Invisible fibres, big-eyed bugs… Tim on radio

Tim’s blog

This week on radio, Tim Thwaites is talking about invisible fibres; big-eyed bugs; lion hunting; the trust elixir; and more…

Invisibility threadsSydney physicists are trying to design threads that are essentially invisible from certain angles and in certain colours of light. And their Swedish colleagues think it just might work.—Optics Express

A New Scientist report can be found at

‘Hunting for Conservation’ backfiresAfrican lions are one step away from becoming an endangered species, and a measure designed to preserve them is to blame. A new American study suggests that hunters who pay to shoot them are killing too many of the big cats.—Conservation Biology

A Science report can be found at

Macabre details of suicide hangings revealedCanadian forensic scientists have been studying what happens when someone hangs him or herself—and how quickly they die. The results of this grisly research could be significant in court cases where prison officers are accused of negligence or foul play—Journal of Forensic Sciences

A New Scientist report can be found at

Tobacco plants outsmart hungry caterpillarsThe tobacco hookworm caterpillar has been outsmarted by its favourite food, according to German scientists. Every time the hookworm feasts on tobacco leaves, it inadvertently converts molecules released by the plant into chemicals that call in its most dread predator—the big-eyed bug—Science

A Science report—with picture of the big-eyed bug—can be found at

A New Scientist report—with picture of the tobacco hookworm caterpillar—can be found at

Oxytocin fails the ‘trust elixir’ testOxytocin is not the “trust elixir” that online pharmacies would have you believe. Belgium researchers have performed a series of experiments that show that while the hormone does enhance trust, it won’t make you gullible.—Psychological Science

A New Scientist report can be found at

Sunspots squeeze and stretch the dayNot all days are the same length. And it seems that sunspots may be responsible for millisecond fluctuations in daylength, say US researchers. And the finding could help to steer spacecraft more accurately.—Geophysical Research Letters

A New Scientist report can be found at