I’ve got your missing links right here (26th January 2013)

Top picks

Fish Matrix! Scientists trap baby fish in virtual worlds to understand the brain. Awesome feature by Virginia Hughes

Incredible story by Paige Williams on a Florida man’s curious trade in Mongolian dinosaurs.

Some I used to grow (Gotye parody). “But NIH don’t cut me off”

Tim Carmody’s elegiac, definitive profile of Aaron Swartz

There are plenty of great Upgoerfive entries (describing things using just the 1000 most common English words), but this one on Saturn and its moons is magnificent

Mieke Roth wants to dissect a Nile crocodile and reconstruct it digitally. John Hutchinson makes the case for supporting her.

The echidna’s penis has 4 heads, but only ejaculates from 2 of them at a time. AND NOW YOU KNOW

Michael Mosley shows you why your blood is a historical map that tells stories about past infections.

Praying, fighting, dancing, chanting… and penis cutting – the science behind human rituals. By Dan Jones

Awesome. The science of the Eurovision Song Contest. Stats show strain of economic crisis

H5N1 flu research will go on. There’s excellent coverage of the demoratorium by Helen Branswell and Declan Butler. Brandon Keim considers the embargo, and Deb Mackenzie chastises scientists for spinning the message.

This is an awesome way of teaching maths (and despair). Via Robert Krulwich.

Nature isn’t always red in tooth and claw. Sometimes, it may even want to hug you. By Patrick Clarkin.

New Zealand really ought to ban cats. Laura Helmuth makes the case.

A new chemical can turn a swimming pool into jelly. I LOVE the lede by Mark Peplow.

Ewan Birney’s playful take on his own paper on storing information in DNA for 10,000 years

Did this dolphin ask divers for help in removing a fishing line from its flipper? Justin Gregg analyses a cool video

Bloggers seek crowd-sourced help to reproduce chemical results deemed too good to be true.

Is It Time to Treat Violence Like a Contagious Disease? Brandon Keim investigates

One of the most famous cases in the history of neuroscience has finally been identified. Vaughan Bell on the man behind Broca’s area

Stop it, evolution, you’re embarrassing yourself.” My new favourite Tumblr by Mara Grunbaum

Sperm whales adopt a malformed dolphin into their family

Saving Tasmanian Devils From Extinction, by Carl Zimmer

Loving the animated rhyming alphabet of epidemiology by Jennifer Gardy and Tom Scott.


A new blog series today about the culture of different labs

Most Infamous Komodo Dragon Attacks in 10 Yrs

Supercool squirrels go into the deep freeze

A delightful look at the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, whose letters are going online.

Editing consciousness, after the fact. By Vaughan Bell.

Great post by Danielle Lee on how many students are barred from science before they even get in the door.

If you’ve never heard of the Stresemann’s bristlefront, it’s probably because there are just 15 of them left t

Some good comments on this Nature thread on why The Royal Institution is still relevant today – I particularly like Lewis Dartnell’s

How to tell if a “shark in flooded city streets after a storm” photo is a fake in 5 easy steps

The periodic table of Twitter

“Ed Yong has been unleashed upon the book.” I feel like some sort of power-up. Zach Weinersmith is doing a new book of SMBC cartoons – go support him.

In light of the news that Henry Markram has won a billion euros for his brain simulator project, it’s worth reading this Nature feature on the controversy, and this comment piece by Mark Changizi.

For fans of this week’s BBC Africa, a post on pronking.

For the 1st time, scientists show brain recognizes our own smell based on MHC proteins

In this study, scientists watched naked babies fall over.

1) Mine asteroids. 2) Build stuff on site w/ 3-D printers. 3) ??? 4) Profit

It’s a Girl! Ancient Bird Was Ovulating Before Death

Dog domestication genes include several for digesting starch. My piece for the Scientist. Also check out Virginia Hughes’ take.

Mountain pine beetles have killed a space of trees equal to Washington State

Disco scallops are not scallops, but they *are* pretty disco.

Light in the womb controls eye development

Partridges have a fractal bib that tells you how healthy they are

You may be silent, but your brain wishes you’d STFU

Good piece by Chris Chambers on unnecessarily moralistic salvos in the big open access debate

According to Wikipedia, 0.0086% of the world’s population are “notable”.

Repeatedly running headlong into other people over a number of years: Bad

Gut bacteria from male mice protect females from diabetes

Mackerel Off ‘Fish to Eat’ List

‘Minimalist’ running style may be undermined by new findings from Kenya

A number of farmers in Brazil have swapped chemicals for wasps

Everything, It Appears, Is Not Everywhere

George Church is not, in fact, looking for a Neandertal baby mama.

Mike Shanahan on the awesomeness of fig trees

The judge behind the L’Aquila verdict explains himself.

Dean Burnett on the irrational nature of transphobia

Polynesians reached South America, picked up sweet potatoes, went home

David Robson responds to Language Log’s virulent criticism of his snow words article

Britain urged to stop supporting the trade in dead polar bears.

BBC Africa, a wildlife documentary, criticised for focusing on wildlife & not including people. I don’t even know where to begin.

Weird! Four-strand DNA structure found in cells.

Up-Goer 6: use it to help compose readable text

How can insects make a vaccine against viruses that infect humans?

Bubbling Organics in an Ocean Vent Simulator

Anti-vaxxer parents do 100% turnaround after son gets ill. Admirable and moving.

Konrad Lorenz once drew a picture of himself getting crapped on by a goose, and gave it to David Attenborough


Things I Learned as a Field Biologist #9: Snakes.

Photographing the world’s biggest tree – the giant Sequoia

Never leave your phone unattended with ‘friends’

A phylogeny of bread bag tags

A video clip of the hilarious squirrel from BBC’s Africa

The blogger’s burden

Tigers maul snowman

I’d see this film

The Australian Outback from space

NASA Continues Search For Planet Capable Of Supporting NASA

Finally, a weather forecast we can all relate to (US-only)

Ace library of animal sounds. Like this walrus!

“…first time he could remember cheese catching fire on Norwegian roads.”

Creative agencies: toe-curling.

How long could you safely swim around in a spent nuclear fuel pool?

Working Iron Man gauntlet shoots lasers powerful enough to pop a balloon

Space manatee!


Here’s a crazy idea! Get actual experts commenting on stories of the week. Interesting but what do you at home think?

Amnesty UK’s review of Zero Dark Thirty

With great investigative journalism comes… a mediocre e-book.

Outlining in Reverse – a technique for writers

The Internet, ladies and gentlemen. Or possibly the NYT.

Brilliant interview with David Quammen on turning research into story.

Why can’t BBC News do long explainers instead of repetition? asks Ben Goldacre

3000 word feature on Oxbridge earns 545 word correction.

Great idea from Rose Eveleth, Bora Zivkovic and Ben Lillie to support science-related multimedia

The Viral-Media Prof Whose Kids Got 1 Million Facebook Likes (and a Puppy)

“I want the world to scroll this way. It’s hard to read on the web.”

This is the worst lede in the history of journalism. Also: trigger warning.

Make stuff. The tools of journalism are in your hands &no one” cares about “your resume”

Read This Next

I’ve got your missing links right here (3 March 2012)
I’ve got your missing links right here (25 February 2012)
I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (07 December 2013)

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