Planet Earth

Sunday brain-nuggets

Not Exactly Rocket ScienceBy Ed YongMay 4, 2009 12:58 AM

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To play my part as a good denizen of the blogosphere, I'm going to start providing a weekly selection of links to great posts from other blogs. These will either run every Sunday or every whenever-I-get-the-time...

Without further ado:

Brian Switek at Laelaps discusses living mammoth legends.

SciCurious talks about ultrasonic frogs over at Neurotopia.

Christie Wilcox at Observations of a Nerd covers research that suggests the largest pterosaurs may not have been able to fly.

If it looks like a peer-reviewed journal and it sounds like a peer-reviewed journal, then it's a... massive ad for pharmaceutical companies? Dr Isis and Janet Stemwedel cover the shocking news that Merck paid Elsevier to publish a fake medical journal to promote its own products.

Steven Novella at NeuroLogica covers a new paper on corn that has been genetically modified to produce enhanced levels of vitamin A, vitamin C and folate.

At Photo Synthesis, Alex Wild showcases a typically superb set of photos featuring those tiny fungus-growing farmers, the attine ants.

Revere from Effect Measure and Tara Smith of Aetiology have provided the best coverage of the swine flu epidemicanywhere online. Meanwhile, Carl Zimmer encourages you to record your feelings about swine flu to be a part of psychological history. And at Bad Science, Ben Goldacre coins the phrase "Aporkalypse" and muses on why large numbers of people are automatically assuming that people are scare-mongering over swine flu. Finally, the BBC explains the differences between the different types of flu using a devastatingly informative diagram...

At Mind Hacks, Vaughan Bell explains new research that provides yet another blow to the overuse of the brain-scanning technique functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). "It's like shooting arrows randomly into a wall and then drawing a target around ones which landed together," he explains.

The guys at Southern Fried Science teach us how to brew beer in a coffee maker, using only materials commonly found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel.

The Mungers of Cognitive Daily have started producing a monthly feature (imaginatively entitled Cognitive Monthly). Each issue takes a look at an area of psychology, with the first looking at the science behind theatre performances. It'll set up back $2 for a download, but it's well worth the tiny expense - this is a great example of high-quality, feature-length science writing turning up outside of the mainstream.

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