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Quirks & Quarks

CBC

Join host Bob McDonald each week to find out the latest in science, technology, medicine and the environment. We cover the quirks of the expanding universe to the quarks within a single atom...and everything in between.

Join host Bob McDonald each week to find out the latest in science, technology, medicine and the environment. We cover the quirks of the expanding universe to the quarks within a single atom...and everything in between.
More Information

Location:

Toronto, ON

Networks:

CBC

Description:

Join host Bob McDonald each week to find out the latest in science, technology, medicine and the environment. We cover the quirks of the expanding universe to the quarks within a single atom...and everything in between.

Twitter:

@CBCQuirks

Language:

English

Contact:

416-205-6124


Episodes

Bitcoin's energy costs, beatboxers invent new sounds, wind farms change lizards, chucking salmon for science, piranha barking, smells and mapping, and heat and humidity.

11/9/2018
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Bitcoin mining uses more energy than mining for real gold; Beatboxers have invented whole new ways of making sounds; Wind farms in India are driving a population boom of skinny, fearless lizards; For 20 years, scientists have been chucking fish into the forest. Here's why; Barking piranhas and screeching catfish are the sounds of the Amazon River; Sniffing your way around - our brains are built to navigate by scent; Why does humidity make us feel hotter in the summer and colder in winter?

Duration:00:54:36

Tai Ask Why: Bonus

11/8/2018
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We interrupt your usual Quirks & Quarks podcast feed with a little bonus this week. It's called "Tai Asks Why" and it's hosted by a curious young fellow named Tai Poole - an 11-year old! - who's on a mission to solve the mysteries of life, love and science.

Duration:00:25:53

Politics puts the Amazon at risk, the problem with probiotics, biggest bird was blind, transforming robots, the origins of chocolate and why fish aren't salty.

11/2/2018
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The 'Trump of the Tropics' is now in charge of the lungs of the planet. Here's why that's scary; Probiotics probably aren't making you well, and they could make you sicker; The biggest bird in history might have been blind as a bat; A step towards Optimus Prime - transforming robots can reshape themselves; Aged chocolate: Archeologists find evidence of 5000 year old chocolate drink; Why are salt water fish not salty to eat?

Duration:00:54:36

Neanderthal nursing, Antarctica's singing snows, Fish and hook injuries and more, Our purple planet, Evolution goes to town and why two ears don't hear louder than one.

10/26/2018
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Neanderthals nursed their sick and injured back to health with ancient medicine; Listen to the Antarctic ice sheet sing a song of melting ice; There's a catch to 'catch and release:' hook injuries interfere with fish feeding; Purple reign: life on Earth might once have been dominated by purple micro-organisms; Evolution is going uptown as plants and animals adapt to city life; Why is the sound we hear in two ear buds not twice as loud as the sound from one?

Duration:00:54:14

Climate change and beer shortages, an omnivorous shark, the dung beetle's babysitting STI, biological explorers in the BC back-country, why you don't go blind when you blink and why you don't sneeze when asleep.

10/19/2018
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Beer shortages could be a consequence of climate change thanks to barley crop failures; A dung beetle's genital worms will help care for its offspring; A meat eater chooses a side of seagrass - this shark's an omnivore; Rain, spiders and bears are all part of discovering Canada's backcountry biology; Why you don't go momentarily blind when you blink; Why don't we sneeze when we're asleep?

Duration:00:54:13

The Great Canadian Ganja Experiment - The Science of Cannabis: Quirks & Quarks explores the questions researchers want to answer with the dawn of legal recreational use

10/12/2018
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Cannabis and the brain: the knowns and the big unknowns; What's in a pot plant? Exploring the genes of your favourite ganja; Cultivating cannabis: Five tips on how to grow your own a bit better at home; Cannabis in a van: American researchers get creative to study high-potency products; Addiction and cannabis: it's real and this is what you need to know about it.

Duration:00:54:24

Canada's newest Nobel laureate, reading surgeons' minds, sniffing out shark water, a moon in an alien solar system and women and autism underdiagnosis

10/5/2018
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Canada's latest Nobel winner is a 'laser jock' who loves the lab; Researchers are reading doctors' brains to see how good they are at surgery; 'Smelling' for shark DNA to see if it's safe to go back in the water; Watching a moon rise - in a solar system 8000 light years away; Thousands of women with autism may be going undiagnosed because it's a 'male disorder'.

Duration:00:54:14

Narcolepsy shows the importance of sleep, bird voiceboxes, neutron star nuclear pasta, manta rays and filtering water, a UV sensing wristband and the colour of bird poop

9/28/2018
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What this man with narcolepsy can teach us about getting better sleep; Bird song is unique as well as beautiful - no other animal makes noise this way; 'Nuclear pasta' on a neutron star could support mountains centimetres tall; How manta rays eat could be the secret to filtering pollution from water; No more sunburns: a simple wristband helps us get just the right amount of sun; Why is bird poop white?

Duration:00:54:36

Hurricane floods move the earth, octopuses on ecstasy, greening the Sahara, Gulf of St. Lawrence gasping for air, an elephant queen, and what happens to flushed opioids

9/21/2018
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We can forecast the hurricanes. Can we figure out how to forecast their floods?; Octopuses on ecstasy: The party drug leads to eight-armed hugs; The Sahara's wind and sun could power the world, and turn the desert green; The Gulf of St. Lawrence is running out of oxygen thanks to climate change; Elephant families are very like ours, according to the filmmakers of 'The Elephant Queen'; What happens when opioids are released into the environment?

Duration:00:54:35

Summer Science - Camping under a volcano, plastic in beluga bellies, Arctic char and climate change, water filters for african villages and CO2 from forest fires

9/14/2018
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The moment they arrived, the volcano began exploding; Digging deep in a beluga whale's belly looking for plastic pollution; Will the water be too warm for fish to spawn? Studying climate change and Arctic char; Canadian engineering talent helps develop water filters in Africa; How do CO2 emissions from forest fires compare to those from fossil fuels?

Duration:00:54:50

What to save? Making hard choices in the conservation of wild animals and wild spaces

9/7/2018
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How we make decisions about what to save, and do we explore the idea of "conservation triage." So do we choose pipelines or killer whales? And is this an argument about money - or about values that transcend it?

Duration:00:55:00

Gene editing for muscular dystrophy, wildfire prediction, Zika fizzles, extinct cave bears' DNA legacy, Russians miss a missile, fake news vaccine and is the Earth gaining weight.

8/31/2018
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Gene editing fixes muscular dystrophy in dogs - and humans could be next; Soot and smoke are the secret to predicting how forest fires might behave; The Zika epidemic 'vaccinated' half of Latin America, so it won't happen again; DNA evidence shows huge cave bears mated with brown bears before they went extinct; One of Russia's missiles is missing - and it could be a secret nuclear disaster; Fake News; How does the Earth's weight change every year?

Duration:00:54:35

An ancient human hybrid child, making universal blood, parasites parasitize each other, drones protect airports from birds, machine learning transcends humans and wildfires and wildlife.

8/24/2018
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'Completely mind-blowing' discovery of a hybrid of two extinct human species; Making blood types obsolete - researchers convert blood to universal donor; When one parasite sucks the life out of another parasite; Drone 'sheepdogs' steer flocks away from airports to prevent bird strikes; A machine learning system called Alpha Go zero makes a major leap forwards; What are the impacts of forest fires on wildlife?

Duration:00:54:57

August 18, 2018: Canada bans neonics, tracking animals from space, elephant zombie gene, repelling elephants to save from poachers, and growing enough food.

8/17/2018
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Canada bans neonic pesticides implicated in bee declines; Tracking animals from space could provide early warning of natural disasters; Elephants have a zombie gene that comes back to life to fight cancer; How do you discourage a pesky elephant? Use bee smells as a repellent; We can't grow enough food to feed the world according to the Food Guide; Low level air pollution costs the economy billions of dollars in lost productivity; If the moon had oceans what would its tides be like?

Duration:00:54:47

August 11, 2018 - Climate change attribution for extreme weather, cockpit air quality, and more Also, predicting adult voices from baby cries, island bird brains bigger than mainland birds, and lobster pain

8/10/2018
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'Climate change is here' - but is it to blame for the extreme weather this summer? Why the airline industry might want to lower cockpit CO2 levels. A baby's cries can predict the sound of their adult voice. Island birds would likely beat their mainland relatives in a battle of wits. Do lobsters feel pain when we boil them? Why does eating beets make my urine turn pink?

Duration:00:54:57

August 4, 2018 - Parker Solar Probe to 'touch' the sun, child's brain rewires itself after chunk removed, gut microbes sabotaging weight loss, wolf spider's diet could help cool the Arctic, searching for star dust, and firefly glow

8/3/2018
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Sun probe set to embark on perilous journey into the 'heart of the fire.' Scientists get a rare glimpse of the brain reorganizing itself after a lobectomy. Darn gut bacteria might be thwarting your weight loss efforts. Arctic spiders spinning new food web as climate warms - and that's a good thing. Your rooftop could be sprinkled with cosmic star dust. Do fireflies glow just at night or do they glow during the day too?

Duration:00:55:01

July 28, 2018 - 'Shark Week' is bad for sharks, Milky Way music, climate change makes fish smell badly. Also, flying a drone by moving your body, rats are bad for coral reefs, hunting bison with fire, and sunscreen and freshwater lakes.

7/27/2018
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Scientists want a 'fin-ale' to Shark Week shows that hurt sharks. An astronomer turns the motions of our Milky Way galaxy into sweet music. Greenhouse gases will make fish smell worse as the oceans acidify. Piloting a drone with 'body english' beats joysticks hands down. Oh rats! Seabird-eating rodents are hurting coral reefs near tropical islands. Indigenous people hunted bison using fire - and clever manipulation of the landscape. Does sunscreen damage freshwater lake ecosystems?

Duration:00:54:38

July 21, 2018 - Bread came before agriculture, driving drowsiness, the science of 'Ant-Man,' geese race north, dolphins avoid the bends, Jupiter's new moons and a question of symmetry

7/20/2018
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A bread recipe from 14,000 years ago: wild oats, barley, wheat and roots. Your car might be trying to kill you by lulling you with sleep-inducing vibrations. The science behind 'Ant-man' - Did they really just put 'quantum' in front of everything? Migrating geese are losing the race north - and their chicks are paying the price. Diving a kilometre down and not getting 'the bends' - how dolphins do it. New moons of Jupiter came from a demolition derby, and it's not over yet. The reason why...

Duration:00:54:11

A biotech rescue for the northern white rhino, smarty-pants parrots brain structure, high-energy neutrino source found, night shifts disrupt our brain and gut clocks, sizing up human roars and more

7/13/2018
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Lab-made hybrid embryos could save the northern white rhino from extinction; Parrot's unique brain structure explains why they're so smart; Freshly detected 'ghost particle' offers a new way to observe the universe; Night shifts put your brain and gut clocks out of whack; Humans can judge a person's strength from their aggressive roars; Incredible dandelions could hold the key to growing plants on the oil sands; Why do predatory dinosaurs have eyes on the sides of their head?

Duration:00:54:38

Curbing violent thoughts, Arctic archaeological treasures at risk, Chernobyl's wandering wolves, tracking Asian hornet bee-killers, our tree-climbing ancestors, the genetics of divorce, and more

7/6/2018
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A tiny zap of electricity to the brain can reduce violent intentions; The Arctic is melting - putting thousands of archaeological sites at risk; A radioactive wolf was spotted leaving Chernobyl's 'exclusion zone'; Asian hornets chop off the heads of honeybees; Toddler's fossil foot opens window into human evolution; Genetics is a big reason divorce runs in families; Where are we in the Milky Way galaxy?

Duration:00:54:54