Top picks Via the IOM's report on vaccine safety, we have "lost yet another battle in the war over vaccines" says Erika Check Hayden Plumes & Pathogens: Human fascination w/ birds can jeopardize our health, by Rachel Nuwer, reporting from Asia’s wildlife markets NYT on how the psychology of misidentification is forcing an overhaul in police lineup procedures Can there be anything nerdier than calling out Simon Pegg on the etymology of the word nerd? No. Aussie farmers killed the thylacine because they thought it'd kill their sheep. Except it couldn't have Must-read post by Sean Mcarroll: Ten things everyone should know about timeWhat do whale sharks eat? While studying the giant fish, Al Dove stumbled onto a cool mystery How would you explain the meaning of right and left to an alien, without pictures or gestures? "Scary Disease Girl" Maryn McKenna describes life on the infectious disease beat. Much wisdom here for aspiring writers. Does neuroscience threaten the concept of free will & do philosphers care? Great feature by Kerri Thomas Spider mites disable host plant defenses, then spin their own India's attempting the biggest biometric project of all time, involving all 1.2m of its people. Is it worth it? Science/News/WritingHow to Make a Transparent Mouse with a Few Simple Ingredients In female-empowered cultures, gender gap in spatial reasoning vanishes From a behavioral economics point of view, the field of financial advice is quite strange Cancer-killing viruses zero in on tumor cells. Phase I trial only, but cool method Coming soon to a procedural drama near you, the "body liquefaction unit". From cadaver to mush in 3 hrs. Happy words trump negativity in the English language. British people not trying hard enough. Hurricane Irene from start to finish, in timelapse satellite images Fighting the scourge of boring ledesHow bacteria travel round the world Specific parts of the human brain are tuned to the sight of animalsBoarding a plane by row is the worst possible way, worse than random boarding. What's better? Polio returns to China, and it probably came from Pakistan. Neither of those facts is good. On Steve Jobs and the creativity of anger, by Jonah Lehrer Adventures in British roadkillThe Golden Ratio: lies and more lies. How would you feed astronauts on a five-year Mars mission? Vaughan Bell beautifully explains what a "we're-simulating-the-brain" project is *actually* going to do Are antibiotics killing off beneficial bacteria for good? Et tu, Science Magazine? A chemical free crusade from Deborah Blum. Why do women get more autoimmune diseases than men? On vaccines: scientists can’t stop doing science because of crazy people, says Hannah Waters Keep your frozen heart beating inside a box. Then sneak it under the floorboards of a literary convention Big prehistoric cheetah killed next to ancient humans. And that's it. NASA orbital debris office is struggling to keep up with space junk problem. Space broom deemed unfeasible The US considers wild chimps to be endangered but captive chimps to be threatened. Yeah, yeah, let's capture the asteroid and mine it. What could possibly go wrong? The balloon volcano is the world's first major geo-engineering field-test "We had Kate Winslet learning how to pipette". Contagion Spreads Truths about Bioterrorism Heh/wow/huhThe Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Is brilliant. For fans of the Devil’s Dictionary and the Meaning of Liff I wonder if Alex Wild is seeing too much in this "moth with mural wings" but do let's have that PhD project! On the coastal walk I did this week, I found *thousands* of these tiny snails clinging to grass stems on the path If you've never run through a room filled with white balloons, you haven't lived. The Onion's take on the "8.7 million species" story is about as sensible as much of the actual news reporting on it What an amazing world we live in – winners of BBC's annual ecology photo prize In which Matt Parker proves - PROVES, I say - that Captain America films cause natural disasters in New YorkMovies of stars breathing Best conflict of interest statement ever: "I have no conflict of interest and I am also not Jack the Ripper” Internet/journalism/societyNewspapers, and thus journalism, are saved! YAY! Because we'll burn it for fuel! Er... Darren Naish says Inside Nature's Giants (Raw Anatomy in the US) "might actually be the only thing on TV worth watching." He’s not wrong. Having declared war upon pseuds, Google is now tackling that most nefarious of social groups - children Why a lot of people don't understand Creative Commons "As web content [gets] dumber, the market for high quality content away from the web will continue to grow" Amazon’s new @author feature changes (just a bit) what a book is all about Casting calls for hosts of two new sci/engineering shows specifically call for *men* aged 25-45. Seriously. It’s 2011!