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By Ferenc Szalma

I’ve got your missing links right here (4 May 2013)

Top picks

Meet Nautilus, a new science and culture magazine with gorgeous design and a team of talented writers like Rose Eveleth, Lee Billings, Jennifer Ouellette, Veronique Greenwood and more. The first issue is on human uniqueness. And here’s Amos Zeeberg talking about what Nautilus is about

Worried about H7N9? Don’t forget H5N1. It can go airborne after swapping genes with the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain. My story for Nature.

The inimitable Maryn McKenna on the new coronavirus & international opacity about outbreaks

Psychology bonanza! Nature published a story about a new dust-up on social priming following a failed replication, drawing criticism from several psychologists including Daniel Simons and Pete Etchells. Ase Helene and Rolf Zwaan consider the current state of priming research. The NYT had a long profile of psychologist fraudster Diederik Stapel that is good in places, but also arguably allows him to seek fame through infamy. Dave Nussbaum responds that the Stapel Continuum is a myth. And fraudbuster Uri Simonsohn has a new paper on how to evaluate replication attempts. NB: needs 2.5x the n of original

An incredible elaborate prank on people who pirate games. Sheer genius.

10 Reasons Why Bone Eating Worms Are F’n Awesome, by Craig McClain.

Tone-deaf birds disrupt society, are easier to get into bed

Who needs the DSM? Not the National Institute of Mental Health. By Vaughan Bell

This is how you do an infographic. On sharks. And what we’re doing to them.

Nature has an excellent special on GM crops

Great Maria Konnikova piece on the science of grasping for answers after tragedies, and the value of keeping cool

After the aquatic ape hypothesis raised its annoying head again (alas, David Attenborough), Brenna Hassett created the wonderful space ape parody. Kate Wong covers it.

Frequently beautiful: Matthew Battles on the curious way museum objects transpire into metadata

SPOOOOOONNNNN! Carl Zimmer on ticks.

What? Oh, nothing, just a 2000km-wide hurricane on Saturn. Carry on.

What Erika Check Hayden did here is not underhyping. It was journalism. If only more would do the same.

World’s oldest and stickiest lab study ready for drop of excitement


Wales measles epidemic tops 1000 cases, driven by failure to vaccinate.

Reporting Fail: Reidentification of Personal Genome Project Participants

Ever wanted to see a rattlesnake head try to bite someone? That’s right–JUST THE HEAD.

A gorgeous free ebook about ants & citizen science.

A right Royal cock-up: Prince Andrew elected to the Royal Society.

“The role involves standing guard and warning research teams… about approaching polar bears.”

The Coolest and Most Terrifying Biomimetic Robots:

Govt’s ‘Nudge Unit’ to become a business.

Florida teen charged with felony for trying science

Cool new fossil, sort of halfway between a hummingbird and a swift

Small but positive victory – Boots stops labelling science toys as “for boys” after backlash

Lots of hope + praise around appointment of Jeremy Farrar as new big cheese of Wellcome Trust

2.5 yr old baby who was born without a windpipe gets a lab-grown one. (More on this from me.)

Over 20,000 people apply for one-way ticket to Mars. TAKE THEM ALL. It’s the B-Ark!

How to read an elephant: researchers decipher elephant body language

Lizards have 2 penises; we know next to nothing about ’em. Maybe this crowdfunded project will help?

On engaging the public without disengaging from science.

7 vulture species endangered because people are smoking their brains in the belief it will make them clairvoyant

A festival of scientists chatting about science in pubs. Sounds good. Coming soon to London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Congrats to the inimitable Liz Neeley & her COMPASS chums for their new paper on connecting science, policy & engagement

Adam Rutherford gets his knickers in a right-handed twist over left-handed DNA. And, sorry, WHAT about Cookie Monster??!?

China is plundering the planet’s seas—and it’s doing it 12.5 times more than it’s telling anybody

Coralbots – a project to save coral reefs with robots, on Kickstarter.

“My activism, which I wrongly thought of as being ‘environmental’, has done real damage in the world.” – Mark Lynas.

The Evolution of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse

Europe to ban pesticides in effort to protect bees

Can these folks work out the actual colour of a dinosaur’s skin?

Amazing photos of the world’s largest falcon hospital

Spot-on comment from Jon Simons on “fist-clenchingly poor science” about fist-clenching, and a post on the paper by Neurocritic.

Tinkerbella – a tiny fairy fly. Also a fly with terrifying genital pincers


Boa attacks and eats iguana

New Study Finds Nothing That Will Actually Convince You To Change Your Lifestyle So Just Forget It

New Pacific Rim trailer is the alternative ending to Titanic.

The Mormon bishop “was one of several ppl who came to the aid of the woman…but no one else was wielding a sword”.


Words with Friends: the story behind the 31-author Science Writer Handbook

The “special” Chinese version of Iron Man 3 is just bizarre

Twitter is looking for a “Head of News and Journalism“. Good job title!

The British public has completely ignored newspaper & Tory attacks on wind farms

Twitter’s advice to journalists: for security, keep one computer for Twitter, don’t use it to surf web. Er…

The company that’s buying up all the key pieces of the online news ecosystem

Is It Journalism, or Just a Repackaged Press Release? Here’s a Tool to Help You Find Out

Maker of magic bomb-detecting dowsing rods convicted for fraud. Meanwhile, people are still dying.

A sad day – John Hopkins is shuttering its science writing program