Top ten picks
Ferris Jabr takes sign language at the AAAS conference and makes this wonderful piece out of it. Superb.
The story of
Jonathan Joshua Foer, a journalist who trained himself for the US Memory Championship & achieved record-breaking success
Sir John Beddington, the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor, made widely quoted comments about “intolerance” towards pseudoscience. Frank Swain and Alice Bell ask if he’s right.
This is wonderful and, I predict, will be increasingly common as interdisciplinary science becomes the norm. Kate Clancy and SciCurious tag-team a study on that time of the month, each covering their own speciality
The Templeton Foundation – friend of science, or “sneakier than the creationists”? Great feature by Mitch Waldrop. And another one by Shanta Barley, looking inside the mind of a man who was scientist by day and animal “activist” by night
If it wasn’t bad enough that few new antibiotics are in development, we’re running out of the ones we have. By Maryn Mckenna
Brian Switek discusses the convoluted family trees of horses and humans (and how it’s a problem that we have a sparse fossil record for chimps).
Are some aliens worth saving? A fascinating piece by Carl Zimmer on whether some invasive species are valuable. Meanwhile, the big guy talks about the importance and power of picking stories with “zing”, rather than those that are like “a nudibranch sprinting across the top of a kelp frond.”
A great case study of the power of blogs –a boy without a cerebellum is described in the post and his mum joins in within the comments
Monkeys know what they know – macaques “pass” on a brain teaser task rather than risk giving a wrong answer, just like humans
A great piece by Kate Clancy on the myths and science of women’s health
What does the herbal medicine industry have in common with Bruce Lee? By Martin Robbins
House of Representatives votes to defund IPCC climate studies. Jeez…
Lie down with dog, wake up with fleas. Oh, and plague
Retraction Watch’s continuing investigation into the bizarre case of Jatinder Ahluwalia is fascinating. By the end of it, his birth certificate will probably be retracted
Jennifer Ouellette ties in the science behind a woodpecker’s peck with the problems of pro footballers
Wow. The Annals of Human Genetics began as the Annals of Eugenics!
“If all it can do is beat humans on game shows, Watson is just passing entertainment akin to wind-up automata,” says Gary Kasparov, muttering bitterly under his breath.
10 minutes of pure joy – Attenborough’s Life Stories are back on Radio 4
Please welcome Brontomerus – the Thunder Thighs dinosaur. I love the image of it punting a Utahraptor
Jonah Lehrer validates my life by discussing the downside of attention and the benefits of distrac… OOH SQUIRREL
New analysis finds that 75% of coral reefs are at risk
Sand-swimming lizard inspires scientist to build robot that can do the same. Thanks, lizard. Thanks a lot.
This BBC slideshow nicely renders & explains the images at last night’s Wellcome Image Awards
Is there a funding crisis in cognitive neuroscience? Good piece by Jon Simons with some interesting but unfortunate “intellectual chauvinism” in the comments.
Mouse heart regenerates for the first time
Daniel Macarthur explains the problems with the plummeting cost of genome sequencing
On why some species domesticate better than others, by Evan Ratcliffe
Half a dodo found in museum drawer. What’s in yours?
Wild sex cries aim to advertise partner’s popularity in bonobos. The “I’ll have what she’s having” effect.
A beautifully illustrated continuum of micro and macro-evolution for Creationists
The journal Energy and Environment threatens RealClimate’s Gavin Schmidt with a libel suit over his harsh critique of the journal’s peer review process
A cool Cambrian chain gang
Behold your disease-ridden genome.
Richard Conniff on the power of facing up to mistakes in science
Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a dam – the problem of ageing dams.
That Wii remote is going to end up somewhere uncomfortable.
Five Emotions Invented By The Internet; numbers three and five are my life
“Sulphuric acid won’t dissolve a corpse in mins, a new study finds.” Great. What am I going to do w/ all these barrels?
Nun banished from order for spending too much time on Facebook. LIKE.
Joyous. A playable Angry Birds birthday cake
Google search results for “recursion“. Genius.
Someone gave Optimus Prime a parking ticket. One shall stand, one shall not park on a double-yellow
The Experimental Probe of Inflationary Cosmology – an EPIC mission from NASA
“2011 looks set to see an epic battle waged between a self-righteous cult-like group of reactionary folk determined to attack and suppress people they disagree with, and the Westboro Baptist Church.” By Martin Robbins
Rosenblatt defends Demand Media (eHow etc.): it’s not “shallow”, it’s what millions want; it’s not a “content farm”, it gets lots of hits and Likes. Riiiiiiight…. Meanwhile, Razib Khan likens content farms to the Pre-Cambrian period.
Journalists are a little less wide-eyed, and a little more picky. Kate Galbraith discusses how environmental reporting is growing up.
When has good writing become such a cheap commodity that people seem reluctant to pay for it?
Blogging is “waning” if you define “waning” as “growing”. Scott Rosenberg does the shocking thing of actually looking at the data rather than making stuff up
Apple gives iPad owners only 8 more days of fulfilment before the inevitable crushing feeling of worthlessness
“Science journalism needs a mix of really well-done daily deadline reporting and longer, thought-out, exhaustively reported narrative stories.” Protecting the whole journalism ecosystem, by Hillary Rosner. And check out the story behind the story of her award-winning piece on saving an obscure endangered fish.
Colin Schultz on the credibility of pseudonymous blogging, now with interesting data.
“Use those fantastic writing skills to communicate the science behind the science” says Anne Jefferson. I agree.
An old but fascinating study on the effect of mainstream media coverage on the transmission of scholarly knowledge in the science community.
Embargo Watch celebrates its first birthday. Go and wish Ivan the best – his blog(s) are a force for good in science journalism. (And amusingly, he got the anniversary date wrong, so had to retract it. He should have embargoed the retraction…)