Weekend Links: Corn Turns Wild Hamsters into Cannibals, Earth’s Weirdest Creatures, Why Anyone Can Be a Scientist and More

Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

A Diet of Corn Turns Wild Hamsters into Cannibals

Sarah Zielinski writing for Science News

The first sign that something was wrong was that the female hamsters were really active in their cages. These were European hamsters, a species that is endangered in France and thought to be on the decline in the rest of their Eurasian range. But in a lab at the University of Strasbourg in France, the hamsters were oddly aggressive, and they didn’t give birth in their nests.

Why Anyone Can Be a Scientist

Courtney Kousser writing for Wandering Court

So, what makes a scientist? Are they born with a special capacity for critical thinking and scientific thought? I really don’t think so.

Earth’s Weirdest Creatures Are Genetic Treasure Chests

Josh Peters writing for Massive Science

The axolotl can regenerate perfectly from nearly any damage to its body, including its spine, heart, and brain. Crush its spine, remove spinal segments, cut off any limb at any level – new tissue, nerves, veins appear.

Yes, Cats Probably Know Their Names

Amber Jorgenson writing for Disocver

Cats are tough cookies to crack. Unlike most dogs, who excitedly run over when you call their names, cats can be pretty dismissive. After being snubbed by my cat for the hundredth time, I start to wonder if she listens to me or even knows her name. Well, new science says that the answer is yes.

A Big Myth About Sugar Has Just Been Debunked By New Research

Tom Hale writing for IFL Science

If you were to eat a bag of candy and guzzle a large soda, you might expect to feel a “sugar rush” followed by a warm glow of saccharine satisfaction. In reality, the opposite happens, according to a new study.

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