I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (01 November 2014)

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Top picks

One of the best things I’ve read about Ebola for ages, from Maryn McKenna. She considers what would happen if it became endemic. Carl Zimmer clearly explains why, unlike the flu, Ebola isn’t airborne

“She emailed a photo to a world-renowned tadpole expert who was so excited he formatted his reply in ALL CAPS.” Matt Simon on the vampire frog.

“My body was a foreign object that I propelled thru the world & that housed my brain, where I lived” A wonderful essay by Veronique Greenwood.

The Ebola Survivors Club. They are immune but they care for sick and orphaned.

Why is the Mona Lisa so popular? Ian Leslie on how canons form.

“Imagine, for a moment, a world with three suns“. Nadia Drake helps you.

“If mega-rich people could buy places on clinical trials, would this help drive forward the development of new treatments that could benefit everyone?” Alexander Masters considers the case.

“Yesterday, before I got here, my dad was trying to fix an invisible machine.” A perfect short tale by Vaughan Bell

The One Basic Fact About History That Time Travelers Always Forget. Annalee Newitz on the rise and fall of oxygen.

“Later on, the cosmonauts narrowly avoided being obliterated in a huge fireball.” The incredible tale of how the people who took the first spacewalks almost didn’t return to Earth. By Paul Rincon.

My TED talk on parasites passed a million views last weekend.

A magnificent use of GIFs: What breath looks like in humans, in birds, in bugs



Brain surgery cured one man’s arachnopobia

As the world focuses on Ebola control, many basic Qs about the virus remain unanswered.

How to make more published research true. A manifesto by Ioannidis

What animals think when they see themselves in a mirror.

Go to bombing range, find mammoths.

Resourceful Crustaceans Turn Invasive Seaweed into Homes

Stunningly detailed 180 million year old fern frozen in time by a volcano.

By killing off older fish, overfishing may lead populations to lose the knowledge of migratory patterns

Microbe that fights chronic diarrhoea.

Two remarkable movies of parasites controlling their hosts.

Space: hard.

For the first time, researchers have opened and closed the blood-brain barrier in humans on demand.

Does anyone actually read prescription drug warnings?

This is a crossover between Babe and The Little Mermaid.

Just what amphibians needed: another apocalyptic fungus.

Meet the vampire blenny, a tiny little fish thatOHGODWHATISTHATKILLITWITHFIRE

The top 100 most cited papers of all time (spoiler: are really booooooooring).

Very cool: a site that gathers positive energy/climate stories from around the world.

Inside the Field Museum’s Hidden Flesh-Eating Beetle Room.

Algal virus found in humans [very slightly] slows brain activity

Gas-spewing Icelandic volcano stuns scientists”. Er, with awesomeness, not rocks and lava and stuff.

Five science facts schools teach that are absurdly wrong

With great flowers comes great responsibility.

Infectious plant virus thawed out from 700-year-old reindeer shit, because SCIENCE.

This guy has clearly never heard of the Streisand Effect

The voyages of the pigeon louse.

Most Autistic People Have Normal Brain Anatomy

“Some researchers caution that much of what we hear about microbiome science isn’t always, well, science”

It is wonderful to see the amazing Emily Willingham get recognition for her efforts to stand up for science.

The first clean rooms worked so unexpectedly well that the inventors thought their dust counters were broken.

Tracking Sea Turtles as They Swim for Their Lives

Slow loris bites are really unhealthy.

Giant tortoise on Galapagos makes ‘miraculous’ stable recovery

Blood’s always red, right? WRONG. Not if you’re an octopus. Or a penis worm.

“To hold the jumping spiders in place while they studied them, the [lab] devised a tiny, 3D printed plastic harness.”

The Antares rocket exploded just after lift-off.

Why mosquitoes can’t spread Ebola. Hint: not just flying syringes.

Rose George on what needs fixing in the way we care for people with dementia.



Science To Be Replaced By Anecdotes

The Onion on anti-vaxxer plan to staple messages to Halloween candy

A demo of feathers and bowling ball falling in a vacuum.

A subtly unsettling moment in the jungle


The Existential Crisis of Public Life Online. A thoughtful take on Twitter, GG, and the stream of ugh.

Meet the harrowed people who keep beheadings out of your Facebook feed. [Trigger warning]

This is an ode to the mechanical pencil.

What foods frighten YOU?

Why scientists really should use Twitter.

To all journalists who try to justify a rubbish headline by saying the piece is full of caveats, maybe shut up

Tom Stoppard’s new play The Hard Problem is inspired by philosopher David Chalmers