I've got your missing links right here (24th July '10)

By Ed Yong | July 24, 2010 12:00 pm


You can just engineer a crime scene.” Scientists can fabricate blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. (Andrew Pollack, NYT)

New research suggests one reason women are underrepresented in science and math is they see such careers as impeding their desire to help others. (Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune)

Researchers implant false symptoms: we can be convinced we reported symptoms of mental illness that we never mentioned and, as a result, we can actually start believing we have the symptom itself. (Vaughan Bell, Mind Hacks)

Eradicating any organism would have serious consequences for ecosystems — wouldn’t it? Not when it comes to mosquitoes. (Janet Fang, Nature)

Is Torosaurus just an older version of Triceratops? (Brian Switek, Smithsonian Dinosaur Tracking)

Mark Henderson has had his genes tested three times by three different companies. Read about his surprising and sometimes alarming comparison. (Times; paywall (but it’s worth it))

More after the jump…

How to read a genome-wide association study (Jeff Barrett, Genomes Unzipped)

Fossil hunters in Australia have discovered a cave filled with the 15-million-year-old remains of prehistoric marsupials, including babies still in their mothers’ pouches (BBC)

The following occurs in real-time: Scientists have viewed the expression of an individual gene inside a human cell. (Brendan Borrell; Nature)

A Panamanian park has lost around 40% of its amphibian species in the past decade, with some dying out before biologists had even learned of their existence (Janet Fang, Nature)

Breakthrough? Fingers crossed. A vaginal gel used by women before sexual intercourse halved the numbers who became infected with HIV. (Sarah Boseley, Guardian)

Pure-food worshippers put their health at risk—especially when they drink unpasteurized milk (Deborah Blum, Slate)

RIP Robert Galambos, the neuroscientist who showed us how bats echolocate (Douglas Martin, NYT)

Follow a stranger on Twitter, says Jonah Lehrer. Speaking of which, Jonah is now at Wired and you must read his stuff.

An important environmental win: advocates in Hong Kong opposed a shark fin soup promotion (Bettina Wassener, NYT)

Why some snakes have slit pupils (Doctor Zen, Neurodojo)

It’s a star. A really big star. No, really, it’s BIG. It’s bigness goes up to 11. (Ian Sample, Guardian)

A 40-tonne whale breached onto a boat. Why? (Philip Hoare, Guardian)


Amazing photos of deep-sea creatures at the BBC

This is a plane being shot down by a frickin’ laser beam. I’ll be in my bunker…

Is this the laziest (or best) caption ever?


This week’s must-read post – a storming history of science blogging as Bora Zivkovic says goodbye to ScienceBlogs. Check out how one person can inspire an entire community, and follow Bora to his new home. Continuing the SciBling exodus, read goodbyes from Deborah Blum (in the style of Tennyson), Zuska, Abel Pharmboy, and, er, me, and a summary in Nature News

The Guardian published a truly moronic piece on Pepsigate by one David Appell. Another David, he of Dobbs fame, absolutely destroyed the piece. “Few have ever packed as much error and folly into seven paragraphs.” Go for the eyes, David!

“If you’re worried about inspiring the next generation of scientists, listen to young people, don’t (just) feed them space-dinos,” argues Alice Bell.

How Facebook has to cope with death

“Given women will remain under the microscope indefinitely, I hope increasing numbers aim for high magnification for reasons beyond appearances,” says Sheril Kirshenbaum in an excellent post on sexism in science.

The New England Journal of Medicine sets a 65-minute embargo. Coming soon: the count-to-ten embargo.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Links, Uncategorized

Comments (6)

  1. OMG thank you for that facebook and death link! I was just talking to someone about how I’m friends with two dead people on facebook, and how weird it is.

  2. Excluded Layman

    The Facebook/death thing reminded me of this: http://xkcd.com/686/

    And I just now realized it shouldn’t feel any different than getting mail addressed to the dead, or inheriting possessions, but somehow those things don’t intuitively equate to an identity the way user accounts do.

    Another thought: Would Charlie’s Angels feel the same way about the intercom?

  3. As usual, there are broken links – all of the Discover links for a start, the “storming history of science blogging” goes to an article about marsupial fossils, and the “amazing photographs of deep-sea creatures” is broken because you pressed “v” instead of “ctrl-v” for paste.

    Those are just the ones I know about. I started reading them from the bottom up this morning, but with so many broken, decided to give you an opportunity to fix them before reading the rest. So I’ve yet to read the links above “wow/heh”.

    (Besides which, my mouse button is playing up – though I’d swear the cloth I cleaned it with was merely damp and not soaking – so I don’t fancy the frustration of trying to open all the links now.)

  4. On the mosquitos link
    “Still, she says, she would rather they were wiped off the Earth”. Which is exactly what most species would say of us

    On the marsupial skeletons link
    “It’s an extra insight into some of the strangest animals you could possibly imagine”. Don’t tell me what I can’t imagine

    On the deep sea creatures link
    Deep sea creatures – now THOSE might be the strangest animals I could possibly imagine (when sober). Alas, the link does not work :(

    On the big star link
    A slap to anthropocentrism and whoever think scientific knowledge divests the world of wonder. Quite the contrary

    On the flying ants link
    I wonder if the author of the caption was being funny on purpose

  5. Tim

    I can’t get beyond the first paragraph of Why some snakes have slit pupils (Doctor Zen, Neurodojo). The author calls Snake Eyes a GI Joe villain. It might be unfair to not trust anything he says beyond that point, but that’s my childhood he just re-wrote.

  6. jdmimic

    On the mosquitos link, I find it interesting that the people saying it wouldn’t make a difference were all medical professionals and the people arguing against it were ecologists. Now when it comes to the possible effects of wiping out a species, who do you think we should listen to, someone who is looking at it solely from a human-centered view or someone who is looking at it from an ecosystem view and has actually studied that sort of problem? To think that wiping out such an abundant species would not affect the ecosystem is simply naive. Before we even consider purposely exterminating an entire species, we really should consider things much more carefully.


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