Podcasts by Category
Quirks and Quarks from CBC Radio
- 528 - Losing sleep over climate change, growing plants in lunar soil, trilobite sex, the sound of biodiversity loss, carbon emissions and medical care and a question of blowing air.
Study says climate change could cause us to lose sleep – in more ways than one; Scientists successfully grow plants in moon dust; Fossil preserves critical evidence for how trilobites had sex half a billion years ago; A scientist recreates avian soundscapes so we can hear what we’re missing; How the medical system needs to – and is – engaging with its climate impacts; Quirks Question: Why does my breath feel warm when I exhale with an open mouth, and cool when I blow through tight lips?Fri, 20 May 2022 - 54min
- 527 - Ancient oyster mounds, seagrass’ sweet secret, saving the Mekong delta, reading minds to produce sound and next-gen COVID-19 vaccines
Oyster shell mountains show history of sustainable Indigenous fisheries; Seagrass is hiding a submerged sweet CO2 secret; Saving the Mekong delta in six (not) easy steps; Researchers can read a bird’s brain to tell what it’s about to sing; The first COVID-19 vaccines were a medical miracle – the next ones could be even better.Fri, 13 May 2022 - 54min
- 526 - Endangered tiny porpoise, Mars-quakes, thermal batteries, bloodworms metal fangs, finding alternatives to animal experimentation and why does coal release mercury?
With only 10 left, scientists say this tiny porpoise could survive – if we let it; Mars probe detects a whole lot of shaking going on; New heat-to-electricity device could make large thermal batteries a reality; A venomous marine worm with metal teeth reveals its secrets; Meet the Canadian researcher determined to take the animals out of lab testing; Question - Why does burning coal release mercury?Fri, 06 May 2022 - 54min
- 525 - Avian flu outbreak, prehistoric art and firelight, the dingo genome, joggers save calories, Canada’s space tourist and what tsunamis do to marine life.
Avian flu outbreak not currently a threat to humans, but awful for our feathered friends; Prehistoric people enjoyed “moving pictures” by combining rock art and firelight; The dingo genome tells a story of an animal that’s not quite dog or wolf; Joggers may be trying to make an effort, but mostly we run as efficiently as possible; A $50 million dollar ticket bought a Canadian millionaire the dream of space travel; Quirks Question - What do underwater volcanoes and tsunamis do to marine life?Fri, 29 Apr 2022 - 54min
- 524 - Shallow water on Europa, tourists making iguanas diabetic, dolphin social networking, working out how dinosaurs walked and what to do to save the world’s coral reefs.
Ridges on the surface of an icy Jupiter moon could mean water – and life; Ecotourists could be giving rare tropical iguanas diabetes; Dolphins whistle at each other to keep in touch with distant friends; Walking in the footsteps of the biggest dinosaurs; Humans have ravaged the world’s coral reefs, but some are working to fix them.Fri, 22 Apr 2022 - 54min
- 523 - Quirks and Quarks Introduces: Tai Asks Why - Season 4
Fifteen-year-old Tai Poole won’t rest until he’s uncovered the mysteries of the universe, one probing question at a time. In Season 4 of his Webby-winning podcast, Tai talks to everyone from NASA scientists to stand-up comedians to his equally curious little brother Kien. If you’ve ever wondered if we can keep eating meat without destroying the planet or if we’re alone in the universe, Tai has you covered. More episodes are available at hyperurl.co/taiaskswhyWed, 20 Apr 2022 - 04min
- 522 - Legless fossils, smells of the past, research with Russia, sleeping sharks and the new story of the first peoples in the Americas.
The first land animal to go legless three hundred million years ago; What did history smell like? New field of science aims to find out; This Canadian researcher was trapped on a Russian ship as war broke out; Sharks sleep, sometimes with their eyes wide open; A new book puts together the story of how people came to the Americas.Thu, 14 Apr 2022 - 54min
- 521 - Arctic plastic pollution, the ‘drunken monkey’ hypothesis, the songs of the manatee, Indigenous led caribou conservation, the Norse in brown-land and tropical tree leaves.
Plastic pollution is all over the arctic Monkeys consume fermenting fruit, likely for the extra calories from alcohol Biologists record and translate the songs of the manatee Indigenous-led conservation program saves caribou herd from extinction The Vikings might have left Greenland when it turned into brown-land Quirks Question - Do tropical trees lose their leaves?Fri, 08 Apr 2022 - 54min
- 520 - New human genome, lion cuddle chemical, Pluto’s ice volcanoes, deconstructing de-extinction, giant crocodiles in BC
Scientists sequence complete, gap-free human genome for the first time; Oxytocin helps aggressive rescue lions chill out in sanctuaries; Pluto’s strange landscape includes 7 km tall ice volcanoes; Deconstructing de-extinction; Giant crocodiles left trackways in northeastern BC 95 million years ago.Fri, 01 Apr 2022 - 54min
- 519 - Boa breathing, green fire retardant vampire bat evolution, building urban biodiversity and fungal leather
How do snakes breathe when eating huge meals?; A new chemistry for green fire retardants; How vampire bats had to evolve to live on blood alone; How do we build urban biodiversity as cities continue to grow?; Waste food fed to fungi is turned into faux leather.Fri, 25 Mar 2022 - 54min
- 518 - A sabretooth hypercarnivore, pack hunting spiders, urban trees and invasive insects, testing a baleen whale’s hearing, tire rubber pollution, clothes that listen to you and lithium mining in Ontario.
Paleontologists identify the first sabre-toothed mammalian hypercarnivore; A rare social spider hunts in packs in order to kill large prey; The urban tree canopy is facing a worst-case scenario in the near future; How do you test how well a whale hears?; Rubber dust from car tires can poison freshwater fish; Your favourite shirt might soon be listening to your hearbeat; Canada has lithium in Northwestern, Ontario. What is being done to mine it?Fri, 18 Mar 2022 - 54min
- 517 - Mar 12: Russia and space cooperation, the UN plastic treaty, ancient 10-legged octopus, medical alarm sounds and the price of fear for prey animals.
Will cooperation in space with Russia survive war in Ukraine? For more than half a century, through international conflict and political turmoil, the west has cooperated on a wide range of activities in space with the Soviets and then the Russians, culminating in the International Space Station. We speak with Mac Evans, former head of the Canadian Space Agency about why the war in the Ukraine runs the risk of ending that long collaboration. What will the new UN treaty to control plastic pollution need to achieve? On March 2, at a meeting of the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi the world’s nations agreed to negotiate a global agreement to control plastic pollution. We speak to Max Liboiron, a plastics pollution researcher at Memorial University of Newfoundland, about how the world created its plastics problem, and Tony Walker, who studies plastics pollution at Dalhousie University, on what he hopes the treaty will accomplish. The oldest octopus ancestor ever found had ten arms. Christopher Whalen, a palaeontologist from the American Museum of Natural History in New York has identified the oldest vampyropod, the group that includes ancestors of the octopus. The 328 million year old fossil from Montana is in extraordinary condition and is 82 million years older than the previous oldest find. But the big surprise is that this is that this animal had ten arms. His research was published in Nature Communications. Making medical alarms less awful – and maybe saving lives Hospitals can be pretty noisy places. Medical devices, in particular, make quite a racket. And while their alarms are essential, perhaps they don’t have to be so unpleasant. Michael Schutz, a professor of music cognition at McMaster University, believes that we can use what we know about music to improve the sonic environment in hospitals – and maybe save lives in the process. Fear of predation all by itself can reduce the survival rate of songbirds Liana Zannette, a biology professor from Western University in London, Ontario has found that just being aware of predators, even without actually being preyed upon, can reduce the reproductive rate of songbirds, and reduce the survival rate of those offspring they do have by as much as 53 percent. The most obvious impact is that birds living in fear do not eat. Her research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Are people who get blood transfusions from vaccinated donors protected from COVID? For the answer to this Quirks listener question, we hear from Dr. Jacob Pendergrast, a director of the blood transfusion service at the University Health Network in Toronto.Fri, 11 Mar 2022 - 54min
- 516 - Climate change and health, the biggest bacteria, rare earth metal recycling, tracking a giant Antarctic iceberg and are we living in a simulation?
IPCC report gives bleak warning about the future, but ideas on how we should prepare; Scientists discover the world’s biggest bacteria; Rare earth elements can be extracted from mining and electronic waste; Researchers watch a wandering Antarctic iceberg the size of PEI melt down; Could we be living in a computer simulation? And if we were, would there be any way to tell?Fri, 04 Mar 2022 - 54min
- 515 - Feb 26 - A Quirks & Quarks special: Feeding The Future - How we can feed 10 billion people without killing the planet
By many estimates we’re going to have 10 billion people on the planet by the year 2050. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. As it is, we have a hard time feeding the world’s current population. Many experts say that our food systems are at a breaking point, and that the way we eat - and what we eat - has to change. But there are solutions. This week, on a special edition of Quirks & Quarks, we’ll unpack the latest science showing what the future of food should look like. First we look at how farmers across the country are turning their fields into science experiments to help them survive climate change. Plus, we’ll look at the technologies that could help Canada grow fresh produce all year long. Then we look at sustainable food systems that curb waste, and how people are growing food where it was never thought possible - in concrete jungles and remote northern villages. Finally, we’re looking at the future of protein, from lab-made meat, to milk from a microbrewery, which can all be made without ever touching an animal.Fri, 25 Feb 2022 - 54min
- 514 - Roman porta-potty, rogue waves, why dogs can be tiny and titanic, half billion year old fossil nerves, a history of timekeeping and sleep and light.
Researchers reveal an ancient Roman porta-potty; A rare ‘rogue wave’ is captured by marine scientists; Dogs range in size from tiny to enormous – and the gene behind the variation comes from wolves; A 500 million year old fossil preserves the nervous system of an ancient sea creature; Marking the science and history of timekeeping, tick by tick; Quirks Listener Question. Do we sense light from other places in our body other than our eyes?Fri, 18 Feb 2022 - 54min
- 513 - The doomsday glacier, why we love, neanderthals and humans cave-swapping and more, mosquitos see red and astronomers vs. satellite constellations
The Antarctic’s doomsday glacier is in danger of living up to its name; Why we love – A new book surveys the science of love in all its forms; Neanderthals and humans swapped a cave in France over millennia; Mosquitos see red to find humans to feed on; Astronomers are fighting back against satellite constellations.Fri, 11 Feb 2022 - 54min
- 512 - Long COVID and the brain, gravitational waves from supermassive black holes, swapping spit, climate change and fish wars and hibernators recycle nutrients
What we know about what long COVID is doing to the brain; Seeing gravitational waves from the biggest things in the universe; Kids take note of who you kiss and who shares your ice cream; Climate change could spark fish wars around the globe; Squirrels survive hibernation by having their microbes recycle their pee.Fri, 04 Feb 2022 - 54min
- 511 - 130,000 new viruses discovered, chimpanzee social learning, what’s moving the tectonic plates, deer return to wildfire landscape and why aliens might look like us.
Researchers discover 130,000 new viruses, giving us a new way to watch for emerging pathogens; Chimpanzees aren't monkeys, but they learn by monkey see, monkey do; Is the moon driving the movement of the Earth's tectonic plates?; Deer choose to return to their smoldering home in the wake of a massive wildfire; Aliens often look like us in movies — will they look like us in real life?Fri, 28 Jan 2022 - 54min
- 510 - Tongan Volcano, why whales don’t choke on their food, darkness doomed the dinosaurs, plastic into marine fuel, electrically stimulating cartilage growth and scientific colonialism.
The Tongan volcano triggered record-breaking lightning and a never-before-seen tsunami; Whale researchers do anatomy with heavy machinery to understand why whales don't choke on their food; Darkness doomed the dinosaurs — the extinction asteroid turned out the lights on Earth; Plastic-collecting ships could use the waste for fuel while cleaning up the ocean; Regrowing knee cartilage with an electric boost; Researchers call for a new awareness of scientific colonialism; Quirks Listener Question: In which direction will the James Webb Space Telescope be looking?Fri, 21 Jan 2022 - 54min
- 509 - Seed dispersal and climate change, the Local Bubble, pint-sized war-horses, seeing memories form in an animal and a vaccine mixing study that didn’t quite happen.
Plants can’t adapt to climate change when seed-dispersing animals are lost; The Earth is at the centre of a cosmic bubble created by supernovae; Medieval knights rode pony-sized war-horses into battle; Scientists have seen new memories forming in an animal for the first time; How an important study of vaccine mixing in Canada got sabotaged by COVID chaos.Fri, 14 Jan 2022 - 54min
- 508 - Protecting cattle from wolves without killing, Shark antibodies to fight coronaviruses, wildlife DNA in the air, Tiny fish do the wave and why smoke is different from clouds.
This Alberta rancher has been called a 'wolf lover' for using no-kill methods to protect cattle; Shark antibodies could be a tool to fight future coronavirus outbreaks; Sniffing out animal DNA in the air could help monitor endangered species; Tiny fish do 'the wave' to scare off predatory birds; Why does smoke disperse but clouds seem to stick together?Fri, 07 Jan 2022 - 54min
- 507 - Our annual holiday listener question show; Where does the rubber from tires go? Can a laser cut through a mirror? Why don’t some animals vomit?
How close would you have to be to the source of gravitational waves to physically notice them or for them to do damage?; Where does the rubber from tires go?; Why have humans evolved handedness?; What is the evolutionary advantage of menopause?; Rabbits, mice, rats and horses don't vomit. Why is that?; What is the the environmental impact of space flight, and space tourism in particular?; Why do mammals have a body temperature of approximately 36 degrees Celsius?; Can a laser cut through a mirror?; Is scrapping an old gasoline-powered car and replacing it with a new electric one always better for the environment?; If our bodies completely change all their cells over a period of time, shouldn’t scars disappear as new cells replace damaged ones?Fri, 31 Dec 2021 - 54min
- 506 - Quirks and Quarks Introduces: Tai Asks Why - Special Episode
We interrupt your usual Quirks & Quarks podcast feed with a special bonus episode from the CBC Podcast Tai Asks Why. There's a MAJOR event happening in space science, NASA is set to launch the enormous James Webb Space Telescope. Guiding Tai on this starlit path of discovery is Dr. Naomi Rowe-Gurney, a James Webb Space Telescope postdoctoral researcher with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Howard University. More episodes are available at http://hyperurl.co/taiaskswhyTue, 21 Dec 2021 - 18min
- 505 - Holiday book show. We look at some great science books for winter reading or last minute gifts
Why humans should embrace our role as meddlers of nature — so that we can do it better; Are we getting closer to practical fusion power? A new book says … maybe; Tips and tricks for convincing a science denier to reconsider their unreasonable beliefs.Fri, 17 Dec 2021 - 54min
- 504 - Sounds of a coral reef, the message in young blood, ants communicate with vomit, the wildlife of Fukushima, NASA’s new space telescope and forests and carbon sequestration.
Whoops, croaks, groans and growls are the sounds of a healthy coral reef; Young blood can rejuvenate old mice — and scientists are starting to understand why; Ants share vomit to feed each other and communicate within the colony; Study finds wildlife in Fukushima’s exclusion zone show no signs of radiation damage; NASA's 10 billion dollar space telescope is finally going to launch — with CanCon; Do new forests or old ones capture more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?Fri, 10 Dec 2021 - 54min
- 503 - Xenobot self-replication, red light for declining vision, water from the solar wind, exploring the mind-body link, and Deaf in science: beyond the range of hearing
Robots made from living cells have learned how to replicate themselves; Exposure to deep red light could help improve age-related vision declines; Solar wind and space dust may explain the presence of much of Earth’s water; Probing the mind-body connection to learn how the brain controls immune responses; Deaf researchers are bringing their unique perspective to the lab and the field.Fri, 03 Dec 2021 - 54min
- 502 - Snapping science, male pregnant seahorse placentas, astronauts in Labrador, slacklining, skateboarding robot, aerosol COVID and Maori soot in Antarctica
Researchers studying finger snapping find it’s 20 times faster than the blink of an eye; Pregnant male seahorses grow a placenta to nurture their young; Why an ancient crater in Labrador is the perfect place for astronauts to train for a moon mission; An agile robot that can skateboard, slackline and even fly; This physicist knew years ago that infections like COVID-19 could be airborne; 700 years ago Maori land-clearing left a sooty signature in Antarctica, researchers find.Fri, 26 Nov 2021 - 54min
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