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By Ferenc Szalma

I’ve got your missing links right here (23 March 2013)

Top picks

What it’s like growing up when your mum is a futurist. Amazing read from Veronique Greenwood

Terrific reporting on a new coronavirus by Ian Sample – will it trigger the next pandemic?

Fantastic Amy Maxmen piece on the thorny issue of gene patenting. I had NO idea the BRCA2 patent race went down to the wire.

What will we learn about our resident bacteria in the future? 10+ predictions from Rob Dunn and others. I love how everyone’s optimistic and I’m the grumpy git going “Yeah, some bastard’s going to die.”

Voyager 1 has left the solar system! No it hasn’t! Yes it has! Becca Rosen explains the confusion

Dan Fagin’s new book on cancer, environmental pollutants, and more, looks fascinating. But see also George Johnson’s superb piece on cancer clusters.

This Protein Could Change Biotech Forever, by Matthew Herper. Very cool story, which begins with yoghurt.

Late to this, but don’t miss David Grann’s profile of squid-hunter Steve O’Shea. It’s wonderful.

WHOLE zebrafish brain filmed in action, flashing with activity nearly every sec!

Amazing! Earthquakes make gold veins in an instant.

Very good Jacquelyn Gill piece on the notion of cloning woolly mammoths.

Awesome post on children and rare diseases, with Darwin, Lilly Grossman, and more, by Malcolm Campbell.

Text mining uncovers British reserve and US emotion. It’s a British study, but we won’t go on about it…

Most detailed map of the Universe tells us that it’s 13.8 billion years old rather than 13.7. All this time, the Universe was lying about its age and we just took it at face value. This is why journalism is dying. Good coverage from the Economist and the Guardian.

On the search for mammoth tusks, and bloody hell, look at that photo!

Good, informed reporting by Ian Sample on the “three-parent embryos” that will treat mitochondrial diseases

Mother’s milk is food, mother’s milk is medicine, mothers milk is signal.” – Great piece on the wonder of breast-milk, featuring lots of Katie Hinde.

World’s longest-running experiments remind us science is marathon, not sprint. Great feature by Brian Owens.

Possibly the most depressing article ever from the Onion


Lindsey Fitzharris wants to make a documentary about MEDICINE’S DARK SECRETS, and you should totally support her in doing so.

Moar swarm science! The physics of mosh pits.

Oh bloody hell. TIME says we know how to cure cancer. We don’t.

Goodbye Uncanny Valley: NVIDIA’s new face rendering technology

Infected bacteria commit suicide to spare the rest of the colony from infection

An excellent takedown of a ridiculous paper on the genetics of IQ and, er, college admissions.

“We were unable to replicate any of our previous findings” – a brutally honest mea culpa.

Bias in surgical trial reporting may be even worse than in drug trials

Glorious and/or terrifying: a robot lizard that runs at 2 feet per second over sand.

The monarch butterflies are disappearing. Why? No one knows.

NOOOO! Shrewdinger beat out Vole de Mort? Goddammit people.

Working with infections + mouth pipetting = trouble. By Rebecca Kreston.

Popular science blog is run by a woman – to the surprise of some on Facebook

Scientists Implant Reprogrammed Monkeys’ Cells Back Into Their Own Brains, and mature brain cells form

Good interview with Mary Roach about writing books.

Is that the abyss in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Very good Q&A on de-extinction (bringing back extinct species) with Carl Zimmer.

“One of the most difficult ethical reviews any… commission has ever conducted” – on testing anthrax vaccine on kids

Nothing Personal: The questionable Myers-Briggs test

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” Google Maps allows you to explore Everest & other great mountains

Cock clocks. How a rooster knows to crow at dawn (even in a dark room)

In just 30 yrs, highway-dwelling swallows have evolved shorter wingspans to avoid oncoming cars

Mike Schultz: the man who created his own prosthesis from bicycle parts

The Meet Your Mites project. Featuring face mites! With video!

Mobile phone microscope detects worm infections

Why Superman didn’t stop the Chelyabinsk meteor. Whatever, Kal-El. Batman would’ve stopped it.

Climate change to be removed from the school curriculum by Gove.

Why did the prehistoric chicken lose an ovary?

Whales filter feed with a tangled hair-like net

We’ve had a model of a worm’s entire brain for years. “Can we use this to model or predict the actions of the worm? No. We’re not even close.”

On the war room rhetoric employed by the media about cancer

Alligator gets prosthetic tail


Physicists Confirm They Have (Finally) Found And Killed The ‘God Particle’

World Pooh Sticks Championships cancelled over fears the River Thames is too high, too fast

Just beautiful shadow sculptures

Convergent evolution! Pope? Or peanut-head lanternfly?

Manatees! A photo gallery.

New best thing since last thing: Blog that takes movie stills and replaced guns with thumbs-ups.

Best. Wedding. EVER? Ian McKellen Is Set To Officiate Patrick Stewart’s Wedding

Best Earthcoming ever


An amazing article about the new Tomb Raider

On Dr No, science talks, and a case of too much information.

Tackling the Syrian arms trade from a Leicester bedroom.

The death of whom.

The first Science of Science Communication Google Hangout, on that recent paper about effects of uncivil comments. Thanks to Liz Neeley for organising and hosting.

Should science journalists have more specific beats? Rose Eveleth asks; I stand by my answer at the bottom.

Author submits story from The New Yorker to lit mags. They all reject it. Even The New Yorker.

Science writers: why blog? Some great answers. No one mentions the cars and women and fame, though.

A brief history of science communication, from the deficit model (ugh) to the current status quo

“It’s not because we’ve chosen a life of poverty. It’s that poverty has chosen our profession.” On book-writing

Dutch “antisocial” media app tells you how to avoid crowds