I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (2 May 2015)

Sign up for The Ed’s Up—a weekly newsletter of my writing plus some of the best stuff from around the Internet.

Top picks

Great story: On the unexpected brewing war between astronomers and robot lawnmowers.

Four areas of debate over CRISPR-edited embryos examined by stem cell biologist Paul Knoepfler

How camera film was optimised for white skin colour. A great piece on insidious influences on our technology.

If Dr Doolittle was a surgeon, he’d be Peter Emily. Alex Halperin profiles “The Lion Dentist”.

Sophie Scott’s TED talk on the science of laughter is up, and hilarious. Meanwhile, Sarah Larson talks about how we write laughter.

“Science needs a new ritual.” Ben Lillie reflects on the fracas between native Hawaiians and astronomers

Breaking the communication barrier between dolphins and humans. Joshua Foer on dolphin intelligence, for National Geographic

“In Australia, public opposition is growing toward programs that seek to kill sharks, even after fatal bites on humans.” Ceridwen Dovey on sharing the world with sharks.

The remarkable story of how Syrians saved an ancient seedbank from civil war. By Lizzie Wade

The mystery of the Crazy Tentacled Caterpillar! By Nadia Drake

“The skin did not come off like a sweater, as I’d been told it would.” Thoughtful piece by Amanda Giracca on the fading art of butchery.

I highly recommend Ben Garrod’s new show, Secrets of Bones. A great wildlife documentary by a great presenter. Informative, intelligent, and a lot of fun.


Urine For A Surprise: Your Pee Might Reveal Your Risk For Obesity

The new bat-winged dinosaur, Yi qi, has the shortest scientific name on record, tied with an actual bat, Ia io

A large, flesh-eating shrew dominated Europe, then inexplicably vanished

First results from psychology’s largest reproducibility test

You’re worrying about the wrong bees.

The next step in saving the planet: E O Wilson and Sean Carroll in conversation

Stem cells pass safety test in vision-loss trial

Personalized Devices Predict Cancer Drug Response

“If you haven’t heard of chikungunya yet, don’t worry: You will.”

“A study shows that the hippocampus selects which information to send, and where, during different behaviors.”

Report Says American Psychological Association Collaborated on Torture Justification

Dodos entombed in “poisonous fecal cocktail

Huge study finds no increase in real autism prevalence despite increasing diagnoses

Some leaf-cutter ants use acid to fight fungal outbreaks

DNA testing helps brewers find unwanted bacteria in beer vats

A review of Nick Lane’s brilliant book, The Vital Question

In 1965, this young MD became the first person to call the Tuskegee Study wrong and unethical

An Atlas of the Bacteria and Fungi that Americans Breathe Every Day

One of paleontology’s most famous fossil gaps is closing

Cravings are not really about what your body needs in most cases.

Ants Swarm Like Brains Think: A neuroscientist studies ant colonies to understand feedback in the brain

Mammoths had trunk mittens.

Did Nepal Earthquake Change Mount Everest’s Height?

Carl Zimmer vs. Gattaca

Climate change threatens 1 in 6 species

Bats use a super sense of touch to fly with precision

Bright lights in harbours attract ‘fouling’ aquatic creatures and repel others

Upcoming BBC series challenges views on sharks

Peer reviewer to two women scientists: “Find a male co-author.” Christ.

The awkward state of penguin molting

Too few science stories “tell a tale that someone in a position of power would prefer not to see published”

These iguanas are turning to cannibalism in the face of drought:

US farms have been devastated by bird flu – but a vaccine might make things worse

People who’ve never heard Western music don’t find “Psycho” theme scary or minor chords sad



Stunning Nature Footage Edit Set to “Hello Tomorrow”

GWAS Study Finds Increased Risk Of Death Among Older People

Delusional Man Turning Off Laptop Like He’s Done With It For Night



“Some people do yoga. Others meditate. These days, there are those who walk labyrinths.”

Fascinating Satellite Photos of Seaweed Farms in South Korea

“The images also clearly show [Pluto] and its mega-moon Charon whirling around a point in the space between them“