I've got your missing links right here (14 April 2012)

By Ed Yong | April 14, 2012 12:00 pm

Top picks

The entire population of a species, counted from space! Awesome emperor penguin study

Can a hallucinogen from Africa cure addiction? Very interesting article on ibogaine

Lovely logical paradox (or not) about the infiniteness of universes

Lovely Atlantic photo gallery of water on our world

And another great example of a scientist blogging own research. Crystal-clear explanation of why imperfect mimics survive

Jonah Lehrer interviews the legendary neuroscientist Eric Kandel about Klimt, Freud, neuroaesthetics and “The Age of Insight”

The Chocolate-and-Radish Experiment That Birthed the Modern Conception of Willpower. Great Alexis Madrigal piece.

Controversy Deepens Over Pesticides and Bee Collapse. Very solid reporting by Brandon Keim

Blind woman writing a novel longhand didn’t know her pen had run out. She asked police for help.

Very cool. Scientists use knowledge of local fishermen to understand the fluid dynamics of a lake

Can You Predict a Monkey’s Social Status by Looking at Its Genes? Great Ferris Jabr piece.

This is a superb example of scientists blogging own work: Chris Chambers gives an insightful and thorough look into his work on whether feedback could rebuild vision. Read it.

I love XKCD’s amazing graphic of the world’s watery depths

Check out Paige Williams’ awesome annotated features. It’s the closest you’ll get to shadowing some of the world’s best journalists on assignment.

Early contender for the year’s worst press release. Are there hyper-intelligent alien dinosaurs? Weird paper says yes. Brian Switek says no.

Computer built using swarms of soldier crabs, by Olivia Solon.

A Spoonful of Molybdenum, some Ulysses and the Origin of Life.” Truly excellent writing from Lucas Brouwers about how an odd element may have been essential for life.


Love this. Alexis Madrigal riffs off my take on the baboon-‘reading’ study & compares the monkeys to Google. (My original piece)

“Less time separates us from Tyrannosaurus rex than separated T. rex from Stegosaurus.”

Forget polar bears, science says climate communications should show pics of dying plants

Making a career transition: 13 stories of routes into and out of a career in science

“In 70% of cases where infectious disease causes extinction of an animal/plant, an emerging fungus is behind [it].”

This new paper debunking the compass in bird beaks is interesting – but they still have a quantum compass in their eye!

All the videos from the Royal Society’s H5N1 meeting are now up.

Goshawks single out “odd-coloured” pigeons as prey

Tardigrade eggs might survive interplanetary trip. Badass.

BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme mounts a pathetic defence of their aquatic dinosaur segment. Look folks, no one said you can’t do light-hearted science stories. But maybe, stop covering light-hearted bullsh*t?

Artificial Intelligence Could Be on Brink of Passing Turing Test” Good Brandon Keim piece but not sure I’m convinced.

Enemy me, please. On the benefits of having a nemesis

What birds were once like. Great fossil gallery.

Ancient herbal remedy leaves distinct gene signature of the widespread kidney failure & cancer it causes

The dominoes fall: Rising Ocean Temperatures Prime Amazon Rainforest for Fire

Einstein’s Advice to a Little Girl Who Wanted to Be a Scientist

British polar research is thawing out.

“Perhaps even worse than premature burial was the thought of being dissected while still alive.”

Not a new ant. Actually an ant riddled with worms. Nature punks taxonomists

Google Searches Give Away a Country’s GDP. Fascinating bit of research, covered by Elizabeth Preston.

Okay I LIKE spiders, but even I recoiled a bit at the pic labelled “stash of paralysed spiders

Er, oops. Sorry… Devastating Bat Fungus Invaded From Europe

Fascinating project by Richard Wiseman: is it possible to choose your dreams?

More citizen science – record your bird-watching w/ an app

Independent says “cuddle drug” oxytocin may be new Viagra. No, you blithering idiots. It’s not a cuddle drug, and this was a case report of ONE GUY.

Bird Flu Studies Mired In Export Control Law Limbo.

SciAm Brasil has apologised for its dreadful homeopathy article.

Bats on a plane

Brian Switek on prehistoric driller-killers

Children will pay for this: Tennesse passes ‘teach the controversy’ evolution bill


“Less marketing douchebaggery, more TANKS.”

Twitter Learns The Titanic Was Not Just A Movie. One of these ppl is called “Hope Dies”. Yes.

Hamster bites Spider-Man, gains spider-powers, gets stuck to cage

Ha! “Prometheus may feature ALF, hints Ridley Scott”

Woman recreates Flemish portraits in an airplane toilet

Heh. Funny species names. I love Heerz lukenatcha

Dog eats scientist’s labwork. Paper ensues

This week I learned that there’s a field of hydrothermal vents in the north Atlantic called Loki’s Castle

33 Animals Who Are Extremely Disappointed In You


With “hen,” Sweden officially introduces gender-neutral pronoun

Reporter posts joke press release about new job on his personal site; new employer fires him for doing it

A fantastic tool for analysing Pubmed queries

Subway platforms of the world

Kristina Bjoran mounts an able defence of wordy copy

Great series of interviews with newly fledged science writers


The Wellcome Trust runs into troubled times.

Minimalist Lego renditions of some of your favorite cartoons.

How 25 National Magazine Award Nominations Went To 25 Male Writers

Can computers replicate the human-like cadence of narrative journalism? A good piece, but it fails to convince me at the critical juncture.

The HuffPo’s “science” editor asks readers: Is climate science true?

“There’s a difference between a temple that invites you to gasp open-mouthed & one that invites you in for tea.” – Alice Bell on plans for an atheist temple.

People who like “being gits” may also like “payback”: Big-6 publishers refuse to sign Amazon contracts

Facebook bought Instagram. Also Christmas, hugs, and kittens.

Unmarketing, and what it means for science writers

When Losers Write History: Why legacy-newspaper reporters get their own industry so wrong



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