After Shark Week jumps the shark, David Shiffman did a wonderful Reddit AMA, Al Dove collates some five amazing actual facts about sharks. Also, Matt Bonnan on why it matters, and Perrin Ireland collates some of the links, as does Wired.
After Decades of Research, Henrietta Lacks’ Family Is Asked for Consent. Great piece by Carl Zimmer, and a huge victory for the Lacks family. Kudos to Rebecca Skloot for writing the story that led to this. And another good piece by Ewen Callaway and a Q&A with the NIH director Francis Collins
Ridiculously cute robot meets pack of lions. This is the most wonderful way of presenting a video collection I think I’ve ever seen. Congrats to National Geographic
Don’t miss these mesmerising GIFs of our breathing Earth. Watch ice and vegetation wax and wane.
In a box marked “microminiatures”, a librarian found a book the size of a ladybird. What was it? By Becca Rosen.
In 1996, a captive Komodo dragon started a salmonella outbreak among Denver children. By Jason Goldman.
An amazing flythrough of the neurons in a mouse’s retina.
H7N9 experiments proposed, echoing last year’s controversy around H5N1. Better this time round, or same mistakes? By me.
Malaria vaccine is first to provide 100% protection but there are big logistical hurdles.
Delighted to co-author this piece on John Rogers’ amazing flexible electronics with Valerie Ross. Subscription required, unfortunately.
Dolphins can remember their friends after 20 years apart.
The most beautiful periodic table I’ve ever seen, by Alison Haigh.
A lot of hullaballoo this week around artificial meat (Pissteak? Facon? Shamburger?) but this is my favourite take: A history of (mostly wrong) predictions about in vitro meat, by Alexis Madrigal. This old Discover post is also apposite. Aaaaand…
Drunk fish have no fear of robots.
Why Y “Adam” & mitochondrial “Eve” are bad science-communication. By Melissa Wilson Sayres.
Good piece by Tom Bartlett on a silly misuse of chaos theory embarrasses positive psychologists
“Scientists currently know of 112 species whose preferred habitat is the renal sac of a cephalopod.” – Craig McClain.
Oh look, a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine can cause cancer.
This is a truly wonderful palaeontology headline.
Cave fish species discovered in Madagascar commemorates the fever caught by the people who discovered it
Rethinking the neuron doctrine
Three awesome science writers—Mun-Keat Looi, Colin Stuart and Hayley Birch—have written a book on big Qs in science.
Carl Zimmer’s tribute to penis bones
Camels in Oman have antibodies to MERS.
These butterflies mimic themselves. That’ll make them go blind.
This is cool. #6SecondScience – a science fair, on Vine.
Wisdom of the crowd or over-enthusiasm of the herd? New study on the pitfalls of online ratings
“More than 10yrs have passed since last dose of Lariam, and I still get depression, panic attacks, insomnia”
There’s a little black spot on the sun
The psychology behind Pacific Rim’s mind-melding
The Unlikely Rocks Found in Mosques, Siberia & Outer Space
Healed whale rib gives away prehistoric shark bite
This is a v. cool video Q&A about the business of running a natural history museum.
Video Shows How Silk Draglines Help Jumping Spiders Steer.
US denies controversial request to import 18 beluga whales from Russia for public display
Pangolins in Peril: All 8 Species of Endangered by Illegal Trade
On the psychology of anger and aggression.
Animal superpowers—a video by Joe Hanson
“The patient confessed he had regular untroubled intercourse during 2mths w/the swollen tick firmly attached to his member.” NO.
A Tiny Dolphin and a Big Problem
“My Brain Did It!” Neuro Talk In Everyday Conversation
Why rabbits have white tails
George Monbiot builds a straw man of de-extinction and Carl Zimmer dismantles it.
Carnivorous harp sponges envelop prey in a membrane to digest whole
Parasitic wasps might mitigate the damage wrought by scale insects.
Children given lifelong ban on talking about fracking by court
Helping locked-in patients communicate through pupil dilation and maths quizzes…
Navigational Cell Systems Located in Human Brains
Plants can communicate via fungi to warn each other of aphid attacks
Costa Rica is closing its zoos and releasing all animals from captivity
Two neural circuits in your brain race each other to stop you from singeing your hand
How we use pronouns in emails/twitter reveals when we’re hiding a secret
What happens when an esteemed college psychology professor is revealed to have killed his family 46 years
Placebo buttons do absolutely nothing, and they are EVERYWHERE
Khal Zimmer says there is no word for science in Dothraki.
What a groundbreaking study!
Winners of the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
Absolutely amazing portrait of a stick insect by Robert Oelman.
@phil_torres is well worth following on Twitter for amazing pics from the field, like this one of a nymph just sitting on a scorpion’s claw
Amazing high-speed videos of Insect flight
Watch as the world’s cetaceans are approached by a shadowy cabal of inappropriately touchy divers. Also: “cetacean needed”.
Londoners, recycling bins are tracking your phones.
One second on the Internet is crazy
Massive congrats to Hillary Rosner for winning a Society for Environmental Journalists’ award for her outstanding “Attack of the Mutant Pupfish” feature
Bitly For Feelings
Beautiful essay on missed connections, in the form of a Craigslist ad
Press Gazette deconstructs months of news-free Daily Express front pages
“You can’t take a good story back.” Alexis Madrigal on the transmutation of fauxlore into fact
Comment writers as the tongue-eating lice of the media – my new favourite metaphor
The making of Marvel’s unified movie universe (and why DC might not be able to do the same),
The Mars Exploration Barbie is very, very pink.
UNM formally censures Geoffrey Miller over his fat-shaming tweet, which “violated… policies regarding integrity/honesty.”
OOH. Google’s launching a new feature to help people find longer, in-depth stories
“Once everything in your house contains a computer, everything in your house can be hacked.”
On a new renaissance of science writing venues, by Tom Levenson.
Tom Stoppard’s ‘Arcadia’ at Twenty. It’s a work of genius. I’ve seen both London productions; wish it was produced more often.
“[Dawkins'] output resembles that of a man desperately grasping for attention and relevance in a maturing community.”