I’ve Got Your Missing Links Right Here (26 March 2016)

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Top picks

From me at the Atlantic:

A truly beautiful piece of writing about a rare disease and dissolving bones. By Craig Childs.

The Inherent Bias Of Facial Recognition, by Rose Eveleth. The first in what should be an excellent column on design bias.

5 things the world has learned about Zika so far, by Helen Branswell. Meanwhile Declan Butler considers what we know and don’t about Zika and birth defects

Siddartha Mukherjee writes about the history of schizophrenia genetics, and his own family

“In the end, robots may expand what it means to be human.” Adrienne LaFrance considers what it means to be a robot.

“No buts about it, the butthole is one of the finest innovations in the past 540 million years of animal evolution.” Amy Maxmen on a surprising new discovery involving comb jellies.

NPR’s TED Radio Hour has spliced my talk on parasites with even more of me talking about parasites

What we talk about when we talk about ‘LOL‘. By Megan Garber

Obviously Don’t Set Off Nukes to Do Cool Science. Obviously. By Sarah Zhang

An exclusive annual dinner hosted by a legendary society of scientists is for adventurous eaters only. By Liz Preston.

“No, Polly doesn’t want your Triscuits. Got any fig trees to savage?” Natalie Angier on parrots.


Japan’s totally f**king scientific whaling programme How very fucking scientific.

The ultimate spring baby animal cam compendium

Young scientists need to fight for their employment rights

Cat parasites causing explosive rage? Nope.

Researchers Find Fish That Walks the Way Land Vertebrates Do

Watch a sea anemone swim

The world’s most popular drug—Gastropod on coffee

Could Harvesting Fog Help Solve the World’s Water Crisis?

On the (at times, sensationalist) media framing of an important new climate paper

Can a talking parrot be placed in witness protection?

The ultimate CRISPR FAQ.

The unlikely relaxation of watching 6000 matches burn

What engineers can learn from the design of the penis

Mobile-phone health apps deliver data bounty

Long regarded as minor players in ocean ecology, jellyfish are actually important parts of the marine food web.

Scientists clash over lifespan of captive killer whales

Predictions for Precision Medicine get a reality check.

Startling images of coral bleached by warming waters on the Great Barrier Reef.

Transgenic zebrafish forms technicolour ‘skinbow’

The world’s most urgent science project

Authorities get to the bottom of a two-million-dollar tusk conspiracy

An important piece on a man smearing a journalist

Even harmless snakes strike at deadly speed:

On the evidence/ethics of “vaginal seeding” for C-section babies

Throwing open the oxytocin file drawer

Mother’s Microbiome Shapes Offspring’s Immunity

Guantánamo: From Prison to Marine Conservation Peace Park? By Elizabeth Kolbert

A Mysterious Disease Is Killing People in Wisconsin

An Empty Beach Isn’t Empty At All.

Why Zika and other outbreaks breed conspiracy theories

Check out Alok Jha’s new 3-part radio series on misconduct, irreproducibility, and poor practices in science



How much fuel did Saturn V use per second, as measured in elephants?

Inside the world of blind sports

The tale of Boaty McBoatface

On its 10th birthday, a look back at the world that hatched Twitter

With “machine unlearning,” computer scientists want to build vast forgetting systems

A brief history of robot law