I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (7 November 2015)

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Top picks

From me at The Atlantic:   

Through twin histories of telescopy and Hawaii, Adrienne LaFrance covers the bitter debate over a new mega-telescope. Outstanding piece.

STAT News has finally launched with an all-star line-up. Here’s Sharon Begley with a profile of the amazing Feng Zhang, , Carl Zimmer on the dubious nature of Craig Venter’s new project, and Helen Branswell on a tumour that came from a tapeworm, Bob Tedeschi on the cost of breakthrough cancer drugs, and Begley again on how a gene-editing tool was used to treat a girl’s cancer in a medical first.

The British Mycological Society’s list of recommended English names for fungi is pure joy.

You can raise your testosterone levels just by acting aggressive. Annalee Newitz on a fascinating study that changes our perspective on sex, hormones, and stereotypes.

How to Build a Robot That Will Feed You Breakfast. Hilarious, by Simone Giertz

India is training ‘quacks’ to do real medicine. Here’s why. Really interesting piece on pragmatism versus idealism in medicine, by Priyanka Pulla

The terrifying die-off of saiga antelopes in May was even worse than anyone thought. By Carl Zimmer.

Here’s me again on ScienceFriday talking about recent stories

This story is about the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever but also the Best Pick-Up Line Ever. By Brian Gallagher

“I Spent 4 Months Hand-Cutting A Paper Microbe“—a gorgeous piece of art by Rogan Brown

“Welcome to the Anthropoopscene.” Cari Romm on how the loss of giant animals have affected the Earth’s nutrient cycles.

An amazing Story Collider story from Erik Vance about field biology, Satanism, heroin, and a porcupine called Uncle Erik.


“The real challenge of geoengineering is developing the institutions that might use it in a just & responsible way.” Ross Andersen talks to Oli Morton about hacking the planet.

New imaging technique reveals terrifying hellish versions of birds oh god oh god get it away

The third response here is a hilarious jab at most of science communication

After mating, these male spiders destroy females’ genitalia so that they can’t mate again

Foodborne Outbreaks: More Complex, Deadlier, Harder To Stop

Low-fat diets have low impact

When Diseases Seem Riskier, People Understand Them Less

Congresswoman Jackie Speier lays the smack down on AAAS after a disgraceful year of sexism in science

Steve Silberman’s book Neurotribes wins the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction

“British participants were right at the bottom on the touchability index

Very sad to learn about the recent death of Jane Wardle, a great voice in health behaviour research.

The difference between fog and mist

The last place on Earth with Ebola (in humans, that is)

“Each bit of dust is a microhistory of your life”

Monarch caterpillars store toxic compounds from their milkweed diet to ward off predators into adulthood

New “stealth-bomb” strategy for fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The World’s Largest Mining Operation Is Run by Fungi

Absymal failure to use “blinding” in population biology studies

183 scientists sign letter asking BMJ to retract its bogus food investigation

A new evolution blog with a fantastic line-up of scientist writers; here’s Jennifer Raff on how Neanderthal genes affected human populations.

“I’m an infant scientist

What drives the eye-catching plumage of male songbirds and their drab female mates?

Indonesia blazes threaten endangered orangutans

V.interesting study providing support for the hygiene hypothesis

Scientist rounds up students and records them screaming “Oh my God, help me!”

Placing Big Science in opposition to Small is not a coherent intellectual approach.


And then every journalist bookmarked this for future subtweeting

What Technology Should Be Un-Invented?

How Many Photographs of You Are Out There In the World?

How to Have 106 Babies (and Counting)

Why I Quit Ordering From Uber-for-Food Start-Ups

Someone’s built a punch-able computer.

The decapitated saints who still managed to hold their heads up