I've got your missing links right here (07 April 2012)

By Ed Yong | April 8, 2012 1:20 pm

Top picks

Maggie Koerth-Baker has a new book about America’s energy crisis, its history, and what to do about it. It’s wonderfully written – funny, erudite, and a bit like the transcript of the most convincing bar conversation you’ll ever have. Check it out.

Erika Check Hayden explores the challenges that journalists face as science becomes increasingly complicated. This is 100 times better than virtually every other navel-gazing science journalism post. Read it

Tremendous piece by Sandra Upson – how Starcraft 2 could become a great game for studying cognitive science, and the science of expertise.

Must-read post from Carl Zimmer who actually saw the new fuzzy tyrannosaur fossil as it was first being studied. And Brian Switek also does a great job with the new discovery

Evan Eichler on autism genetics: “The bad news is there is heterogeneity out the ying-yang.”

Some great video entries to the Flame Challenge: explain what flame is to an 11-year-old

On Twitter, I asked if pterosaurs could fly upside-down. Here’s an answer

There’s a disease that might cross oceans on wind. Great feature by Jennifer Frazer, and some bonus material

My story for Nature News about how Yoshi Kawaoka created a more transmissble H5N1 flu virus

Could an evil genius really force a volcano to erupt on demand? Awesome piece of sci writing by Erik Klemetti.

150 billion pixels and 1 billion stars. Big doesn’t cover it. By Phil Plait.

Eating Wicked Tuna: Miriam Goldstein tries to figure out what the heck is going on with a reality series.

America’s Gardasil problem: how politics poison public health. By Matthew Herper.

Important Vaughan Bell pieces about the complex motivations for self-harm

A positive story about fMRI, by Kerri Smith, looking at the future for blobbology.

Erika Check Hayden absolutely nails it with her coverage of the new “genomes have limited predictive power” study

Building brains. REALLY good summary of many recent neuroscience discoveries, by John Rennie

When ants contract a fungal infection, they start LICKING each other& act as giant social immune system

This week I learned that we started using ferrets to model flu infections when a scientist infected a ferret with his colleague’s flu. The ferret then gave it to the scientist by sneezing on him. Also, from the scientist’s logs: “Ferret I looks somewhat seedy

Enough awareness. Here’s how to change the world for autistic people. Great collection from Steve Silberman.

I like to think that most of my life decisions were leading up to the moment last weekend when this baby squirrel ran up to me in Richmond Park and let me stroke it.



Some climate scientists are engaging with their most severe critics. Keith Kloor on their efforts

Chilling, horrifying transcripts from Australian Story episode about woman who tried to treat cancer with homeopathy – parts one and two

A great review of Robin Sloan’s tap-essay on how to love things on the internet by David Dobbs.

The Quietest Place on Earth Will Drive You Insane Within 45 Minutes. It’s like the Total Perspective Vortex.

Top 5 fake scientific breakthroughs. Including “Smaugia volans

What is science? A collection of quotes.

Cultural mimicry“: a caterpillar that decorates itself with flowers

One small pill that can increase literacy, decrease absenteeism in schools, raise earning potential, and more. India vs worms

“Oh Lord, crushed-up bugs in my drink!” scream the type of people who eat at places like McDonalds

Well I’ll be. An actual evaluation of public engagment work in science, published in a journal.

Ioannidis ioannidizes scientific conferences. Are they worth attending?

Brazilian Scientific American declares homeopathy essential for human health, with a strong response from Mariette DiChristina, EiC of SciAm.

Dinosaur ants in line for the throne force underlings to do their bidding

What would your voice sound like on Venus? (If you weren’t choking to death on the air)

What the French do with autistic kids should shame the nation.

“Scientist” w/ crackpot aquatic dinosaur hypothesis seeks attention. Radio4 and the Telegraph give it to him.

Inside the Smithsonian’s meteorite clean room

The mathematical description of snail shells and a marsupial snail

Monkey economics with currency of Jell-O, apples, & the Fluff taco

“The Case of the Missing Moon Rocks” a new ebook from The Atavst: “a hoot of a tale” says Tom Levenson.

Leaders of the faster-than-light neutrino experiment step down

Scientific incentives are all wrong – opinion piece in Nature

On the eve of their extinction, a good overview of the history of DNA patents

Desperate times call for… coral transplants

Whether we regard intelligence as fixed or malleable affects how we deal w/ stereotypes. Good piece by Maria Konnikova.

How London is preparing for the rest of you coming over here with your foreign germs

Good post on discussion of cancer genomics, and its tricky future, at AACR

Physics envy?” No, that’s empiricism you’re talking about. Sean Carroll vs a recent NYT op/ed

7 ways animals use nanotechnology, featuring “corneal nipples” and snakes on a plane

An incredibly well-preserved juvenile woolly mammoth is causing excitement amongst scientists


Onion: Dolphins Not So Intelligent On Land

Thermosaurus radiator

A supernova pours its guts out.

“Easter is a particularly trying time for Richard.”

April Fool’s: Neuroscientists: We Don’t Really Know What We Are Talking About, Either

A typewriter that types colors

HA! A tool for analysing DNA methylation data, called MethLAB

Totally inept losers confident they can lock down the internet

The amazing interactive structure of a pterosaur

Excited about the Natural History Museum’s Animal Inside Out exhibition. Body Worlds meets Inside Nature’s Giants


Simon Frantz analyses his favourite science writing: Adam Rogers’ whiskey fungus piece.

Incredible. You can now shoot NYT commenters for points

YouTube ventures into three dimensions, (although its commenters still largely stuck on one…)

Journalese is a separate dialect, which requires newcomers to put aside logic & bend basic rules of grammar”

Being a woman and writing for the Daily Mail is basically like punching yourself (and other women) in the face

Google demotes Google Scholar. Alexis Madrigal: “KHAAAAANNNNN!”



Comments (4)

  1. Carsten

    Dear Ed,

    I so love your list of links, each time a treasure trove!


    – Carsten

  2. Hi Ed,

    Thanks for a wonderful list of links again XD
    Should keep me busy for a while

    Just wanted to point out that the “Monkey Economics” link is taking me to a 404 error

  3. Toby Zidle

    Great article, Ed! This is the first time I’ve seen it. Is it a weekly series? Where do you find the time to dig out and comment on all these links?

  4. Rachel

    I can’t get over the baby squirrel. What a marvelous moment!


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