Quirks & Quarks

 
 

Quirks & Quarks

Quirks & Quarks is Canada's award-winning national science program. Every week, host Bob McDonald  presents the people behind the latest discoveries in science, technology, medicine and the environment  - from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the largest objects in the sky and everything in between.

Updated: Fridays
Download episodes from this podcast for: 6 months
Visit Show Site: http://cbc.ca.mevn.net/radio/quirks
Quirks Podcast Segments Quirks & Quarks - Segments


All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

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

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?

Download 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
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:36]


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

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?

Download 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
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:51]


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

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?

Download What to save? Making hard choices in the conservation of wild animals and wild spaces
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:01]


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.

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?

Download 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.
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:36]


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.

'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?

Download 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.
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


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

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?

Download August 18, 2018: Canada bans neonics, tracking animals from space, elephant zombie gene, repelling elephants to save from poachers, and growing enough food.
[mp3 file: runs 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

'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?

Download 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
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


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

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?

Download 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
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


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.

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?

Download 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.
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


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

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 most animals are symmetrical has to do with their locomotion

Download 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
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:31]


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

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?

Download 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
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


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

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?

Download 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
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


A comet from the stars, microbiome and arthritis, polar bear treadmill, engineering a decompression chamber for deep sea fish, and more

Our solar system's first interstellar visitor has its own natural 'rockets'; Your microbiome may be giving you arthritis. How can we understand it better?; Polar bears on a treadmill: why scientists wanted to test their walking metabolism; Engineering a decompression chamber to retrieve fish from the 'twilight zone'; Fossils of our civilization - what humans will leave behind; Do animals have the same sleep requirements as humans?

Download A comet from the stars, microbiome and arthritis, polar bear treadmill, engineering a decompression chamber for deep sea fish, and more
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


Lasting effects of trauma in children's brains, catching criminals with 'bacterial fingerprints", Why fur seals can get by without REM sleep, how the Antarctic is rising, and more

Separating children from parents can negatively affect brain development; Identifying criminals by the 'bacterial fingerprints' they leave behind; Seals who sleep with half their brains help explain how humans snooze; Antarctica's rising bedrock could stabilize the ice melt; How long did it take to wipe out the dinosaurs?

Download Lasting effects of trauma in children's brains, catching criminals with 'bacterial fingerprints", Why fur seals can get by without REM sleep, how the Antarctic is rising, and more
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:45]


Animals becoming nocturnal, cod comeback stumbles, mantis shrimp's brainy punch, drilling holes in skulls, to Pluto and beyond and why cereal sticks together.

Fear of humans is driving animals into the darkness - and nocturnal life; Newfoundland's cod comeback faces a setback - is fishing to blame?; The mantis shrimp's violent punches harness brains as well as brawn; Incan doctors scraped holes in skulls with stone tools - and the patients survived; To Pluto and beyond! The inside story of a mission to the edge of the solar system; Why do Cheerios stick together when they are floating in milk?

Download Animals becoming nocturnal, cod comeback stumbles, mantis shrimp's brainy punch, drilling holes in skulls, to Pluto and beyond and why cereal sticks together.
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:50]


Rising CO2 levels making food less nutritious, neonicotinoids and bees, tricking facial recognition systems, slowing cyclones, crocodiles' brains on Bach, and more

Rising carbon dioxide levels is turning rice and fish into junk food; Hurricanes are slowing down and settling in to do more damage; Scientists say restrictions on neonic pesticides aren't enough - we need a ban; AI researchers develop a way to trick facial recognition systems; Crocodile Bach - what classical music does to a reptile's brain; Where was the Higgs boson particle 'hiding' before it was discovered?

Download Rising CO2 levels making food less nutritious, neonicotinoids and bees, tricking facial recognition systems, slowing cyclones, crocodiles' brains on Bach, and more
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:49]


Kids and Concussions, the gene for our big brain, island hopping into the Americas and animals are loud, humans are quiet

Kids and concussions - the latest science on risks and long term effects; A gene for our big brains was rescued from the DNA garbage bin; The first Americans 'island hopped' down the west coast past the glaciers; Animals vocalize 100 times louder than humans - it's a matter of survival

Download Kids and Concussions, the gene for our big brain, island hopping into the Americas and animals are loud, humans are quiet
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:48]


Someone’s cheating on the ozone treaty, nano-nutrients for crops, why birds almost died with the dinosaurs, sports excellence needs great brains, not enough sleep or too much awake and lightning zig-zags

Scientists discover secret polluters may be eroding the ozone layer; Dino killing asteroid also took out the trees - and the birds that lived in them; Cancer researcher uses medical nanotech to deliver nutrients to hungry crops; Great athletes have high performance brains, as well as bodies; The sleep deficit puzzle - is it not enough sleep or too much being awake?; Why doesn't lightning travel in a straight line?

Download Someone’s cheating on the ozone treaty, nano-nutrients for crops, why birds almost died with the dinosaurs, sports excellence needs great brains, not enough sleep or too much awake and lightning zig-zags
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:36]


Science of psychedelics, understanding Kilauea up close, hippo poop kills fish Also pain enables flesh eating bacteria, green blooded lizards and genes for ethnicity?

Michael Pollan on the science of how psychedelics can ‘shake your snow globe’; Kilauea’s lava has been flowing for 35 years - what’s science learning from the latest eruption?; Flushing hippo toilets smother fish in African rivers; Flesh eating bacteria stun the immune system into silence - with pain; Green-blooded reptiles are on the edge of poisoning themselves; Is there a genetic marker for ethnicity?

Download Science of psychedelics, understanding Kilauea up close, hippo poop kills fish Also pain enables flesh eating bacteria, green blooded lizards and genes for ethnicity?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:36]


James Hansen's 'I told you so', elephant earthquakes and third-hand smoke Also digging into Mars, New Brunswick floods and health risks, and could humans get heartworm?

‘Father of global warming’ worries the climate young people inherit will be out of their control; ‘Third hand smoke’ can leap from clothes and surfaces into the air you breathe; Listening for elephant earthquakes might help us save pachyderms from poachers; Mars InSight lander will use seismology to see what’s shaking on Mars; Flood waters up in BC, down in NB - what health concerns do they leave behind?; Why don't humans get heartworm like our canine friends?

Download James Hansen's 'I told you so', elephant earthquakes and third-hand smoke Also digging into Mars, New Brunswick floods and health risks, and could humans get heartworm?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:21]


Preserving brains for uploading, Coral reefs sound sick, South American child sacrifice and more…A ray-gun to stop rogue vehicles, the first bird beak and the Earth’s ‘dark side’.

Preserving your brain might kill you, but it could it help you live forever; The Great Barrier Reef sounds sick, so baby fish aren't attracted to it; Ancient Peruvians sacrificed 140 children by tearing their hearts out; Could this Pentagon-developed ‘ray gun’ have stopped the Toronto van attack?; The first bird beak came with teeth as well; Will the Earth ever have a ‘dark side’?

Download Preserving brains for uploading, Coral reefs sound sick, South American child sacrifice and more…A ray-gun to stop rogue vehicles, the first bird beak and the Earth’s ‘dark side’.
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:36]


Scrap medical weed; women in space; and more

Doctor’s group wants to scrap Canada’s medical cannabis program' Right stuff, wrong gender - the true story of the women who almost went to the moon; An ancient giant sloth hunt, frozen in time; Study after study has shown that corporate anti-bias training doesn’t work; How do tiny songbirds sing so loud, for so long?

Download Scrap medical weed; women in space; and more
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:41]


Chemical weapons history, exploding ant, switchblade fish and more

A scientific history of chemical weapons; Kamikaze ants blow themselves up and cover their victims with killer slime; Deep-diving ‘sea nomads‘ have evolved an internal scuba tank; Trans Mountain spill ‘could have significant impacts’ says Canadian government scientist; One of the most venomous fish in the ocean also has switchblade eyes; Why doesn't life continue to spontaneously occur around hydrothermal vents in the ocean?

Download Chemical weapons history, exploding ant, switchblade fish and more
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:38]


Arctic salt lake, eyebrow communication, and creating Captain America PLUS - Hummingbird songs, and the double-edged sword of aerosol reduction

Newly discovered salt lakes in Canadian arctic help us understand Jupiter's moons; Why humans ditched the mono brow, for two eyebrows; Chasing Captain America: Author explores real-life science that could build a super-soldier; Hummingbirds 'sing' with their tail feathers to impress the females; Catch-22: polluting aerosols cool the Earth, removing them warms it; Can we make veggies winter hardy like daffodil plants?

Download Arctic salt lake, eyebrow communication, and creating Captain America PLUS - Hummingbird songs, and the double-edged sword of aerosol reduction
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:40]


Microplastics contaminate land, a four-eyed lizard, and dark matter goes missing. Also coffee and pot, the science of luck, and do trees radiate heat?

Scientists worry microplastics found on farmers’ fields could end up in our food; Why a lizard from 49 million years ago had four eyes; A strange new kind of galaxy has no dark matter, and we don’t know why; Wake ‘n’ bake - what coffee and cannabis have in common; How you can use the science of luck to change your fortunes; Nature retracts CRISPR ‘bull in a China shop’ paper about gene editing; Do trees radiate heat?

Download Microplastics contaminate land, a four-eyed lizard, and dark matter goes missing. Also coffee and pot, the science of luck, and do trees radiate heat?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:20]


Time to re-think human anatomy, a new ‘organ’ has been found; How a massive volcano helped to convert Iceland's pagans to Christianity; On a hunt for North America's indigenous crops; and more

The interstitium, a newfound human organ has been hiding in plain sight; Brain scans reveal why the 'Iceman' can withstand insanely cold temperatures; The volcano that brought Christianity to Iceland; On a hunt for North America's indigenous crops; Using tailpipe tech to make smoked bacon safer to eat; Why do fingers and toes wrinkle when they are in the water for a long time?

Download Time to re-think human anatomy, a new ‘organ’ has been found; How a massive volcano helped to convert Iceland's pagans to Christianity; On a hunt for North America's indigenous crops; and more
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:50]


 

 

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