic resistant bacteria could be treated with the viruses that attack them in nature, which are harmless to humans.

Zombies in Antarctica — Isolated researchers enter 'psychological hibernation'

Scientists think this state of 'psychological hibernation' is a way to protect our mental energy.

We're making our fresh water salty by massively changing the landscape

At least one third of U.S. streams and rivers have gotten saltier over the last 100 years

For every exoplanet we see transiting a star, how many go unseen?

Exoplanets are identified by the dimming of light as they pass in front of their star, but there are many other non-transiting planets that we can't see from Earth.

Jan. 5, 2019 — The Quirks & Quarks Listener Question show

Does climate change cause earthquakes? Why is it blurry underwater? Do animals do math? And more
Bob McDonald's blog

Terra Incognita: Continuing to explore the great unknown

Robotic spacecraft are carrying on the tradition of past explorers who ventured out over the horizon to see what's there.

Dec. 29, 2018 — Water on Mars, lab-grown lungs and more: The biggest science stories of 2018

From lab-grown pigs' lungs to a liquid lake on Mars, this is the year in review for the stories you haven't yet viewed — or heard — on Quirks & Quarks.

TESS, the planet hunting space telescope, is on track to discover a sky full of exoplanets

NASA has already announced the discovery of two new exoplanets, and is expected to find at least 10,000 more.

Lab grown lungs are transplanted in pigs today, they may help humans tomorrow

Bioengineered lungs successfully transplanted into pigs may eventually provide new options for humans awaiting a transplant

The year in climate change: Fires and heat-waves show things are heating up

'2018 is a year that will go down in history as a year of unprecedented extreme weather events'

Billions of viruses are raining down on you from the upper atmosphere every day

The next time you go outside and take a deep breath of fresh air, think about this: as you stare up into the sky, billions of tiny invisible viruses are raining down on you.

Even kids as young as four want to punish freeloaders

Younger children were much more negative towards freeloaders than older kids.

A lake of water was found on Mars — and may be the first of many

'We think we have some evidence that there might be more.'

Dec. 22, 2018 - Quirks Holiday Book show - Science of the voice, talking about the weather and more

Epigenetics and a new view of evolution and dust and rain
Bob McDonald's blog

Christmas 'stars' this holiday

There's a lot to see in the night's sky this holiday.
Quirks & Quarks blog

Quirks' science books of 2018

Science writers and books featured on Quirks this year

A writer and sound engineer investigates the science of the human voice

His book is 'Now You're Talking: The Story of Human Conversation from the Neanderthals to Artificial Intelligence'

Our atmosphere is a thin veneer on our planet, but this writer says it's where the action is

The book '18 Miles' explores our obsession with the atmosphere and weather through the often personal experience of its author, Christopher Dewdney.

A revolution in evolution is turning back the clock more than 200 years, says new book

In his new book, paleontologist Peter Ward looks at the phenomenon of epigenetics and how it represents 'Lamarck's revenge'

How important is dust to making it rain?

Raindrops and snowflakes require dust in the atmosphere in order to form because it requires less energy for water or ice to bond to a particle, than to form on their own.

Dec. 15, 2018: Is China winning the race to the moon, pig heart transplants, cute aggression and more…

Dust is alive, frogs sing in the city and science engineers the perfect christmas tree