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

I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (20 February 2016)

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Top picks

From me at the Atlantic:

Superb piece about the “nature-faked” relationship between Hadza hunter-gatherers & the honeyguide bird. By Cara Giaimo

Palau’s aggressive response to illegal fishing may help the rest of the world save all of the oceans. By Ian Urbina.

Heard of white noise? There’s also pink, blue, grey, and brown noise. By Meghan Neal

100,000 years of everyone ****ing everyone. An explainer about prehistoric interbreeding by Ewen Callaway.

A superb, insightful, compassionate piece on the vaccination debate, by Maggie Koerth-Baker

“When I go out in nature, I don’t even see terrain anymore. All I see are mathematical functions and graphs.” Inside the Artificial Universe That Creates Itself

Sometimes not writing a story is the best journalism, by Rose Eveleth


Modern Milgram experiment sheds light on power of authority

Absurd Creature of the Week: The Huge, Bee-Decapitating Hornet That Can’t Survive Group Hugs


What triggered the animal kingdom’s great evolutionary explosion? A new theory

This story about a new bacterium behind Lyme disease is really about why Lyme has been such a tough puzzle to crack

Lots of People Are Losing Distance Vision, and No One Knows Why

A lovely piece about an ancient flower trapped in amber

A male copepod is likely to bump into a female once per year, but may live only a few months or weeks.

An Instagram for pond scum

There’s another mosquito-borne virus you should worry about & this time, we won’t be able to spell it.

As Antibiotics Fail, We Need More Vaccines

Nice piece on Keolu Fox’s mission to make indigenous groups a part of genomic medicine.

Aquarium decides not to let you ogle its octopuses having a blind Valentine sex date, cos of sexual cannibalism

150,000 penguins die after giant iceberg renders colony landlocked

“You know what doesn’t work to convince true believers that a conspiracy is not afoot? Thorough debunkings

The Brain Scoop looks at how scientists manage their periods during fieldwork in remote locations

Is there really a war on science? Spoiler: no.

On weird starry sea creatures that carry their babies like mammals

Jo Marchant talks about her new book, Cure, on mind/body relationships in health.

Does Toxoplasma gondii alter human behavior? Or should I become a Toxoplasmoskeptic?

In First Human Test of Optogenetics, Doctors Aim to Restore Sight to the Blind

Why It’s So Hard To Prove Zika Is Causing Birth Defects

On The Life Project: “This absorbing book is nothing if not a tribute to Helen Pearson skill as a writer.” Quite so.

On the mysterious origins of syphilis



An imagined Back to the Future prequel that explains Doc Brown’s ties to Libya

Hackers are holding a Los Angeles hospital ransom

Recommended reading for journalists: Adrienne LaFrance assesses the gender bias in her own coverage

Drink was probably involved.”

Amazing journalism that grounds big events through the opinions of everyday people. Or, y’know, quail.

Screw the Huffington Post, bunch of parasitic weasels

The amazing life of Fidel Castro’s favourite cow