I’ve got your missing links right here (15 June 2013)

Top picks

This is so beautiful. A photo series of people around the world reading.

Bizarre new phylum of bacteria found lurking in hospital sink’s drain. By John Timmer.

This caterpillar wears its old heads as hats. No, evolution. Just no. By Bug Girl.

Carl Zimmer on the tales told by glittering gems

BMJ investigation uncovers serious potential side effects of new diabetes drugs. Well done, Deborah Cohen.

This is how journalists should deal with anti-vaccine time-wasters—make it clear that they’re talking nonsense and then just let them hang themselves with their own words. Well played, Laura Helmuth.

On the increasing use of drones in science. No, not grad students. Flying drones.

“Consumers don’t know that taking megavitamins could increase their risk of cancer & shorten their lives” – Paul Offit.

“When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.” Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

A squid with an internal alarm clock made from bacteria! By Holly Bik.

How do you have a mass extinction without an increase in extinction rates? By Annalee Newitz

Unhatched turtles can move about in their eggs to control their temperature… and maybe their own sex?

Rolling dry ice may cause strange landscape on Mars

Superb thorough piece on the institutionalised nonsense that is traditional Chinese medicine

During through this video of a supercell thunderstorm, I think I forgot to breathe

Two great responses to a dire editorial about blogging. 1) Blogging lets “scientists who don’t often get invited into the back room to start commenting on what comes out of it” – Zen Faulkes 2) “People need to decide if they want to be heard, or if they want to be validated” – John Hawks

Modern leprosy is much like ancient leprosy. By SciCurious

The ultimate judge and jury of journalistic responsibility: We, the readers. Maria Konnikova (and John Rennie) perfectly captures why so many science writers continue to care about the Jonah Lehrer scandal.

Around half of all clinical trials for the medicines we use today have never been published.

380 million year old fish with the world’s first abs


Appalling. The Times has a big front page splash about the “Indian ancestry” revealed by Prince William’s DNA. If the terrible science and racist-baiting wasn’t bad enough, this is just a big ad for the company that did the analysis, which gets a reader offer in the issue itself! It’s basically a big ad. A geneticist takes it down, with a lovely kicker!

He’s baaack! Self-confessed liar publishes more dubious stem-cell work

Congrats to the wonderful Kay Thaney as she launches the Mozilla Science Lab – a new open science initiative

Dogs Provide Insight Into Rare Genetic Disease – mutation in dogs, but not mice, recapitulates human symptoms

On the evolutionary side of cancer, and aspirin. By Carl Zimmer.

Supreme Court rejects DNA patents—sort of. And more comprehensive reports from Bloomberg.

On the perils and frustrations of scientists working with TV documentaries

David Cameron: “We are looking for the next penicillin, aeroplane or WWW.” For £1m, Dave, you might get the next Roomba

The Met Office is holding meetings to try and explain the UK’s bizarre recent weather

44 years of debating the presence or absence of a single “a

This “cloaking device” can hide a cat or fish. But unfortunately, looks like a big conspicuous box.

Interesting to see open analysis and discussion of new MERS CoV sequences.

Interesting feature on the launch of several new mega-prizes in science and whether they’re a good thing.

Under blue light, this eel glows green, and the molecule responsible is utterly weird

Does neuroscience need a grand unifying theory? Doctor Zen doesn’t think so.

These poisonous frogs capture evolution’s blurriness

“Flinging corpses over city walls was soon outdated.” Promising start to a series on the history of biological warfare

Triceratops isn’t especially hard to find.” – Brian Switek, hipster palaeontologist.

Why “dolphin rape” is *not* rape. Important, thoughtful, thought-provoking post.

Asian tigers at risk from domestic dog distemper virus

Scientists, fix this before doing the other things, okay? Good coffee threatened by disease outbreak

Remember that art project where DNA from trash is sequenced and used for facial reconstruction? Legality questionable

“I measured preference for paintings (Renoir vs. Picasso or Kandinsky vs. Mondrian) in mice.” Side-eye…

“If you are a human reader, you’ve probably never seen your lunch put up an invisibility shield”

The champions of the cold: On psychrophiles

Frustrating Saudi silence on the MERS virus, especially in advance of July’s umrah pilgrimage.

Thanks to Radiolab, I’m reminded of the existence of the wonderful “F**k Yeah, Fluid Dynamics” Tumblr

The landscape you really never want to see


Underwater bubble ring Haduoken!

Stunning whale photos

Oh, well played, The Sun. Sticking it to Scientology…

Forget the NSA scoop; this is the story of the year.

Randomly stumbled across this absolutely stunning set of underwater photos.

Flight Paths of Fireflies Are Made Visible in Beautiful Long Exposure Photo Series

Advanced Alien Civilization Discovers Uninhabitable Planet

Gotta agree with io9. The trailer for Elysium looks amazing!

Dad tries to name all the Game of Thrones characters in one sitting

See how fast you can type “Ed Balls

Mesmerising, terrifying videos of traffic. (No really, this is better than that sounds…)

Lego figures are getting angrier. I blame Lego video games, or possibly the Lego parents.

The clearest lake in the world is really very clear.

Every Q&A session at an academic conference, ever

Naughty Obama is checking your email.


Man of Steel was awful. Comics fans may want to read this (spoilery) review by Mark Waid, who knows his Superman.

An open letter to a few good magazine editors about an awful male-only cover.

This is great. Sex researcher carefully tracks the media coverage of her story. Good case study.

Congratulations to the gifted Maryn McKenna, who has been named a Knight Journalism Project Fellow to work on project on food science and production

Really liked this piece on Glenn Greenwald and the journalism objectivity debate. It’s not either/or.

Tragic news about the death of Nick Dusic, who people from the science policy world will have known.

Two days IN sea! Nigerian survives in underwater air pocket within capsized boat.

Wonderful interview about Before Midnight—the third film of the incredible Jesse/Celine trilogy.

Megan Garber’s piece on the NSA’s beauty contest (!!?!) has possibly my favourite pun of all time.

Food was great but service was cold & unwelcoming. Waiter may have been filming us. 2 stars, Tripadvisor

David Dobbs’ single best piece of writing advice. Follow him in his new writing home.

You won’t finish this article.
Lessons from PRISM: Sometimes it’s better not to be part of the media establishment

Disgraceful. Politicians in Wisconsin are vindictively attacking an investigative journalism center

Could the Guardian win a Pulitzer for the Guardian’s NSA coverage? The Guardian votes yes.

A list of spacecraft in the Culture series, in memoriam of Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks, who will both be sorely missed.

No One Is Immune. I Am Not Immune. Kate Clancy on dealing with unwanted physical advances.

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