102

Jealousy of the deep dark and the attention it held grew in the carbon and iron of its core. The asteroid kept on its trajectory: Photobomb.

Ever wondered what the Hubble telescope is up to these days? Hubble is working on the Frontier Fields program,  a collaboration among NASA’s Great Observatories and other telescopes to study six massive galaxy clusters and their effects. However, some of Hubble’s images are being photobombed by asteroids from our solar system ‘like rude relatives who jump in front your vacation snapshots of landscapes‘. Like many science communicators, Science Daily’s writer could not resist the pun, and inspired Gabrielle Bleu’s story of an asteroid’s envy. // Alex Massey

//Gabrielle Bleu @BeteMonstrueuse deepest fears are dogs and the ocean. She enjoys talking about bats, and old things buried in archives.//

98

As the seas rose, she grew a respiratory system in the lab. A new kind of selkie, she replaced her old lungs, and made a life in the depths.

Carbon monoxide has long been classified as a substance that is toxic to mammalian tissue in high concentrations. Yet this classification may soon be turned on its head. At the Marine Mammal Society in late 2017, researchers presented their discovery that the high accumulation of carbon monoxide in the blood helps elephant seals make deep ocean dives. This discovery has major implications for biomedical research into human organ transplants. Diving deep into this research, Gabrielle Bleu breathes new life into the Celtic selkie myth. Could this be how humans escape the consequences of climate change? // Alex Massey

//Gabrielle Bleu @BeteMonstrueuse deepest fears are dogs and the ocean. She enjoys talking about bats, and old things buried in archives.//

91

She traversed the barren planet, running swabs of algae so gently across the surface. A slow process, terraforming, but someday, a new home.

Takayuki Kohchi, colleagues at Kyoto University, and 40 other researcher facilities and universities around the world have been studying the genes of the common liverwort. Within the genome of the liverwort lies an exceedingly simple genetic sequence. This sequence is the fundamental ancestral version of basic mechanisms used to keep plants alive. Researchers will now be able to trace the evolutionary history of these genes and gain more insight into how plants evolved. Inspired by this tale of life, Gabrielle Bleu imagines a new wold, where this history did not occur by accident.

//Gabrielle Bleu @BeteMonstrueuse deepest fears are dogs and the ocean. She enjoys talking about bats, and old things buried in archives.//

82

The printer whirred and an elephant’s head emerged. She’d only ever seen scans of one in the database. It peered at her through bleary eyes.

At the University of Washington, engineering students and instructors are working together to scan, digitize and 3D print the missing parts of a Columbian mammoth skeleton, intended for display in the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Simultaneously, a grant was also awarded to the openVertebrate database project, which plans to scan and catalogue over 20,000 vertebrates. In this story, Gabrielle Bleu ponders the potential consequences of these projects if their aims were combined. Will we arrive at some Frankenstenian future where we 3D print extinct animals back to life? // Alex Massey

//Gabrielle Bleu @BeteMonstrueuse deepest fears are dogs and the ocean. She enjoys talking about bats, and old things buried in archives.//

77

The order came in non-natal Alsatian: cast off the civilian ships. She hesitated to decouple. Her Gramman had sung to her in that tongue.

In a recent paper in Psychological Sciences, researches from the University of Chicago found that when people focusing on listening to a foreign language, they become more utilitarian and more willing to follow orders which harmed another human being. Writer Gabrielle Bleu questions their assumption that a native language is one only acquired from family – could immigration or a declining language mean that we should look at non-native speakers as well?  Would someone who grew up around say, Alsatian, but only learned to speak it as an adult still be more utilitarian when given orders? A question well worth asking… // Alex Massey

//Gabrielle Bleu @BeteMonstrueuse deepest fears are dogs and the ocean. She enjoys talking about bats, and old things buried in archives.//

 

73

The glass city’s highest achievement was the eradication of vampire attacks. The downside was the bat bodies littering the glass walkways.

Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen have discovered that buildings with glass facades act like an acoustic mirror for bats. They  observed that smooth glass reflects the echolocation calls of bats until shortly before collision. The risk of collision increases if the bat is travelling rapidly. Not one to cast the first stone in a glass house, Gabrielle Bleu instead casts this discovery into a fantasy world, where inhabitants in glass cities gain the ultimate advantage against vampire bats. Could this be why vampires avoid mirrors? // Alex Massey

//Gabrielle Bleu @BeteMonstrueuse deepest fears are dogs and the ocean. She enjoys talking about bats, and old things buried in archives.//