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By Ferenc Szalma

I’ve got your missing links right here (8 June 2013)

Top picks

Absolutely superb piece of writing by Brian Switek, celebrating the magnificence of evolution

“Yes, this is good. But you know what? A face transplant would be better.” Astonishing piece by Katie Drummond.

By watching fish that wouldn’t twitch, scientists discover gene behind a rare inherited muscle disease. By me.

This man severed his spinal cord in a car crash. Now he is walking in a mind-controlled exoskeleton. Also: a mind-controlled drone

Meet Nathalie Cabrol, a planetary scientist who studies Mars by diving the world’s highest lakes. By Erin Biba.

Australian Lyrebird Moves Like Jagger and Sounds Like Space Invaders

Travels with Magicicada: Alan Burdick on the coming invasion.

Ferris Jabr on why the myths of the palaeo-diet. I’m up for the Hiwi diet, though. Tamandua, spoonbill & piranha…

How Vinegar Could Save 73,000 Women A Year From Cancer, from Matthew Herper

The frog that ate a Christmas light, and how we can free animals from our evolutionary traps. By Carl Zimmer.

Stephen Fry, on suicide: “There is no reason. If there was reason for it, you could reason someone out of it.”

Live video of an oarfish! Tremendously exciting. From Deep Sea News.


This Neanderthal tumour tells us nothing about “cancer origins“. Cancer is an ancient disease of multicellular life. At most, this confirms that Neanderthals had more than one cell, which I think we knew…

Einstein to Weinstein: the lone genius is an exception to the rule

Your Meat Should Be Raised on Insects, U.N. Says

Hummingbird Feathers Reverberate Like Violin Strings

Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller tweeted that obese people didn’t have the willpower to do a PhD. Twitter told him where to stick it.

A 2,500-yr-old reign of terroir.

Amazing. Bird bones as a historical almanac that spans millennia.

George Whiteside’s critical take on the BRAIN Initiative

Genetics weakly tied to education level. Good critical science reporting with lots of outside views.

“Moon-Toting Giant Asteroid

Lizards and the language of colour change

Gene switches make prairie voles fall in love

In the light of Michael Douglas’ comments on oral sex and cancer, here’s a good (old) explainer from my former employers about HPV, oropharyngeal cancer, transmission routes & vaccine efficacy

There’s a Guiness World Record for “most bioluminescent octopus“. 2nd-place must be fuming.

Why did dinosaurs first evolve feathers?. Hint: not for flight.

Very cool resource for Alom Shaha on improving practicals in science education

Giant fossil lizard named after Jim Morrison

H7N9 bird flu has cost China $6.5 billion

Oldest primate fossil is a proto-tarsier. Note: not necessarily the oldest known primate. Also not our ancestor.

15 new bird species discovered in Amazon, including this one which has evolved a fist where its legs should be

The Secret Languages of Microbes. Is there a Rosetta Stone for this?

Trust in scientific results would be improved by study pre-registration. Interesting call to action.

Australian squids eat sperm for better bodies and babies

There’s only one man alive who was born in the 19th century. He’s older than paperclips & Dracula.

Tim Samaras, lightning-chaser, killed by tornado. By George Johnson, who knew the man. Related: How Storm Chasers Have Made Tornado Alley Safer

Why is your body different on the right and left? Because of little hairs.


The laws of physics still apply to fairy tales

On the difference between geeks and nerds, by people who are probably both

Ha! Spending a month without the “dehumanizing” technology of the “fork”.

This story fell into the Absurd Tree and hit every single branch on the way down.

I love the National Trust.

Susan Greenfield, she who hates technology and evidence in equal measure, has tried her hand at fiction. The result is like Dan Brown, aged 10, writing Brave New World.

Vain Galápagos Tortoise Trying To Pass For 90

“Oh Sh*t, I Totally Forgot That Happens!” – an opinion piece by George R R Martin. (Game of Thrones spoilers)

Nighttime long exposures of rotating helicopter blades

BEHOLD the awesome terror of the stomatopetrel, and other hybrid animals.

The sets that Guillermo del Toro built for the Pacific Rim robots are absolutely mad.

I would *absolutely* watch this gender-swapped Lord of the Rings.


“The power of love/ A force from above/ Cleaning my soul” – Jonah Lehrer. Plus hilarious report by Dan Engber, and a screed that explains why people still care about this.

Check out the Guardian’s new team of environmental bloggers.

Wow. Cornell student gets exam scores for half a million Indian students, and reveals bizarre grading anomalies

I wrote long but they won’t mind.” Adventures in editing

84-yr-old claims $590-million jackpot, opts for lump-sum payment

In science blogging, with great power comes great responsibility.

Twitter is a constantly running cocktail party. This means we can hear you.

Comics writer Kelly Sue DeConnick gloriously addresses the assumption that she gets work because of her husband

Google will now tell you the nutritional info for foods