I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (27 June 2015)

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[A slightly curtailed selection this week as I’ve been away at a conference. Normal service will resume in July.]

Top picks

You know when you get a splinter & your body expels it? Starfish can do that but to an EXTREME degree. By Liz Preston.

This Tumblr of Epic Conducting Photos (and GIFs) made my day.

A “feeling for the organism” – David Baltrus is absolutely right on the need for natural history in the era of genomics

Maria Konnikova on whether pornography is bad for us. Spoiler: no.

“Certain people, researchers have discovered, can’t summon up mental images — it’s as if their mind’s eye is blind.” Carl Zimmer on aphantasia.

Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood? Peter Andrey Smith on the science of the “gut-brain axis



Inside the Fight to Stop Giraffes’ ‘Silent Extinction’

New fossil gives some clues about how turtles got their shells.

The hard science of oxytocin [spoiler: not just a hug hormone]

Early focus groups, mostly women, told Microsoft they felt like Clippy was leering at them.

Human-organs-on-chips win Design of the Year

A vengeful firefly? Serial killer at a rave? Compromised spy with a flare gun? Oh, right, millipede.

Why Argentina is the bookshop capital of the world

Science has just published a comment seriously calling into question the “Chick Mental Number Line” story that I reported on.

Chris Chambers and Brian Nosek on new journal guidelines for open science and reproducibility

Giraffe survives battle wound, adapts to life with a zig-zag neck

Obama interviews Attenborough!!!

“What do we do when antibiotics don’t work any more?” Maryn McKenna’s excellent TED talk is live.

Astoundingly beautiful: Radiant reefs found deep in the Red Sea

World’s Frogs Unveil 5-Million-Year Plan To Move Up Food Chain

Racehorses are getting faster. Why?

“Study: Floating Heap Of Trash Now Ocean’s Apex Predator”

New fossil gives some clues about how turtles got their shells.

What happens when you want your crazy futuristic cyborg implant removed?

The Onion on mass extinctions

This artist drew modern animals like the way we draw dinosaurs and it’s horrifying

An impossible sight on Earth: 3 crescent moons in 1 shot, Titan, Rhea & Mimas, frm Cassini

An investigation into the perks and pitfalls of being a celebrity tree

Filling in the story of Europe’s first humans

“It was as if were looking directly into life’s birthplace.” Jen Barone travels to some hydrothermal vents.