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Thousands of people are ordering viruses from Eastern Europe to deal with intractable bacterial infections. Azeen Ghorayshi on the long-discussed promise of phage therapy and why it’s slow to catch on.
This NatGeo cover story by Joel Achenbach on why people doubt science will never stop being timely
Stunning explainer from Carl Zimmer on why measles is so contagious (and why Ebola is not).
“I was totally pro-vaccines, really, until Dr. Taylor.” Virginia Hughes asks her mum why she never got vaccinated
“It’s much easier to scare people than it is to dispel fears.” Seth Mnookin on talking to vaccine resisters
“Their memories were vivid, clear—and wrong. There was no relationship at all between confidence and accuracy.” Maria Konnikova on our misplaced faith on our inaccurate emotional memories.
“The water in my heart has fallen” and other expressions of mental illness in non-English languages. By Maanvi Singh.
“It is a cold, wet, sharp, splashy, slush-creating, hypothermia-inducing abomination, a wrongness falling over the world. A better name for it would be “airborne depravity.”” Kathryn Schulz ranting magnificently about the phrase “wintry mix”.
Harper Lee is publishing her second novel, a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. Megan Garber has a thoughtful analysis of the news.
A 21st century tragicomedy: one man’s quest to rid Wikipedia of exactly one grammatical mistake
Shock as UK MPs reach sensible decision reached over mitochondrial replacement. WHERE WILL THE SENSIBLENESS END? Ewen Callaway explains the science behind the technique; Mark Henderson writes about how the vote is a triumph for public engagement
I’ve really enjoyed Doug Emlen’s ANIMAL WEAPONS—a book that’s ostensibly about extreme teeth, antlers, horns, and other armaments, but is also a great primer on evolution
“You could kill somebody’s baby. I don’t like using that line, but now it’s getting to the point where I have to.” Babies too young to be vaccinated are now at risk of measles.
Woman cured of immune disease by one of her chromosomes shattering & reassembling
How fungus-growing termites are preventing desertification in Africa
The rise of CRISPR gene editing.
Oooh, the excellent Rob Dunn has a new book out: THE MAN WHO TOUCHED HIS OWN HEART
South American 1,000 kg rodent could bite as hard as a modern tiger!
This is fantastic. How scientists are using LEGO to handle insects
On the problem with precision medicine
Debunker: No, women’s voices are not easier to understand than men’s voices.
Croc and hippo play tug-of-war with a sad wildebeest as the rope
How to preserve a coelacanth
Chimps can learn “dialects” (aka food grunts) from other chimps
“He sounds a bit like Dickens going off on one of his endless sentences about, say, muffins”. On ye olde sci writing.
Inside the bunkers where the US will obliterate its chemical weapons
“When you write to a stranger on the internet, you aren’t just writing to a stranger on the internet”
Watch a chimp as he does his “rain dance”
“Few people would describe bedbugs as most beautiful or most wonderful.“
When Monkeys Surfed to South America
Venom library to store poison from Australia’s deadliest creatures. The late fees are murder.
5 GIFs that explain herd immunity
Case report of rapid weight gain after faecal transplant
“Participants who made the follow-through movement had an easier time learning to compensate for the force field”
Evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, disgracing himself
The Scientific 23: an interview-filled site to give kids a look at the lives of scientists
How to study, and save, migrations by airlifting deer.
Due to delays, only 40 percent of Ebola donations have been received by affected countries
“When the pair resurfaced, the bigger seal was skinning and eating its companion”
“So why do some creatures seem to blink out of the fossil record only to be revived?”
Tiny frogs contain big evolutionary surprise
The just world hypothesis—why believing that the world is fair makes you a terrible person.
Boomerang effect: heavy media coverage of Measles outbreak normalises vaccination refusal.
You can sue a parent who doesn’t vaccinate. But you’re not going to win.
Do dolphins mourn their dead?
V-formation flying: rare example of a reciprocal altruism
Poaching leaves many young elephants orphaned. Here’s how they rebuild their lives
Building Robots With Better Morals Than Humans
This Carl Zimmer post: (a) is about the downfall of our inner viruses; (b) has a photo of Carl’s spirit animal.
The Trip Treatment: Research into psychedelics, shut down for decades, is now yielding exciting results
“As the fear of [Ebola] ebbs, Liberians slip back into their daily, tactile rhythm.”
How London Zoo worked with a US carpet company and fishing communities in the Philippines to fight plastic pollution
Carl Djerassi, chemist who developed birth control pill, dies at age 91
Ebola Drug Trial Is Halted for Lack of Patients
Here’s how we’re ruining one of the world’s largest lakes
Maria Konnikova on the science of changing false beliefs. “It’s depressing.”
Unboil an Egg and other failed Toni Braxton songs.
New x-ray technique reads snippets of charred scrolls that survived Pompeii eruption
Why GM is the natural solution for future farming
Whale completely misses some guy because it’s too busy sieving krill or whatever whales do.
Baby chameleon hatching
Sylvia Plath picks her nose.
“His Facebook page states that he is a life coach” is the best possible punchline to this story
Elegant Montages Show the Beauty of Birds in Flight
And I was like, here’s a history of the quotative like.
For Years, The Washington Post Tried to Interview a Cow
Made almost entirely of vines, this Japanese bridge must be rewoven every 3yrs
Huge congratulations to my friend Maryn McKenna, who’ll be giving a TED talk next month on antibiotic resistance.