What you might have missed

From superdeep diamonds and the world’s biggest penguin to an old-meets-new way to measure Arctic ice – here are some highlights from a week in science.

Researchers from the UK and Japan have used modern artificial intelligence to validate what is considered evolutionary biology's oldest mathematical model. 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.

Now that’s a penguin

They keep finding big stuff in New Zealand (a relatively small country).

Barely a week after unveiling the world’s biggest parrot, they’ve introduced a new species of giant penguin that stood about 1.6 metres tall and weighed up to 80 kilograms.

Read the full story here.

Can ‘brain zapping’ tackle tumours?

Researchers have shown that electrical stimulation to the skull can starve brain cancers of vital nutrient-rich blood, opening the door to “brain zapping” as a new treatment for the often-fatal tumours.

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applies a low intensity electrical current to the brain via electrodes on the scalp and is being investigated for a range of disorders.

Read the full story here.

Superdeep diamonds have a story to tell

Tiny imperfections in Brazilian diamonds have revealed a pocket of the Earth’s primordial past, deep in its interior.

In fact, scientists say, these rocks appear to have survived largely undisturbed for 4.5 billion years, making them older than the Moon or anything on the Earth’s surface.

Read the full story here.

New and old media give climate contrarians visibility

Both social media and old-school media values are contributing to the high visibility and emergence of perceived authority for climate change contrarians who deny science, a new US study suggests.

When researchers from the University of California, Merced, analysed around 100,000 articles and blogs they found that contrarians appeared in 49% more of them than scientists who support the consensus view that climate change has an anthropogenic origin.

Read the full story here.

Sound volume and decision-making linked by maths

The time it takes to make a choice – independent of the choice itself – permits a precise mathematical description of decision-making behaviour, Portuguese research has shown.

Scientists at the delightfully named Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, in Lisbon, announce the discovery in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Read the full story here.

Old meets new to measure sea ice volume

Modern satellite technology lets scientists keep an eye on dwindling sea ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean, but that only takes them back 40 years.

To add a little more historical context, researchers from the University of Washington has stretched things back to 1901 using computer simulations and historic observations, some written by hand aboard precursors to today's US Coast Guard ships.

Read the full story here.

And here's our image of the week

The Seagull Nebula — made up of dust, hydrogen, helium and traces of heavier elements — is the birthplace of new stars. ESO/VPHAS+ team/N.J. Wright (Keele University)

This is known as the Seagull Nebula, for obvious reasons, and thanks to the detail captured here by ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST) the individual astronomical objects that create it are revealed. Read the full story here.

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

  1. https://cosmosmagazine.com/latest
  2. https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/now-that-s-a-penguin
  3. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/can-brain-zapping-tackle-tumours
  4. https://cosmosmagazine.com/geoscience/superdeep-diamonds-have-a-story-to-tell
  5. https://cosmosmagazine.com/society/new-and-old-media-give-climate-contrarians-visibility
  6. https://cosmosmagazine.com/mathematics/sound-volume-and-decision-making-linked-by-maths
  7. https://cosmosmagazine.com/climate/old-meets-new-to-measure-sea-ice-volume
  8. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/a-celestial-seagull-in-full-flight
  9. https://cosmosmagazine.com/sections/image-of-the-day
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