What you might have missed

A first glimpse of our ancient cousins, the link between caesareans and microbiome disruption and that old question about the age of Saturn’s rings – here are some highlights from a week in science. 

The artwork The Redemption of Vanity showcases what engineers say is the blackest black we know. Read the full story here


Here's a snapshot of a few stories we particularly enjoyed. Click on the links to read them in full. You can also see all the week's yarns here.

No bones about it: a first glimpse of what Denisovans looked like

A pioneering study, published in the journal Cell, uses genetic information rather than fossils to predict what our ancient cousins, the Denisovans, might have looked like.

Read the full story here.

Caesareans linked to microbiome disruption

Babies born by caesarean section are missing normal bacteria and their guts are colonised instead by bugs found in operating rooms and intensive care units, according to a new British study in the journal Nature.

Worryingly, those hospital bacteria include strains that are antibiotic-resistant.

Read the full story here.

That old question about the age of Saturn’s rings

A new study is likely to rekindle the debate about the age of Saturn’s rings.

Writing in the journal Nature Astronomy, a team of researchers led by Aurelien Crida, of the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, France, suggests the processes that preferentially eject dusty and organic material out of the rings may be making them look much younger than they actually are.

Read the full story here.

Girl songbirds like a guy who can really sing

Some languages are rapid-fire and others more languid – but there is no difference in the speed at which information is shared, according to new research.

Read the full story here.

Working memory linked to road accidents

A study of young drivers in the US has found those who did worse on tests for short term “working” memory were more likely to crash in the first few years after getting their licence.

Read the full story here.

The free market at work: thoughts and prayers hit $7.17 each

Faced with the phrase – delivered with po-faced sincerity by US senators and presidents alike every time there is a mass shooting or a natural disaster – it is reasonable for people offered the “thoughts and prayers” of strangers to wonder what exactly such a gift is worth in, you know, monetary terms.

Read the full story here.

And here's our image of the week

Five sea urchin tooth tips stacked atop one another within the jaws.


The masticatory apparatus of a sea urchin – commonly known as Aristotle’s lantern – includes five teeth, each held by a separate jaw in a circular arrangement.

Read the full story here.

To view all this week's featured images, click here.

  1. https://cosmosmagazine.com/latest
  2. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/no-bones-about-it-a-first-glimpse-of-what-denisovans-looked-like
  3. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/caesareans-linked-to-microbiome-disruption
  4. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/that-old-question-about-the-age-of-saturn-s-rings
  5. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/girl-songbirds-like-a-guy-who-can-really-sing
  6. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/working-memory-linked-to-road-accidents
  7. https://cosmosmagazine.com/society/the-free-market-at-work-thoughts-and-prayers-hit-7-17-each
  8. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/looking-and-staying-sharp
  9. https://cosmosmagazine.com/sections/image-of-the-day
Latest Stories
MoreMore Articles