I’ve got your missing links right here (3 December 2011)

Top picks

I am Neil deGrasse Tyson – Ask Me Anything.

Why theoretical physics is hard on cows

Carl Zimmer on the scary new flu: when it comes to making new viruses, evolution has us beat

What price pandas? “Edinburgh zoo’s new residents may make great PR, but the cost of hosting these symbolic creatures can outweigh the benefits”

What’s the price of lobster? 352 lives. By Jenny Kleeman

Why textbook drawings of cells are beginning to look rather dated. A great Nature piece on the bits of cells you didn’t know about, by Roberta Kwok

Pass the dead baby. Must-read Vaughan Bell post about how different cultures deal with grief and mourning

How do you know if you have Ebola? This handy face chart should help

Great John Timmer roundup of the Mikovits/XMRV saga

This is absolutely spot on. The 5 Best Toys of All Time

“The only differences between Weil’s disease & science journalism [are] meningitis, liver damage and finally renal failure.” Sally Adee on why you shouldn’t fall into the Thames.

Seeing someone’s naked body changes how we think about their mind. Great Jonah Lehrer piece.

On the horror of Tambopata’s gold mine by Heather Pringle

Banishing consciousness. Linda Geddes on the mystery of anaesthesia

Great Angela Saini piece about reusing and recycling stuff: The confessions of a late adopter

This is really awful: the horrible thing that happened to Enos the chimp when he orbited Earth 50yrs ago

Faecal transplants – will they gain wide acceptance? Great feature by Maryn McKenna.

How do you know if a minimally conscious person is….there, really there? A stunning personal piece from Virginia Hughes

What happened when photographer Klaus Pichler was allowed to rearrange the exhibits at Vienna’s Natural History Museum?

From tragedy to travesty: Drugs tested on survivors of Bhopal

A problem with neglected tropical diseases: *too much* aid? By Harriet Bailey.

Amazing post by Ilana Yurkiewicz on balancing a scientist’s curiosity with a medic’s compassion

Seven ways to tell an eco-story that will startle readers out of a mournful stupor. By Michelle Nijhuis.

Artist creates stunning photos that explore mortality and aging — in animals


Help save the world’s “189 angriest birds!” Angry Birds launches new fundraising game for charity to save endangered birds.

Here’s David Attenborough – the most trusted man in Britain – warning everyone about climate change. Listen up

World’s biggest insect, you say? Did any journalist actually check that? Ah, good, Alan Boyle did.

After one too many drop kicks, pro-wrestler starts institute to study repeated brain injuries

How to keep your heart alive during surgery

Erez Aiden has won this year’s Science prize for young life scientists. Here’s my feature on this fascinating Renaissance man.

Transparent crab shell holds the secret to bendable screens

Here’s the first of what will undoubtedly be many retractions from Diederik Stapel

It is important to keep your home/deathtrap clean, as these pitcher plant ants know

A decade-long collaboration has yielded 63 baby Ozark hellbenders, probably the animal with the best name

Jess Zimmerman deserves some sort of award for this piece describing a carbon-saving business model by means of the Human Centipede.

A brigade of molecules gets B12 through the gut into blood. We can exploit that when making drugs

Hundreds of dead dolphins, and an intriguing survivor that could tell us why the others died.

Like the animations you saw in science class, genetically-altered neurons light up as they fire

New “applicator” condom for S.Africa, supposed to make it easier/faster to put on, increase usage

Data handling is now the bottleneck: DNA Sequencing Caught in Deluge of Data

Edmund Scientific announces end to boys’/girls’ science kits; now just science kits.

Gene therapy can protect against HIV – our quest to prevent all mouse diseases is coming along nicely

Micro-CT scans and 3-D printers are revolutionising the study of fossils

Patients Get More Unnecessary Scans from Doctors Who Own Equipment

In which Andrew Sullivan pretends that the Bell Curve is still (was once?) relevant.

World-Traveling Sea Turtle – Johnny Vasco de Gama – Comes Home

Have you seen this extinct snake? $500 for a photo

The Burzynski Clinic is using libel laws to silence those that question its cancer treatment. And more from the Guardian.

How standard intelligence tests underestimate autistic kids.

A tradition, which may no longer exist, where women have teeth pulled to receive dentures as a dowry. WTH? By Philippa Hobbs

Matthew Herper on why we’ll never see another drug like Lipitor

Oh FFS. Look, all this research tells us is that men shouldn’t cum on their laptop because the sperm will be ruined

Caaannnn yooouuuuu speeaaaaak whaaaaaaallllleeeee? Citizen scientists! Help classify whale songs:

The first body-controlled artificial pancreas begins clinical trials in London

Y’know the rule: if the headline’s a question, the answer is no? Somehow, I don’t think that’s true here. Are the Durban climate talks doomed?

Did throwing behaviour in chimps help to shape human intelligence?

Robot 1 builds Robot 2 out of spray foam. Robot 2 gets up and crawls away.

Carl Zimmer profiles Steven Pinker in the NYT

Biggest threats to the Last Supper: dirty air and greasy visitors

Quoth the raven: “Check this out.” Ravens use gestures in communication.

I do this to stay awake in lectures: Cognitive benefits of chewing gum

When You Try to Buy Status, It Can Backfire

Has that fashion model been Photoshopped? Researchers design software tool to tell

A quest to build a clinical molecular biology lab at home for less than $500

The problem with the Effect Effect: “The same catchphrases recur from one best-seller to the next, like a thinking man’s LOLcats.”

Ladybugs Changed Color in Response to Climate Change

Microcavities: Disease-mongering and overtreatment by dentists?

The City Of The Future Will Be Covered In Lichen

Medvedev: Punishment awaits those behind Russian Mars failure. “Don’t worry, he said to reporters, no one will be shot”

Pliable soft robots creep under obstacles

DNA barcoding goes mainstream. What does it mean for conservation?

The incredible shrinking laboratory or ‘lab-on-a-chip’

UK secretly helping Canada push its oil sands project

To save a mockingbird

BOOKMARKED! Sean Carroll’s cosmology primer

Tobacco giant Phillip Morris drops demand to see research on teenage smokers

It’s the year anniversary of Arsenic Life (and several scientists are still trying to replicate it).

Did Neandertals build a hut out of mammoth bones 44,000 years ago

A great metaphor: lincRNAs are the underappreciated building contractors in your genes

How Starcraft is reinventing the science of expertise.

Why Students Cheat

Scientists sink dead whale, create living world



Antarctic recipe of the day from 1959 “Seal Brain Fritters

Lego. Muppets. CERN.

Astronaut Plays Baseball By Himself in Space

BBC apologises for making Piers Morgan look comparatively good

A priceless opening paragraph for a negative book review

Re: the economy. Give everyone five grand and let’s start again

What’s the difference between a collection of Osedax “Zombie worms” and the 112th United States Congress?

The extraordinary blanket octopus

The pen is mightier than the digestive tract. Slip of the pen followed by 25 yrs of writer’s blockage

Striking image of plastic pollution in the Philippines

“The agency does have safeguards… a subnuclear blast is not one of them.” Unlike in The Walking Dead, the CDC won’t explode if it loses power

Wolf pack fails to adopt abandoned infant

Capybara & Caiman – “The Prey and the Predator”

The dark unspoken secret of the Leveson enquiry

I love this T-shirt. As will all marine biologists. And sentient beings.

This is probably how the public sector debate will end: Angry India charmer lets loose snakes in office

Gallery: Extraordinary products 3D-printed layer by layer

Renaissance babies are frickin terrifying hell-mutants.

Do you want to go into space? A flowchart to help you decide

Frozen Planet gave whisky to penguins



“For hundreds of years, unbearable young people have tried to hang out w/ other unbearable young people”

Writers: nominate another writer who helped you & fellow writers, for an Above and Beyond Award

The phantom Scottish library paper sculptor is back! But for the last time! (And she made a T.rex)

Americans, I think you deserve better. Some hilariously dumb U.S. covers for TIME

Why is energy journalism is so bad?

“Paper first submitted 2009, published more than two years later. Rejected 7 times by 4 journals, seen by 24 reviewers” A woeful tale about the uselessness of closed peer review.

Poisoner’s Handbook author Deborah Blum talks about historical research, structure and a writer’s voice

How to find a good charity to give money to

The fourth blade cuts stupider

“The essence of blogging is not defined by a platform” Om Malik reminisces on his 10 years of blogging.

“I’m sorry, I can’t do that Dave.” Why Won’t Siri Talk About Abortion Clinics?

A wonderful Robert Krulwich posts on sounds that have disappeared

An interview with EVERYONE at my favourite blog network: Last Word on Nothing

What it looks like inside the bowels of Amazon.

You’ll have to endure the 1% for much longer as longevity becomes the new inequality

The best Siri hacks so far, including starting a car

Automated bulls**t filter:  MIT student writing software that can highlight false claims in articles

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