I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (3 May 2014)

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Top picks

Can we mass-produce meat without breeding killer antibiotic-resistant microbes? Maryn McKenna considers. Meanwhile, the WHO launches a report on antibiotic resistance. “There is nothing hopeful in the WHO’s report.”

“In reality, a whale has orifices, and so the gas will likely escape through the path of least resistance” –Aatish Bhatia on the soon-to-explode blue whale. And Alexis Madrigal has a brief history of exploding whales.

Why do dogs like rolling in worm crap? I’m guessing parasites; looks like Malcolm Campbell does too.

Wonderful to see a long profile of the late Carl Woese, biology’s scarred revolutionary

“Here are the specifics: you were the donor in a faecal microbiota transplant. You gave your daughter your poo.” Bryn Nelson looks at the fascinating world of faecal transplants.

David Epstein’s TED talk on the science of athletics is wonderful. Highly recommended—densely packed with great info

Gavin Schmidt talks about how climate models do their thing, and what that thing is

“Stay away from camel milk and Egyptian tomb bats”. Laurie Garrett in the MERS epidemic.

Carl Zimmer compiles the Ultimate Parasite Tasting Menu.

HAHAHA! Michelle Nijhuis’ pocket guide to bullsh*t prevention is wonderful.

For her 40th birthday, Sara Seager challenged her colleagues to help her find another Earth. By Corey Powell.

Study estimates that at least 4% of death row inmates in the US are falsely convincted. By Virginia Hughes

Incredible 3parter from Erin Podolak on learning she had a tumour

A longread about beekeepers vs bee rustlers. Bee rustlers!


Do you always know what you’re saying? Don’t be so sure.

Why was the 1918 flu pandemic so deadly? New study argues “just bad luck”. By Carl Zimmer.

IBM creates otherwise mindless machine that can scan the internet & regurgitate arguments. *Side-eye*

Students remember lectures better when they take notes by hand.

NASA’s new Martian spacesuit—one small snigger for mankind.

National Food Safety Conference Stricken by—You Guessed It—Food Poisoning. Enterococcus schadenfreudei

Who really cares about Richard III’s genome?

You’ve got to up your game, assassin bug.

Glassfrog embryos adjust hatching depending on if Dad is guarding.

Half of all cancer patients now survive at least 10 years

Is this tiny mite the fastest animal on the planet?

Velcro, romance, and consuming the flesh of crustaceans—it’s a sponge!

In which psychologists coins the insult “crappo” (creative poseur)… for SCIENCE.

New wasp species paralyses cockroach prey, named after soul-sucking Dementors in Harry Potter

No, scientists cannot read your mind with brain scans (not yet, anyway)

How thoroughbreds convert air into speed

Soviet Union falls, parasite rises.

‘Black Smoker’ Viruses Steal Genes from Bacteria

Lewis Dartnell has done a Reddit AMA on his best-sellling book about restarting civilisation after an apocalypse.

Sea Turtle Hatchlings Saved by LED Lights Funded by Deepwater Horizon Fines

A little predator that eats the frogpocalypse fungus. Eat faster, little guy!

“The frequencies of mafia and non-mafia birds swung back and forth in an endless cycle.”

This kind of study is the future of the study of animal intelligence and cognitive evolution.” John Hawks on that cool animal intelligence paper that I covered last week.

Otterdammerung. A hydroelectric dam was supposed to be good for giant otters. Not so much.

Stem cell treatment repairs damaged hearts in monkeys; but see this.

This is such intolerable ivory tower crap. Blog about science? Kiss your grant proposal goodbye.

Get rid of elephants and zebra–> more rodents –> more fleas –> more human disease.

Blobfish are a little more fishy and a little less blobby when in the water

Scientists are finding that new genes come into being at unexpectedly fast clip

NYT on the rise of the face transplant.

Gas is a sign of a healthy gut microbiome.

Rats & mice show increased stress levels when handled by men rather than women, potentially skewing study results.”

Emily Graslie’s new Tumblr: Things That Are Not Dinosaurs.

Spotting bad science – is it really so easy?  No.

Here’s Barbara King on those “grieving” marmosets



Top Theoretical Physicists, R&B Singers Meet To Debate Meaning Of Forever

The only way to solve the biodiversity crisis is to glue all animals together into a Spinosaurus.

I’m going to use the nickname for oxytocin in the last panel.

Don’t write your abstracts while drunk.

Seawater, Magnified 25 Times

Tiny hamsters eating tiny burritos. You’re welcome.



[sic], the passive-aggressive pedant’s tool of choice

The New Yorker on Nigeria’s stolen girls, including their interview with some that escaped.

Nailing the nut graf.

7 things that will shape the future of journalism

Awesome piece on the “not all men” trope.

Readers don’t care who broke the news, says, only journalists do

In Bangladesh, “shipbreaker” is one of the world’s most dangerous jobs

The best messaging platform ever invented can only connect you to one other person

Susan Goldberg becomes the first female editor of National Geographic.

The Bad Grammar awards are prize stupidity

Mystery Science Theater 3000: An oral history of the greatest talk-back show ever made

This blogger found Upworthy-style headlines very annoying. You’ll find his response utterly plausible

How much do writers get paid by different US magazines/institutions?

“If you want to find out what the Internet is, [and] how and why NPR is going to use it…”—20 years ago.

Very cool. David Wolman is remastering his archives into a new collection. Check it out. Cool journalism initiative.