Photograph Courtesy of The Opte Project
Photograph Courtesy of The Opte Project

I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (23 January 2016)

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Top picks

From me at the Atlantic:

“I’m a climate scientist who has just been told I have Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.” By Piers J. Sellers

“It’s everything wrong with modern-day science-by-press-release in one anecdote.” By Julie Belluz

Amazing story about a woman with disappearing muscles who diagnosed both her genetic diseases, and found kinship with an muscular Olympic medalist. By David Epstein. There are such stark parallels with my story from last year on an extreme athlete who uncovered her own genetic flaw.

This feature on the feral chickens of Kauai, by Ewen Callaway, is a total delight, from start to finish.

A huge new titanosaur is unveiled at the AMNH, and in an upcoming BBC documentary

The Woman Who Made Science Beautiful. By Andrea Wulf.

“They’ll say, ‘The next day I doubled the dose. Then I halved it.’ What the **** are you doing? Shut up.” Rose Eveleth on inept biohacking.

Those weird shapes you sometimes see floating in your vision are actually real. They’re called eye floaters.

Robert Krulwich on a fish trapped in a drop of water in microgravity



Controversial CRISPR history sets off an online firestorm

THWACKEL! Comprehensive list of 60s Batman sound effects.

Buffalo tries to ram an elephant, and loses. Badly.

On being a queer primatologist.

Humans speared the crap out of this poor mammoth 10,000 years before anyone suspected that would have.

Because of Zika, CDC recommends pregnant women not to travel to 14 countries, including Brazil, site of the 2016 Olympics

Ancient ‘massacre’ unearthed near Lake Turkana, Kenya

No one knows why a French clinical trial went horribly wrong because details of the drug aren’t being disclosed

“Four years ago, my wife’s genetic test report came back positive.” Eric Minikel on his quest to find out what it meant.

New evidence for giant plant on fringes of the Solar System, known as Planet Nine, or Phattie, wait, what?

For comic fans, there’s much to love in this analysis of the metafictional Secret Wars

The spectrum has been stretched to the breaking point,” New Yorker piece on autism

Machimosaurus rex was a marine crocodile twice as long as a great white shark

Earliest painting of a volcanic eruption, or something really bad happening to that deer?

Papers showing harmful effects of GM crops being investigated for data manipulation.

Many of the 64 beaver dams noted in this 19th-century map are still standing today

In which Ross Andersen pesters poor Freeman Dyson about Planet Nine and interstellar slingshots

The Sound That Comes From Nowhere.

Junk DNA: a bunch of HOTAIR

On the shaky science of probiotics

A rare disease killed her mother. Can this scientist save herself?

2015: so hot right now.



Solid work, headline writer.

How to Not Fly an Airplane

“I say in the voice of a somnolent robot, “My engine room is explosion.” Veronique Greenwood on odd jobs in China