What you might have missed


From invisible ink and interstellar comets to Trump's twitter style and bonding with cats – here are some highlights from a week in science. 


It turns out that the distribution of the American pika (Ochotona princeps) is ecologically driven. Read the full story here

Keith Kohl

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.


Animals, science, behaviour and ethics

The moral status of animals has a long and fraught history in the West, much of it reflecting poorly on our ethical understanding. While the scientific account of non-human animals is playing an increasingly pivotal role in such ethical considerations, behavioural scientists themselves have yet to enter the fray.

A recent paper in the journal Bioscience makes the call for closer collaboration between scientists who study animal behaviour and philosophers trying to navigate the ethical minefield of human-animal relations.

Read the full story here.


Trump’s tweets are a matter of style

The media narrative that maintains Donald Trump uses Twitter as a vehicle for spontaneous emotional outbursts, and that his social media account thus represents a kind of micro-blogged diary of a mad man, may be well off the mark.

That’s the conclusion drawn from an extensive analysis of the stylistic variations to be found in the collected Trumpian tweets of 2009 to 2018.

Read the full story here.


Want invisible ink? Just put water in your inkjet

Agent 86 from Get Smart would have a field day with this new paper developed by Chinese researchers. A cheap and recyclable way of keeping secrets, they’ve worked out how to print confidential documents on it using plain water as invisible ink.

Read the full story here.


Your cat could just be playing hard to get

Cats might seem aloof, but new research shows they become just as attached to their humans as dogs and even children.

Read the full story here.


How many interstellar comets are out there?

For the second time in two years, astronomers have spotted an interstellar interloper heading into our Solar System.

The first, dubbed ‘Oumuamua, was spotted on 19 October 2017.

This one, named 2I/Borisov, was discovered on 30 August 2019 by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov of Nauchnij, Crimea, using a home-built 65-centimeter telescope.

Read the full story here.


Hyena poo tells all: humans competed with carnivores for cave space

Would you want to share your home with a 100-kilogram carnivorous hyena? Probably not. Neither, it seems, did the Denisovans.

These early humans turn out to have been just short-term visitors when they left tools and remains at one of the world’s most famous archaeological cave sites.

Read the full story here.


And here's our image of the week

A living bone cancer cell, captured with the new microscope, showing the nucleus (blue), mitochondria (green) and cytoskeleton (magenta).

Bielefeld University/W. Hübner

This image of a living bone cancer cell was taken with a super-resolving structured illumination microscope. The cell was fluorescently stained to highlight its nucleus, mitochondria and cytoskeleton.

Read the full story here.

To see all our featured images from this week, click here.

  1. https://cosmosmagazine.com/latest
  2. https://cosmosmagazine.com/society/animals-science-behaviour-and-ethics
  3. https://cosmosmagazine.com/society/trump-s-tweets-are-a-matter-of-style
  4. https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/want-invisible-ink-just-put-water-in-your-inkjet
  5. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/your-cat-could-just-be-playing-hard-to-get
  6. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/how-many-comets-are-out-there
  7. https://cosmosmagazine.com/archaeology/hyena-poo-tells-all-humans-competed-with-carnivores-for-cave-space
  8. https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/living-cancer-cell-caught-on-camera-in-real-time
  9. https://cosmosmagazine.com/sections/image-of-the-day
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