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By Ferenc Szalma

I’ve got your missing links right here (27 April 2013)

Top picks

Does the DSM (the psychiatry bible) need to go back to the drawing board? David Adam reports

“You’re trying to climb rain, Peter, or sweep sun off the pavement.” – Vaughan Bell on diagnosing mental illness

In the US, guns killed 31,000+ people in 2011 but fewer than 20 academics study gun violence. Nature profiles one of ’em

Is China covering up a flu pandemic – or getting it right this time? Great long feature by Laurie Garrett

“Most important ecological experiment ever done.” Great Jeff Tollefson feature on forest fragmentation in Amazon.

Jumping genes: threat or menace? By Virginia Hughes

Describe our endless forms most beautiful… and win fabulous prizes!

A Virtual Pack, to Study Canine Minds. Carl Zimmer on the psychology of dogs

Bad Blood” — the life and death of Alexander Litvinenko, by Will Storr. The latest from Matter.

Animal rights activists hit lab: swapped labels so animals will die in vain; released immune mutants that’ll die badly. Slow clap, you morons.

Wonderful David Dobbs piece on play, and humans as hypothesis machines.

What’s the most important hominin fossil yet discovered? Kate Wong makes the case for Team Sediba. Meanwhile, Eric Michael Johnson explains why A.sediba is like the blind men touching the elephant.

Facebook’s “I F*cking Love Science” has a problem: it needs to start crediting artists, says Alex Wild. And Glendon Mellow assesses how different science-blog networks compare in terms of crediting image sources. Phenomena has no red, which I’m pleased with, but we could do better on links.

Q: What feels like democracy & smells like victory? A: Libel Reform

To convince scientists why they should use social media, give them the combined wisdom of Holly Bik and Miriam Goldstein

Neurodiversity: just because a PC is not running Windows doesn’t mean that it’s broken”


African village gets medical care, villagers live longer & have fewer children, natural selection does U-turn

Management consultants, I have the PERFECT opportunity for you: a one-way trip to Mars!

If more science writers were like Deborah Blum or David Dobbs, we’d be in good nick. Read their tips

A big cat did once roam Britain – it was a Canadian lynx, and Darren Naish has the story

“They were substituting food for sleep.”

This mathematician was basically a superhuman and her father was a lion tamer!

“The reductive, lazy sexism that pervades… science journalism turns research into a comment on the female form”

Can animals become mentally ill?

The Mind of a Con Man. NY Times long piece on psychologist fraudster Diederik Stapel.

For the first time, we can hear what Alexander Graham Bell’s voice sounded like

Alexis Madrigal interviews Christina Agapakis on synthetic biology, microbe-hacking and cheese

Kudos to Nature for taking a strong stance on tackling irreproducible science

Leeches are a hypothesis: Why it’s so hard to say what a species really is

More antibiotics may not always be better. Note Deborah Mackenzie careful 1st graf; responsible journalism.

The priming wars continue. Rolf Zwaan talks about social priming, while another replication attempt earns a scathing retort.

In your FACE, Amazon. Experiment aims to steep rainforest in carbon dioxide

Sex with other human species might’ve been secret of our success

Jeremy Farrar to be the next Wellcome Trust director. That’s a good choice.

Declan Butler maps the H7N9 avian flu outbreaks

A bear of very open brain.

Aw crap. First frogs (chytrid), then bats (white nose). Now fungal disease hits snakes

GNNNH. Whenever people do awful things, it’s just a case of which breed of stupid determinism people will turn to. Cultural? Genetic? Neurological? Hormonal?

Warts and all. Why do butchers get so many?

Radioactive bacteria attack cancer (NOTE: preliminary study, other sources skeptical)

Picture-winged fly quenches thirst on sperm

“Luckily, our science writers of the 1990s were wrong about almost everything.” (Click on “Science” in Wired’s Geekopedia.)

Nice to see TED taking a stronger stance against pseudoscience. Deepak Chopra’s annoyed which I take as a good sign

Old story, but amazing and new to me. Last Two Speakers of Dying Language Refuse to Talk to Each Other

“Meet the 28-year-old Student Who Exposed Two Harvard Professors Whose Shoddy Research Drove Global Austerity”

It Wasn’t Sunil Tripathi: The Anatomy of a Misinformation Disaster

Three years of NASA Sun observations in three minutes

Congrats to The Body Horrors blog as it joins Discover’s network.

Mini fuel factories… E. coli bacteria engineered to make diesel oil

Threatening Retraction Watch with legal action is just marshalling the Streisand Effect

“Why do kidneys need cells?” Good piece on jargon

“Neuroscientists are using neurons grown in dish to control simulated power grids”

Do NOT attempt to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon without water

A fish-eating four-winged shiny dinosaur

A boy is going to receive HIV resistant cord blood cells in attempt to repeat Timothy Brown’s cure

Adam Rutherford and Alok Jha having a longform chat on the origin of life.


An ant, doing its best scorpion impression

This is ridiculous! This slow-motion film of a trap-jaw ant’s bite is STILL basically too fast to follow

The worst corporate bollocks. “Going forward”? Why not just punch yourself?

Brains are tossers.

Koala fight: not cute.

NASA rover draws a penis on Mars

A glimpse inside an active volcano

Worst ever first day as a journalist

AWESOME! Tongue-Eating Louse Found In Supermarket Fish Freaks Out Unsuspecting Customer


Megan Garber on falling lifts and the origin of the smiley

“When was the last time the approachability of a male editor made for copy?” Emily Bell on the reaction to Jill Abramson

“This is ‘Me First’ journalism, powered by vanity/self-importance, and it is the greatest threat to True Journalism.”

Pulitzer Prize winning newsrooms spend 50% more on their newsrooms than the average.

Bloggers with a turnover of less than £2m annually and fewer than 10 employees…” o_O

Stonehenge general manager sought: Must have track record of henge management