I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (28 March 2015)

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Top picks

“Watch. Steven Haddock, one of the world experts on life-forms that make light, is about to nudge the animal with a glass stick.” Olivia Judson on the glowing creatures of the oceans.

Ellie Lobel was ready to die. Then she was attacked by bees… She thinks they saved her life.” Incredible story by Christie Wilcox.

Department of Unintended Consequences: Attempts to kill rattlesnakes accidentally killed off a snake-eating snake, leading to more venomous snakes. By Jason Goldman.

Like a cosmic wrecking ball, Jupiter may have wiped ancient worlds off the map of our solar system. By Andrew Fazekas

Deep, man. Real deep. An interactive journey to the centre of the Earth.

Scientists in Iceland have produced an unprecedented snapshot of a nation’s genetic makeup.” Carl Zimmer discusses what this means.

13 wonderful minutes of three women doing squirrel taxidermy – a new episode of Emily Graslie’s Brain Scoop.

Lonni Sue Johnson, a woman with uncommonly profound amnesia, “is assembling one of the world’s largest bodies of unfinished art.” Great story by Daniel Zalewski

“Goodall feels the opportunity closing. She says she hasn’t slept in the same bed for three consecutive weeks in more than 20 years.” Paul Tullis on Jane Goodall’s mission to save the remaining chimpanzees.

14 years’ worth of rain just fell in one day in the Atacama Desert–the driest place on earth

Loving this piece from Robinson Meyer on spotting whales and elephants from space

“A team of neuroscientists is on a trolley headed for a cliff. A lone philosopher stands at the switch”. Sally Adee on the trolley problem, what it really means, and how it’s misused.



Earth sweeps up over 100k pounds of space dust *every day*, which helps to fertilise plankton.

“In 2013, the Philippines had so many typhoons that it ran out of letters to name them…”

Discussing underrepresentation was the only method that increases the likelihood of pursuing a physics career.”

Kin selection still stands.

It’s not just humans that face epidemics: 10 animal diseases

UK scientists warn about ‘chilling effect’ of new media rules

Can we explore Mars without contaminating it? Not likely.

Watch Scientists Try Everything to Put a Camera on a Manatee

Hauntingly Beautiful (and Slightly Disturbing) Photographs Of Animal Anatomy

Can elephants sniff out bombs? Or, better yet, inspire bomb detectors?

When discussing Humanity’s next move to space, the language we use matters.

Frog can change skin texture from smooth to spiny when surrounded by moss.

Cancer researchers support Angelina Jolie’s decision to have her ovaries removed and praise her for openly discussing it, although Slate warns about doing as she does not as she says.

Global warming turns rainforest leaves into junk food

Decompensation: a medical euphemism for “everything falling to crap”

NASA’s astronaut twin study looks like an exercise in doing lots of seriously underpowered comparisons that won’t tell us very much.

The parasite that tracks cicadas down by their love songs

Spiders have inspired engineers to design pioneering medical devices such as artificial tendons and corneas

“IARC is saying that glyphosate probably COULD cause cancer in humans, but not that it probably DOES.” Good analysis of a recent report on a weedkiller chemical

“If you don’t think of spiders as cute and cuddly, then you’ve never met Sparklemuffin, Skeletorus, and the elephant spider”

Scientists urge museums to sever ties with fossil fuel industry.

A coral reef fish’s ability to mimic different species makes it more successful at hunting – but also keeps it safe from predators

Cool opossum research but, come on, what biologist talks about universal anti-venom with a straight face?

Why autonomous butlers are the beginning of everyday robotics

George Johnson brings clarity to the NYT’s cancer coverage.

I look forward to these non-stick bottles entering the markets & unwary diners dumping ALL the ketchup on their chips

I like to think that PNAS is just openly trolling UKIP now.

“Just like the human internet, the fungal internet has a dark side.” Applause for “wood wide web”

Enormous bulge at the equator of the solar system’s largest moon suggests that its poles have shifted by 90 degrees.

On Ebola: “It hasn’t become increasingly lethal or increasingly virulent”

Rajendra Singh has brought water for first time to a 1,000 villages


This is probably why people with no self-awareness rule the world.

“That’s one small step fo- HOLY **** LOOK OUT IT’S GOT SOME KIND OF DRILL!”

“Looking Back On My Life, I Guess My Biggest Regret Is Trying To Fight That Alligator 5 Minutes Ago”

7 Strange Habits Of Great Writers

Scientists Discover Eating Serves Function Other Than Easing Anxiety

Frozen meets The Thing


“I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” – Monica Lewinsky

TED’s social media editor shares what happened when they posted Monica Lewinsky’s talk

Reporter asks Google to confirm rumor. Rep sends him a gif. Reporter assumes it’s a joke. “Rep assured us it was not”

“Plus who doesn’t like jazz hands?!”

Sweden’s main dictionary is adding a gender-neutral pronoun

Phil McKenna tells The Open Notebook the story behind his amazing story: Life in the Death Zone