I've got your missing links right here (19 November 2011)

By Ed Yong | November 19, 2011 12:00 pm

I’m travelling for a bit so this week’s selection is a bit truncated. Also, I have limited internet access so if there are broken links you’ll have to fix them yourself.

Top picks

Fantastic stuff: Carin Bondar hands HD flip cameras to field biologists, edits them & shoots her own presenter segments to create these great videos of science in action

Excellent piece from John Rennie about people who quibble over the causes of climate disasters

Which is more unethical: doing medical research on chimps, or stopping it? Great piece in the New York Times. Meanwhile, Brandon Keim has a great piece on the life of retired lab chimps.

A woman’s stirring beat-by-beat account of how social media saved her husband’s life in Kyrgyzstan

A stunningly beautiful post about a psychiatric interview, by Shara Yuirkiewicz

Behold The Crux: Discover’s new group-blog about big ideas in science. Here are two examples by top writers. “Life during wartime: can mental illness be a rational response?” by Vaughan Bell. And “If food can overrule genes, can it mess with evolution?” by John Rennie. However, check out this thorough fisking from Tara Smith who slams one of the posts on the HPV vaccine.

Nature is also the 99%.

I LOVE THIS. An artist is creating an illuminated manuscript version of Origin of the Species

Incredible. A 1994 paper in which a doctor reinvents calculus and names it after herself

Carl Zimmer describes Svante Paabo’s remarkable work on Neanderthals

Megan Garber reminds us that, when it comes to the Future of News, all this has happened before and all this will happen again

Over your lifetime, your heart will beat 3 billion times. Here’s the story of one of those beats, by Alok Jha, Kevin Fong and others.

A great piece on the future of genome studies, by Misha Angrist. “Kids with serious undiagnosed conditions do not give a sh*t” about things ethicists agonise over.

Be sure to check out Emily Willingham’s new blog Double X Science, which aims to “bring science to the woman in you.” Good read for both genders.


Brain cell genomes show their individuality

Europe Bans X-Ray Body Scanners Used at U.S. Airports – concerns over “small number of cancer cases”

Are orangutans in Indonesian Borneo doomed to extinction?

NASA is actually accepting applications to be an astronaut

Suicide is “one of the most under-researched areas in all of psychiatry.”

Moth’s True Colors Shine After 47 Million Years

Brains scans used to make animation of female orgasm

The Latest on the Great Magnetic Cow Smackdown

Lutetia, the asteroid that may have witnessed the birth of the Earth

Very cool. Leonardo’s Formula Explains Why Trees Don’t Splinter

A very nice explainer on graphic cigarette packets

On freelancing. This is brilliant. AND UNTRUE.

Related to my GM-mosquito piece in Slate, here’s a really good interview with Luke Alphey, who released some GM-mozzies in the Caymans.

BBC drop climate change episode of Frozen Planet for marketing overseas, says the Telegraph. However, the BBC clarifies the reason for the choice.

What an hour of deep-sea vent life looks like in 2 mins, w/ TONS of sea spiders

Judy Mikovits is being sued by her former employer. The XMRV-CFS story just rolls on.

You know, real scientists actually *test* their hypotheses, rather than endlessly generating them.

Sloppy, risible science: my rant on the new paper on the Pill and prostate cancer

Woah! Optogenetics in monkeys!

Malaria preserved in amber

“NASA says the sun doesn’t have enough energy to hurl a fireball 93 million miles to destroy Earth.” Goody.

From BBC Lab UK, a nationwide morality test

This is the best link you’ll read this week about spiders, presents, sex and pretending to be dead.

“What good is green technology if it’s based on minerals whose extraction is so, well, ungreen?”

Animal-spotting app lets you be a conservationist with your iPhone

A collection of famous sufferers of debilitating tropical diseases.


Evil gannet will consume your soul.

Unfortunate headlines #3512

Amazing photo of a caterpillar emerging from a translucent egg

This sh*t is OLD.

RSPCA’s Young Photographer of the year award

Roulette is your best bet [for making money]– 20x as good as lotteries, and 160x as good as premium bonds…”

“The trouble with video games isn’t the violence. It’s that the characters are dicks”

A Matchmaking Service to Unite Scientists and Citizen Volunteers

A prize-winning essay on the nocebo effect, by Penny Sarchet.

What blinds 270k people every year? This infographic tells all.

Brain scans indicate… less than you think they do.

The Neuroskeptic on the new study showing more brain cells in autism


Great feature on the Winklevii : two people who really really hate losing but are great at it

The plagiarizing authors who don’t even exist!

Boring conference in danger of being too interesting

Blogging a paper causes a spike in downloads equivalent to 3 years worth of abstract views in some cases

14 Punctuation Marks That You Never Knew Existed. Viva l’interrobang.

The story behind Lauren Gravitz’s story on a Nobel winner’s effort to treat his cancer w/ cells he studied


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