I’ve got your missing links right here (31 March 2012)

James Cameron sunk to the bottom of the Mariana Trench and tweeted (by proxy… still) from the bottom. He brought back footage – the narration is thrilling but the video, less so. Rebecca Morelle had the best official coverage at the BBC but the Deep Sea News crew did an amazing job. Craig McClain and Al Dove asked if it was a scientific milestone or rich guy’s junket, and offered 10 reasons why we should explore the deep. Craig created a storify of the reaction to his descent. And Holly Bik explains what we can do with the cup of mud that James Cameron grabbed from the bottom of the ocean? Holly Bik explains.

“Of 7 friends/colleagues of Thornton’s who spoke to Nature, 6 called him intense. 7th described him as “beyond intense”. This profile of protein-resurrector Joe Thornton is a masterclass in science writing. Helen Pearson is among the best of the best.

FOSSIL RAINDROPS. 2.7 billion-year-old fossil raindrops. That’s so wonderful, I might tear up a bit.

I’m utterly mesmerised by NASA’s animation of the world’s ocean currents. It’s like watching an animated Monet. And a real-time map of wind patterns across the US

A 4th grader asks Jonah Lehrer,“What is the downside of creativity?” He answers with this post about the creative treadmill

The many ways that that machines can hurt you, shown on warning labels

Tomb raider… in SPAAAAAACE. Meet the world of aerial archaeology.

Sip carefully: murky science on drinks with neurotransmitters and hormones

Nice analysis by Declan Butler highlighting serious problems with global flu surveillance

“I want to help him fight the bad guys.” His mom said, “You need to help your sister fight cancer.” Batman sped away. A really moving story about the guy who got pulled over as Batman.

Great long feature from Ian Sample on the mutant bird flu controversy.

Screenshots of Despair.

Bacterial outsourcing! The Black Queen hypothesis: Why evolution tells microbes to be lazy

A tornado as wide as five Earths.

“The [Daily] Mail is less a parody of itself than a parody of the parody” – a New Yorker profile

“Why’s this so good?” No. 35: Malcolm Gladwell on ketchup, by Tim Carmody

Great coverage of the terrifying Waspzilla (I like Waspthulu)

Amazing things that happen in nature in a single second, illustrated

In cancer science, many “discoveries” don’t hold up. And how the cancer drug that wasn’t highlights widespread flaws in preclinical studies

Fossil foot of human ancestor hints that tree-dwellers lived alongside species built for walking.

Chris Chambers dismantles a flawed paper and dodgy PR about a brain-zapping “thinking cap”. I loved: “I don’t even know what to call this problem. Appeal to…prose?”

Why suicide is a really hard thing to study



Neuroscientists Can Stumble When They Make Conclusions from Examining Single Patients. On HM, DF and other classic patients

US agency decides against banning BPA from canned foods. Big news. (Side note: the phrase “linked to a range of conditions” gives me violent facial tics. It’s usually a way of grouping unproven associations into something scary & serious.)

Share your cleverness with the world, don’t try to intimidate people with it. Alice Bell on why she hates the word woo.NSABB recommends publication of controversial H5N1 papers in light of revisions

Oy. Dear BBC, synthetic biology isn’t making life from scratch.

Are we free to use technology on our own terms? Sally Adee ponders

Prepared male, 30, seeks fun-loving woman w/ GSOH + sturdy bunker. Doomsday Dating.

This piece completely glosses over fact that most science articles on Wikipedia are impenetrable to most people.

Meet the Nanoputians – a lovely group of doll-shaped molecules

Was Jurassic Park good or bad for science communication?

Uses of nail polish #2314: tracking lemur lice

Nature asks what biological discoveries would match the excitement of the Higgs? I say any of them.

Cute website gathering fan mail for David Attenborough.

How 30 Indonesian women, and some men, travelled 6000km to colonise Madagascar

Love the pure joy of this, as scientists find an obscure but evolutionarily important spider

10,400 yrs ago, the great-great-great grand-moo-thers of all cows

Does Toxoplasma affect Alzheimer’s risk?

Old warplane loses gatling guns, made resistant to “lightning, turbulence & hail” and sent to chase storms

Frans de Waal on chimps, invasive resarch, and more

Alien viruses from outer space and the great Archaeopteryx forgery, by Darren Naish.

A plastic-eating fungus

Two Studies Show Obesity Surgery Can Reverse Diabetes

Robot Records Fish Farts, with links to a file called fart.wav.

Why we see guns that aren’t there.

Robert Krulwich describes the mimic octopus as “Meryl Streep in octopus form”

The illusion of being human, by Jason Goldman.

More from Bargh on the failed replication of his priming study.

The NYT op/ed pages are where pseudo-neuroscience and horrifically trite prose collide and die

What drives the slaughter of elephants and rhinos, and what we people doing about it?

It’s like Romeo and Juliet, but with booster rockets. And less stupidity

Why is this not in Nature? “Mechanical properties of green asparagus.”

Eat chocolate, lose weight! Yeah, right.

Overselling the microbiome award: Scientists look to mummies for obesity cure

Gosh!  Faster-than-light neutrino professor resigns. ScienceInsider had the inside scoop.

Nature Deficit Disorder? Really? The National Trust’s defence is pathetic too – we’re not saying it’s a medical illness, we’re just naming it exactly like one. Good on Aleks Krotoski.

“Richard Dawkins should try mushrooms

Why headlines about bisexual rapey dolphins are talking out of their blowholes

Pesticides turn bees into has-bee-ns.

A plan to sequence 5k arthropod genomes in 5 yrs (I’m expecting 5k press releases)



5 Career Lessons From Han Solo

XKCD: shopping, before and after online reviews

London as seen from the Tube: the map that distorts the physical capital

Helen Lewis on the difficulty of creating a cover illustration for a book about vaginas

Baby condors!

Somebody *really* likes the American Chemical Society

The “Somewhere a Palaeontologist is Crying” page on TV Tropes is a joy

An incredible new diet for you to try. Goading crocodiles every day ‘makes you thinner’


Parents make real Narnia wardrobe for their child.

Thirty-seven percent of the links you’re sharing are “awesome” — but how many are “rad”?

Reddit user goes on crazy, inspired, tiny-story-writing spree, riffing off other users’ comments

A critical review of Jonah Lehrer’s new book with a really good discussion in comments. Jonah is a mensch for engaging constructively with his critics.

A label for fact-checked journalism?

Should science journalists read the papers on which their stories are based? I think this is a bit of a non-question but James Randerson has a very sensible take on it.

More on the Guardian’s open journalism project.

The desire for story can corrupt allegiance to fact, as Mike Daisey shows.

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I’ve got your missing links right here (10 November 2012)
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