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Podcast Profile: Quirks and Quarks

podcast imageTwitter: @CBCQuirks
26 episodes
2023 to present
Average episode: 54 minutes
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Categories: Broadcast Radio Programs • News-Style

Podcaster's summary: CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks covers the quirks of the expanding universe to the quarks within a single atom... and everything in between.

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:46 UTC. Episodes: 26. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2024-Apr-12 • 54 minutes
COVID-19’s “long tail” includes a range of impacts on the brain and more…
Old canned salmon provides a record of parasite infectionTo study marine ecosystems from the past, scientists picked through canned salmon dating back more than four decades to measure levels of parasites in the fish. Natalie Mastick, a postdoctoral researcher in marine ecology at Yale University, said she found the parasite load in two species of salmon increased in their samples between 1979 - 2021. She says this suggests their ecosystems provided more of the hosts the parasites needed, including marine m...
2024-Apr-05 • 54 minutes
The dark side of LED lighting and more,,,
Seeing a black hole’s magnetic personalityScientists using the Event Horizon Telescope have produced a new image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. And this image is a little different: it captures the powerful magnetic fields that are acting as the cosmic cutlery feeding mass into the singularity. Avery Broderick is part of the Event Horizon Telescope team, he’s also a professor at the University of Waterloo’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, and associate faculty at the Perime...
2024-Mar-28 • 54 minutes
An Australian Atlantis and other lost landscapes, and more...
Archaeologists identify a medieval war-horse graveyard near Buckingham Palace We know knights in shining armor rode powerful horses, but remains of those horses are rare. Now, researchers studying equine remains from a site near Buckingham Palace have built a case, based on evidence from their bones, that these animals were likely used in jousting tournaments and battle. Archeologist Katherine Kanne says the bone analysis also revealed a complex, continent-crossing medieval horse trading network that s...
2024-Mar-22 • 54 minutes
The future of freshwater — will we have a drop to drink, and more.
How animals dealt with the ‘Anthropause’ during COVID lockdowns (1:04)During the COVID lockdowns human behaviour changed dramatically, and wildlife scientists were interested in how that in turn changed the behaviour of animals in urban, rural and wilderness ecosystems. In a massive study of camera trap images, a team from the University of British Columbia has built a somewhat surprising picture of how animals responded to a human lockdown. Cole Burton, Canada Research Chair in Terrestrial Mammal Conservat...
2024-Mar-15 • 54 minutes
How animals eating, excreting and expiring is like the world's bloodstream, and more
Why a detective is studying blood spatters in zero-gravityThere hasn’t been a murder on the International Space Station — yet. But Crime Scene Investigator Zack Kowalske has been studying how blood spatters in microgravity so that when someone does commit the first astro-cide, he’ll be able to use science to figure out whodunit. Kowalske sent a blood substitute for a ride on a parabolic microgravity flight to study how the absence of gravity changes how it moves, and discovered that surface tension takes ov...
2024-Mar-08 • 54 minutes
How disabled primates thrive in the wild and more…
Nature’s nurturing side — disabled primates thrive in the wild with community supportSurvival of the fittest for primates in the wild often includes them going out of their way to accommodate those with physical disabilities. In a study in the American Journal of Primatology, scientists reviewed 114 studies of a wide range of non-human primates that spanned more than nine decades. Brogan Stewart, a PhD candidate from Concordia was part of the team that found that more often than not, the physical disabiliti...
2024-Mar-01 • 54 minutes
The boreal forest is on the move, and we need to understand how, and more...
Speedy ocean predators change their skin colour to signal they’re going in for the kill (1:02)Marlin are predatory fish that can reach tremendous speeds in pursuit of food, making collisions between them potentially deadly. A new study has shown that the fish display bright and vivid skin colours to signal to other marlin when they’re attacking prey, so as to avoid butting heads. Alicia Burns and her team from the Science of Intelligence Cluster, Humboldt University used drones to capture video footage...
2024-Feb-23 • 54 minutes
Icelanders reap the costs and benefits of living on a volcanic island and more…
We now know what happened to a supernova discovered by a Canadian 37 years ago (0:58)A mystery about the ultimate fate of an exploding star has been solved. Canadian astronomer Ian Shelton discovered the new bright light in the sky back in February 1987, and recognized it as the first supernova to be visible to the naked eye in 400 years. In a new study in the journal Science, astrophysicist Claes Fransson from Stockholm University, confirmed that the remaining cinder collapsed into a super-dense neutron st...
2024-Feb-16 • 54 minutes
A post valentine’s look at humpback mating songs and a marsupial that’s sleepless for sex
Atlantic ocean circulation edging closer to potentially catastrophic climate tipping pointThe stability of much of the world’s climate depends on ocean currents in the Atlantic that bring warm water from the tropics north and send cool water south. New research in the journal Science Advances confirms what scientists have long feared: that we are on course to this tipping point that could cut off this important circulation pattern, with severe consequences. René van Westen from Utrecht University, said if w...
2024-Feb-09 • 54 minutes
Scientists explore which came first, the chicken or the egg, and more…
Blue whales are genetically healthy but are breeding with fin whales, study suggests (1:03) Researchers have sequenced the genome of a blue whale that washed up in Newfoundland in 2014, and used it to do a comparative study of North Atlantic blue whales. A team led by Mark Engstrom, curator emeritus at the Royal Ontario Museum found that despite their small population, the whales are genetically diverse and connected across the north Atlantic, but that on average blue whales from this group are, genetically...
2024-Feb-02 • 54 minutes
An ancient tree’s crowning glory and more…
Shark declines: finning regulations might have bitten off more than they can chew In recent years governments around the world have attempted to slow the catastrophic decline in shark numbers with regulations, including on the practice of shark finning. But a new study led by marine biologist Boris Worm and published in the journal Science suggests that these regulations have backfired and shark mortality is still rising. The reason is that shark fishers responded by keeping all of the shark, and developing...
2024-Jan-26 • 54 minutes
The aftermath of a record-smashing volcano: Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai two years later, and more...
Oil sands produce more air pollution than industry’s required to report, study says (0:54) | The volume of airborne organic carbon pollutants — some of the same pollutants that lead to smog in cities — produced by Alberta’s oil sands have been measured at levels up to 6,300 per cent higher than we thought. John Luggio, a research scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said their cutting edge techniques in their new study picked up many pollutants industry hasn’t been required to track. Mark C...
2024-Jan-19 • 54 minutes
Can diet and exercise be replaced by pills and more…
A controversial fishing method may release CO2 from the sea floor Bottom trawling is a widely-used fishing method that involves dragging weighted nets that scrape along the seafloor. It’s sometimes been criticized for damaging marine ecosystems. Now a new study in Frontiers in Marine Science suggests that it also can release significant amounts of carbon trapped in seafloor sediments into the atmosphere. Trisha Atwood, an associate professor at Utah State University and a marine researcher with National Geo...
2024-Jan-12 • 54 minutes
Could buried hydrogen help save the world, and more…
*** How history’s largest ape met its end *** | For nearly two million years, a gigantic ape, three meters tall and weighing a quarter of a tonne, lived in what is now southern China, before mysteriously disappearing. Exactly why the Gigantopithecus Blacki went extinct has been a huge mystery for paleontologists, especially because other apes were able to thrive at the time. Now a massive study, co-led by geochronologist Kira Westaway of Macquarie University, reveals their size was a disadvantage, and left ...
2024-Jan-05 • 54 minutes
A Cave of bones could rewrite the history of human evolution, and more…
Hurricanes carry microplastic pollution in the oceans back to land | Humans communicate in several ways with birds who lead them to honey | Bird brains have evolved to tolerate a high-speed impact into water | How to make people more easy to hypnotize | Unearthing a small-brained hominid species that challenges human exceptionalism
2023-Dec-29 • 54 minutes
Our annual holiday question show
Questions ranging from moths to mustard, moonlight to migraines
2023-Dec-22 • 54 minutes
Seasonal science with reindeer, special stars and miracle babies…
Reindeer and arctic seals have complex nasal passages to keep them warm; Reindeer can eat and sleep at the same time; This penguin species sleeps by taking about 14,000 micronaps each day; ‘Naked’ stars are stripped by their partners before they explode; Miracle babies in bags: How close are we to an artificial womb?; Why don’t any deer's legs freeze?
2023-Dec-15 • 54 minutes
The Quirks & Quarks holiday book show!
How studying long-lived animals might give us the key to longer, healthier life; Looking deep inside planets, under our feet and out there in space; Honouring the overlooked legacies of women in science.
2023-Dec-08 • 54 minutes
A young carnivorous dinosaur’s last meal and more
A young carnivorous dinosaur’s last meal; A robot steps forward to build the wall; Canada geese families pull closer together in tough times; The great wall of China has a ‘living skin’; You say you want a Microbial revolution?; Why doesn't the temperature in the far North go up and up and up when the Sun never sets?
2023-Dec-01 • 54 minutes
Cat facts — the latest science on our feline companions
Cat faces are more expressive than you think; Cats can get sick with coronaviruses – and get better with COVID-19 antivirals; Cats are built to purr; Cats can make it harder to get away with murder; Even when they're curled up in your lap, cats have "one paw in the wild".
2023-Nov-24 • 54 minutes
How biodiversity contributes to human health and more…
These bats copulate for hours with enormous penises but without penetration; Jumping spiders think it matters if you’re black and white; Forewarned and three-armed; Red snow in the morning, climate scientists take warning; We need to save biodiversity to preserve billions of years of natural experiments.
2023-Nov-17 • 54 minutes
Alien blobs in the Earth’s mantle, and much more
Hummingbirds sidle sideways to slip through tiny gaps; Do you speak fish? A new online dictionary of fish sounds debuts; When girls are in the audience, all-boy choirs change their tune; Ancient whales - tiny and titanic - from 40 million years ago; Alien blobs lurk inside our planet, and could be feeding supervolcanoes; Quirks & Quarks Listener Question.
2023-Nov-10 • 54 minutes
Eating fossil fuels, sea stars get a head, Right whale diet, music soothes pain and does biology suggest we lack free will?
Edible fats and oils could be synthesized from fossil fuels; Sea stars lost their tails to get a head; Southern Right whale skin samples helps tell the story of their history and future; Music soothes physical as well as emotional pain; Does biology trump free will? A behavioural scientist argues we have no choice; Quirks listener question — Fires and oxygen.
2023-Nov-03 • 54 minutes
AI research prize and risks, football and lifespan, smart glasses see with sound, most powerful solar storm and killer whale contamination
Canadian AI researcher wins Herzberg medal, cautions world about his work; Pro football player lifespan depends on the position they play; Killer whale blubber is telling a sad story about pollution; Smart glasses help blind people see with sound; The most powerful solar storm ever struck before it could do much damage.
2023-Oct-27 • 54 minutes
Antarctic ice will melt for a century, the necrobiome recycles your corpse,how apes hang around, brain waves characterize false memories, and finding the biosignatures of long COVID
We’ll see a century of major melting of Antarctic ice, no matter what we do; For Halloween — How your body’s microbiome will help recycle you after you die; Climbing down from trees could be why we can throw a baseball; Brain waves from false memories look different from real ones; Finding the biological signature of long COVID.
2023-Oct-23 • 54 minutes
NASA’s metal mission, hungry hippos chew badly, music synchronizes us, cicada boom is trees bane and risks and rewards of deep sea mining
A metal mission — NASA launches a spacecraft to Psyche; Hungry Hippos don't chew very well; Music makes your heart go pitter-pat just like other people's hearts; Cicadas boom and trees get busted; Understanding the risks and rewards of deep sea mining.