I've got your missing links right here (3 March 2012)

By Ed Yong | March 3, 2012 12:00 pm

Top picks

Amazing, heartbreaking story with graphic pics of dolphins being killed & used as bait for sharks for the fin soup trade

A Nature investigation finds that patients in Texas are receiving unproven stem-cell treatments

“Everything in my head finally shut the fuck up.” An awesome piece in which Sally Adee takes electricity to the head

Say goodbye to a taboo illness that kills a million babies a year

The greatest invention of all time: a gun capable of stopping speakers in mid-sentence. Er, non-fatally.

The many ways you can pretend to be an astronaut, by Alexis Madrigal

Consciousness: Eight questions science must answer – a great overview of the field.

How many neurons in human brain? Billions fewer than we thought. Originally via the NeuroPod podcast

New research on the origin of AIDS point to a colonial role

Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong: Yale economist rebuts sceptics’ arguments, point by point

What, specifically, is Susan Greenfield’s hypothesis? Does she even know? Martin Robbins certainly doesn’t

Is your language making you broke and fat? No. Sharp critique of language-and-culture intuitions

A study on immortal worms, which had its genesis in… wait, YouTube comments?

Pittsburgh’s new Center for PostNatural History is a natural history museum for the anthropocene

Morgellons disease and the reverse-Semmelweis reflex. Good piece by Catherine Willyard.

From a Judean fort to freeze-dried blood – Virginia Hughes on the science of keeping things cool

How Moroccan nomads, a meteorite curator and a mystery donor brought a piece of Mars to London. An awesome story from Wired’s new astrobiology blog.

Textbook-rewriting time: egg-making stem cells found in adult ovaries

Tongue Parasites to People of Earth: Thank You For Your Overfishing

What’s causing cheerleader hysteria? Vaughan Bell cuts through the hype, and cuts up bad reporting

A strong emotion is a reminder that, even when we think we know nothing, our brain knows something,” writes Jonah Lehrer.

An amazing story about a clinic that delivers personalised genomic medicine to the Amish. “It is probably the only medical centre today with both a hitching post and an Ion Torrent DNA sequencer.”

Genius idea. Studying orang-utan energetics by setting parkour runners through an obstacle course

Man writes e-book on how smiling will make everything better. David Dobbs isn’t smiling. He wants to make the man cry. “He finds many studies but, apparently, few commas.”

Biologists puzzled over sea otters’ failure to thrive. Sea otter looks puzzled too.

 

News/science/writing

Great comment piece: if France has banned commercial use of brain scans, why allow them in court?

The Torosaurus Identity Crisis Continues, and Jamie Headden explains why it matters

Voting behavior cannot be predicted by one or two genes” – worthwhile refutation but seriously, who didn’t see this coming?

Female bonobos ‘advertise’ homosexual bonds

Can the crowd predict the outcome of a clinical trial?

A great piece on the Iceman’s genome, and his connection to Sardinians, by Razib Khan. Meanwhile, at io9, a commenter notes that Otzi is actually Kris Kristofferson

Hermit crabs perceive the extent of their virtual bodies.

Controversial bioethicist Glenn McGee has resigned from his post at Celltex

“I CAAAANNN’TTTTTT HHHHEEEAAAAARRRRRR YYYYOOOOUUUUUU.” Human noise disrupts blue whale chat

A way of presenting real objects, not images, to people undergoing MRI may lead to realistic brain scans

“I don’t know why the caged girl screams” – devastating piece on Agent Orange, dioxins and Vietnam

The “ghost dragon hunter” – a new pterosaur with utterly insane teeth

Does this zero gravity make me look fat? Yup. It’s called the Charlie Brown effect

Scientists want to create millions of zombie ants. But this is a good thing.

Taxpayers deserve value for money from research funding.

One ship drops its anchor onto underwater fibre-optic cables, slows internet access to 6 African nations. Doh.

This is monumentally stupid. Hockney’s take on tobacco control

Journalists have been allowed inside Japan’s Fukushima plant for the first time since the tsunami.

Holy Bat flu! Bats (or some of ‘em) catch flu

Many bats have weird noses but this newly discovered one is just taking the piss. Looks like it was splashed w/ acid

Collective memory. Warring ants use odour to turn their colony against enemies

The horror of lime juice douching

“The scientists then exposed the animals’ testicles to a variety of things.”

“When our engineer looked at this design, it was an instant ‘uhoh,’ ” <– This is about defibrillators

“We’ve already gotten drunk on fossil fuels; there’s no way to avoid the hangover.” – new team-up paper finds that we needed clean energy yesterday

Ice Age coyotes were badass.

Poisonous Invasive Plant Protects Australian Lizards from Poisonous Cane Toads

Did you know that, for about a year starting in June 2006, Earth had a temporary natural satellite? (Paper)

‘Google Cell’ – where you can drill down from organelles to molecules

Payback’s a bitch. Toxins in shark fins linked to neurodegenerative diseases

It’s the hair: famous red-heads team up for orang-utans

Ever wondered why you sleep? Or maybe why you are awake? Tom Stafford looks into why napping is still a mystery

The first-ever English language retraction (1756)?

The man who cut off his transplanted penis because his wife didn’t like it & other transplantation stories

Viruses punch their way into bacteria with an iron spike

“Nothing to be gained by trying to get away” – BBC’s 70s script to be read in case of nuclear war

What the actual f**k?  More “science” from NYT fashion/style section. This time, enzymes treat everything

At the Restaurant of the Future, this gadget takes your order

Waves clone corals. Awesome.

Oceans may be acidifying faster than 4 mass extinctions over past 300 million years

This Slate piece on superbugs seems to have acquired untreatable infection of reality-resistant straw men

The physics of the ninja warrior salmon ladder

Plants have a memory of pests that spans generations

The Smithsonian is reproducing some of its works w/ 3D printers & building a digital archive of scanned items

 

Heh/wow/huh

A Flickr set of heatmaps showing pictures taken by locals vs tourists

Animated GIF maps of bird migrations

This will destroy your brain. With irony poisoning. All it needs is a Facebook “Like” button.

An evolution animation with creatures that evolve, thanks to elementary school kids

In honor of leap year: a whole bunch of sea creatures leaping

Dirty pictures from space.

“At random intervals, say: “Sorry to interrupt but that just sounds like meaningless jargon to me.” – on the awfulness of meetings

A video of lionfish blowing water in the face of its prey to confuse them.

Whoa. Awesome shadow paintings by Rashad Alakbarov where he strategically hangs objects in front of light source

So. It has come to this

Ex-parrots! Defunct parrots. Lots of em.

The parent guide for The Muppets is hilarious when read aloud.

Breathtaking, obsessively patterned snow drawings by artist Sonja Hinrichsen

The ultimate Daily Mail letter.

 

Journalism/internet/society

The UK Conference of Science Journalists will be on 25th June 2012. I’m on the organising committee and I’m delighted to say that our keynote speaker is Jay Rosen. Also that I’m organising a session on improving the reporting of neuroscience.

Reading the privacy policies you encounter in a year would take 76 work days

The prison mackerel economy: utterly bizarre.

Our brains resist corrections. What journalists can do when they make mistakes

Wow. I think it’s now safe to call Google+ a failed experiment. Becca Rosensays “Save what you can. Abandon the rest”

NPR goes for truth, not perfect balance. Jay Rosen explains and applauds

Call em pivots. Call em swoops. Call em blobs. They’re an essential storytelling technique that writers must master.

The internet will kill you. Sort of. The odd case of hitmanforhire.net.

“By what right would you call me and ask me to work for nothing?” A marvellous rant about paying writers.

How do you cite a tweet in an academic paper? There are rules for these things, people.

What is “longform” journalism? Not just word count.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you? (Don’t tell me; tell these folks).

I was wrong about Klout being useless. It’s great for trolling people.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Links

Comments (2)

  1. szescstopni
  2. Tony Mch

    The Washington Post article about the origin of AIDS (“The Birth of AIDS”) is difficult to get and awfully written – it reads like a badly written promo text for the book “Tinderbox” – yet the facts are interesting none the less.

    Here is one copy of the text I found some place else:
    > http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/opinion/how-killer-aids-pandemic-started-1.1246227

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