Patrick Keeling teaches his students to make their own DIY microscopes. Anne Casselman describes it *beautifully*
It’s worth reading this piece on John Hunstman by Tom Chivers just for the brilliant football/evolution analogy
Jawless fish, an epic primer on the birth of vertebrates.
When Doctors Become Patients: moving story of a doctor who gets throat cancer
Razor-sharp: why worrying whether people like science or not is probably the wrong concern. By Alice Bell.
“It’s hard to overstate the influence of the marshmallow task.” 40+ years on and still important, says Jonah Lehrer.
I spend all my time blogging about papers. But here’s a paper about my blog!
How the war over dolphin rights sundered the friendship between two scientists. Great story by Erik Vance.
Natural hazards in the age of social media, or how some people felt quakes on Twitter before real life
Freedom to Riot: On the Evolution of Collective Violence. Yet another tour de force post by Eric Michael Johnson.
Billboards advertising Contagion movie made from bacteria and fungi. Viral marketing at its best.
The mirror test for self-awareness works for visual animals. For dogs, there’s the “yellow snow” test.
Reconstructing 2-million-year-old hominin skin. John Hawks describes a new open-science project.
If you sequence the bacteria in the English Channel, you can work out which month it is with perfect accuracy, says Holly Bik
Meet Chinquapin the Badass Whimbrel, who flew through the centre of Hurricane Irene and survived.
On “menotoxins” & how culture biased science towards the acceptance of “menstrual toxins”. Great post by Kate Clancy.
Your brain constructs reality. Don’t buy it? Try out the app that lets you see the stuff you can’t see.
Surprising no one, Reebok’s leg/bum-toning shoes don’t work, by Travis Saunders
Ben Goldacre on the statistical error that just keeps on coming, and afflicts neuroscience papers
The versatility of science graduates should be celebrated not criticised, says Imran Khan.
Live malaria vaccine is safe. Yay! Not actually very good at preventing malaria. Boo.
Man gets $75k for proving “Enormous Theorem“. Proof runs to 15000 pages. Other mathematicians get proof envy.
How accurate are our memories of 9/11?
Should We Outsource Obesity Treatment To Weight Watchers?
Diederik Stapel, a psychologist whose work I’ve written about, has been suspended on the grounds of fraudulent data.
Conspiracy theorists deny 9-11 anniversary. Excellent.
Fukushima had no effect on British public’s nuclear appetite.
Babies show same brain responses to touch and pain until around 35 wks.
Flight of the hippo. Fly a pollutant-sampling plane from pole to pole & you find cool things
Café owner going to kill that laptop-using bastard
Locked in an airtight chamber for 48hrs, relying on plant produced oxygen – will sealed-in scientist survive?
A church that wants to teach science.
You’ve been buried in the rubble of a collapsed building. Then a snake robot moves towards you.
Here’s Carl Zimmer on the raft of new Australopithecus sediba papers
Dolphins don’t “whistle” – they ‘talk’ like humans
Mankind gives Antarctica a raging case of the crabs
“Politicians are more conversant with human irrationality than most.”
Nature editorial: Severe storms make the public think of climate change. Scientists must work to evaluate the link
Child’s skull clearly showing both baby and adult teeth http
How a Christmas card led to Michelle Nijhuis’s story on a killer bat disease.
On the spread of unproven treatments in sports medicine. “For a lot of people it is a boutique business”
Predicting individual neural activity differences at 18 years based on behaviour at 4 months.
“More rules when you buy a used car than sperm.” 1 sperm donor, 150 brothers and sisters.
The toxic drug that decimated Indian vulture populations is still for sale in pharmacies
Modern African genomes hint at massive prehistoric inter-hominin shagfest
“What has really made me mad is that this 24/7 [lab] culture is condoned AT ALL.” Hear hear, Nicola Davis
Biting a wasp is a gateway to injecting yourself with horse blood
Could next Mars rover contaminate red planet with Earth’s bacteria?
On Steve Irwin and the rise of schlock nature programmes. Give me Attenborough any day.
The baby boomers demand your blood to rejuvenate their dying brains. Or something.
One third of known species catalogued in the new Encyclopedia of Life.
Irreproducible data: Half of published studies claiming “new drug target” can’t be reproduced by drug companies. However, conclusion is based on a study from a drug company that isn’t peer-reviewed and can’t be checked because of confidentiality issues. I think my irony meter just broke.
The EU wants to spend €2m on a review of the homeopathy literature for animals.
“Any paper, however bad, can now get published in a journal that claims to be peer-reviewed.” David Colquhoun on the publish-or-perish mentality.
Male fiddler crabs wave their hands to keep cool. Like the Fonz.
Panda poo considered as next step for biofuel production
“Green tree frogs survive by using lemonade physics.”
From the Annals of Yesweknewthat, people can look different in different photos
Sad, plaintive insect cyborgs can control their own lives if only they stay completely still.
Early planning is underway for a massive crowdsourced movie of the 2017 solar eclipse.
Incredible once-in-many-lifetimes lunar eclipse photo
XKCD on file transfer. Make sure you read the alt-text.
Official US recommendations for hunting yeti: only shoot/kill a yeti in self-defence
6m, 1 tonne! Giant crocodile captured in Philippines.
You made the sky mad! Humans fire laser to sky, sky responds with lightning
The worst/best athlete of all time don’t jump for no man.
Every crazy CIA plot you’ve heard of originated with one man.
Daredevil bot climbs building, base-jumps off.
Gallery: insect wings are cool.
A camel carrying a car up a hill.
Sad. Swedish wildlife Photog of the Year admits to faking photos
Are jobs obsolete? A thought-provoking column from Douglas Rushkoff.
Nice work by Martin Robbins on King Cnuts, tides and the folly of politicians trying to halt social media
This is how I plan to deal with the next person who raises the blogger/journalist thing
Aging population + emerging lawsuit culture = emerging trend of not helping the elderly in China
Empty toner cartridge leads to “fuzzy” press release print-out so reporter breaks embargo. Riiiiight.
Do you like communicating science? Are you a bit of a show off? Do you live in London? Head for Science Showoff’s inaugural gig.
Tobacco company seeks access to secret data on smoking habits
But is it journalism? Still a discussion worth having.
How an MIT success came to launch an online hub for glorified prostitution.
Which Middle Eastern nation is most vulnerable to Internet shutdown, because it has only one provider?
Heh. 10 things you’ll hear at every journalism conference
What’s the point of science education?