Top picks Post of the month! Summer Ash blogs her heart surgery, with pics of her own heart on the operating table Yes our ancestors did have sex with Neanderthals, and no, that new paper doesn’t prove otherwise. John Hawks has the best account of the story. Ewen Callaway NASA just patched a piece of software on another planet. Dolphins adopt a torpedo. Beautiful. Have there been modern-day virgin births? A great historical tale, from the pre-genomic era. Wait, whale sharks can ungrow?! Awesome. And I learned that even before the bit about lasers World's oceans score 60 out of 100 on new health index. Not terrible; could do much better, by Virginia Gewin. The Maya didn't believe the world would end in 2012. That's those other folks. "Our Rover is safe" - a video about Curiosity's landing by the people who built it Maggie Koerth-Baker is a new columnist for the NYT magazine. This is good news for everyone, and I love it when excellent writers end up in the right places. “I think people who sell fake cancer cures are murderers,” says Xeni Jardin. Correctly, too. Flamingos: they're pink, they stand on one leg, and they have erectile tissue in their mouths. Wait, what? Parasites suck toxins from sharks! Some cool developments in the field of vision-restoring retinal prostheses. Could drastically improve the tech Author Fights For His Book On The Internet After Slacking Student Pleads For Quick Summary "No humanmade robot is designed with the loose skin of a labrador. But why not?" The physics of wet dogs, and other wet shaking animals. Science/news/writing So, NASA, what's up with all the peanuts? Amy Shira Teitel gives a fascinating & surprisingly historical answer The BMJ argues that pharma's innovation crisis is a fiction. Derek Lowe piledrives that argument into the mat “Where have all the cults gone?” wonders NeuroSkeptic "What Seasoning Is Essential for Life, Deadly at High Doses & Confusing to Neuroscientists?" asks Veronique Greenwood Gorilla brothers reunite. Awwww A beautifully-preserved fossil provides scientists with an in-depth look at ankylosaur armor Has the time come to try geoengineering? STOP THE PRESSES! Heroin addiction cured! Or not. Reddit IAmA: We are engineers and scientists on the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission How the brain keeps clean. As in physically clean, not mentally clean. Which never happens. Self-proclaimed dolphin-lovers most likely to be dolphin harassers. We beg you not to help. So, you can look around another planet using your handheld computer In Fragmented Brazilian Forest, Few Species Survive New virus makes pythons stare at the stars and tie themselves in knots Gnnnh Bee-rotica: insect sting fetishes. Protecting a reef with a submarine art installation of hundreds of statues Ugandan lab proves its mettle during recent Ebola outbreak Carl Zimmer on the intriguing Reproducibility Initiative – a project to incentivise replication attempts for previous results. On butterflies and balloons at Fukushima Why are there blue rocks in the latest photos from Mars? Fareed Zakaria’s ludicrous defence of his plagiarism is: “No one else has standards, so why should I?” Hyenas that think outside the box solve problems faster "Don’t put that Save the Whales t-shirt on eBay yet..." Wired on green behaviour changeMaths is part of what makes us human. Don't withhold it from kids just because it's hard WTFNASA: a site that auto-generates things that NASA has done for you. An Antarctic State of MindWoman’s missing digits grow back in phantom form So, did a guy actually ever question a severed head? 10 newly discovered amphibians. No 2 is especially great "I understand there is a special mohawk guy working on the mission..." - Obama Mouse eyes have built-in raptor detectors Illustrations make information more believable. Which must be true, cos I saw it in an infographic Device seeks & neutralises epileptic brain activity (in rats) There is great beauty in mundanity – why Maggie Koerth-Baker loves boring pictures of Mars A new intelligent textbook helps students learn by constructing new pages to answer their queries Your body is like a rotting log, a beautifully complex ecosystem. The weird science of telling time on MarsHeh/wow/huh Coworker With Two Computer Screens Not F**king Around Awesome sculpture of giant crumpled cartoon paper, landing on a New Zealand hill I'm a big fan of this press release headline "It's still unclear what the HuffPo's thing actually is but apparently it’s like the future of journalism or something" Pattern resulting from a lightning strike to a sidewalk. Angler photographs humpback whale that almost jumps into boat. With video! Internet/journalism/society Christ. Jonah Lehrer in more “just making quotes up” madness. This time, from Teller of Penn-and- fame. Why snark and linking can save you from a defamation suit. NOOOOO! "Nissan: parroting two different Sohos and getting both wrong" - London & NY to have same taxis! Tidal Pools: Nature’s Putrid Sewers – Horrifying Planet "Users have decided they want streams, but most media companies are insisting on publishing more and more pages." Ebay Bans Sale Of Magic Potions And Spells. Insert homeopathy joke here.