2 Episode results for "Forty Thousand Volt"
A New Kind Of Airplane
"You probably remember that heavier than air flight was first cheap by the Wright brothers in nineteen zero three after more than a century airplane technology is mature, and we shouldn't expect major breakthroughs. You're wrong. Don in twenty eight teen a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of technology developed an entirely new form of airplane. Propulsion that doesn't have any moving parts. No all airplane proposal involves moving services like propellers were jet Roeder's to push the air. How could you possibly make an airplane engine without moving parts and statin leading parts? The researchers used electrical charges the engine used fine wires with forty thousand volt charges to cause some air molecules to become electrically charged. Or I and is d- then they used these electric charges to accelerate the mass of air moving through the engine creating an Ionic wind that flows out the back, the wind powers the airplane. Just like the wind generated by moving propeller. That's right. Pretty impressive. No moving parts or burning fossil fuels are needed. When can I fly on one? It'll be a while the test flight used a model airplane that weighs just five and a half pounds with a wingspan of sixteen feet, they fluid indoors at an MIT. Jim the longest flight. Was one hundred ninety six feet which was just a bit longer than the Wright brothers. I flight the efficiency of the engine depends on the arrangement of its electrodes and the search for the best arrangement is just getting started. There's still lots of research ahead. There's moment of science comes from Indiana University. There are thousands more moments of science on our website at a moment of science dot org. I'm ya'll Cassandra dog glass.
Accidental domestication, a solid-state electric airplane, the science of gender identity, InSight lands on Mars, bat and dolphin sonar crosstalk and how birds find seeds.
"This is a CBC podcast. Hi, I'm Jamie for the last decade. I've been a newspaper reporter and lately just finding it hard to keep up with the news today. Simple possession of marijuana is no longer illegal. It can be hard to make sensing investigators spent nine hours in the consulates appearance. I want to change that at least a little I hope you'll join me for front burner daily podcast from CBC news. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcast. Team on his. Eight. Fees. You cared inherit. Rex cracks. I'm Bob McDonald amid the challenges of climate change and habitat destruction conservationists are increasingly turning to raising animals in captivity to save them. But can we keep captive animals wild? Don't raise animals in a captive environment. They contend to adapt that environment at the cost of nothing adopted to life in the wild. And it's not quite the Wright brothers. But engineers had a moment in history with a new kind of electric airplane dot could be the moment where I've preached up crashed in that moment to cut many times. But we did also have a series of successful flies after many many fell two tenths also politics science and gender identity. What non binary looks like in the body in the brain. We do know that the female and male brains is outdated and never reflected the science, and that brings more of this mosaic of gender and sex traits. Plus looking inside of Mars to see if it has a creamy center, we know that Mars has a core. But how big that core is uncertain hundreds of? Commodores and how Batson dolphin see with sound when everyone is screaming around them. These animals can do something that we as humans think is an impossible task all this and more today on Cork's and works. Let's try an experiment. I'm gonna take you an average Canadian from your comfortable home in your comfortable town. I'm going to cage you put you on a plane and fly you hundreds of kilometres into the wilderness. And once there, I'm going to leave you so you can start a new life in the wild living on and from the land as nature intended. Now, I suspect unless you're a very special kind of person this won't likely end. Well, that's because humans are domesticated animals for the most part, our comfortable habitat is no longer a natural one. We don't have the skills our instincts to survive in a completely wild environment. And if that makes sense to you, then you understand exactly the problem. We're going to discuss today as human activity devastates natural environments, conservationists are increasingly being pushed to desperate measures to try and save at risk species. They capture animals in the wild. Vancouver island marmots woodland caribou African cheetahs they raise them and breed them in captivity building up their numbers building a reserve population to eventually release into the wild. But what we're finding is that this captive rearing itself is having unintended consequences captivity can change an animal sometimes permanently. It can result in accidental domestication that means that when they go back into the wild and environment. They're no longer adapted to it's a struggle to survive. It's an issue. Scientists are increasingly aware of my name is Gabriella master, Monaco. I'm the curator of reproductive programs and research at Toronto zoo, unintentional adaptation, it's a situation where animals are changing their FINA type their behavior at cetera under selection pressures where they're not intentional the whole notion of accidental domestication. Is something we first encountered when we visited a salmon hatchery for our what to save conservation special weird in September. Simon hatcheries play an important role in our fisheries by replenishing, salmon, stocks for economic cultural and conservation purposes, but that hatch refound they were raising their fish in a way that was compromising their future survival in the wild. And they've been conducting a fascinating experiment to see if they can give their accidents domesticated salmon a bit more of a wild streak. Overpower? I'm the watershed enhancement manager of Ninette river Hatcher, which is on the west coast. Vancouver wrongs what we're doing for the wild stock is we're raising them taking wild fish from the wild raising a hatchery and then releasing them reintroducing them back into the wild. So they'll be able to survive and soon away come back natural spawning the rivers how much like wild fish are. They when they leave it because these are not natural condition. Hatch officially just look to the sky for the pellet coming from feeder, right? And they don't have an experienced with predators as well. In the past for Ninette hatch. We've always use race ways and in raceway. It's very slow moving environment. It's not a very fast. It's not very there's not a lot of law city. These are traditional hatchery approach original hatchery approach. We basically have an impoverished environment just boring fate forward and officials swim around and you can see the behavior differences. These ones are swimming close to you. So these ones when you let them go. They'll be looking to the surface for the first blue Heron or the first duck. They'll think they're gonna get food from it. But really they'll be eaten. These guys are easy pickings in other words for the last decade or so we've tried to basically rear fish differently and make them more wild like. And so we've tried different approaches semi natural approach show me that. So I'm gonna take you over to our round tanks. We've always had a few round tanks, the round tanks provider of elasticity and lake any animal in humans as well. They like exercise and exercise is a lot of good. Okay. So these are around tanks twenty-foot diameter, and they're about six foot deep this open up the tanks and see the fish this group. Here is our coho and normally coho their life history. We spent a whole year freshwater over the summer and then go to the the next year. And then they stay out and see for a couple years next win back in. So this one here is enriched. So we put in some branches in the water. So that they can have something to navigate around to hide and just basically have some enrichment in there. Some simply variable in their virement remedial, the see that the behaviors different just by having a few branches in the pond, these ones are way, more shy. We're still experimenting with that to see the benefits of enrichment versus the traditional right? So we're still we've done this since for co since the two thousand and two and so we're we're continuing that just to prove out how well they will do with this. And then we've also partnered up with some scientists, and they're looking at these different groups, the traditional versus the enriched, and they're looking for different epigenetics impacts on domestication. I'm just focused. I'm a master student at the university of Calgary in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology. I've quite trendy word right now in the science community. Really? It involves the study of changes to the expression of genes that are heritable, but don't actually change the sequence of your self. So genetics kind of acts as a bridge between environmental cues, and how your deniable will sponsor that you can think of them as takes that go onto jeans, and they'll actually silence that, gene. So it's a way of making sure that gene is turned off. So you're not getting any product from that within a hatchery. There's something about a hatchery environment that's causing marked genetic changes in hatchery fish compared to wild counterparts, and these were playing a role and expression of genes important to immune function important to locomotion so migraine behaviors and important to I on regulation, which is obviously important for salmon migrate from freshwater into. Marine phase. So a lot of different gene expressions going on that could play a role in their survival. That's being regulated differently in a hatchery than in the wild. So we just walked by some of our our large rearing channels and these are released veering channel so the coho that we would raising around tanks. A couple three months before we release them into the wild. We put him into a semi natural type of environment. Like a stream and will introduce substrate in the water will introduce water jets to give them some of that experience that way we'll also introduce food from the bottom of the pond. And so they're looking at food coming from the bottom rather than always from the surface, and we'll also run around and just dip net scare fish, pretending we're predators. And so we're giving them enrichment in environmental also giving them life skills training, you know, just before we release them, and these these puns of the sizes pools here to swimming pools into end, and there's three rows of them. So it's quite a large volume of water here. Yeah. So we would like to give them that lower density rearing as well. And then they're also exposed to the air and they're exposed to natural predators as well. They'll be ducks in king fishers and other birds flying by and they will will allow some of those actually help train those fishes wall. Do you have to play a lot of roles here yet to play dead? You have to play predator have to play nurse. I guess I guess so I mean, it's just basically what we think of it as trying to take care of those fish and give them some life skills training. Just like you would with your kids. Right mortality that happens within the first week or maybe even days and maybe fifty percent of mar dead because they do not know how to avoid predators. And they do not know what to eat and some of the fish. They found when we looked at them in the area and the river after we release them we're eating Woody, debris and small rocks and pellets and they just weren't eating most appropriate food. You're making your fish street smart. Yeah. Basically that we're trying to make them street smart. So what we've done is sample fish that are leaving the hatchery as young juvenile's. We take DNA from their liver. And then we use sequencing technologies to look at genetic marks which are kind of like little takes across the genome that were trying to find, and we're comparing that to what the epi genome of adults look like when they return to spawn. So really that's asking the question of how hatchery fish differ from wild fish also between enriched fish and traditional fish when they leave the hatchery, and then our fish that are surviving have certain EPA genetic marks associated with that are not and can we link that to survival differences that we're seeing this environmental enrichment that we're using is resulting in higher returns from these fish as compared to fish that. We don't give any stimuli in Richmond. And these kind of trends are not unique to our system in Richmond's used for other salmon hatcheries other species and they all see positive trends in development and behavior in survival and reproductive fitness from using enrichment method. We're still working on this project. So this'll be still about a year until you hear of his about epigenetics and medication this hatchery. That was Robert brower from the knit net river hatchery and just he both vist a masters student from the university of Calgary. How are really on the cutting edge of investigating how animals can be inadvertently domesticated, and what to do about it? But when it comes to captive breeding programs for land-based animals, most of them take place in zoos, and this is an area that zoos had really's owned in on as our world. Conservation challenges are taking on a new urgency. Dr Gabriele muster Monaco is at the forefront of this research here in Canada. She's the curator of reproductive programs in research at the Toronto zoo, Dr muster Monica welcomed, quirks and quirks. Thank you very much. I'm happy to be here. When did scientists such as yourself start to realize that captivity could change an animal on a way that would make reintroducing them into the wild challenging I would say definitely in the last ten years. There was this chain. In process, where we were a better understanding the change in our animals. Well, what kind of changes are you seeing this inadvertent domestication the most easiest oak come to see. Of course, our behavioral changes so changes in tame nece. So the attraction to human in the nearby environment for Jing behavior, predatory behaviors those are the most obvious to see that are slowly changing in the the animals are perhaps not carrying out patterns that we would see in the wild. But studies in other model species have shown that there are other. Underlying changes changes fat layer under the skin changes in skeletal morphology at cetera. What about the actual breeding process itself? I mean, what effect does that have on Jalan animal might change in captivity? Well, because we've removed some of the natural selection pressures whether that is may choice sperm, selection and other factors that creates the species in. The wild as we would know it in the wild with its ability to survive in the wild, and we're kind of controlling the outcomes by choosing mates at cetera. So the overall fitness of the next generations are innocence impacted whether we meant to or not litter Sicer viability at cetera are factors that slowly start creeping into a captive setting. Because we might say here's to animals, let's put them together. And they'll breed whereas in the wild, they'll select the fittest animal. Correct. They are selecting each other for factors that we can only assume and in some cases, it smell some cases. It is looks. Whereas our goal really is the genetic variability, and we're we're focused on that. Because it is very important to trap all the Liles that are left in the wild. But that does not necessarily result in the fittest offspring. Can you give me an example where that's the case? So cheetahs are an excellent example of. Title that is given us a bit of heartache over the years for thirty forty years in captivity. They were being selected based on how unrelated they were tweets other, and they would be put together for X number of tries to months, six months. A couple of years and over time our reproductive outcome. Just got worse and worse. And we just now know that once you allow the females to choose the breeding are typically much more successful. The litter sizes typically better and they read their offspring, much, more successfully. Well, what does it mean for these animals that have been in one environment had their food provided by humans not being exposed to everything that the wild environment would give them when we do actually release them into the wild. What kind of pressure on them? So you've suddenly gone from this very protected environment to the wild habitats. Now, you've got your predator-prey situation. You've got to be able to hunt for food or look. For food forage you have to learn how to raise your young and unprotected environment. So it's going from a very controlled situation to this unpredictable scenario for these animals, well that despite all the greatest measures that you're taking to improve their survivability in the wild, many don't make it. I mean, we've got a number for the Vancouver island marmots that were captive Lee bread and reproduced. And it's about forty percent die when the reintroduced. So there's an ethical quandary here. How do you square yourself with the ethics read introducing animals that may not actually make it. I think it's easy to say. All right. You know, what this isn't perfect? So let's just walk away from it. But I think all species in the wild right now. Nothing is perfect for them. So whether they're reintroduced animals or animals that naturally exist in that population. Those loss rates are found across the board. The point is that if we do think those rates are too high, and we walk away they will be gone in our generation or our children's generation. So it just hard to sit back, and wait, there's something we have to keep trying, and I think underlying all of this is that human behavior hasn't changed. So until we can truly target the anthropogenic factors. Everything is going to continue to be lost and at very very high rates. So how are you that we can slow down this mess extinction? That's going on at the moment. I would like to say that I am to mystic because I think we have the right intention, and I think the scientists there and the teams are working together. I do think that it requires still further effort like we can't give up an when there are some failures. It just means that we have to learn some more and apply it again. But I do think that our generation has to continue to work on this path for the next generation. And we'll hand them. A lot of knowledge will hand them a lot of techniques and a lot of tools for them to do even better at it. Dr muster, Monaco. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you, Dr Gabriele muster Monaco is the curator of reproductive programs in research at the Toronto zoo. As frequent flyer. This is a sound I much too. That is the unmistakable wide of a modern jet engine. It's a fantastic technology fans turbines compressors made of space age super materials just to tolerate the heat and stress operating upwards of ten thousand rotations permitted. But in some ways, it's still got a lot in common with the crude four stroke piston engine that pushed the Wright brothers first flyer into the air more than one hundred years ago. Both depend on a controlled explosion of fossil fuels and a lot of delicate fast moving parts. Well this week a group from the Massachusetts Institute of technology. And now, what might be the first step beyond that they flew a small model plane with a propulsion system that has no moving parts and burns no fuel. Instead it flies by electrifying. The air around it, Dr Stephen Barrett and associate professor in the department of 'aeronautics astronautics was part of the team doctor. Barrett. Welcome back to quirks and quirks. Thank you very much for having me back. Now, you recently had a moment that was not unlike the early days of flight in the Wright brothers, tell me about that. Well, I mostly a witch moment that could be the moment where I stopped crashed in that moment to cut many times. But we did also have series of successful flies off too many many failed attempts. A successful flight tell me about it. So this was the the first of a flight of an airplane which had no moving parts in the propulsion system is based on. I only I only winds what's the airplane. Look like, it looks like a conventional across when you see it. But then you'll notice that it has no propulsion system as you'd normally expect. So there's no propeller there's no Gusta jet engine. It's instead Goten an array of wise underneath the wings, and those wise south to create ionized that how big is it? It's about five me his cross it weighs two point four five kilograms, and it flies five meters per second. And no noise. No, there's a slight electrical and the old crackle. Hopefully, we can get rid of that. How far did you airplane fly? If Lou sixty meters, which was the length of an indoor gym nays him that we had access to MIT for the indoor flight testing on could have gone much further than sixty meters fo the size of the gym. Well, tell me about how it works. How can you have an aircraft fly with no moving parts? The idea we apply is I and is at which means stripping the electrons from at an in particular nitrogen, which makes up the vast majority of Amel hills in the atmosphere. Once we've on is that we can accelerate the in an electric field and electrical full says of the same kinds of full you get when you rub a balloon in your head and you find it can stick to wool. So what's the setup? How do you make that work in an aircraft to produce thrust? It works by having a series of fine. Filaments navy from tha that craft and those find Philemon saw charge to twenty thousand volts so very high voltage now around these filaments the electric field. Get so strong. Young fats electrons are moved from nitrogen molecules leaving behind charged positive nitrogen ions. Now, these chalks positive ions are tracked to walls, the rare of the plane where we have an electrode at minus twenty thousand volts because positive charges negatives attract that cools as I own stream tools the back of the plane which intend crate say propulsion false. Oh, so you're you're kind of electrifying the air. So that it'll follow the the electric field from the front of the plane to the back exactly where we I nine Arab the front of the plane those irons than full of the electric field tools to the back of the plane, these ions collide millions of times with mutual molecules and transfer a momentum velocity to the mall heels through all these collisions. Oh, so the the electric is that are flowing drag the air around him with it. And that's your thrust. That's exactly right. And that's phenomena is whilst it's cold wind. And it's the purchase by which a stream of ions going through drags air along with it one of the main challenges in this course, was getting that forty thousand volt difference on you you don't get batteries that which is forty thousand volts. So what was your breakthrough because we we've talked before about this technology number of years ago, and you were just experimenting with it. But you had actually achieved flight what was the breakthrough the gut you into the air in order to do that we worked with some power Electric's experts at MIT, and they helped us develop a new type of power converter the steps of the voltage. You get from a battery from about one hundred volts to forty thousand bills. But the breakthrough roles was that most of those power converters are extremely heavy and might have been something like ten kilograms full they supplication which would be too heavy for flying a test flight, and I'll coli develop this new Oltra lightweight power converter that was five ten times lighter than what had been achieved before how efficient is it compared to say a jet engine. It depends how you measure efficiency if. You consider the efficiency of overall aircraft than it looks quite it's about two point five percent. We do however see Paul to getting to fifteen percent in some years, and then beyond that increasing further, but there are definitely challenges and guessing role efficiency out to a level. It'll be ultimately competitive, although we do have about a century of at Croft using propellers the couch out with so what would it take to do that? It would take ultimately flying much high flight speed because this technology works better when you flying it something more compatible to commercial aviation today, and that's really because of the speed at which the islands flow. And it turns out in in flight that when the speed of the repulsive jet is not hugely Foucault than the speed of the flight. That's when you get the greatest efficiency, what are the advantages of the system that I think the the Nitzan advantage is that it's the silence, and that's intrinsic in its nature being solid state. Meaning no moving parts, and I think the the scientists beneficial when you look at things like applications drones way, if you imagine intenal twenty as of an environment might be filled with drones conducting all kinds of services those drones. If if they called noise pollution that degrades quoted life would know basic sessile on technology like this could enable the whitest right adults drones because it's near silent. Are there any emissions? Do these. I ns in the air produce anything that the plane leaves behind well, then produce the conventional emissions of co two a couple monoxide I'll sit, but there is the potential of as will produce ozone. And that Sunday concern that going forward we're going to have to look into on the stand the extent to which that might be a problem if it is a problem, can we engineer away those ozone emissions. So is this the future of flight? Then I think it's sunny much more potential and did a few years ago. I remember what one a senior professor won't said he thought that was a one percent, Sean. So this project work, and that's amazing. Like a great reason to continue and do the project. I'm now all of us to go through that fest huddle that's probably a similar game that it would get to commercial aviation. But I still think it's worth trying because you don't know until you try. This is truly science fiction is aircraft. That don't make any noise that just move on their own almost house like people were talking about UFO's. You know, these things just hover there, and they don't make any sound. Well, it was kind of inspired by science fiction as a kid as a found Star Trek and was sort of quite taken by the shuttle crofton stop track that silently flea poss with you know, maybe a slight wish and blue glow, but didn't have noisy propellers and turbines and the physics. That's I could find that might be something like that was this. I onic wind phenomena. So science fiction really Woolsey inspiration. Dr better. Thank you very much time. Thank you very much. Dr. Stephen Barrett is an associate professor in the department of 'aeronautics astronautics at the message uses institute of technology, and you can find pictures and videos of the solid state flyer on our website at CBC dot CA slash quirks. The political controversy over gender identity has been much in the news lately. The New York Times leaked memo that allegedly details the American government's plans to change the definition of gender to either male or female and unchangeable after birth and this week in on -tario, the topic came up again as activists at the provincial PC convention put forward a resolution, stating that gender identity theory, wasn't unscientific liberal ideology that should be banned from school curriculum in haste to temp down the controversy on -tario premier Doug Ford announced. He was cautioned the resolution it came from the floor, and it's nonbinding. So let's just no kill done. Is denouncing gender identity theory is on scientific it turns out is just wrong. Researchers in the field point out that there's actually quite a bit of science behind it. More than sixty years of research has led way to the idea that is the binary black and white idea of too easily distinguishable sex and gender opposites. That's unscientific the science, in fact points to a much more complex picture when it comes to sex and gender. They're far more shades of gray. Or if you wanna more colorful metaphor, a whole rainbow possibilities to help me unpack the science of gender identity. I'm joined by Dr Sarah event, Anders she's a professor of psychology, gender studies and neuroscience at Queens University in Kingston, doctor about Andrew's welcome to quirks and quarks. Well, thank you for having me. Let's start with a bit of gender wanna one how is gender different from sex. It's a great question gender refers to the socio cultural bits like. Feminity masculinity and gender diversity in things like social roles, clothing behavior and more sex refers to the bodily bits, like maleness, female, nece and sex diversity and things like going ads genitals hormones brains secondary, sex characteristics, more gender and sex can completely coincide for some people and branch for others. It's not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to your sex and gender. So then what is gender identity gender identity has to do with what gender feels right for you. What gender you identify with it can refer to being woman, man and non binary person gender queer person. It can also refer to whether you're transgender or gender whether the gender you are now fits with the gender you were signed at birth. So then from a scientific point of view, how is sex determined in hours gender determined in person. You know, I think people think that sex is the simple one gender is complicated one. But in reality sex is not one thing. There's no getting sex, right? There's literally about seven to ten. Major ways people could determine or defined sex and often coincide they sometimes branch. So really what happens is people look at the genitals of a child. Whether that's the doctor the parent amid way for someone else and put that on a birth certificate or some sort of identity documents in a way, and then people are expected to move through their life in the world in accordance with whatever. That identifier is. But as we know for many people that doesn't work out, right? Okay. So that's that's the biological side of it. So how then is gender determined into person. That's what's interesting about this is because our culture often in terms of its legal structures kind of conflicts to and flattens all the complexity and diversity they often do tree gender and sexes. Same even as we know that they often exist in different ways, and there's multiple aspects of each so your gender off in really isn't determined by anyone accepted me be casual interactions or so on it's really just sort of understood to follow from sex, even as we understand scientifically it often doesn't. I mean, you're a neuroscientist is gender actually represented in the brain is their way to say, hey that that that's a neural activity there. You know, one of the most counter intuitive. Or maybe surprising things to most people is we don't know that much about gender in the brain. We do know that the idea of female, and male brains is outdated and never reflected the science, and that brings have more of this mosaic of gender and sex traits. And we really think of it this way, but any differences you hear about in the news between women and men and non binary people in neuro function or even neural structure could reflect ways of living in the world sexism all sorts of experiences because we know about neuro plasticity our brains reflect our experiences to a large extent. So that research is really an infancy. What about things like hormones? Do. They come into play. I'm come into play in all sorts of things, but they don't seem to relate at all to gender identity, and they're actually surprisingly. And I say this, you know, maybe with sadness as a hormone researcher. They don't really predict. Gendered behavior. In fact, our research is telling us that if anything behavior, including gender behavior might be changing hormones more than the reverse really table through that. Well, we've done one study where we looked at how gendered behaviour might affect testosterone a hormone that exists in everyone's bodies, not just men's bodies. And one of the things we're finding is that engaging in behaviors that we typically think of as, you know, encourage for men but punish for women actually tends to increase testosterone. So we know that living life as women or men or is not binary people, and the generals that that involves can actually influence the ways are hormones act. We do know that on average men says gender men have higher testosterone insys gender women. But it's actually not the case universally people used to think, and I think that was the case. And then we started looking at our data case by case or participant participant. We realize lots of men have lower testosterone than women and fair number of women have higher testosterone than the average male level. So we know that prototypical male hor. Moan really isn't. Well, there are some people who suggest that biology is a reality that your genitals represents something important and shouldn't be changed. What do you think is wrong with that idea? I think it's the idea that biology somehow more real than people's experiences our existences that if you can point to genital somehow that's true than someone's experience. And we know that science has a tendency to do that in ways that aren't great for marginalized groups. You know, they've done that with women saying well, women uteruses, and somehow that pulls all the blood from their bodies from their brains, and they can actually study. I mean, there's all sorts of pretty interesting ideas from the past about what our biology's meant. And how if they were real they were more real than people's experiences. So I would say the genitals matter, but they're not determinative. And I think that's the key that we know scientists that genitals are one part of a big array of sex characteristics. What do you say to people who think that it's just a trend or something that happens on social media? You know, something that's new to you might seem like a trend, but it's can be standing and transgender people living in genders that branch from what they were assigned at birth have been around a long long time, you know, very indigenous nations have diverse gender experiences, including what is now called to spiritedness cultures in eastern Europe East Asia, you know, all over the world have multiple genders third genders trans is nothing new I guess in other element of this is the nature nurture debate. I mean, how how much of this is what you're born with. And how much of it is the culture that you brought up. Yeah. And I think one of the things is that because so much socialization is aimed at pushing people to be the gender that people think of as matching the sex assigned at birth that there must be something that is sort of internal in some way that is influencing people's feelings about that process, not fitting them, and that could be something biological. It's hard to see how it would have nothing to do with biology. But we we still know very little about that surprisingly, given how much people wanna know the answers. Well, we've heard that President Trump wants to redefine gender as being based on a person's sex. And we've had the conservatives discussing similar motion this week. What do you think are the effects of this back and forth on the transgender community? Well, I do think transgender intersex and non binary people are the experts on this one. I'm they tell us how humanizing it is. And how negative the impacts are. I can tell you as a scientist. We know how important human rights and recognition Arte human flourishing to reducing stress to reducing suicide -ality more. And I think, you know, in general, we know that debate of your existence much less. Your human rights isn't really good for anyone. Dr vendors. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you. Dr Sarah vendors is the new Canada. One fifty research chair in social neuro endocrinology sexuality and gender sex at Queens University in Kingston. On monday. Nasr's latest mission is scheduled to touch down on the surface of the red planet. The insight Lander has been cruising towards Mars for the last six months. It'll hit the Martian atmosphere travelling at five and a half kilometers second and the combination of aero braking parachutes retro rockets should allow it to settle gently onto the orange dust of the surface. This latest mission is a little different from the Rovers and Landers that visited Mars to date. It's not meant to look at Mars. It's meant to look in Mars incites. Primary mission is to look inside the apparently dead planet and with its two main instruments measure the Martian heartbeat and temperature and that the mission scientists hope will tell a bit about what the planets like today, but even more about how it formed billions of years ago. Dr Mark panting is a co investigator on the Mars insight Lander, he's a planets. Gary size Malla just at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Dr patting welcomed, quirks and quarks. Hi, thanks, Bob. So we're just couple of days from insight landing and arriving on Mars, take me through what it'll be like when it actually gets there, the initial landing process with the this is the seven minutes of terror since the white delay from Mars at this time is a little over eight minutes by the time, we get the signal that the process has started. It's actually already finished will be on the surface of Mars one way or the other for me personally. I'm going to be sitting in a room right next to the operations room. I'm pretty excited about that going to be watching the whole process. Even though I'm the scientists and not the engineer at least get to see the nearest being all excited. Okay. So once you down on the surface. Now, I mentioned that you're going to be looking at Mars from the inside sort of taking heartbeat temperature. So what kind of equipment does inside have like stethoscope in a thermometer? Maybe are three major instruments are size monitor? I am a planetary seismologist. So that's what I'm most excited about. This will be measuring Mars quakes. We also have a heat flow probe which is going to go down five meters. And its trailing behind it a cable that has thermometers on it that will measure the temperature gradient from the surface down to that depth, which tells us how much heat is coming out of Mars, and our third instrument is really it's actually just the radio's on the craft that communicate direct to earth. But by looking at the signals and the Doppler shift of frequency sent out by those radios, we get very accurate measurement of the position of insight and its velocity within about two centimeters. So so what then will be involved in setting up these instruments on the surface of Mars, the insight craft has an arm where you will use that to deploy the instruments on the surface in front of the Lander. Will I put out the seismometers, then we'll put this windscreen on top of it which look somewhat like an upside. Down pipe plate. That's to protect a the size Mamata from the noise from the wind blowing across it. And then we'll put out the heat flow probe instrument. Have these types of geological instruments ever been placed on Mars before? So the Mars Viking Landers which landed in the late seventies. They both included a seismometers on them. Unfortunately, one of those did not send us any data the other instrument did return data, and from what it appears it seems one of the legs of the Viking Lander was on a rock or something that had it sitting slightly higher than the other legs. And so we recorded the rocking of the Viking Lander like a kitchen table that has one leg that's a little too short. So we saw the wind. Very clearly, but we didn't unfortunately, see any Mars quicks. So your size, mama turn into an animal Matre effectively. It was a it was a way of doing wind measurements. Absolutely. Do you know if there are Mars quakes? There was one possible Mars quake recorded by Viking. However, we did have seismometers launched with several of the Apollo missions on the moon, and they recorded many many mood quakes and the moon is a smaller body that Mars has lost much more heat, and we can think of planets most of the things planets. Do we can think of them? As heat engines, they're doing things to get rid of their heat. The moon is being smaller than Mars has lost more heat. So we would expect it to be quieter than Mars. So the fact that we're able to record many many moon quakes through the course of the seventies. Those instruments were actually turned off in nineteen seventy seven about two months after I was born. So I've lived in the area of no returned. Planetary seismology. If we look at that data, we have very good evidence that the moon is active and Marsh should be more active in that likely. It'll be significantly less active than the earth Mars shows, no evidence of plate tectonics. We don't expect it to be as active as the earth. But it is a body with heat that's cooling down as the body cools down. It's going to shrink and crack there's also big heavyweight sitting on the surface of Mars giant volcanos Olympic Mons is the largest volcano in the solar system. And it's a big weight sitting on the Martian surface pushing down in making the surface adjust in crack, so all of those things should produce Mars quakes. So if you come down, so successfully, and you don't land on a rock, and you get your instruments, deployed on the ground under the ground. What will they be telling us about what's going on inside Mars? So everybody has seen cartoons of what the inside of the earth. Looks like see a cut away of the earth. And you see the the circles inside that show. A thin crust. Rocky layer and the outer core and inner core and all of that detail that we have about the earth that comes from size. Molly, I can tell you to a high level of precision that the radius of the earth corps is about two thousand eight hundred ninety one kilometer I can say that with that level of precision because we've had seismology on earth, we've measured seismic waves that bounce off of the various layers inside earth. You can also see cartoons of what the inside of Mars looks like we know that Mars has a core. But how big that core is uncertain by hundreds of kilometers? By measuring the seismic energy will know, how big that core is to a level of precision much closer to how we know the earth will also know how thick the Martian crust is that tells us how much Mars has melted during its history because the crust is the product of the the mantle of Mars, the rocky layer below the crest how much it's melted during its history. And by looking at how fast the seismic waves travel through the various layers of Mars will get information about what they're made of. And how hot it is. Because that controls the seismic velocity. So these are the questions we're getting at and the one of the things I always tell people when I say why we wanna study the interior Mars, and how Mars formed is that. If you're trying to understand how rocky planets formed whether here in our solar system or Exo planets in other solar systems. Our problem is the only planet we have lots and lots of data for is earth. And there's no way for example, you can become a very good doctor if you only practice on one patient, so this is our chance to understand the whole pattern of how rocky planets have different sizes different distances from their their solar host form. And evolve. Well, I wish you luck on the mission. And I hope you have an exciting day on Monday when the Lander touches the surface of Mars. Thank you very much. Dr Mark Penney is planetary seismologist and co investigator on the Mars insight Lander at the Jet Propulsion lab in Pasadena, California. That slow down to ten percent is what is single echo locating bat. Sounds like simple enough. But what if many bats are hunting all at once? Then you get this. So you might wonder how does a single bat. Keep track of all those ricocheting Ping's echoes without getting confused by the signals of others. It's a problem not only for bats. But also for another famous sonar user. That's the sound of the pot of dolphins also exploring their environment with sound. So how do bats and dolphins tease out their own signal from everyone else's noise. Dr Laura clever assistant, professor of biology from Saint Mary's college Notre Dame, Indiana has been looking into this very issue dot too clever. Welcome to quirks in quirks. Thank you very much for having me that once this question of how Batson dolphins echo located groups important to understand these animals can do something that we as humans think is an impossible task. And this impossible task is using their sonar or using our active sensing when they're in really complicated environments. So originally we studied the sonar of dolphins and bats to make the first attempts at designing technology for defense purposes to use sonar to improve our country's defense technology, but we're moving into a more and more technological society. And we're finding active sensing and more everyday did ICES, and what's. Really impressive is that despite all of the technology and all of the science, we still haven't been able to create a device that is as good at echo-location as bats and dolphins are, and this is why we continue to study what these animals are doing with their special sensing. I'm thinking about those old movies from from back in the war with the submarine. You hear that ping pong? That was this. That was bad VIN. So what what other technologies are reusing today that use location where using sonar for things like finding food in our oceans, many people are probably familiar with fish finders on boats. Well, that uses sonar we use a form of active sensing in self driving cars, and we even find active sensing in such everyday devices such as robotic vacuum that you might find in your house. So how is interference a problem for these technologies when you have a single unit whether it's a fact Hume or whether it's a vote using sonar in its environment. That's not really that much of a problem. We have that pretty well figured out. But if you start putting multiple units together, multiple items that are using active sensing in big groups. That's when we start having a problem of interference. Whether it is sound or light or radio waves. How do we avoid the problem of all of these signals jamming in space or air or water? Water and causing interference and failure of the system. And so that's the question that we're trying to answer. But what's really great is the animals have this figured out pretty well that have been using echo location for millions of millions of years and bats also fly in really large groups, so not only can bats do it. So can dolphins. And they were part of your study as well. So let's start with them. How do they get around the problem of interference? When they're in pods. We worked together I worked together with a colleague at the marine mammal, the national marine mammal foundation in San Diego, California. And we worked together to do what we call a pilot study, which is just an initial study to get the initial data set to investigate whether or not dolphins might use some strategies to overcome sonar interference. Well, we have a an actual clip from part of your stomach. So let's play this. And again, this was slowed down significantly. So we can hear it. So here it is. Well, it sounds like a clock ticking. You're listening to two things. You're listening to the location sound of a dolphin. And then you're listening to an interfering sound that we're playing back while the dolphin is locating. And so that's basically how we went about investigating this. What did you find? How do they get around the interference problem oddly enough? We found that the two dolphins that we studied both had different strategies for how they got around the interference problem. One dolphin change the timing of its echo location clicks and the other dolphin changed the frequency or the pitch of its echo-location clicks. So in one case, they're they're using timing. So you clicked all click. So we won't both talk over each other in the other one is I'm gonna change my voice from your. So it sounds different. That's a great way to interpret it. Okay. So those are the dolphins. Well, obviously think you studied those in captivity. Correct cricket. Yep. How do you get into a bat swarm so to get into a bat swarm, there's many different approaches. But with my research what? I use I use mobile technology to really get inside as you said inside the bat swarm to try to make recordings of individual bats deep within the swarm, so I have three different approaches that I use the I I use zip-line, and we basically send our recording unit on zip line, and it flies right through the middle of the bat swarms so that we can get a recording. That's our first platform. Our second platform we use when the bat swarm is a bit more diffuse when they're returning to the cave in the morning is we have a drone that we have equipped with the similar microphone, and then a special camera called a thermal camera that can make videos of the bats in the darkness using the body heat of the bats. But then our third technologies is probably a favorite among the students in my lab. And that is that we have trained hawk that we have made a custom microphone and video unit that she carries on her head and she's trained to fly right through the middle of dense swarm of bats to make the recording. For us. You're kidding hot. With a microphone. I said it is it is something let me tell you, Bob. It is every time. I see her fly. It never gets old. Holy smokes. Now, we have an audio clip from that study. And again, this is slow down. And loops let's listen to it. Then tell me what we're hearing. Wow. More like bird. They do when when when you slow down about call they do some like birds, and that's one of the main differences between that and often sounds is that that calls are about twenty times longer into rations than dolphin calls are and that's their calls. We we call them three Quincy modulated and all that means is that frequency or pitch modulate or changes over time. So you're hearing each individual call that is sweeping in frequency and time, and you can actually if you're using your ears close enough, you might even be able to hear some of the differences in the pitch between individual bath. I think so I can hear summer summer a little higher than others. So it's changed the frequency that they're able to avoid interference with each other the up changing the frequency as well as changing the timing fill. The bats doll using the same strategy. Exactly, what went through your mind when you realize this the Batson dolphins are so different. Well, they are so different. But you know, what? That's dolphins are classic example of what we say. Our what we call convergent evolution. And that is when you have to unrelated organisms that have the same Volusia Mary pressures and heavy volved the same adaptation to counter those pressures in their environment. So now that you've figured out how these two very different animals are changing their location, either the timing of the signals or the frequency of their signals to avoid interference with each other Huckabee. We apply that to our technology. Well, we can apply that with our technology by using the same strategies in our technological devices. So if you have different active sensing device. Ices if they're using sound using the same bandwidth, you've shift the band with the way so that each one can have its own frequency range that it's responding on or you can shift the timing Dr clever. Thank you very much for your time. My pleasure. Thank you. Dr. Laura clever is an assistant professor biology at Saint Mary's college Notre Dame, Indiana. This week's question comes from Judith Hudson from Victoria, BC, and she asks I enjoy feeding the birds, but can you tell me how they find the seats. And here's the answered hi, my name is Dr Karen, we I'm problem. The department of biology at the university of Scott one well, the short answer to how he'd eating birds fine seed if that they also have to use their vision most be can't smell well enough to detect food at a distance. So they actually have to wind on or near bird feeder to be able to see that Caesar there. But the longer around third is that they also incorporate social information and use their learning and memory when birds hang out and flocks, they can watch the behavior of others. So if one individual stumbled across a heat, Pat and a return repeatedly to feed their the others nearby. See those. Movements and are also attracted to location and many birds have excellent spatial memory. So once they discover a rich food patch. They can return and check out the same height even over a period of several years. Dr Karen, we is a professor of behavioral ecology and bird conservation at the university of discussion, incest catoon. And that's it for this week's edition of quirks in quirks. If you'd like to get in touch with us, just go to the contact Lincoln our webpage and to get to our webpage. Go CBC dot CA slash courts, where you can subscribe to our podcast, listen to our audio archives or read my latest blog, you could also follow us on Twitter and Facebook at CBC quirks, and you can listen on the CBC radio app. It's free from the app store or Google play. Works in corpses produced by Amanda buckets. Seawall Sonia biting, and Mark Crawley are acting senior producer is Jim Levin's. I'm Bob McDonald? Thanks for listening. For more CBC podcasts. Go to CBC dot CA slash podcasts.